Here's an idea: Spend the rest of the day reading @hechinger and @edwriters massive new coverage of Common Core implementation across the states here -- then come back and let us know what you learned or liked best.
Education reporters are wondering how to reach EdSec Arne Duncan during the government shutdown, when theoretically nonessential government workers aren't working. One suggestion? Tweet at him. It worked for the NY Daily News' Ben Chapman last week (see above). Or, you could just try reaching his communications staff. That apparently works, too. Via @edwriters listserv and specifically the WSJ's @lisafleisher.
Here's the speech from earlier this week, which Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post describes as unusual. I found her observations as interesting as anything Duncan said.
Race to the Top District Winners Already Changing Their Plans PoliticsK12: Already, the Education Department has approved eight amendments ranging from technical to more-significant as the districts seek to fine-tune their projects. If the Race to the Top state contest is any guide, there are many more district amendment requests surely in the pipeline.
Howard County Board of Education react to Ellicott City man's arrest at Common Core forum Baltimore Sun: In Howard County, where the new curriculum was given a test run last year, the Common Core has been the reason cited for removing traditional, stand-alone reading classes in middle schools, lower scores on the Maryland School Assessments and a new teacher and principal evaluation system.
Houston reforms, often overshadowed, now in the limelight with Broad Prize Hechinger: Houston has long been a darling of education reformers with its extensive and deeply rooted charter school network and experimentation with controversial ideas like merit pay for teachers. Still, the city’s efforts to shake up its education system tend to get less notice than places like New Orleans or Washington, D.C., where reforms have led to heated and sometimes vitriolic debates about the role of teachers unions, charter schools and accountability for teachers.
How to Fund Universal Pre-K WNYC: While there is a huge demand for full-day pre-kindergarten seats, there are plenty of half-day seats unfilled. Why? Geoff Decker, a reporter at GothamSchools, said the half-day schedule doesn't work for most working parents.
From China to Chicago, K12 Inc. markets more than virtual schools Politico: K12 doesn’t break down how many of the 4,500 students enrolled in the International Academy last year were foreign nationals (or how many attended just part-time). But the company says it has significant enrollment from China, Mexico, Brazil and Dubai, where K12 runs a tutoring center at a university complex so students can get face-to-face help, for an extra fee.
Sure, Arne Duncan has been spending a lot of time lately in the Big Apple (nobody calls it that), but now he's being confused with Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio (upper right, I think). Image via NY Mag (via GS).
Elaine Weiss, of the Broader, Bolder Approach, has written an early draft of the history of the Race to the Top. Her Mismatches in Race to the Top Limit Education Improvement recounts the “unrealistic and impossible” promises made by states to win federal grants, and how they are likely to undermine future efforts to improve schools.
Anyone who doubts Weiss’ warnings about the RttT should turn immediately to Appendix Two, a case study on Tennessee’s implementation of the grant, and how it created “a culture of fear.”
After winning its RttT grant in March, 2110, Tennessee authorized a capacity review of its department of education which concluded that “the organization and the work wasn’t organized in a way that supported implementation.”
Within four months, however, Tennessee leaped ahead and committed to Common Core standards. Despite anticipating a decline of as much as 50 points on average per grade and subject, state still insisted, “We believe our ultimate goal of 100% proficiency is still the right one—no matter whether the assessment is old or new.”
The rush to reform accelerated in 2011 when Tennessee tackled the heart of the RttT, its teacher evaluation promises. Only three months had been allocated for formulating teacher observation tools and training evaluators in their use. A four-day summer session trained over 5,000 evaluators.
Behind all the drama and cussing of the last couple of years, Chicago and its teachers union have developed and now rolled out a new teacher evaluation system to replace the quickie checklist that had been used for years -- largely without complaint.
According to the latest reports, the implementation has gone OK:
Teachers are confused and worried about being rated in part (25 percent) based on student growth.
Principals are complaining about having to spend more time evaluating teachers than they used to.
The percentage of nontenured teachers found to be the worst has quadrupled -- to three percent.
EdWeek: Chicago Teachers See Value in New Evaluations, But Eschew Test Scores; Catalyst: New teacher evaluations get positive reviews; Chicago Tribune: No dramatic changes in CPS teacher evaluations; Chicago Sun-Times: Mixed reviews from CEO, principals, teachers
The recent discussions about TV personality Julie Chen's plastic surgery (see above, "required" by her agent, she says), combined with the racist tweets following the crowning of a nonwhite Miss America, reminds me sadly of the racism and sexism that I have seen, read, and sometimes sensed underneath criticisms of education's most prominent Asian-American woman, StudentsFirst founder Michelle Rhee.
A look back at some of the attacks on Rhee suggests that there has been a small but consistent pattern of critics describing Rhee in racist and -- even more commonly -- sexist language. The fact that this kind of thing is happening is pretty unsettling, whether you agree with Rhee or not. The fact that it's going un-noticed and un-challenged is even more disturbing.
At times, the racism and/or sexism comes right to the surface. Most well known perhaps is the time last year when Rhee was called a racist epithet by Miami-Dade educator Ceresta Smith at an anti-reform meeting, as acknowledged and denounced in this Diane Ravitch blog post.
But that certainly wasn't the first time Rhee was described in racist or sexist terms by her critics. The Frustrated Teacher described her using a misogynistic (but not explicitly racist) term, and she was described in sexist terms by DC Mayor Marion Barry. Former MA AFT writer Jennifer (Edushyster) Berkshire used the same sexist slur against Rhee last year. A Daily Kos blogger suggested that Rhee was attempting to "seduce" an HBO host.
Then there are the images. The AFT-created anti-Rhee blog Rhee First for a time had images of Rhee with her mouth taped shut and with a long Pinnochio nose. All Voices has a cartoon of Rhee that might be considered offensive, depending on the viewer's sensibilities (see at right).
But most of the time the racism and/or sexism I sense is beneath the surface. The intense personal nature of the attacks against Rhee and her ideas is clear. Most of Rhee's harshest critics are white, as are those journalists who write about her.
Of course, accusations of racism are nothing new, and go both ways. Rhee has described some of the coverage of her reign in DC as racist, according to John Merrow, and addresses the media focus on her dress and appearance in a brief AOL video segment here. She and her policies have been accused of being racist against low-income minority families. No doubt, Rhee says and does some pretty intense things. (Her recent attack on California's teachers unions is a good example.)
School reform is not show business. I'm not suggesting Rhee needs to change her appearance to make herself more palatable to others, or that her critics are all necessarily racists. But the same kinds of language are not generally being used publicly & without apology against reform critics (Diane Ravitch, Randi Weingarten, etc.) or even white/male reformers (Wendy Kopp, Arne Duncan, etc.). And I think we should all think about that.
One of the more damaging aspects of NCLB was that it set impossible targets, contributing to panic and hurried implementation of seemingly quicker and easier policies. Teachers were essentially deputized as the agents for overcoming the legacies of generational poverty. NCLB thus failed and undermined more promising methods of improving schools.
Elaine Weiss, of the Broader, Bolder Approach, shows how Race to the Top committed the same mistake. Her new report (Mismatches in Race to the Top Limit Education Improvement) recounts the “unrealistic and impossible” promises made by states to win federal grants.
Weiss draws on studies by the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for American Progress, numerous journalism sources, an email survey of the experiences of district superintendents from the RTTT states, and over two dozen interviews with state and community education leaders to explain why the rush to reform now threatens early education, college readiness standards, and sustainable efforts to improve teacher quality.
Not surprisingly, the USDOE and NCLB co-author Charlie Barone complain about Weiss’ study. But, if it was as biased as Barone implies, would Weiss have buried her lede? The real meat of her report is found in the appendices.
Race to the Top’ for education a flop, report finds Politico: Most winning states made what the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education labeled “unrealistic and impossible” promises to boost student achievement in exchange for prizes that were ultimately paltry in comparison with their pledges.MOOCs keep getting bigger. But do they work? Hechinger/TIME: Hailed by politicians and journalists as the affordable future of higher education, the MOOC is neither fashion accessory nor smartphone app. It’s a massive open online course—a college class available for free online to tens of thousands of people at once.
California Moves to Scrap ‘No Child’ Testing, Despite U.S. Threat WSJ: California lawmakers approved a bill that would scrap the state’s current student-testing program, despite an Obama administration threat to pull federal dollars from the state if the legislation becomes law. The bill—which California Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign—would immediately end the annual California Standards Tests in reading and math.
On the one-year anniversary of the 2012 Chicago teachers strike, it has been revealed that Mayor Rahm Emanuel (right) and CTU President Karen Lewis (left) are attempting to get back in touch. It's also being reported that Lewis was ill:
Opinions still diverge over which side "won" the seven-day strike. (I've heard more than one inside observer note that neither side won -- they both lost.) The school year started last week, just in time for a heat wave, and the budget and pension situations remain unresolved. Read all about it at District299.com
Image courtesy Sun Times.
Facing federal funding freeze, Success to nix lottery preference GothamSchools: The charter school network is making the revision under pressure from the U.S. Department of Education, which has mandated the change as a condition to continue receiving $15 million in grants aimed at helping Success expand its reach.
Rhee Joining Town Hall Meeting with Teachers in LA LA School Report: A panel of education reformers, including StudentsFirst founder Michelle Rhee, is holding a town hall meeting later today in Los Angeles, where they will take...
Seattle Teachers Approve Contract, Avert Strike TeacherBeat: With a show of hands last night, Seattle teachers voted to approve a new two-year contract, ending the possibility of a strike and ensuring that students returned to school on time today.
Family income not a factor as students eat free AP: Some students toted lunchboxes to the first day of school in Boston this week, but district administrators are expecting that could become a more unusual sight as parents learn about a federal program that is now providing all public school students in the city with free breakfast and lunch....
"This year’s Summit will include the second annual Student Town Hall, in addition to the fourth annual Teacher Town Hall. All events will be moderated by top NBC News journalists, including “NBC Nightly News” Anchor and Managing Editor Brian Williams, NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw and NBC News Chief Education Correspondent Rehema Ellis."
At the end of his two-part PBS report on Common Core last week, John Merrow asks the $64,000 question: who are "they?"
Merrow starts by showing the type of classroom interactions that most teachers aspire to, as a Common Core teacher interacts with students in multimedia, multidisciplinary ways to encourage critical thinking, problem solving, good listening skills, speaking skills, and collaboration. So, there must be "reformers" who watch the segment and ask the question about educators who oppose Common Core - why are "they" resisting us?
But, Merrow and Barbara Kapinus, of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium agree that they have not been able to devise tests that assess everything that was intended. Unless "they" - policy makers - stop mistrusting teachers, the tests are likely to be misused. Since "they" intend to use Common Core for accountability, teachers are likely to be too scared to teach its standards properly. They will revert to teach-to-the-test basic skills instruction.
The interview with Kapinus raises an intriguing question question as to whether there is no single "they" who support the idea that we need a test worth teaching to. Did "they" - Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the governors - not understand what they - the testing experts - know about the problems inherent in adding stakes to tests.
Did the experts not know what "they" - the accountability hawks - do not know about standards, teaching, and assessments? If "they" - the big boys who impose one "reform" on teachers after another - understood schools, teaching and learning, would they have have understood the inherent contradiction between higher standards and a test worth teaching with?-JT (@drjohnthompson) Image via.
Study: Waivers leave behind at-risk students AP: Millions of at-risk students could fall through the cracks as the Education Department gives states permission to ignore parts of No Child Left Behind, according to a study education advocates released Tuesday.
No Child Left Behind waivers are causing the private tutoring industry to implode Deseret News: Education Week's analysis showed that among states that have received NCLB waivers, very few included supplemental education — after-school tutoring — in their waiver plans.
Arne Duncan Wants Special Education Students To Take General Exams Huffington Post: Should students with disabilities be held to the same academic standards as their peers? And should schools and teachers be held accountable for their progress? U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan answered that question with a resounding yes, proposing a seemingly wonky regulatory change that could have profound effects on some of the nation's most vulnerable learners.
At Charter Schools, Short Careers by Choice NYT: Charter networks are developing what amounts to a youth movement in which teaching for two to five years is seen as acceptable, even desirable.
Biggest Changes in a Decade Greet Students Wall Street Journal: Millions of students heading back to school are finding significant changes in the curriculum and battles over how teachers are evaluated, as the biggest revamps of U.S. public education in a decade work their way into classrooms. Most states are implementing tougher math and reading standards known as Common Core, while teacher evaluations increasingly are [...]
Breaking Down the Newark Teacher Raises WSJ: Last week, 190 Newark public-school teachers learned they’d be getting bonuses in a controversial merit-pay program funded by Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg‘s foundation. Not all of Newark’s 3,200 teachers were eligible to begin with, and even fewer – only 11 teachers – qualified for the full bonus amount of $12,500.
Former Sec. Of Education Wants More Support For Teachers NPR: Education has been called the top civil rights issue of the 21st century. Host Michel Martin asks former U.S. Secretary of Education of Education Rod Paige about whether the nation is winning the battle for equality in schools.
Here via PBS NewsHour is the President laying out the plan late last week. Reactions have been mixed.
Critical of several aspects of the reform movement and the Obama administration's education agenda, Starr nonetheless supports the Common Core and the use of standardized assessments.
Click below for some interview highlights, or click here for the full thing.
Up next later this year: the College Board's David Coleman.
An overview of the new Common Core assessment development process from the PBS NewsHour earlier this week.
Sequestration Effects: 59 Percent of Districts Cut Professional Development PoliticsK12: Districts are dealing withautomatic, across-the-board trigger cuts of federal education funding by slicing professional development (59 percent of districts), eliminating personnel (53 percent), increasing class size (48 percent), and deferring technology purchases (46 percent).
Obama pushes ambitious Internet access plan Washington Post: There’s just one catch: The effort would cost billions of dollars, and Obama wants to pay for it by raising fees for mobile-phone users. Doing that relies on the Federal Communications Commission, an independent agency that has the power to approve or reject the plan.
Charter partnership gives L.A. Unified school new name and outlook LA Times: In an unprecedented partnership, the L.A. Unified School District has joined forces with Crown Prep, an outside charter operator, to run the persistently low-performing campus south of downtown.Top Obama Higher Education Official, Resigns Huffington Post: Her departure thins out the ranks of the Education Department's first-term upper echelons. Until recently, the department lacked heads for its preschool and civil rights offices, and a general counsel. The department has "acting" leaders in charge of "innovation and improvement," "planning, evaluation and policy development" and communications.
Get ready for 'disappointment,' political spin with new school-test results Minn Post: Depending on who is doing the talking, the tests are either the beginning of a new, more rational era, the beginning of the end or Waterloo for fed-up teachers.
NC schools chief June Atkinson says test scores will drop this year NewsObserver: Last week, the state Department of Public Instruction announced that the four-year graduation rate reached a record high 82.5 percent this year. But expect more sobering news this fall, Atkinson said, when DPI releases the results of English/language arts and math tests based on new Common Core standards. via GS.
Parents Losing Jobs a Hidden Cost to Head Start Cuts Bloomberg: A U.S. preschool program for low-income families allowed single mother Kelly Burford to take a $7.25-an-hour job as a department store clerk in Maryland. Her son, Bradyn, 2, spent the day with friends listening to stories, singing and drawing pictures -- at no cost to Burford. via Politico.
Obama administration presses forward on early education Politico: President Barack Obama has found a way to cater to his obsession with pre-K programs while the rest of his education agenda stalls: Skip Congress and spend the money anyway.
Philadelphia Schools Should Remain Closed Until Fully Funded, Some Parents Say HuffPost: Philadelphia's Superintendent William Hite said Thursday if he doesn't get an additional $50 million by Aug. 16, the city's beleaguered 218 public schools will be unable to open their doors on schedule on Sept. 9.
Lavish perks. Little oversight Asbury Park Press: While Wall students lagged behind their statewide peers, prosecutors say schools chief James F. Habel stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement pay.
M. Night Shyamalan Takes on Education Reform WSJ: Best known for producing films such as "The Sixth Sense" and "The Village," Mr. Shyamalan is about to come out with a book called "I Got Schooled" on the unlikely subject of education reform.
For the first nine years [of NCLB], the average gains were six points annually for African-Americans, five points for Hispanics and three points for whites... Annual gains [in the Obama/waiver era] have been limited to one-and-a-half points for blacks and to three points for Hispanic students. - Paul Peterson in the WSJ (The Obama Setback for Minority Education)
Parents got left out of NCLB in terms of engagement, transfers, and tutoring, says NACS's Nina Rees in this recent WSJ Opinion Video -- but the House rewrite of NCLB over-corrects the law's problems.
But what about everybody else?
A couple of states like IL and TN and Michigan have ratched up their cut scores on existing tests as a way of getting folks ready for new assessments. (The tests are old, but the requirements are higher and in theory somewhat close to what they're going to be like under Common Core assessments.)
The rest -- so far as I know -- are waiting until this year to make more changes.
Here's a map from Achieve showing what states said they were doing as of December. Scroll down to page 28. Tell them Alexander sent you.
Here's "This Week In Education" contributor Paul Bruno talking about the new science standards, for all of you who've been wondering what he looks and sounds like:
And here's his blog post about the experience.
Fewer Layoffs Than Expected, But Sequestration Still 'Heartbreaking' PoliticsK12: It is nearly August and students around the country are starting their back-to-school shopping. Most school districts have finished their budgets for the 2013-14 school year—and there still aren't many stories of massive layoffs or even major programmatic cuts due to the sequestration.
Ark. District Arming More Than 20 Teachers, Staff NBC: In strongly conservative Arkansas, where gun ownership is common and gun laws are permissive, no school district had ever used the law to arm teachers on the job, until now.
D.C. students reach new heights in annual standardized tests Washington Post: Students in the District’s traditional public schools scored higher than ever before on the city’s annual math and reading tests this year, and they also posted the largest single-year gain since 2008, according to results released Tuesday by Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D).
Review, Resignation Urged in Ind. Grading Flap ABC News: Ind. school grading case sparks calls for review, education chief's resignation in Florida.
Elite Colleges Differ on How They Aid Poor NYT: As colleges profess a growing commitment to recruiting poor students, a comparison of low-income enrollment shows wide disparities among the most competitive private institutions.
Education Department Picks New Leader for Early-Learning Office PoliticsK12: The department said in a press release Tuesday that Doggett will also work to promote the administration's proposal to distribute $75 billion to the states to bolster high-quality state prekindergarten programs. The proposal also would include increased investments in home-visiting programs and in Head Start, which is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Chobani awarded USDA school lunch Greek yogurt contract Dairy Reporter: Under the pilot program, the USDA will trial the addition of high-protein, low-fat Greek yogurt to the National School Lunch Program in New York, Idaho, Arizona, and Tennessee. Via Politico.
The yellow dots represent the 19 states with waivers that have also had their teacher evaluation systems approved, according to EdWeek. The green dots are those who have merely been approved for a waiver. Everybody else is still operating under the original NCLB.
State education officials: We’re sticking with Common Core Washington Post: As the political debate swirls in some statehouses over the Common Core math and reading standards, most state education officials responsible for implementing the new K-12 standards are confident that their states will stick with the program, according to a survey released Wednesday.
Gates Announces $15M in Professional-Development Grants TeacherBeat: Its education wing today announced the awarding of more than $15 million in "Innovative Professional Development" grants over a three-year period. The funds will be split among the Fresno, Calif.; Long Beach, Calif; and Jefferson County, Colo., districts, with each receiving about $5 million.
Senate Approves College Student Loan Plan Tying Rates to Markets NYT: The plan would tie interest rates for student loans to the financial markets and brings Congress close to resolving a dispute that caused rates to double on July 1.
Obama Stumps for Education Spending, Pre-K PoliticsK12: "If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century," the president said in prepared remarks released in advance of the speech at Knox College in Illinois. "If we don't make this investment, we'll put our kids, our workers, and our country at a competitive disadvantage for decades."
Obama Promises 'Aggressive Strategy' For Higher Education NPR: Renee Montagne talks to The Wall Street Journal's David Wessel about a shift in the Obama administration's approach to higher education, which the president alluded to in his economic speech on Wednesday.
Can an algorithm ID high school drop outs in first grade? Hechinger: Early warning systems to detect high-school drop outs are all the rage in education data circles. See this post on a new early warning system in Wisconsin. Like the Wisconsin example, most data systems focus on identifying middle school students. But what if researchers could use grades, attendance and behavior data to identify at-risk students as soon as possible — as early as first grade? That would really give counselors more time to try to motivate these kids and keep them in school!
Transgender teen may use boys' locker room Politico: The first-of-its-kind decision from the agencies tasks the Arcadia school district outside Los Angeles to change district policies and practices to accommodate the rising ninth-grade student. Teachers and staff must be trained in how to prevent gender discrimination, and federal agencies will be keeping tabs on the district through at least 2016.
"For 10 states, PARCC appears to be a net savings (the states with the negative sign in front of their number), while 11 states would likely see testing costs rise." (Chad Adelman Perspective on PARCC’s Price)
In Denver, Duncan promotes preschool expansion and K-12 tax measure EdNews Colorado: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Friday asked Colorado voters to support President Barack Obama’s attempt to expand access to early-childhood education and endorsed efforts here to pass a $950 million tax increase to overhaul the state’s school financing system.GOP education bill comes under fire from House Democrats Washington Post: Underpinning the law is a belief that states that receive billions of federal dollars each year must be made accountable to Washington. The GOP bill takes a different tack, returning power to the states.
Overhaul of No Child Left Behind law expected to have little impact in Kansas The Kansas City Kansan: No Child Left Behind is the name of the 2001 federal law to reauthorize the 1960s-era Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the basic law that distributes much of the money the federal government sends to states and local districts through programs
Texas Seeks Waiver from Feds on Test Exemptions EdWeek: On the heels of a significant reduction in the number of required end-of-course tests in Texas high schools, Lone Star State education officials are awaiting word from the U.S. Department of Education on their plan to reduce the number of tests high-performing elementary and middle school students must take.
Church, junior high help out Moore, Okla., schools AP: School officials in the Oklahoma city of Moore say students whose schools were destroyed in the deadly May tornado will attend classes next month in a refurbished junior high school building and a local church....
Textbook publishers revamp ebooks to fight used market Reuters: A booming market in recent years for selling and renting used college textbooks has saved students across the United States a ton of cash.
No Evidence Harvard Officials Read Faculty E-Mails, Report Says NYT: A review commissioned by the university found that administrators involved in searching faculty e-mail accounts did not believe they were violating privacy rules.
As reported yesterday in LA School Report, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and others are in Washington today, making a final push to persuade the Obama Education Department to approve its revised application for a waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the 2002 federal education law.
Superintendent Deasy has said that a NCLB waiver would free up as much as $80 million in federal funding for other purposes.
Thus far, at least, neither Board members nor the local teachers union have been critical of the district’s pursuit of the NCLB waiver.
Publicly, at least, Obama’s education team has been signaling its support for the application, and the California Department of education is nominally supportive of the effort, too.
But there’s an unusually high level of conflict on education issues right now between Sacramento and Washington. Conflicts between Washington and Sacramento — combined with objections from state and local teachers unions to certain requirements for waivers, and practical concerns – could have some effects, direct or indirect, on whether LAUSD and eight other districts win approval from Washington to change some of the current NCLB requirements – or the final form of the waiver that is approved.
Read the full piece at LA School Report: Politics Could Affect LAUSD Waiver Approval
GOP divided on rewrite of 'No Child Left Behind' AP: Conservative Republicans don’t think a GOP rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law does enough to reduce Washington’s influence. Moderates are warily eying proposals that would expand charter schools’ role. Those intraparty differences appear to be blocking the bill’s momentum.
Cantor, Kline Push No Child Left Behind Rewrite, Public School Choice Politics K12: School choice will be part of the debate when the U.S. House of Representatives takes up its version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, possibly as early as this week. The House Majority Leader, Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who has become much more active on K-12 issues lately, has introduced an amendment that would allow Title I dollars to follow children to the public school of their choice, including charter schools.
Republican House leaders visit DC charter school to tout education bill Washington Post: House Republicans have taken a clear turn away from Bush's philosophy that states receiving billions of dollars each year in federal aid should be accountable to Washington.
The Charter School Vs. Public School Debate Continues NPR: The charter school movement turns 21 this year and the latest study shows kids in most charter schools are doing as well or better in reading and math than their counterparts in traditional public schools. But now, leading charter school supporters are questioning that study.
Here's a Washington Monthly map of how states are treating undocumented kids once they graduate from high school -- regardless of what the Obama administration has to say.
California holds out against Obama's education vision LA Times: The union's position has been embraced by Gov. Jerry Brown and State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, two old-guard Democrats who are loath to antagonize labor.
Boston District Refuses Newspaper's Evaluation-Results Request Teacher Beat: The notion of publicly reporting evaluation results has been so contentious that even U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan changed his mind about the practice.
Why Poor Students' College Plans 'Melt' Over The Summer NPR: A large number of poor high school students, who say they are continuing on to college, fail to show up in the fall. The reason is referred to as the "summer melt." Students face many hurdles over the summer including lack of resources and mentors.
As charter schools come of age, measuring their success is tricky Hechinger: Increased regulations have also taken a toll. Since No Child Left Behind took effect in 2002, New Country has applied annually for a waiver from the “highly qualified teacher” requirement because it doesn’t have traditional classrooms.
Teachers unions urge federal action against George Zimmerman Washington Post: The National Education Association and the Federation of Teachers, which together represent some 4.5 million teachers and others, both are urging the Department of Justice to investigate George Zimmerman, who was acquitted by a jury of second-degree murder in the Florida killing of teenager Trayvon Martin.
Lawmakers May Debate Testing, Teacher Evaulations in NCLB Renewal Politics K12: The big question is whether the (arguably, very conservative) measure can make it past the House with just (or mostly) Republican votes. Democratic leaders, have been pretty clear they hate this bill and aren't going to do anything to help it along.
Malala, Pakistan Shooting Survivor, Stands Strong for Women's Rights NBC: Less than a year after being attacked by the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai spoke about girls' right to an education.
Devastated Texas town ponders schools' future AP: After a massive fertilizer plant explosion devastated this rural town in April, local teachers and administrators did what they could to help the community cope with a disaster that killed 15 people and wrecked hundreds of structures, including three of West's four schools.
How Congress Works, care of Jimmy Kimmel, starts at about the 3 minute mark.
Senate Panel Nips at Key Obama Competitive Grant Programs Politics K12: The Obama administration's signature competitive grant programs survived, but took some serious abuse this week from some Democrats during the Senate Appropriations committee's consideration of a bill to finance the U.S. Department of Education in fiscal year 2014, which starts Oct. 1.
Wyo. delays No Child Left Behind waiver request AP: Wyoming is pushing back by a year its request for a waiver from federal education requirements. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, schools are required to meet rising benchmarks toward all students testing proficient.
Teachers Respond to Tennessee Pay Plan - Teacher Beat Teacher Beat: Tennessee has become the latest state to experiment with a new teacher-pay system, thanks to new rules passed by the state's board of education at its June 21 meeting. Via GothamSchools.
Does Obama's Early Education Proposal Have a Chance? Huffington Post: Children's advocates high-fived when President Obama called for "high quality preschool" for "every child in America" in his State of the Union Address. The details of the plan are considerably more complicated.
Ready Access to Plan B Pills in City Schools NYT: Through a patchwork of nurses’ offices and independent clinics at New York City schools, girls can get free emergency contraceptives in more than 50 high schools.
Diary reveals school aide had student's baby AP: Authorities say the diary of a Southern California teacher's aide reveals her sexual relationship with an underage student and that she gave birth to the boy's baby.
I don't think there are a lot of things I would have done differently, other than maybe put the budget caps on earlier, which meant Delaware and Tennessee got more money than maybe one would have liked to have seen. - Joanne Weiss, soon-departing Chief of Staff to EdSec Duncan (in EdWeek)
Press Secretary Daren Briscoe Leaving Education Department Politics K12: U.S. Department of Education spokesman-in-chief Daren Briscoe, who has helped manage the communications effort around No Child Left Behind Act waivers, will leave his post at the end of August to become a vice president for GMMB, a public relations and consulting firm in Washington.
City schools should cut $200M over 5 years, panel advises Columbus Dispatch: Columbus City Schools should cut or “slow the rate of growth” of its nonteaching operations by $200 million over the next five years, without reducing student safety or nutrition, a committee of Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman's Education Commission
Bankrupt in Philadelphia: Could This Happen to Your School District? TakePart: Conner also points out that what is happening in Philadelphia has already occurred in Chicago. “It is no coincidence that the Philadelphia School District is facing a plight similar to that of theChicago public schools, with mass school closing.