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education news bulletin

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  • Courtney Schroeder
    Message 1 of 117 , Jul 18, 2002
      > Choice & Competition
      > Data, Assessment & Technology
      > Other
      > Teachers union calls for charter school moratorium From The Arizona Republic 7/16/2002 http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0716charters-ON.html
      > The same teachers union that called for establishment of charter schools to help kids who couldn't succeed in traditional classrooms is backing a moratorium on the national charter movement. The American Federation of Teachers was expected to say Wednesday that it reached that decision after tracking 10 years of charter school research in 37 states, including Arizona. The union wants states to ensure that students are learning. While not binding, the call for a halt will be pressed by the union to state legislatures around the country.
      > Baltimore schools setting limit on transfers From The Baltimore Sun 7/10/2002 http://www.ecs.org/ecs/e-clips
      > Baltimore school officials said they will offer 194 places this year for 30,000 students who are in schools designated as low-performing and are eligible to transfer to a better school. The city, like other school districts around the nation, is required to give parents whose children are in schools that have been classified as "failing" the choice of moving them to another school or providing extra help, such as tutoring after school. According to school officials, so few spaces are available because schools that the city designated to accept the students were nearly full. State officials declined to comment on whether the city is meeting the requirements of the new "No Child Left Behind" Act. However, but said they would be onitoring the progress in each district.
      > Daley protests student transfers From The Chicago Sun-Times 7/17/2002 http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-skul17.html
      > Mayor Daley Tuesday blasted as "ridiculous'' a new federal law that requires Chicago to offer up to 125,000 student transfers to better-performing schools, saying Chicago doesn't have enough room in such schools to accommodate them. That was just some of the reaction to a state list released Monday that identified 232 public elementary schools statewide, including 179 in Chicago, as those required to offer students transfers to better-performing schools this fall under the new No Child Left Behind law.
      > Overhauled SAT Could Shake up School Curricula From Education Week 7/10/2002
      > http://www.edweek.com/ew/newstory.cfm?slug=42sat.h21
      > Beginning in 2005, the SAT I will drop two of its most challenging-and for many students, dread-inducing-sections: quantitative comparisons and verbal analogies. The revised exam will feature a 20- to 30-minute written essay, multiple-choice grammar questions, and a section devoted to higher-level mathematics, such as advanced algebra. As students are forced to adjust, educators such as Josette C. Surratte anticipate that high schools soon will be held to tougher standards, too. "It will force high schools to evaluate the time they allot to composition."
      > OTHER
      > Shock therapy for a dysfunctional school system From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 7/18/2002 http://www.post-gazette.com/columnists/20020710sallycol2p2.asp
      > Wow, yikes, holy mackerel and caramba. As votes of no confidence go, this one is a doozy. Making it even more dramatic is the fact that it was committed not by the hotheads, but by some of the coolest heads and steadiest hands in the city. Three of the region's premier foundations announced yesterday that they have lost all faith in the leadership of the Pittsburgh Public Schools and given up their last shred of hope that the current crop of dysfunctoids can be rehabilitated. Bottom line: The Grable Foundation, Heinz Endowments and Pittsburgh Foundation are suspending all funding to the district effective immediately.
      > Schematic for a Schools Chancellor From The New York Times 7/14/2002 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/14/education/14QUES.html
      > Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, as the first mayor in 33 years to directly control the New York City schools, has a chance to reshape the chancellorship according to his own vision. What that vision is remains murky at best. His chancellor search is probably the least transparent one in memory: one part superstition, two parts iconoclasm and three parts mystification. "What can one say at this point, other than that he's not telling?" mused Dr. Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education during the first Bush administration. Article includes a number of speculated Chancellor candidates.
      > Raising School Standards and Cutting Budget: Huh? From The New York Times 7/10/2002 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/10/education/10LESS.html
      > Congress and the president have demanded that states raise academic standards, and every state has now complied. Yet state leaders have also recognized that disadvantaged students need extra help to achieve these higher standards.So several states, with some federal aid, have added summer schools, preschools and early childhood services. They have reduced class sizes and raised salaries to attract better teachers. From 1997 to 2002, school spending rose by 12 percent nationwide, after considering inflation and enrollment growth. Much of the increase was intended to help low-achieving students.But now almost every state has a budget crisis. Programs that were added in recent years are either being cut or likely to be cut soon. As reductions occur, most state and federal officials have ducked an obvious challenge: if programs like summer school and preschool and class size reduction were needed to reach higher standards, does cutting these programs call the standards into question?
    • edupreneurs_moderator
      Education News Bulletin February 10 - 17, 2006 HUMAN CAPITAL COMMENTARY: Fast-Track Certification - Can We Prepare Teachers Both Quickly and Well? NATIONAL -
      Message 117 of 117 , Feb 21, 2006
        Education News Bulletin
        February 10 - 17, 2006


        COMMENTARY: Fast-Track Certification - Can We Prepare Teachers Both
        Quickly and Well?

        NATIONAL - Teacher-preparation programs today come in many shapes
        and sizes. Traditional and alternative programs have morphed into
        one another, making broad comparisons between them useless. What
        matters instead is how particular programs work. Do they attract
        candidates to teaching? Do they provide what they promise? Do they
        give new teachers what they need to get started and grow on the job?
        Do participants report that they're prepared to teach their
        students? With such questions in mind, we studied 13 fast-track,
        alternative-certification programs in four states, observing the
        training and interviewing directors, faculty members, and
        participants. … Fast-track preparation is a deceptively simple idea.
        In fact, surprising capacity is required to train teachers both
        quickly and well. (by Susan Moore Johnson of Harvard University's
        graduate school of education and consultant Sarah Birkeland for
        Education Week - registration required)

        http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2006/02/15/23johnson.h25.html (see
        also "A Difficult Balance: Incentives and Quality Control in
        Alternative Certification Programs" at

        Parents, teachers have educational divide

        WASHINGTON (AP) -- Considering they share responsibility for 50
        million children, parents and teachers sure have some different
        views about what goes on in school. From discipline to standardized
        tests to the quality of high schools, parents and teachers disagree
        on basic aspects of education, an AP-AOL Learning Services Poll
        finds. They come together, though, on the need to hire and keep good
        teachers. … On testing, the poll found teachers are much more likely
        than parents to say standardized exams get too much emphasis. Yet
        most parents and teachers agree testing has weakened the ability of
        educators to give individual attention to students. (Associated
        Press via CNN)

        html (see also "Press Release: 87% of Teachers Say Parents Should
        Spend More Time with Children on Homework" at


        Assessment Testing >> In Their Hands: Handheld devices empower
        teachers with assessment data they can put to immediate use

        NATIONAL - At the Orange County Public School District in Orlando,
        FL, assessing reading skills among the youngest students used to be
        quite a process. Relying on rudimentary products such as paper and
        pencils, the strategy hinged on the bubble sheets teachers
        administered to students once a year. After teachers scored the
        exams, they sent them to the district office, where results were
        scanned, analyzed, and combined to form summary reports. These
        reports gave teachers information about which students needed extra
        help, and which subjects were proving to be troublesome. But because
        the reports took weeks to generate, it was difficult for teachers to
        use them to better serve the needs of their students. Everything
        changed with the implementation of a three-year pilot program that
        kicked off the 2003-2004 school year. District officials, eager to
        improve their assessment techniques, turned to Wireless Generation
        to find a way to assess students so that teachers could actually do
        something with their data. Change came in the form of Palm handheld
        devices. Teachers used them to record student performance on a
        series of questions designed to gauge reading skills. (T.H.E.


        Grading Equity: Tisch Lecturer Outlines Report Card on Education

        NATIONAL - Richard Rothstein agrees with No Child Left Behind
        supporters on at least one point: Holding schools accountable for
        improving children's reading and math skills may, in fact,
        eventually lead to improvement in those skills. The problem, as
        Rothstein outlined it on Monday evening, January 30th during the
        first of a three-part Teachers College lecture series known as the
        Tisch Lectures, is that those skills could improve -- to the
        detriment of others that are equally important. "What gets measured,
        gets done," said Rothstein, Tisch Visiting Professor at TC and
        research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, in a talk he
        titled Equity in What? Defining the Goals of American Education for
        which We Seek Equity. For the past year and half, Rothstein and two
        graduate assistants, Rebecca Jacobsen and Tamara Wilder, have been
        working to create a new "report card" that will assess the nation's
        progress in providing equal educational opportunities across a much
        broader range of skills. The list, unveiled at the first Tisch
        lecture, includes basic academic skills; critical thinking; social
        skills and work ethic; citizenship; physical health; emotional
        health; the arts and literature; and vocational education. (Teachers
        College at Columbia University)



        Can Bush make America more competitive in math and science?

        WASHINGTON - Americans have heard the warnings for decades: The
        nation is in danger of falling behind other technological
        powerhouses in the world, posing a threat to its way of life.
        President Bush's competitiveness initiative, outlined in his federal
        budget, would focus $136 billion over 10 years on boosting research
        and education. Much of that cost would come in the form of tax
        incentives for research and development; the rest represents new
        funding, including a doubling of the budgets of three federal
        agencies focused on science and technology. The education piece of
        Mr. Bush's plan seems relatively small - $380 million in fiscal
        2007 - but it is getting most of the attention. Overall, Bush's AP
        Incentive Program aims to boost the number of students taking AP
        math and science exams from 380,000 today to 1.5 million in 2012. In
        a nation that seems to have a cultural aversion to tackling "hard"
        subjects like math and science, can those numbers be achieved? And
        without the stark image of Sputnik - the Soviet satellite whose
        launch in 1957 caught the US by surprise - to spur a fear of
        national decline, will the nation rally to the "competitiveness"
        cause and push Congress to fund the plan? (Christian Science Monitor)



        Venture Capitalists Are Investing in Educational Reform

        CALIFORNIA - Venture capitalists of Silicon Valley, who have backed
        hundreds of high-technology entrepreneurs, are eagerly financing a
        new group these days: schoolmasters. "We give education
        entrepreneurs money to start or to speed up building their
        companies," said L. John Doerr, who over 26 years has helped start
        dozens of ventures, including Sun Microsystems, Amazon.com and
        Google. He help found the New Schools Venture Fund in San Francisco
        six years ago for a new breed of entrepreneur - the kind who doesn't
        have to produce a profit. … New Schools Venture Fund is still
        investing its first $80 million, contributed by individuals like Mr.
        Doerr and organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
        which gave $22 million. New Schools has begun raising another $125
        million to expand the reach of charter schools as models of reform
        for traditional public school systems. (by James Flanigan for the
        New York Times - registration required)


        Column: The New Engines of Reform (by David Gergen of US News &
        World Report)

        NATIONAL - There won't be any sleek limousines drawing up at the
        door, no red carpets, no paparazzi, no Vanity Fair afterglow, and,
        alas, no Annie Leibovitz. But when dozens of people roll into the
        Mohonk Mountain House in the Hudson Valley this week, they'll be
        holding their own Oscar party--one celebrating the stars of a new
        group of emerging leaders in the United States. They're
        called "social entrepreneurs," and if you haven't heard the phrase
        yet, you're missing one of the hottest movements to ripple across
        college campuses and into young urban communities. Social
        entrepreneurs do more than treat society's ills--they envision
        widespread, systemic change that could prevent those ills from ever
        occurring. They tackle social problems with entrepreneurial and
        innovative spirit. … The roster of all-stars in the social
        enterprise movement is growing rapidly--and just as in business and
        politics, they are forming networks among themselves. (US News &
        World Report)

        (see also "Two Guys...and a Dream" on the founders of KIPP in the
        same issue at


        Put Learning First: A Portfolio Approach to Public Schools

        NATIONAL - Today, public education policies and administrations are
        organized to serve the needs of the institutions and the adults that
        work in them. Addressing our stunning achievement gaps, particularly
        those affecting minority students in our cities, means that
        students, not the system, must become the primary organizing
        principle for educational policies -- and, more importantly, for
        schools themselves. The current system is intended to advance
        individual, community, and national goals, but is, in fact,
        engineered for stability. That is normally a good thing. We want
        schools to open on time, teachers to count on having jobs from one
        day to the next, and parents to feel secure knowing that their
        children will have a place to go to school. Stability alone,
        however, is the wrong goal in a complex, fast-changing, modern
        economy. Students -- disadvantaged students, in particular -- need
        schools that are focused on providing them with the skills they will
        need to succeed in today's society, schools that are flexible enough
        to try a variety of teaching methods until they succeed in reaching
        these goals. (by Paul Hill of the Center on Reinventing Public
        Education, for the Progressive Policy Institute)


        The New Reverse Class Struggle: Although Smaller Sizes Are Touted,
        Some Say Bigger May Be Beneficial

        NATIONAL - Billie-Jean Bensen, principal of Herbert Hoover Middle
        School in Rockville, called [math teacher Jane]
        Reiser "outstanding," "fabulous" and "truly amazing," able to get
        great results despite her large class size [32 students, way above
        the national class size average of 25]. So why, some experts are
        asking, are educators and politicians so bent on reducing class
        sizes? Wouldn't it be better to let classes get bigger? Then schools
        could reduce the number of teachers, keep good ones like Reiser and
        pay them more. The idea seems odd to many. But some scholars and
        administrators say raising class sizes and teacher pay might improve
        achievement. (by Jay Mathews for the Washington Post - registration


        President's Budget Would Cut Education Spending

        NATIONAL - President Bush's blueprint for federal education spending
        in the next fiscal year includes a high-profile plan to boost math
        and science education, new money for private school vouchers, a
        renewed push to improve high schools-and the most drastic cut in
        Department of Education funding in more than a decade. In his
        proposed federal budget for fiscal 2007, released last week, Mr.
        Bush calls for a 3.8 percent drop in the department's discretionary
        spending, or $2.1 billion less than the agency received for fiscal
        2006, excluding hurricane relief and adjusting for a recent
        accounting change for financial aid. If approved by Congress, his
        plan would mean the largest percentage cut for the department since
        fiscal 1996. The president would sink new federal education money
        into fresh initiatives, particularly those intended to strengthen
        learning in mathematics and science, and provide generally flat
        funding to K-12's two largest programs: Title I for low- income
        students and special education state grants. (Education Week -
        registration required)

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