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  • edupreneurs_moderator
    Education News Bulletin 7.6.2004 CHARTERS AND CHOICE Stockton man leads charge toward charters STOCKTON, California - Colleagues cite Stockton educator Don
    Message 1 of 117 , Jul 7, 2004
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      Education News Bulletin


      Stockton man leads charge toward charters

      STOCKTON, California - Colleagues cite Stockton educator Don Shalvey
      as a true pioneer of the charter school movement in California.
      Shalvey is the chief executive officer and co-founder of Aspire
      Public Schools, a nonprofit "charter management organization." He
      helped cobble together charter legislation in the early 1990s,
      opened California's first charter school and gave the poor community
      of East Palo Alto its first high school. A former administrator for
      Lodi Unified, he is responsible for the first charter in the Lodi
      area. Executives, school superintendents and teachers all call
      Shalvey a leader, a visionary and a modern-day pioneer. (Lodi News-

      40626.txt (see also "Charter schools: Growing success or educational
      fad?" at

      Starting from scratch: A young principal spends her summer pounding
      the pavement in search of students to fill her new school

      SAN JOSE, CALIF. - "We have a saying: If you're five minutes early,
      you're already late," says Sehba Zhumkhawala, founder, principal,
      and study-skills teacher for brand-new KIPP Heartwood Academy in San
      Jose's low-income Alum Rock district. Time is precious at KIPP
      schools (Knowledge Is Power Program) and the whole idea is to give
      students as much time in school as possible. Zhumkhawala is known in
      Alum Rock as "The Woman Who Asks Questions." To recruit students for
      her school, she walks the streets asking, "Do you know any fourth-
      graders?" Educated at top US schools, Zhumkhawala, at 28, is
      idealistic, ambitious, and eager to shake up the system. Before she
      can run her new school, however, she has had to create it from
      scratch - sell the community on the idea, raise money to supplement
      state funding, find a site, hire teachers, and, now, hardest of all,
      persuade parents to trust her with their children. (Christian
      Science Monitor)



      NATIONAL -- The success or failure of any organization or movement
      depends in part on how well the public understands its mission,
      activities and results. Charter school advocates, from educators in
      individual charter schools to leaders in state associations, can't
      expect the public to naturally assume that charter schools are good
      for public education. A thorough, well-planned strategy for
      communicating with the broader public is a vital part of gaining
      public support and building a successful charter school movement.
      This handbook is designed to help charter school advocates improve
      their communication with the public via the news media. (Center for
      School Change)



      Editorial: New ideas in teaching yield dramatic results

      NATIONAL - With a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, a
      master's in biomedical engineering and no teaching credentials, Mark
      Ware, 25, might strike people as out of place in a Houston
      alternative school instructing students who failed in regular public
      school. But Ware's inexperience didn't prevent fellow teachers from
      recently voting him teacher of the year at Alta Charter School.
      Another unlikely teacher is 23-year-old Ash Solar, who just finished
      his first year at Ryan Elementary School in a poor neighborhood in
      Houston. Unlike other teachers there, Solar grew up in an affluent
      part of Houston, attended private schools and graduated from an Ivy
      League college. But he connected with the students. Although Solar's
      Hispanic students started the year unable to write a paragraph in
      English, 89% ended up passing the state's writing test. What Solar
      and Ware have in common is both just completed their first year in
      Teach for America. (USA Today)


      Teacher tenure under scrutiny

      WASHINGTON, DC - The decades-old tradition of tenure protects
      teachers, often frustrates principals and has even surfaced as an
      issue in the presidential campaign. Now tenure itself is under
      review. Tenure guarantees that public school teachers who have this
      protection cannot be fired without legitimate cause and due process,
      perhaps even a court hearing. Almost every state provides tenure in
      some form. Yet with federal law requiring schools to have a top
      teacher for every core class, more administrators are questioning
      whether tenure keeps them from getting rid of even a small number of
      instructors who just are not good enough in the classroom.
      (Associated Press)



      Column: Close the gap by teaching social skills

      NATIONAL - In the last five years, in searching for superb inner-
      city education, I made a discovery: Almost all excellent schools
      teaching highly disadvantaged kids look very much alike - and quite
      different from most regular public schools. These schools combat
      what Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson has called "the greatest
      problem now facing African Americans." And that is "their isolation
      from the tacit norms of the dominant culture." This is how the best
      inner-city schools I know address that "isolation from the tacit
      norms of the dominant culture." In addition to an academically
      superb program, they demand that their students learn how to speak
      standard English. They also insist that kids show up on time,
      properly dressed; that they sit up straight at their desks, chairs
      pulled in, workbooks organized; that they never waste a minute in
      which they could be learning and always finish their homework; that
      they look at people to whom they are talking, listen to teachers
      with respect, treat classmates with equal civility, and shake hands
      with visitors to the school. (Los Angeles Times)



      System Change Goes to School: New Opportunities for Civic Leadership
      to Transform K-12 Education in American Cities

      NATIONAL - The future of cities depends on better schools.
      Acknowledging the now vast array of worthwhile school improvement
      efforts, a growing number among school reformers say that, while
      committed to public education, they no longer believe that mandating
      performance change within the same system will prove sufficient.
      Twenty years of trying this is enough, say the advocates of this new
      perspective, insisting that our cities cannot get the schools we
      need for the 21st century by only concentrating on changing the ones
      we have. The case they make to civic leaders calls for an open
      sector, for new "organizational space," so that new schools emerge
      to provide choices and more doors open to innovation. They say this
      is the opportunity to reshape the "industry" of schooling, to make
      teaching a true profession, to change the odds for kids not likely
      to succeed today. (CEOs for Cities)

      20Change%20Goes%20to%20School%20.pdf (see also "How Business and
      Civic Leaders Can Make a Big Difference in Public Education,"
      another CEOs for Cities report, at

      Making Change: Why Does the Social Sector Need Social Movements?

      NATIONAL - There have been scores of social movements in the United
      States - from the Civil Rights Movement to the Feminist Movement to
      the anti-tobacco and anti-drunk driving movements. The movements by
      themselves are not sufficient to generate innovation - existing
      nonprofits, policy entrepreneurs, and professionals must shepherd
      them along, bending a movement's framing for politicians, who in
      turn enact legislation. By looking at the example of the
      environmental movement, we can answer an important question: Why
      does the social sector need social movements? Social movements are a
      source of innovation in that they identify new client groups and new
      service needs that ought to be served. They make claims for what
      ought to be the public interest. In mobilizing these claims,
      movements not only make direct demands for legislative,
      professional, and organizational change, but they also change the
      discursive grounds of the larger society, diffusing messages about
      right behavior and relationships. (Stanford Social Innovation Review)

    • 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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