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education news bulletin

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  • Courtney Schroeder
    Message 1 of 117 , Oct 1, 2002

      Davis signs tougher law covering charter schools from the San Francisco Chronicle 9/30/2002 http://www.ecs.org/html/offsite.asp?document=http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/09/30/MN182973.DTL Charter schools will be subject to new rules governing their expansion under a bill signed into law Sunday by Gov. Gray Davis. About 10,000 charter school students statewide will be affected by the new law, written by Assemblywoman Sarah Reyes, D-Fresno, which requires charter schools for the first time in their 10-year history to stay inside the boundaries -- and within oversight -- of the county or school district that granted them a contract to operate. That means approximately 200 charter school campuses currently operating outside their host counties and school districts would either have to persuade the nearest school district to grant them a charter, pick up and relocate by 2005, or shut down.

      Nonprofit Lesson Plans from The Chronicle of Philanthropy 10/3/2002 http://philanthropy.com/premium/articles/v14/i24/24000901.htm The charter-school movement, which began in the early 1990s when small groups of citizens sought to create smaller and more personal or effective schools, is spreading rapidly to the nonprofit world. At least 100 charities have added a charter school to their repertoire of programs, and the trend is expanding. For example, the National Council of La Raza, an advocacy group for Latinos, is helping its affiliates create 100 schools by 2010. In addition, museums, Urban League chapters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America affiliates, and other charities have ventured into the charter-school arena.

      Teacher Shortages Vanish When the Price is Right from the New York Times 9/25/2002 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/25/education/25LESS.html Education analysts often say the nation faces a looming teacher shortage. Growing enrollment and the retirement of baby-boom teachers will aggravate the need, as will a new federal law that bans unqualified teachers. But this year in New York City, the shortage mostly disappeared, despite the difficult conditions in many urban schools. Qualified teachers flocked to New York for starting salaries of $39,000 a year, up from $32,000 in 2001. Those with experience elsewhere started as high as $61,000. Certified teachers left parochial schools, the suburbs and other professions to work for the city. A slow economy helped by offering college graduates fewer options in the private sector. New York's experience suggests there never was a shortage, only an unwillingness of qualified teachers to work at previous pay levels.

      If Test Scores of Students Swell, So May Superintendents' Wallets from The New York Times 9/25/2002 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/25/education/25SCHO.html New York City school superintendents will receive bonuses of up to $40,000 - about a quarter of their base salaries - if test scores in their districts significantly improve this year, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein said yesterday. Raising test scores should be the paramount goal of city educators, Mr. Klein said, because they are the only uniform way of measuring student performance. He also left open the door for providing merit bonuses to teachers, an idea that former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani had pushed hard but the teachers' union had attacked on the contention that it would create a divisive atmosphere.
      Progress on Florida's A+ Accountability Plan from the Center for Education Reform 9/24/2002 http://www.edreform.com/update/2002/020924.html The A+ Accountability plan, which detractors once widely claimed would be the ruin of Sunshine state schools, has brought about much improvement. Last week Governor Jeb Bush and Lt. Governor Frank Brogan announced the results of the most recent Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). There was encouraging progress across the board. Some of the most notable accomplishments include nearly tenfold increases in the number of African-American and Hispanic 4th graders achieving the highest possible scores in reading, and overall increases in math and reading for almost all grades.

      52% fail high school exit exam from the San Francisco Chronicle 10/1/2002 http://www.ecs.org/html/offsite.asp?document=http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/10/01/MN104578.DTL Slightly more than half the state's 10th-graders failed the newly required "exit exam" and will have to try again if they hope to earn a diploma in 2004, according to results released Monday by the California Department of Education. Of 431,000 sophomores who took the test last spring, only 48 percent were able to pass both the math and language arts portions. Some had taken the test voluntarily in 2001 when they were ninth-graders, and those results are included in the new figures. Unless the pass rate rises to at least 90 percent, "it would be very difficult to fend off a legal challenge" to the test, said Reed Hastings, president of the state Board of Education.

      Massachusetts Sued Over Graduation Tests from Education Week 10/2/2002 http://www.edweek.com/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=05mcas.h22 In the first legal challenge to Massachusetts' high-stakes tests, lawyers representing students who have failed the state graduation exam have filed suit in federal court claiming that the state has not adequately prepared students for the assessments, and that the tests discriminate against minority students. A group of lawyers filed the complaint Sept. 19 in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mass., on behalf of six unidentified students attending public schools in Holyoke, Northhampton, and Springfield who have not passed the MCAS exams in mathematics and English. Beginning this school year, all students must pass the MCAS in those subjects in order to graduate from high school.

      Alliance Seeks Resources for Secondary Students from Education Week 10/2/2002 http://www.edweek.com/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=05alliance.h22 As the country's schools begin working to meet the requirements of the new federal education law, 6 million middle and high school students are not being supported by the legislation, argues a report unveiled last week, along with four initiatives designed to address the situation. The "No Child Left Behind" Act of 2001, championed by President Bush, puts a great deal of emphasis on early education, but not enough on students in middle and high school, asserts the report by the Alliance for Excellent Education. Department of Education officials counter that the law, a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, emphasizes the acquisition of basic skills to foster success throughout students' academic careers.

      Chicago: school day falls short in poorer districts from the Chicago Tribune 9/29/2002 http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-0209290485sep29.story?null A new analysis of nearly 900 districts in Illinois found dramatic differences in the length of the school day, with disadvantaged students who need the most academic help often getting the least time in school. In the state's high school districts, poor-performing districts tend to have shorter school days. Those also are the districts with higher-than-average concentrations of poor and minority students. Wealthier districts with better test scores tend to have longer school days. An analysis of the 32 districts with elementary schools declared failing under the new federal education law showed that virtually all had shorter-than-average school days, as well as high poverty rates and minority populations.

      Caroline Kennedy Appointed to Schools Post from the New York Times 10/1/2002 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/01/nyregion/01CND-SCHO.html The New York City schools chancellor appointed Caroline Kennedy today to head a new office that will oversee partnerships between the public schools and private donors. Ms. Kennedy, an author, lawyer and the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, will be chief executive of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. She will report directly to the Chancellor Joel I. Klein and will be paid $1 through the end of the year. Mr. Klein said her salary would be renegotiated for next year when she begins work full-time. Previous chancellors have established public-private partnerships, but Ms. Kennedy's office will consolidate several of those fundraising arms for the nation's largest public school system.
    • 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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