Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

education news bulletin

Expand Messages
  • edupreneurs_moderator
    Education News Bulletin 1.5.2004 CHARTERS AND CHOICE Charter school group lauded by magazine NATIONAL – Aspire Public Schools, a Redwood City non-profit
    Message 1 of 117 , Jan 5, 2004
      Education News Bulletin


      Charter school group lauded by magazine

      NATIONAL – Aspire Public Schools, a Redwood City non-profit
      organization that manages 10 charter schools in Northern California,
      was named one of America's top social entrepreneurial groups in a new
      ranking. The ranking in the January edition of Fast Company is posted
      online at www.fastcompany.com/social, was created by the business
      magazine and The Monitor Group, a consulting firm. The list applauds
      the top 20 for entrepreneurship, innovation, social impact,
      aspiration and sustainability. Aspire stood out for its attempt to
      ``transform the American public-school system,'' the magazine wrote.
      Another education-oriented organization on the list is New Schools
      Venture Fund of San Francisco, which invests in education projects.
      (San Jose Mercury News)


      An Educating Use of Business Practices

      WASHINGTON, DC – At first blush, it looked like any other Wall
      Street prospectus -- $44.8 million in revenue bonds issued by the
      District of Columbia. Lead underwriter: Citigroup, which beat out
      J.P. Morgan for the honor. Legal advice was provided by Hunton &
      Williams and Nixon Peabody. And with insurance provided by ACA
      Financial Guaranty Corp., Standard & Poor's was able to give it an A
      rating. Not bad for a charter school. In fact, this was the largest
      bond offering ever for a charter school. And the fact that it was
      oversubscribed was a testimony both to the success of the five-year
      collaboration between the nonprofit Friendship House and the for-
      profit Edison Schools and to the adaptability of financial markets.
      (Washington Post)


      A program trying to turn at-risk youth into scholars

      SAN FRANCISCO – At every KIPP school, students wear uniforms. They
      must walk in quiet, single-file lines at all times, and candy is
      absolutely forbidden. Art and music are fundamental subjects of study
      in addition to math and reading. There is a contract for each
      student -- a document signed by parent, principal and child attesting
      to their commitment to education. The simplified formula, created in
      1994 by two twenty-something dreamers in the Teach For America
      program, is emerging as a leading model in education reform. Hailed
      by the White House, the American Federation of Teachers and some
      prominent business leaders, KIPP has drawn millions in donations for
      doing what urban educators have been trying to do in the five decades
      since Brown vs. Board of Education: give poor children an equal shot
      at college. (San Francisco Chronicle)


      School Choice, Limited Options

      WELDON, N.C. -- Nelson Edwards is unhappy with the education his
      daughters are receiving at Weldon Middle School, which has failed to
      meet federal standards. But help should be on the way: The No Child
      Left Behind law gives the Winn-Dixie meat cutter the option of
      transferring his children to a better-performing school. At least,
      that is the theory of one part of the most sweeping educational
      reforms adopted by Congress in more than a generation. The practice,
      from the perspective of a poor, overwhelmingly African American
      school district in North Carolina, is rather different. A few months
      ago, Weldon school officials attempted to negotiate a school-choice
      agreement with their counterparts in Roanoke Rapids, a predominantly
      white, middle-class school district on the other side of Interstate
      95. They were turned down flat. The experience in Weldon suggests the
      depth of entrenched local opposition to school choice, as the Bush
      administration refers to its plan for offering parents an alternative
      to failing schools. (Washington Post)



      Rolling Up Their Sleeves: Superintendents and Principals Talk About
      What's Needed to Fix Public Schools

      NATIONAL – School superintendents and principals nationwide voice
      their objections to stifling bureaucracy and a torrent of local,
      state and federal government mandates, in the second of two surveys
      conducted by the nonpartisan opinion research group Public Agenda. In
      Rolling Up Their Sleeves: Superintendents and Principals Talk About
      What's Needed to Fix Public Schools, more than 1,000 public school
      superintendents and 925 public school principals talked about the
      challenges and obstacles to being effective in their jobs. (Public
      Agenda, with support from the Wallace Foundation)



      How to Measure Student Proficiency?

      NATIONAL – The community around South Charlotte Middle School is
      one of the richest in North Carolina, and the school boasts the kind
      of test scores that seem to go hand in hand with wealth. Last year,
      more than 95 percent of its students passed both the state reading
      and mathematics tests. A few miles away in a similarly wealthy
      community, the students at Fort Mill Middle School cannot make the
      same claim. More than half failed the state mathematics test, and
      three-quarters failed the reading test. The difference? Fort Mill
      Middle School is in South Carolina. Two recent studies show that such
      anomalies are widespread, as states have set widely different
      standards for measuring students' progress under the federal
      education law known as No Child Left Behind. The two studies, one by
      a nonprofit Oregon testing company and the other by a Washington
      interest group, take different routes to reach a similar conclusion:
      Across the country, there is no agreement on how much students need
      to know to be considered proficient. (New York Times - subscription
      or registration required)


      Education Firms See Money In Bush's School-Boost Law

      NATIONAL – Teachers, parents and principals may have their doubts
      about No Child Left Behind. But business loves it. The Bush
      administration's new education plan requires schools to prove that
      their children are learning math and reading, and are closing the
      achievement gap between white and minority children. Already, states
      are reporting that thousands of schools aren't meeting minimum
      learning goals and now face an array of sanctions. Companies that
      sell to the schools -- from test publishers to tutoring services to
      teacher-training outfits -- say business is booming as troubled
      districts turn to them for help. There's a burgeoning "sense of
      consumerism in public education" as parents learn about the law and
      begin demanding services, says Jeffrey Cohen, president of Sylvan
      Education Solutions, a unit of closely held Educate Inc. (Wall Street
      Journal - registration required)


      Parsing the Achievement Gap: Baselines for Tracking Progress

      NATIONAL – A hallmark of NCLB is a concomitant commitment to base
      educational policy on established research findings. In Parsing the
      Achievement Gap, Paul Barton synthesizes a large body of research
      that identifies those factors associated with educational attainment
      and then looks at their relationship to differential performance by
      groups in our society. The picture is both motivating and daunting.
      It is daunting because it is clear that educational achievement is
      associated with home, school, and societal factors, almost all having
      their roots in socioeconomic forces affecting this country.
      (Educational Testing Service)



      No Child Left Behind -- Kati Haycock | Education Reformer

      NATIONAL – It was a matter of happenstance. While most of Kati
      Haycock's Latino classmates at a Los Angeles high school were
      funneled into vocational classes, she was put on the college track.
      She made the cut, she says, partly because of her Anglo looks. She
      inherited her German-American mom's green eyes and blond hair, not
      her Hispanic American dad's dark complexion. Many teachers, she says,
      didn't expect much academically from Latino students. "The only class
      I had in common with other Latinos," she recalls, "was physical
      education." Today, Haycock, 53, is director of the Washington-based
      Education Trust, an education policy and research organization she
      has headed since 1990. Her main mission is to make sure minority and
      low-income students aren't sidelined. "By and large, the
      organizations in Washington . . . speak on behalf of the adults who
      work in the school system," she says. "We speak on behalf of kids."
      (US News & World Report)


      Are charitable foundations real catalysts for change?

      KANSAS CITY, MO. – At a time of year when people traditionally
      assess how they can help those in need, charitable foundations would
      also do well to ask themselves some searching questions: Are they
      still valuable institutions - or have they outlived their usefulness?
      Over the next few years, foundations certainly will have the
      resources to make an impact. By the year 2010, the assets of American
      foundations are projected to grow to $800 billion, roughly a fourfold
      increase since 1994. But despite this progress, are charitable
      foundations really helping to improve society? At the very least,
      foundations should be leaders in innovation, experts in identifying
      challenges and opportunities, and willing servants in the catalyst
      for change. (Christian Science Monitor)

    • 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)

      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.