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AM News: FL's Race-Based Achievement Goals Spark Debate

Florida's Race-based Goals For Students Spark Debate HuffPostEdu: Ever since, Florida has been embroiled in a debate about the message sent by its new race-based academic targets, which are lower for black and Hispanic students than for other children.The state, for example, wants 90 percent of its Asian students, 88 percent of its white students, 81 percent of its Hispanic students and 74 percent of its black students reading well by 2018.


Debates Push Fate of Education Policies to Fore EdWeek: As the two presidential campaigns continue to sharpen how they would approach the federal role in education if victorious, advisers to President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have made it clear that the fate of waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act may be decided by the November election.

Admitted, but Left Out in NYC Elite Schools NYTimes: Schools’ efforts to attract minority students haven’t always been matched by efforts to truly make their experience one of inclusion, students and school administrators say. Pervading their experience, the students say, is the gulf between those with seemingly endless wealth and resources and those whose families are struggling, a divide often reflected by race.

Competency-Based Schools Embrace Digital Learning EdWeek: The move to competency-based education—also known as proficency-, standards-, and performance-based education—by Lindsay Unified and other districts will likely give them a head start in preparing for the new demands of the Common Core State Standards, experts point out, and in their ability to use technology more effectively to personalize learning.

At Technology High School, Goal Isn’t to Finish in 4 Years NYTimes: Pathways in Technology Early College High School in Brooklyn is a six-year program tailored to give students interested in the technology industry an advantage, including an associate degree.


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The top two stories above remind me of how stale our policy debates have become; we're not making much discernible progress through following our political leadership's initiatives. The third story, on minority inclusion at New York's private schools, by contrast, can remind us of how much remains to be achieved by working at a much less exalted level than that of the politicians: the level of the students, and their experiences that are not covered by metrics. The social and emotional experiences described in that article matter, and continue to have effects on individual lives for years after, long after politicians have blown through town and drifted into retirement; but because they aren't measurable, aren't amenable to data analysis, and because most of our thought leadership in educational matters suffers under the delusion Daniel Kahneman terms "What You See Is All There Is" (WYSIATI) in his "Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow", important conversations about race and class are elided from our secondary schools, as they won't help any teachers gain bonuses since the development of social and emotional intelligences isn't easily assessed by Scantron machines; and all of this amounts to a lost learning opportunity.

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