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  • Courtney Schroeder
    CHOICE & COMPETITION HUMAN CAPITAL ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUTCOMES OTHER CHOICE & COMPETITION Alliance Hopes to Serve as Voice for Charter Schools from Education
    Message 1 of 117 , Nov 19, 2002
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      CHOICE & COMPETITION

      HUMAN CAPITAL

      ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUTCOMES

      OTHER

       

      CHOICE & COMPETITION

      Alliance Hopes to Serve as Voice for Charter Schools from Education Week 11/13/2002    http://www.edweek.com/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=11charter.h22   Organizers are putting the finishing touches on their plans to start a new national association of state-level charter school groups in early 2003. Based in Washington, the new membership organization will aim to become the leading national voice of the growing charter school sector. Known as the National Charter School Alliance, the nonprofit group is expected to replace and expand on the work of the Charter Friends National Network, which has been run for the past six years as a project of the nonprofit Center for Policy Studies in St. Paul, Minn. "This alliance has been a long time coming," said Sarah Tantillo, the executive director of the New Jersey Charter Public Schools Association and the chairwoman of the new alliance's 15-member steering committee.

      California District Faces Takeover from Education Week 11/13/2002   http://www.edweek.com/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=11briefs.h22  A small California district with severe financial and management problems nearly shut down for two days this month when teachers and staff members refused to work without pay. As a result, Gov. Gray Davis has asked the legislature to approve a state takeover of the 1,000-student West Fresno district, which serves an impoverished minority community and is bogged down with long-standing financial and management problems. On Nov. 1 and 4, most teachers and staff members called in sick after they learned that the district had not approved a budget and was unable to continue paying their salaries. Many students also stayed home.

      California’s Aspire Schools Set to Sell Tax-Backed Debt from The Bond Buyer 11/18/2002   http://www.bondbuyer.com (requires registration, or available through nexis.com)  A California charter school chain tomorrow plans to sell about $12 million of revenue bonds secured by state and local tax revenues it will receive based on the number of students attending a planned new charter middle school. The California Statewide Community Development Authority will sell the bonds on behalf of Aspire Public Schools, a nonprofit corporation based in San Carlos. Aspire is one of only a few charter school operators in California to use state and local tax revenue to back debt. It used a similar structure in 2001 when it sold $17.48 million of bonds for charter schools in Lodi and Oakland. Charter schools are exempt from most laws governing school districts. They are usually sponsored by an existing local school board, or county board of education, which grants a five-year charter that may be renewed. Founded in 1998, Aspire operates seven charter schools in California. Bond proceeds will finance its eighth -- a middle school in Lodi expected to open in fall 2003.

      HUMAN CAPITAL

      Schools Coping With Lack of Administrators from the Boston Globe 11/17/2002 http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/321/learning/Schools_coping_with_lack_of_administrators+.shtml   In Massachusetts and nationwide, many public school districts are running headlong into a leadership crisis. As many schools confront critical education reform issues, more teachers are choosing to remain in the classroom and turning down promotions to become principals. And many who are running schools are rejecting offers to become superintendents. One reason for all the reluctance, say analysts: more pressure to ensure students perform well on standardized tests. And as schools face a national teacher shortage, many also expect to lose their leaders to retirement. Over the next five years, more than 60 percent of public school principals in urban districts will retire, according to the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Broad Foundation, whose mission is to dramatically improve K-12 urban public education.

       

      ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUTCOMES

      Dept of Education to Hike Oversight of Reading Grants  from Education Week 11/13/2002 http://www.edweek.com/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=11read.h22

      The Department of Education is warning states that the agency will more closely monitor how they are spending money under a waning federal reading initiative, after reports that local grant recipients may not be following "scientifically based" principles or other requirements. Federal officials have asked states that received awards under the Reading Excellence Act to submit performance reports by the end of this month detailing the progress made in local districts and schools in improving reading achievement.

       

      OTHER

      Struggling Edison ‘Reversioning’ its School Expertise from Education Week 11/13/2002   http://www.edweek.com/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=11biz.h22

      Edison Schools Inc. is now available in a handy take-home version. For school districts that aren't interested in hiring the beleaguered company to manage schools, Edison is rolling out a new line of services revolving around student assessment, professional development, and what it calls "achievement management systems." The new division of the New York City-based company is called Edison Affiliates. It is targeted at districts with 1,000 to 10,000 students that may be too small or otherwise uninterested in the company's traditional business of contract management. Edison lists four components of the Affiliates package: "benchmark assessments," "achievement management systems," professional development, such as allowing educators in affiliated schools to attend Edison's training workshops, and the "achievement adviser," an Edison staff member who will check in on the affiliates periodically to implement the system.

       

      Budget Shortfall Fuels Dissension in Seattle Over Superintendent from Education Week 11/13/2002   http://www.edweek.com/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=11seattle.h22

      Joseph Olchefske, the superintendent of the Seattle public schools, is on trial in the court of public opinion, following revelations of accounting errors that are forcing the district to make deep budget cuts. Last week, the city's teachers' union asked him to resign, and a citizens' group is circulating a petition calling for his ouster. Meanwhile, several local education leaders—including a majority of the school board—are pledging their continued support for the superintendent. Sparring over Mr. Olchefske's job began early last month, when he announced the discovery of multiple financial missteps that led the district to overspend last year's budget by about $22 million, and this year's by about $12 million.

       

       

       

       

       

    • 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
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        Education News Bulletin
        February 10 - 17, 2006


        HUMAN CAPITAL

        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
        http://www.gse.harvard.edu/~ngt/Balance.pdf)

        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)

        http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/02/10/parents.vs.teachers.ap/index.
        html (see also "Press Release: 87% of Teachers Say Parents Should
        Spend More Time with Children on Homework" at
        http://media.aoltimewarner.com/media/cb_press_view.cfm?
        release_num=55254521)


        ACCOUNTABILITY AND ASSESSMENT

        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.
        Journal)

        http://www.thejournal.com/articles/17865

        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)

        http://www.tc.columbia.edu/news/article.htm?id=5467


        CLOSING THE GAP

        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)

        http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0210/p01s04-legn.html


        NEWSCHOOLS AND VENTURES IN THE NEWS

        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)

        http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/16/business/16sbiz.html

        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)

        http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/060220/20gergen.htm
        (see also "Two Guys...and a Dream" on the founders of KIPP in the
        same issue at
        http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/060220/20leaders.htm)


        OTHER

        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)

        http://www.ppionline.org/documents/Portfolio_Districts021006.pdf

        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
        required)

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
        dyn/content/article/2006/02/13/AR2006021301754.html

        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)

        http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2006/02/15/23budget.h25.html
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