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  • edupreneurs_moderator
    Education News Bulletin 7.26.2004 CHARTERS AND CHOICE New charter high school to open in bungalows on Broadway School campus VENICE, Calif. – A new 525-seat
    Message 1 of 117 , Jul 26 3:41 PM
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      Education News Bulletin


      New charter high school to open in bungalows on Broadway School

      VENICE, Calif. – A new 525-seat charter high school is scheduled
      to open this fall on the campus of Broadway Elementary School, 1015
      Lincoln Blvd. in Venice. The school — to be called Animo Venice
      Charter High School — will enroll students primarily from three
      middle schools — Daniel Webster Middle School in West Los
      Angeles, Mark Twain Middle School in Mar Vista and Marina del Rey
      Middle School in the Del Rey area. The high school is scheduled to
      open in September with bungalow-style classrooms. The Los Angeles
      Unified School District board of education announced Tuesday, July
      13th, establishment of the high school, in partnership with Green
      Dot Public Schools. Green Dot is a network of charter public high
      schools founded in 1999 by Steve Barr, a State Board of Education
      appointee to the Advisory Commission on Charter Schools. (The


      Built for Quality: The Capacity Needed to Oversee Charter Schools

      NATIONAL – The term "authorizer" conveys an imposing
      sense of size and authority, but in the world of charter schools,
      the authorizer is often a small-scale office or, more commonly, a
      single employee for whom chartering is just one among many
      responsibilities amidst a large institution like a state or local
      board of education, university, or private nonprofit. Yet
      authorizing demands a range of capacities, some very new to the
      public-education arena. In this brief, we examine three capacity
      issues: the kinds of resources needed for effective authorizing; the
      challenges commonly encountered in securing these resources; and
      capacity-building strategies used by some leading authorizers to
      meet the demands of this work. (National Association of Charter
      School Authorizers)



      District Academy Turns Out Future Principals

      LOS ANGELES – Newly minted Assistant Principal Beatriz Sandoval
      has been on the job only since July 1, but she seems unfazed by the
      demands of helping to run a huge, crowded elementary school. "I feel
      well prepared and very supported," said Sandoval, who credits a new
      program of the Los Angeles Unified School District for smoothing her
      transition into the administrative ranks. Sandoval is one of the
      first group of aspiring school administrators to complete LEAD
      (Leadership Excellence through Administrator Development), which the
      district launched in September to help address a shortage of
      qualified principals. LEAD is the latest addition to the district's
      5-year-old Administrative Academy, originally formed to help school
      leaders already in increasingly complex and demanding jobs. LEAD
      aims to encourage teachers and others to become administrators. (Los
      Angeles Times)


      Hot For Teachers: John Kerry's quietly radical school reform plan

      NATIONAL – In schooling, a good teacher matters more than
      anything else. In June, Kerry gave a series of speeches on education
      that set him up for a battle with George Bush over what has become
      the president's signature domestic-policy issue. Many liberals had
      hoped that Kerry would attack the testing requirement set forth in
      Bush's No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which has become
      increasingly unpopular, especially among teachers' unions. But
      Kerry, who had voted for NCLB, instead challenged two longstanding,
      and fiercely defended, union prerogatives: seniority-based pay
      increases and rules virtually guaranteeing veteran teachers tenure.
      The candidate proposed a "new bargain"--a $30 billion, 10-year plan
      of federal grants which would allow districts to raise the pay of
      teachers whose students consistently test above average, while at
      the same time making it easier for schools to fire bad teachers. (By
      Jonathan Schorr for Washington Monthly)



      Yes, the Education President

      NATIONAL – NCLB, though not perfect, is a powerful instrument of
      reform in other ways. What's more, a new Bush-promoted school
      voucher program for Washington, D.C., may point the way toward
      further education reform in a second Bush term. Before NCLB, the
      public schools' failure to educate poor minority kids resulted in
      ever-increasing streams of federal money to local districts—more
      than $200 billion over the last four decades, disbursed with no
      questions asked. Now along comes Bush, requiring state and local
      districts to prove that the programs that federal dollars pay for
      have a solid scientific basis and actually work. (City Journal,
      published by the Manhattan Institute – article by Sol Stern)


      Bridging the Gap Between Poor and Privileged

      NATIONAL – Last spring, American Educator published research by
      Betty Hart and Todd Risley showing that, on average, low income
      parents spoke much less to their children (and spoke to them about a
      narrower range of topics using a smaller vocabulary) than did their
      higher-income counterparts. As a result, the average low-income
      child had heard 30 million fewer words than his higher income peers
      by the time he or she was just three years old. The obvious
      question: If this early word gap is a major source of the subsequent
      school achievement gap, what can be done? High quality early
      education programs can make up some of the difference. But consider
      how the achievement gap could be reduced if low-income parents were
      to begin interacting with their children in ways that greatly
      diminished this 30-million word gap. One program that attempts this
      stands out for its effectiveness, its research base, and its
      longevity: the Parent-Child Home Program. (American Educator, the
      AFT's quarterly journal)



      Column: Riordan's Isis gaffe signals a worrisome problem (by Peter

      CALIFORNIA – The overblown flap earlier this month about
      Education Secretary Richard Riordan's dumb joke at the expense of a
      6-year-old schoolgirl concealed a deeper and far more serious
      problem in the shaping of California's education policy. Is anybody
      in charge of California school affairs, and if so, does he or she
      really know what's going on? … Does the distractible Riordan - or
      indeed anybody in the Schwarzenegger administration - really
      understand how California's complex education system works or what
      it would take to improve it? Riordan, the governor's longtime
      friend, came to office in thrall to the one-size-fits-all theories
      of UCLA management professor William Ouchi, who's certain that if
      you just give nearly all budget control to school-site managers -
      the principal, teachers, parents - all will be well. (Sacramento Bee)


      Free California's School Districts

      SACRAMENTO, CA – Last month California legislators failed to
      repeal a law that transformed milk testers and billboard inspectors
      into safety workers on a par with police and firefighters, a failure
      that will cost the state more than $200 million over 20 years. But
      there are other bills equally worthy of concern, such as SB 1419,
      which costs taxpayers an estimated $300 million per year, hamstrings
      cash strapped school districts, and harms the prospects of students.
      Authored by Sen. Richard Alarcon and signed two years ago by Gray
      Davis, SB 1419 forbids school districts from contracting out with
      private firms for transportation and other services. It is a mandate
      for union labor and also a kind of prevailing wage law that, as in
      the building of schools, ensures that school transportation costs
      remain as high as possible. (by K. Lloyd Billingsley for the Pacific
      Research Institute)

      http://www.pacificresearch.org/pub/cap/2004/cap_04-07-22.html and
      posted to Apollo at https://apollo.newschools.org/gm/message-

      Romer's Contract Is Extended to 2007

      In a vote of confidence for Los Angeles schools Supt. Roy Romer, the
      Board of Education on Thursday extended his contract as leader of
      the nation's second-largest school system until 2007. Board
      President Jose Huizar said the action "brings stability to the
      district, which this district very much needs." Since he joined the
      Los Angeles Unified School District in 2000, Romer has launched a
      massive school building program and has pushed to improve academics.
      Elementary and middle schools have shown significant rises in
      standardized test scores, although high schools have lagged behind.
      Most details of the superintendent's contract will stay the same,
      including his annual salary of $250,000 and a $30,000 expense
      account for meals and entertainment. (LA Times)


      Virtual District, Real Improvement: A retrospective evaluation of
      the Chancellor's District, 1996-2003

      NEW YORK – This study is a retrospective analysis of the outcomes
      of the Chancellor's District, a virtual district created to improve
      New York City's most poorly performing public schools. New York City
      Schools Chancellor Rudy Crew initiated the district in 1996 to
      remove state-identified low-performing schools from their sub-
      district authorities, and to accelerate their improvement by
      imposing a centralized management structure, a uniform curriculum,
      and intensive professional development. The initiative was
      terminated in 2003 when a new, Mayoral-controlled regime
      restructured the city school system. The seven-year Chancellor's
      District initiative represents both an unprecedented intervention
      into New York City school governance, and a major challenge to
      several reigning theories about the relationship between centralized
      administration and local school change. (Institute for Education and
      Social Policy at the Steinhardt School of Education, New York

    • 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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