In case you missed it, check out Washington Monthly editor Paul Glastris on the Colbert Report from last week, talking about the magazine's alternative ranking of colleges:
Click here to read the entire package.
Sex Abuse a Shadow Over U.S. Schools AP
An investigation by the Associated Press has found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions that ranged from bizarre to sadistic.
Oprah's school in scandal News24 South Africa
Henley-On-Klip - A matron at Oprah Winfrey's posh school for girls near Vereeniging apparently "fondled" one of the pupils, and assaulted another.
Bush, Democrats Face Education Spending Showdown EdWeek
President Bush and Democratic leaders in Congress are facing off over spending on federal education programs, and the renewal of the No Child Left Behind Act could get caught up in the clash.
Even Families Are Split Over Oral Contraceptives at a Maine Middle School NYT
A school committee’s vote to provide prescription contraceptives at its clinic is drawing fervent support and ardent opposition in Portland.
The advocate of teaching over testing Boston Globe
Jonathan Kozol, who has worked with teachers and children in inner-city schools for more than 40 years, is the author of such books as "The Shame of the Nation," "Savage Inequalities," and "Amazing Grace."
Two Million Minutes Of High School
UPK: Just Don't Call It Childcare
Former City Police Chief Takes Over NOLA School Security
No "Marshall Law" For DC Public Schools, Says Millot
A Gay Union Leader For New York City Teachers
The folks at the Columbus Dispatch have been running a great education series all week, and even created a database for parents to see which educators if any at their school have been disciplined. Check it outL The Columbus Dispatch
Maine Middle School to Issue Birth Control Pills NPR
School officials in Portland, Maine make birth control pills available to students at one of the city's middle schools. The move follows a spate of pregnancies among middle school girls.
Calif. Approves Teacher Test Teacher Magazine
California’s rigorous performance test for new teachers has the potential to set national standards, officials say.
FCC cites commentator Williams for payola Reuters
After investigating for more than 2-1/2 years, the Federal Communications Commission concluded that Williams and his firm violated agency rules by promoting President George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" policy on television without disclosing they had been paid to do so.
Over at EIA, Mike is not jumping on the PFP bandwagon (Sorry, I Can't Join the Party). Meanwhile, Joanne Jacobs tells us about how some districts are gaming the AYP ratings system by transferring students (The ‘alternative’ dodge).Hustle And Flow...). The carnival is up at the Education Wonks (The Carnival Of Education: Week 141). AFT Michele slams me for wanting folks to link back to me when I link to them all the time (Blog Minutiae). Show some class, my good woman! Links are about credit and community, not traffic. The Hoff says there's a Senate discussion draft out there, but not about the juicy parts (Senate Distributes Partial Draft). Eduwonkette is lining up costumes for her Halloween edu-parade (Costume Nominations!). I call dibs on K-Fed.
You might think that Gail Collins' column about controversy over child care has nothing to do with school reform, but you'd be wrong. As Collins points out, we've got a substantial child care problem in the US, and little political appetite for discussing it. But universal preschool does an end-around on this, by providing an additional year of government subsidized care for children that parents otherwise would have to be covering out of pocket. Check it out: None Dare Call It Child Care. If there's any relief for working parents on the horizon, this is probably it.
Blogging is fun. Too much fun. As this Time.com article points out (here), it's crack for journalists, whose best ideas otherwise get killed or blocked by ogre editors, and who are usually straightjacketed by the requirements of objective journalism (blandness, rigid even-handedness). It's also good business, since it doesn't take much time to find and slam someone else's hard work. (Doing that to to Diana Jean Schemo's NYT piece a couple days ago took about a half hour at most.) But I don't know if publishers are all of them really that business-oriented, or that online advertising brings in enough revenue -- yet -- to justify the expense of even the cheapest bloggers churning out the most salacious gossip. Recently, the Huffington Post announced it was going to pay its 1800 bloggers... never. And Gawker pays $12 per post.
Romney likes NCLB MSNBC
“I like the fact that in No Child Left Behind we test our kids,” Romney said. “We can see which schools are succeeding and which are failing. That alone is a huge advance…I like No Child Left Behind.”
Easy test leaves Maryland behind Baltimore Sun
"We think our cut scores are reasonable for what people are being asked to do by 2014, especially given that it's for all subgroups - students who don't speak English or students with special needs."
Teachers Agree to Bonus Pay Tied to Scores NYT
Bonuses for New York City teachers would be based largely on the overall test scores of students at schools that have high concentrations of poor children.
A Normal Lesson in Vocabulary, Until a Deer Bursts Through a School Window NYT
New Jersey, a 200-pound buck raced through a class of fifth graders and wandered the halls like a typical gaggle of errant students before being shepherded out a back door.
Over at Teacher In A Strange Land, teacher Nancy Flanagan riffs off of my Teach For America essay from last week. "TFA has done nothing to re-conceptualize the work of teaching as both socially valuable and complex professional practice. In fact, TFA and similar “fellowship” programs have spawned a rash of research projects bent on proving that teacher education isn’t particularly useful—that any smart person can teach." But, like me, Flanagan agrees that the potential is there: "When Wendy Kopp comes up with an idea to keep TFA folks in teaching or reposition teaching as a flexible, entrepreneurial professional career, I personally will carry signs nominating her for a MacArthur grant—or Secretary of Education."
Miami ‘Zone’ Gives Schools Intensive Help EdWeek
Some of the lowest-performing schools in the Miami-Dade County, Fla., district could soon be weaned from three years of strategic support.
High schools using breathalyzers to fight teen drinking USA Today
High schools are rushing to test students for alcohol at extracurricular events like dances and football games.
Richardson: U.S. education 'broken' Des Moines Register
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said today the nation's education system is "broken from top to bottom. "
There are apparently two million minutes of instruction during high school, and -- no surprise -- we're not using ours very wisely. Here's the trailer for a new, as yet unreleased documentary about the problem:
Conceived and exec produced by venture capitalist Bob Compton, and directed by two TFA alums, the doc follows six students in three countries. Check it out.
There are some juicy tidbits, including this news about the creation of parent unions fighting for faster changes, and the plan to revamp LAUSD to focus attention on low-performing schools. But shouldn't this line, buried in the story, be in the nut graf? "So far, education experts say they are unaware of a single state that has taken over a failing school in response to the law." Or, another punchy line buried too far down? “They’re so busy fighting No Child Left Behind,” said Mary Johnson, president of Parent U-Turn, a civic group. “If they would use some of that energy to implement the law, we would go farther.”
It seemed like it was coming, what with Spellings hinting at it last month and all the fun that's been had over the SCHIP veto. And this President has never lacked for confidence, warranted or not. So, yesterday, the President said he'd veto any effort to reauthorize NCLB without maintaining its main provisions (President Bush Discusses The Budget):
"We're teaching a child to read so they can pass a reading test....I believe in local control of schools. That's up to you to chart the path to excellence. But it's up to us to make sure your money is spent wisely...I believe this piece of legislation is important, and I believe it's hopeful, and I believe it's necessary to make sure we got a educated group of students who can compete in the global economy when they get older. Yes, sir."
Conspiracy theorists are ignoring NCLB's lefty origins and labor union funding sources, says EIA. Eduwonk is still selling Spellings for governor. I'm not buying, but what do I know. Press coverage keeps suggesting that NCLB won't get reauthorized anytime soon, observes the AFT blog. That means it will [not] happen soon.efforts to reorganize low performing schools as LA is planning (and NYC and Miami have done). This is what happens when smart but not necessarily knowledgeable folks play education pundit. Via AFT. Meanwhile, Sherman Dorn says that the Bush veto threat is petulant and irrelevant. Charlie Barone goes all psychological on us and says that how we view NCLB is a snapshot of ...how we view ourselves? Diane and Deborah are also deep into their discussion, talking about the uncertainty of knowledge, whether it be in education or medicine.
Meanwhile, the Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights released a new report on PFP last week, focusing on a handful of districts doing it collaboratively. It's not so bad, they say. Check it out.
Failing Schools Strain to Meet U.S. Standard NYT
"They’re so busy fighting No Child Left Behind,” said Mary Johnson, president of Parent U-Turn, a civic group. “If they would use some of that energy to implement the law, we would go farther.”
The ABC's of Betrayal Columbus Dispatch
The newspaper’s 10-month investigation found that a state and local discipline system allows educators in the classroom despite misconduct that includes theft, assault and abuse of children. Teachers' rights are often put first, districts don't always communicate with the state, and the Department of Education shields records of wrongdoing.
School Integration Efforts Face Renewed Opposition WSJ
Some districts are sidestepping the ruling by replacing measurements of race with household income. But many others, such as Milton, are adjusting their programs in the face of opposition that's been emboldened by the Supreme Court decision.
Disguised Silence NYT (Opinon)
Will Okun on legislation that requires all Illinois public schools to provide students with a moment of silence at the beginning of the school day.
Girl run over, killed by homecoming parade float AP
Girl run over, killed by homecoming parade float.
Last week, pretty much the only blog that linked to me was the union critic Mike Antonucci (aka EIA). This week so far, it's the pro-union Dr. Homselisce (Teach For America). Pathetic, I know. But readers keep finding me even without the links, and I'll take a link whether it agrees with me or not. This one, perhaps not surprisingly given TFA as a subject, does.
Clinton focuses on education in radio ad in South Carolina AP
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton launched her second radio ad Monday in early voting South Carolina, focusing on her plan to make college more affordable and preschool available to all children.
Abstinence approach gets unlikely ally Los Angeles Times
Though Democrats have taken control of Congress, abstinence-only programs are surviving attempts to shut them down. And they could even get an increase with the aid of an unlikely ally: House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey, one of the old liberal lions.
Blurring Lines Among Both Students and Subjects Washington Post
Plenty of teachers still find that if they are seized by an idea, and can convey that passion to supervisors, they have a chance to see what happens when they go in a different direction.
Mission: Making a Love of Reading Happen NYT (Winerip)
As schools move toward more preparation for standardized testing, it falls to parents to make a love for reading happen.
Chicago has a newish "grow your own" teachers initiative, as well as the nation's largest set of military-themed schools:
Grow Your Own Teachers US News & World Report
Tired of seeing first-year teachers flee to suburban schools, Illinois is spending $7.5 million to help people become teachers in underperforming schools in neighborhoods like their own.
Reading, writing, recruiting? Tribune
Chicago Public Schools, which already has the largest junior military reserve program in the nation, on Monday will commission the country's first public high school run by the U.S. Marines, much to the chagrin of activists who have fought to keep the armed services out of city
A little Monday-morning humor, this video spoofs all the movies like "Freedom Writers" where a committed teacher -- always a white woman -- helps urban youth reach their dreams:
Via Whitney Tilson.
Why 'No Child' Was Needed Washington Post
Long before No Child Left Behind, far too many classrooms were boring, dull places where children were forced to do endless worksheets, discouraged from independent thinking and subjected to teachers providing confusing and sometimes demonstrably false information.
Bush, Others Want Law to Go Beyond Basics EdWeek
Mr. Bush and other policymakers are considering a variety of changes to the NCLB law to encourage schools to go beyond the teaching of basic skills.
Core readers for cities: 4-year-olds USA Today
Mayors who want to be on the same page as their constituents — even ones way too young to vote — are launching citywide book-of-the-month clubs to promote reading and literacy.
Making Cash a Prize for High Scores NYT
New York City is expanding the use of cash rewards for students who take standardized tests with a $1 million effort financed by a group of private philanthropists.
Inspired by a vivid reader comment on my Chicago blog from last week (A Day At Crane High School), I'm having a contest of sorts for the next few days in which readers are invited to describe the school (or administrative office, or reform office) where they work, or where their children attend, or where they pass by every day, or where they tutor. So brush off your writing skills and tell us what it's like where you are -- what it looks like, what it sounds like, what things you notice from being there all the time, or how it's changed lately. [Or, if you have a great blog entry that does the same thing, tell us where to find it.]
USA Today's political blog notes via Greg Toppo that, in another shameless ploy to appeal to as many folks as possible without saying very much, Bill Richardson on Thursday pledged that his EdSec would be.... a teacher (here). Historians will note that EdSec Riley put a teacher nominally in charge of teaching-related issues during his two terms. I'm not sure it made much difference, though it probably made lots of folks feel warm inside.