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  • edupreneurs_moderator
    Education News Bulletin 6.28.2004 CHARTERS AND CHOICE Doing the arithmetic: Charter schools banding together to share costs of support services HOUSTON – In
    Message 1 of 117 , Jun 28, 2004
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      Education News Bulletin


      Doing the arithmetic: Charter schools banding together to share
      costs of support services

      HOUSTON – In their efforts to save money and survive in the
      competitive world of education, charter schools have increasingly
      come to resemble their more traditional public school counterparts.
      Yes College Preparatory School, which recently opened its third
      school in the Houston area, and KIPP, which has expanded nationally
      and is opening another school locally, have decided to share
      business costs. KIPP founder Michael Feinberg said the schools are
      formally creating a nonprofit business venture called the KIPP-Yes
      Partnership to share costs such as buses, food service and health
      insurance. Cost sharing among charter schools, in effect, creating
      small, informal school districts, appears to be a national trend.
      Charter schools in Washington, D.C., and Minnesota, for instance,
      are coordinating special education and health care expenses.
      (Houston Chronicle)


      Do EMO-operated Charter Schools Serve Disadvantaged Students? The
      Influence of State Policies

      NATIONAL – There is a paucity of research about how the policies
      enacted by states either foster or hinder charter schools'
      service to disadvantaged students or how the characteristics of
      charter schools themselves affect this outcome. By combining data
      from the US Department of Education's Schools and Staffing Survey
      with data on the characteristics of state charter school policies,
      this article examines how different types of charter schools respond
      to the policy and market signals established by state charter
      legislation, and the impact of such signals on the willingness and
      ability of charter schools to serve disadvantaged student
      populations. The results suggest that certain policy characteristics
      are important for encouraging schools to serve low-income and
      minority students. Specifically, having multiple chartering
      authorities and requiring the transportation of students are
      important for explaining charter schools' service to low-income
      and minority students. (Education Policy Analysis Archives)



      Value of teacher incentives questioned

      RALEIGH, NC – Nearly 1,400 North Carolina teachers each were paid
      as much as $1,800 extra last year to work in schools hampered by
      poverty or lagging student achievement. The additional pay was an
      enticement for math, science and special-education teachers to join
      or stay in those hard-pressed schools. State education and political
      leaders are now questioning whether the money helped do either and,
      more broadly, whether incentives alone can remedy teacher shortages.
      (Raleigh News and Observer)



      No Child Left Behind Policy Brief - Implications for the Early
      Learning Field

      NATIONAL -- Many educators and policymakers are working hard to
      interpret and implement those provisions of the No Child Left Behind
      Act (NCLB) that impact the K-12 community. Often, however, the
      act's implications on early learning and early childhood educators
      are not fully considered or discussed. This policy brief focuses on
      three NCLB components that hold relevance for early learning:
      Adequate Yearly Progress, Highly Qualified Teachers and
      Reading/Literacy. (Education Commission of the States)



      Gates-Financed Initiative Faces Instructional Hurdles, Report Says

      NATIONAL – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's campaign to
      produce small high schools is yielding schools with high academic
      expectations and personalized, collegial climates, a new report
      says, but the initiative should now turn more attention to day-to-
      day problems of teaching and learning. Instructional strategies and
      curriculum content are two areas in which many of the small high
      schools started with help from the $650 million initiative would
      like more support. The second installment in a planned eight-year
      evaluation, the report was prepared by a pair of prominent research
      organizations commissioned by the Seattle-based foundation to study
      the initiative. The program involves starting small high schools and
      scaling down large schools into smaller units. (Education Week –
      free registration required)


      Klein, Loving Job, Gives School Year an A+

      NEW YORK CITY – On the last day of school for New York City's 1.1
      million pupils, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein said yesterday that
      the school year, one of the most turbulent in the history of the
      system, had been a success. At a briefing for reporters, Mr. Klein
      said he thought the widespread changes to the school system
      instituted this year under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had already
      started to bear fruit. He described problems that had arisen
      as "birthing pains," urged critics not to "glamorize the past" and
      said he felt confident that the city would be a model for school
      reform efforts elsewhere. (New York Times)


      Double the Numbers: Increasing Postsecondary Credentials for
      Underrepresented Youth

      NATIONAL – Only 25 percent of the U.S. high school students
      complete any college degree. Among African American youth, only 18
      percent earn a baccalaureate by age twenty-nine. For Hispanic
      Americans, the figure is a mere 10 percent. The United States
      urgently needs to address this problem. For reasons of intellectual
      and professional opportunity, economic efficiency, and social
      equity, the nation must do a better job of preparing young people
      not only to enter college, but also to earn credentials that are key
      to professional and economic success. Double the Numbers highlights
      emerging strategies--at state, district, and school levels--for
      improving postsecondary outcomes. (Harvard Graduate School of


      Parents take schools to task

      NATIONAL – It's too soon to tell whether President Bush's
      sweeping school reform law will improve the nation's public
      education system, but nearly 2½ years after Bush signed No Child
      Left Behind, a new survey shows that public perceptions of schools
      are changing — sometimes for the worse — and that education could be
      a powerful election-year issue. In the survey released today by the
      Educational Testing Service, the world's largest private educational
      research organization, the nation's public schools take a bit of a
      beating at the hands of parents, while the general public remains
      largely unmoved. The percentage of parents who give U.S. public
      schools a grade of A has dropped from 8% in 2001 to 2% today, and
      only 20% of parents give schools a B, down from 35%. Meanwhile, 45%
      of parents give schools a C, up from 33% in 2001. (USA Today)

    • 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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