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  • edupreneurs_moderator
    Education News Bulletin 4.26.2004 CHARTERS AND CHOICE Lodi to review debt-refinancing deal LODI, CALIF. – Lodi Unified School District leaders will review a
    Message 1 of 117 , Apr 26, 2004
      Education News Bulletin


      Lodi to review debt-refinancing deal

      LODI, CALIF. – Lodi Unified School District leaders will review a
      $20 million debt-refinancing plan tonight for three charter schools,
      a deal that could serve as a model for school districts around the
      state, according to the charter's CEO. Bay Area-based Aspire Public
      Schools, a nonprofit charter operator, runs River Oaks, University
      Public and Benjamin Holt College Preparatory Academy schools in the
      Lodi Unified School District. Saddled with a 7.5 percent interest
      rate on $19.7 million in construction bonds issued in 2001 and 2002,
      Aspire executives would like to refinance the debt using Lodi
      Unified's tax-exempt status, a move that would save the charter
      organization about $170,000 annually over the next 27 years. Those
      savings will be plowed directly into classrooms serving about 1,000
      charter students, Aspire Chief Executive Officer Don Shalvey said.
      (The Record - Lodi)


      Facilities Financing: New models for Districts that are Creating
      Schools New

      NATIONAL – Many of the dramatic reforms school districts are
      undertaking involve a significant facilities component. As districts
      pursue strategies such as opening new schools, breaking up large
      schools, and renovating buildings to provide safe and effective
      learning environments, they often incur substantial bricks-and-
      mortar expenses. Since these expenses may well outstrip funds
      available through traditional sources of facilities financing,
      districts and individual charter schools have increasingly sought
      innovative ways to meet their facilities needs. (Education|Evolving
      and Public Impact)



      States Receive Poor Marks for Teacher-Quality Standards

      NATIONAL – On a first-ever report card of its kind, 13 out of 20
      states earned a grade of C or lower for the quality of the standards
      they have set to assess whether teachers now in the classroom have
      adequate knowledge of subjects they teach. The report from the
      National Council on Teacher Quality sees the D-plus average of the
      20 grades as one more sign that many states are reluctant to deal
      with the content part of the teacher-quality equation. But the paper
      also puts some of the blame on the federal No Child Left Behind Act,
      which thrust on states the politically charged task of designing
      ways to hold experienced teachers to the same content-knowledge
      standard as new ones. The results, according to the report, range
      from standards that set an unambiguous bar—mostly by insisting on
      coursework similar in amount to that required for new teachers—to
      ones that make use of teacher evaluations neither designed for nor
      strong in assessing academic-content knowledge. (Education Week)

      http://www.edweek.com/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=32Housse.h23 (See the full
      report at http://www.nctq.org/nctq/images/nctq_report_spring2004.pdf)

      A Collision Course: High Expectations for Students, Low Investment
      in Teacher Training

      CALIFORNIA – In the late 1990s, as standards rose for both
      students and teachers, California policy-makers invested
      substantially in strengthening the teacher workforce as a core
      strategy to improve student achievement. Today, expectations for
      students' academic achievement continue to rise. But resources
      needed to strengthen the teaching workforce have declined
      significantly. Since 2000-01, total allocations for major teacher
      professional development programs have decreased from $222 million
      to approximately $62 million in 2003-04. California's cutbacks to
      teacher professional development place the state on a collision
      course with its rising expectations for student achievement and
      raise serious concerns for California's students, especially those
      who are underperforming. (Center for the Future of Teaching and



      'No Child' Law Leaves Schools' Old Ways Behind

      WARREN TOWNSHIP, Ind. -- Raymond Park Middle School lost its two
      arts teachers last year. Home economics was eliminated, along with
      most foreign-language classes and some physical education classes.
      The overwhelming priority these days is getting students to grade
      level in reading and math. Instead of an art department, Raymond
      Park now has a computer wizard who, with a few clicks of a mouse,
      can produce charts of students lagging behind state and federal
      performance targets. An education consultant from Texas, preaching a
      business-driven model known as total quality management, has
      reorganized the curriculum into three-week chunks, each of which
      leads up to a test. The changes at Raymond Park, a racially mixed
      school in a working-class suburb of Indianapolis, are symptomatic of
      an educational revolution symbolized and accelerated by President
      Bush's controversial No Child Left Behind initiative. An ever-
      increasing nationwide preoccupation with results and accountability
      is reaching down into the classroom, changing the way students are
      taught and causing teachers and administrators to rethink the
      practices of a lifetime. (Washington Post)



      Big Man on Campus Reform

      CALIFORNIA – He has never been elected to public office and he
      no official title in state government. But UCLA management professor
      William G. Ouchi is emerging as a pivotal figure in the future of
      California public education. Ouchi has teamed up with his golfing
      buddy and former City Hall boss, state Education Secretary Richard
      Riordan, in a quest to reinvent the state's 8,000 schools. Riordan
      is the official face of this two-man offensive, the connection to
      Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ouchi, the author of popular books about
      teamwork in corporate America, is the behind-the-scenes idea man who
      argues for turning principals into entrepreneurs, giving campuses
      new control over their budgets and prodding schools to compete for
      students. (Los Angeles Times)


      Founder of eBay Announces New Approach to His Giving

      Pierre M. Omidyar, the 36-year-old founder of eBay, the giant online
      marketplace, has always said he wanted to take an uncoventional
      approach to giving away the bulk of his fortune, estimated to be
      worth at least $10-billion. Last month he made that clear by
      announcing he would fold his foundation into an enterprise that
      would not just pursue charitable giving, but also engage in public-
      policy advocacy and provide investment and start-up capital to
      businesses that promote social change. Mr. Paroo also said that
      because the federal government limits how much lobbying foundations
      and charities can pursue, the Omidyar Network wants to establish a
      unit that will focus on influencing public policy. And if the
      Omidyar Network sees a service or product that no organization has
      developed, it will consider starting its own company or charitable
      group to fulfill what it thinks the market needs. (Chronicle of

    • 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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