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Five Best Blogs: Promise Neighborhoods -- And Poverty

ThenewrepublicFive Organizations to Create New 'Promise Neighborhoods' Politics K12:  Most of these organizations—with the exception of Northside Academy— got Promise Neighborhood planning grants from the department last year to do local needs assesments and think through how best to help their communities. 

Five Promise Neighborhoods Get More Funds: Without these essentials, community-school partnerships can be messy. They can tricky and political. But when done well they can be fruitful and effective. One particularly bright finding in Cincinnati, since Strive’s inception in 2006, shows a substantial increase in the percentage of children who come to kindergarten ready to learn. We can’t think of a better way to start school.

Poverty of children demands attention Juan Williams: Poor schools and a scarcity of jobs now combine to depress the odds, making the poor feel disconnected from people with education and opportunity, their government and their country.  ALSO:  Inconvenient Income Inequality Charles Blow (NYT): Some recent surveys seem to suggest that many Americans are in denial about the seriousness of the gap between the rich and poor.

Race to the Top Slogs On National Journal: Could this be the end? With limited funding, what happens to the concept of competitive grants? Are competitions like Race to the Top an appropriate way to drive public policy? Does the Education Department's grant program work better when it has more money and is financing larger projects? Or is it a better use of funds and leverage when the grants are tailored to more specific goals? 

Confidential Student and Teacher Data to Be Provided to Limited Corporation Leonie Haimsen:  Where are the independent experts on privacy, and even more importantly, the input of parents, who really should be allowed to opt out of the Shared Learning Collaborative ?

MORE BLOG POSTS INSIDE

Ex-NYU Prof Says James Franco's "D" Got Him Fired: A former New York University professor says he was fired from his job for giving James Franco a "D" after the Hollywood star blew off nearly a semester’s worth of classes.

Kids Just Want to Have Junk Food Kevin Drum:  The experiment is only a few months old, so maybe with a bit of tweaking everything will turn out OK. So far, though, it looks like kids don't react any better to having their habits forcibly changed than any of the rest of us.

A Little More Text, A Little Less Self Robert Pondiscio:  When studying a story or an essay, is it possible to be too concerned with what the author is saying?  In an opinion piece in Education Week, Maja Wilson and Thomas Newkirk complain that publisher’s criteria for Common Core State Standards are overly “text dependent.” 

L.A. Unified's grade-school game LA Times (opinion): If the school you want is a magnet or, in certain cases, a charter, disregard the above. For that, even money won't help. You have to amass points. And you may still have to move. 

You’ve Got Mail! Mike Antonucci: Fifty NEA activists were responsible for more than 17,000 e-mails to Congress, which averages out to more than 6.5 e-mails per person per week. 

Conference Call on Early Learning Challenge Grant Competition EWA:  Our speakers included: Sharon Lynn Kagan, professor of early childhood and family policy at Teachers College, Collumbia University, and co-director of the National Center for Children and Families. Jon Schnur, executive chairman and co-founder of America Achieves, a new non-profit organization devoted to making the US a global leader in educational excellence.  

Made a list, checked it twice NCTQ:  It's that time of year again—when Santa has his back against the wall trying to decide who deserves a lump of coal and who gets a pony. In the spirit of the season, we did our own inventory. 

Deasy Giving In to LAUSD Teachers, or Just Some Good Ropeadope? Schools Matter:  When John Deasy offers his enthusiastic support of an education policy, anyone who cares about public education should run in the other direction as fast as she can.

Gates's Foundation Helps ALEC Undercut Public Education Bill Berkowitz:  The Gates Foundation's official description of the $376,000 grant reads: "to educate and engage its membership on more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes, as well as educate them on beneficial ways to recruit, retain, evaluate and compensate effective teaching based upon merit and achievement.

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