Detroit Public Schools embraced a new strategic plan that aims to keep the district competitive with charter schools and employ budget friendly measures. The plan’s title is “Neighborhood-Centered, Quality Schools,” and calls for longer learning times, expanded pre-kindergarten programs, and fewer school closings. Education Week
Should students be required to take and pass algebra II in order to graduate from high school? This question is at the center of debates on graduation requirements in Texas. The state legislature is considering more flexible requirements that would not include the advanced math course. The Texas Tribune
Tenacity and self-control are learning competencies that some schools and districts will emphasize in coming years. New research shows that fortitude may be a key to student achievement. Philly.com Read Entire Post
New research sheds light on how effective online learning is. The large-scale Columbia study found that online instruction improved student achievement in sex, drugs, and health studies. The findings indicate that with the often taboo nature of the subjects, students are more comfortable sharing and asking questions outside of a traditional classroom. The Hechinger Report
In feel good news of the day, a 7th-grade journalism prodigy interviewed First Lady Michelle Obama for the cover story for Sports Illustrated Kids. She has interviewed celebrities and athletes in the past. She said Ms. Obama is the easiest interview she’s ever had. Indy Star
President Obama’s education budget proposal would invest heavily in pre-kindergarten and put money into transforming high schools, among other things. Politics K-12 Read Entire Post
It's Thursday, which means it's time to talk digital learning! The following blog post comes from Jeremy Macdonald, the Integrated Technology Systems Coordinator for Bend-La Pine Schools in Bend, Oregon.
As of this Monday, April 15, I will be the new Integrated Technology Systems Coordinator for Bend-La Pine Schools in Bend, OR. It's a new job for me and a big move for my family. It's been bittersweet. As time has passed getting ready at home and at school, I have reflected on my experience here in Klamath, the last seven years, and what it will mean to leave my school.Read Entire Post
Everyone's Getting Straight A's: OECD Test Compares Individual Schools to Highest-Performing Nations
We're back at you with another issue of Straight A's, the Alliance for Excellent Education's bi-weekly newsletter! As always, you can read the entire articles online, or you can sign up to receive Straight A's in your inbox by emailing JAmos@all4ed.org. Here are the highlights.
President Obama releasd his budget proposal today, but will he be able to convince Congress his plan is as good as he believes it to be? The congressional budget resolution is a nonbinding spending blueprint that sets monetary limits for the spending and tax legislation that the U.S. Congress will consider for the rest of the year. It does not require presidential approval and only the grand total of the discretionary spending laid out in the final budget resolution is binding on the appropriations committees. Nonetheless, the congressional budget resolution is an important step in the budgeting process because it provides guidance to the chairmen of the appropriations committees on how to divide resources among various federal departments and agencies, and sets the stage for the twelve annual appropriations bills that must be passed by Congress and signed by the president. Congressional Budget Resolutions
A large percentage of American middle-class high schools have not kept pace with countries like Singapore, Finland, Korea, and Germany that have raised standards, invested in teachers, and lifted their overall performance, according to a new report from America Achieves. The report, Middle Class or Middle of the Pack?: What Can We Learn When Benchmarking U.S. Schools Against the World’s Best?, finds that middle-class American fifteen-year-olds are “significantly” outperformed by their peers in twenty-four countries in math and fifteen countries in science based on a pilot study involving 105 American high schools that administered a new test known as the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Test for Schools (based on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)). The test measures students’ abilities to apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems, the kinds of deeper learning necessary to succeed in college and the workplace. Middle Class or Middle of the Pack?
The Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment in Education (the Gordon Commission) recently issued a public policy statement based on its two-plus years of work designed to “stimulate a productive national conversation about assessment and its relationship to teaching and learning.” Transforming Assessment
School districts and states must find affordable and feasible ways to improve student assessments so that they measure high-level skills and knowledge, a new report from the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education finds. The report, Developing Assessments of Deeper Learning: The Costs and Benefits of Using Tests that Help Students Learn, provides data on what states and districts currently spend on tests; examines the failings of current multiple-choice tests; and analyzes the costs and opportunities of creating, implementing, and scoring assessments that ensure students are equipped with twenty-first-century competencies. Developing Assessments of Deeper LearningRead Entire Post
This Project 24 series blog post was written by Gail Pletnick, Superintendent of Dysart Unified School District in Arizona. Gail is a member of the Project 24 Team of Experts.
Over the past few years, most school districts, including the Dysart Unified School District, have faced funding challenges as well as challenging changes to academic mandates. Some districts have used that as a reason to turn away from implementing digital learning initiatives -- the cost for equipment and training was too much. What our Dysart community learned, however, is that these challenging times often provide an opportunity to become more focused and innovative.Read Entire Post
A bipartisan bill focused on improving mental health in schools is slated to be considered by the Senate education panel tomorrow. Senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) are sponsoring the bill. Politics K-12
A lot of focus has been given to the student debt crisis. But what about the amount of debt owed by college-goers who don’t complete their programs? New federal data focuses on debt incurred by noncompleters. National Center for Education Statistics
Obama released his budget plan today, and it includes a $300 million increase for high school reform, along with $659 million for School Turnaround Grants. The White House
Georgia will receive $17.2 million in federal grant money to improve consistently low-performing schools, as part of the School Improvement Grants program under the U.S. Department of Education. Education Week Read Entire Post
The Common Core State Standards, set to be implemented in 45 states next year, expect students to be competent typists by fourth grade. Keyboarding replaces cursive in many areas, and some states are opting to include a cursive writing requirement. The Star-Herald
A Kenyan Maasai warrior studying at Clemson University talked with students at the University of Georgia as part of a cultural exchange program. He had to run nine miles each way to receive an education. He hopes to return to Kenya with the skills and knowledge to make education more accessible to children in his village and community. The Red and Black
Student loan interest rates will rise from the current 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1 if Congress does not half the increase. Student advocacy groups released an issue brief calling for the federal government not to profit from student loans. New York Times Read Entire Post
The following blog posts comes from Ashley Cheung, a policy intern at the Alliance for Excellent Education. Ms. Cheung is a graduate student in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University.
My interest in the relationship between education and law was sparked by one of my graduate courses that took a deep dive into the world of Supreme Court cases starting with Brown v. Board. The timing of this course couldn’t have been better- the oral arguments of the Fisher v. University of Texas case were being heard, and I have been glued on this topic ever since. I want to take this opportunity to introduce what the case is about, and ask you how you feel about court cases that take into account race as a factor in admissions. Think about it.Read Entire Post
A new study finds that the best performing schools have principals who have been there for at least six years. The study examines how school leadership impacts student achievement. Education Next
Despite debates on teacher pensions and performance evaluations, teacher retention is rising in New York City. New data shows that more than 80% of public schoolteachers have at least five years of experience, compared to two-thirds of educators with the same amount of experience in 2002. Wall Street Journal
The Georgia Department of Education will begin assigning number grades to schools in an effort to move beyond standardized tests and give parents the more information possible. They’re calling the new system the College and Career Ready Performance Index. The grades range from zero to 100. Education Week Read Entire Post
Ohio State University students might think they’re getting an easy lift to class when a golf cart pulls up beside them, but what they’re actually getting is a trip in “Buck$ Bus,” in which they’re quizzed on financial aid and budgeting. The inspiration for the game comes from the Discovery Channel’s show, Cash Cab. The Columbus Dispatch
The Obama administration released details on how they plan to pay for the universal pre-kindergarten program highlighted in the President’s State of the Union earlier this year. Money will come from increased revenue from raised tobacco taxes. Politics K-12
Massachusetts parents are outraged over a story that broke earlier this week, in which as many as 25 students were told to throw away their lunch because they could not pay for it. The director of the food service company that denied the children their lunches was placed on administrative leave. Education Week Read Entire Post