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AM News: FLA Teacher Evaluation System Deemed Legal (If Unfair)

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Florida Judge: Teacher-Evaluation System Unfair, But Legal TeacherBeat: Florida's teacher-evaluation law may be hastily implemented and unfair, but it's still legal, a federal court ruled.

How Should NCLB Waiver States Keep an Eye On District Teacher-Evaluation Plans? PK12: Of the 42 states with waivers, just 10 choose a statewide evaluation system that looks the same in every district, according to a report released Tuesday by the Center for American Progress. That means, of course, that while the feds are busy policing and negotiating with states on the finer points of the waiver plans, [those 10] states are doing the same thing with districts. 

Connecticut Students Show Gains in National Tests NYT: The state’s seniors did better on reading and math exams, but New Jersey remained flat in those areas, according to results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Demographic changes do not explain test-score stagnation among U.S. high school seniors Hechinger: The scores for high school seniors haven’t improved at all since 1992, when reading tests were first administered. Indeed, today’s reading scores are actually lower than they were in 1992. The math results, which date back to only 2005, show a modest increase right after that first year. But it’s been complete stagnation since. It’s hard to make sense of this data. How do you explain why there are improvements in fourth and eighth grade, but not twelfth?

Department Of Education Brings Home A Disappointing Report Card NPR: The Department of Education has released its latest math and reading scores for 12th graders. The scores offer little good news for educators, with results low and largely unchanged since 2009.

How is Australia beating the U.S. at graduating first-generation, low-income college students? Hechinger: Students in polos and plaids streamed into the auditorium at the University of Western Sydney as Lorde’s “Royals” blasted on repeat. While she sang about having “no post code envy,” hundreds of low-income high school seniors and students who would be the first in their families to go to college took their seats. Ahead of them was a day of panels and information sessions on college and careers put on by Fast Forward, a UWS program that reaches out to economically disadvantaged groups.

School Segregation After Brown ProPublica: Hundreds of school districts were placed under court order to desegregate following the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Many communities do not know the status of these orders. Use this tool to find out whether your district is or ever was under a desegregation order, and also to look at the levels of integration and segregation in your schools.

How the Common Core made Kafka way more popular Vox: The list of stories, poems, and nonfiction near the end of the Common Core state standards isn't supposed to be an assignment list. But teachers seem to be using it that way.The list, called Appendix B, is meant only to give an idea of the type of works students should be reading in order to meet the standards; middle-schoolers aren't required to readThe Adventures of Tom Sawyerbut teachers should choose books at a similar level of difficulty or with similar themes.

More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

Professor Launches Academic Boot Camp NPR: Many underprivileged students come to college unprepared to handle the coursework and then drop out. Now a Washington, D.C professor is giving students a boost through a summer boot camp for math.

Research Drives Teacher Training for Digital Reading Education Week News: As concern about technology's impact on student reading comprehension grows, some researchers and educators are pursuing strategies for promoting "deep reading" skills on mobile digital devices

Delegates Recommend a Yes Vote for Teachers Contract WNYC: More than 2000 delegates of the teachers union approved a proposed new contract with the city on Wednesday, sending it to their members for the final vote. But the sentiment among delegates seemed to be one of resignation more than joy for the first new contract since 2009.

Families settle over school cheating scandal AP: The families of four students accused of hacking into computers at a public high school have reached settlements with the Newport-Mesa Unified School District and dropped out of litigation....

The new face of teacher unionism in New York City and beyond Hechinger: I knew Al Shanker, Mr. Mulgrew, and you’re no Al Shanker. Would Al Shanker have agreed to let at least 200 schools, thousands of teachers, exit the basic UFT contract?

Here's What School Lunch Looks Like In 13 Countries Around The World BI: The photographers found that while most schools abroad don't actually sell lunch, the ones that do, put a "premium" on feeding their students healthy meals. Students were more likely to go home for lunch or bring a home-cooked meal.

Chicago Union Passes Resolution Opposing Common Core TeacherBeat: The Chicago Teachers Union passed a resolution opposing the Common Core State Standards, in what may have implications for its parent union.

CPS Schools, New Management for 3 Chicago Defender: “Our mayor hired Mr. [Jean-Claude] Brizard and fired him, turned him around and the tax payers had to pay that money to Mr. Brizard for his contract .

New York City's Teachers' Contract: Examining the Details TeacherBeat: An analysis of the actual text of NYC's tentative teacher contract.

 

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Re: the Australian story on low-income, first-generation college students: in Australia, the main route to university remains the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank; these other students are benefiting from good quality alternative, second-chance routes. As the student at the end of the article notes, to get a good ATAR, one usually needs the opportunity to do well in high school; Australia assists poor students in finding this opportunity through vouchers, which are provided by the federal government to families on a sliding scale, with more assistance given to the poor to attend private high schools. By contrast, in the United States there is nothing like ATAR; very narrow tests requiring extremely simple, fill-in-the-bubble responses like the SAT and ACT do provide some minimal means of ranking students for selective universities, but average American high school students feel comparatively little stress to study, and cannot practically escape the zoned, comprehensive high school the state has directed them to attend while providing no assistance towards finding alternatives; so the average American student has no opportunity to attend a high school that will provide much help in preparing for college, American 12th-grade test scores continue to flat-line, and, under our current educational leadership, there is no help and no hope in sight.

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