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  • edupreneurs_moderator
    Education News Bulletin 11.3.2003 CHARTERS AND CHOICE City to Use Private Funds in Creating Charter Schools NEW YORK CITY – New York City education officials
    Message 1 of 117 , Nov 3, 2003
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      Education News Bulletin


      City to Use Private Funds in Creating Charter Schools

      NEW YORK CITY – New York City education officials plan to turn
      charter school concept on its head by becoming the first school
      district in the nation to use private donations to open as many as 50
      of the schools. Charter schools traditionally operate outside of
      local school district control. The city's plan would establish a
      nonprofit corporation to create the schools, using more than $50
      million in private donations, according to private foundation
      officials familiar with the plan. The idea of building groups of
      charter schools is not new. One such effort is under way in northern
      California by the NewSchools Venture Fund, a nonprofit group that is
      working to create systems of charter schools — essentially
      run charter school districts. (New York Times)

      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/29/nyregion/29CHAR.html (see the
      official release at

      Charter Schools Issued Grants

      INGLEWOOD, CA – Six California charter schools are receiving more
      than $48 million in grants from a 2002 state bond, the first time
      that such money has been allocated to pay for construction on
      campuses of the independent but tax-supported schools. State
      Treasurer Phil Angelides was at the Animo Leadership Charter High
      School in Inglewood on Thursday to announce that the school had
      received $5 million to fund the construction or purchase of a
      permanent campus. The money was awarded through Proposition 47, which
      voters approved in November 2002 for modernization and construction
      of schools and public colleges and universities. The $13-billion bond
      earmarked almost $100 million for charter schools. (Los Angeles Times)


      Editorial: Roadblocks for charter schools are disappearing

      CALIFORNIA – The planets are aligning -- finally -- for charter
      schools in California. Three weeks ago, voters elected a charter
      school supporter as governor. Last week, the state organization
      representing charter schools reorganized with stronger leadership,
      more money and a determination to spread its influence. The next few
      years could see substantial growth in the charter movement. That
      should benefit not only families looking for more education choices
      but also public schools, which will face pressure in the form of
      competition to improve. The reorganized California Charter Schools
      Association has set an ambitious goal of adding 1,000 schools, with a
      half-million more students, in five years. If it brings academic
      rigor to match its vigor, the California Charter Schools Association
      will be a powerhouse for reform. (San Jose Mercury News)



      How Urban Schools Keep Good Teachers at Bay

      WASHINGTON – Applications and letters of interest from idealistic
      teachers continue to pour into inner-city school systems across the
      country, and many candidates … are being ignored or contacted
      too late to do any good, according to an unusually detailed study by
      the nonprofit New Teacher Project. A new report on the study, "Missed
      Opportunities: How We Keep High-Quality Teachers Out of Urban
      Schools," concludes that those school systems alienate many talented
      applicants because of rules that protect teachers already on staff
      and because of slow-moving bureaucracies and budgeting delays.
      (Washington Post)


      City Schools Report Progress On Hiring Certified Teachers

      NATIONAL – With the ticking clock of the federal No Child Left
      Act in their ears, urban school leaders are hiring thousands of fully
      certified teachers. New hiring tactics and a weak economy have
      allowed big-city districts to decrease their reliance on uncertified
      educators. While the trend reflects progress, questions remain about
      whether many of the new teachers are well enough prepared, and which
      of their more experienced counterparts measure up to strict new
      federal requirements. Even as the picture improves for newly hired
      teachers, however, districts still have a sobering task ahead in
      making sure their existing teacher workforces have the qualifications
      to pass federal muster. (Education Week)


      Event: A Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom: Appraising Old Answers
      and New Ideas

      WASHINGTON – The training and licensing of teachers has always
      been a
      contentious political and policy issue. Recent years have seen
      increasingly heated debate about the value of teacher licensure and
      certification and whether certification ensures a highly qualified
      teacher corps. This conference featured new empirical research on the
      nature of teacher training, an analysis of the political and policy
      landscape, and new models for tackling the need for outstanding
      teachers. This event was hosted by AEI, the Progressive Policy
      Institute, and the National Council on Teacher Quality. (Progressive
      Policy Institute)



      Harvard project on districts announced

      CAMBRIDGE, MASS – The Harvard Business School and the Harvard
      Graduate School of Education announced a joint research project last
      week to study the academics and management of nine school districts
      across the country, hoping to break new ground in finding the best
      ways to turn around large public school systems. "If you take
      existing lessons from the management of other sectors and simply
      apply them to public education, they tend not to work," said Ellen
      Condliffe Lagemann, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of
      Education. "In order to deal with school systems, you need to
      consider the political, the pedagogical, the governmental, the
      technical, the logistical, the legal -- all these different
      perspectives." The multimillion-dollar effort is called the Public
      Education Leadership Project and will involve nine districts that
      enroll more than 1 million students. (Boston Globe)



      Appointments give Schwarzenegger chance to leave mark on education

      SACRAMENTO – Once he becomes governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger will
      have a chance to put a sizable footprint on the state's educational
      landscape by making key appointments, including a majority of the
      State Board of Education. Schwarzenegger will be able to appoint
      seven candidates on the 11-member state board, which has the power to
      choose textbooks and set the scores needed to pass the state's high
      school exit exam. Schwarzenegger aides declined to speculate on who
      might fill the jobs, though state Superintendent of Public
      Instruction Jack O'Connell pressed the governor-elect last week to
      reappoint Silicon Valley businessman Reed Hastings, who is the chair.
      Hastings, who has raised money for Davis, is up for reappointment in
      January. Although he is a high-profile Democrat, Hastings shares a
      similar outlook with the incoming governor on many education issues.
      (San Jose Mercury News)

    • 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


        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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