The Senate voted down a bill that would require background checks for gun purchases earlier this week. The bipartisan bill included school safety and mental health provisions that went down with the bill, as well, such as allowing school districts to partner with mental health centers. Politics K-12
Arne Duncan asked the question, if Congress can’t pass gun background checks, will it ever agree on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act? at Education Wek’s Leaders to Learn from event earlier this week. Duncan called the failure of Congress to pass the gun control legislation “extraordinarily disturbing.” Politics K-12
An elementary school in Denver is taking a unique approach to arts education: students listen to live instruments during what teachers call a “silent lunch.” NPR Read Entire Post
The U.S. Department of Education is equipped to hand out another $490 million in Race to the Top grants for districts with impressive education-improvement plans, along with states to improve early-learning opportunities. Politics K-12
Remediation courses before college isn’t altogether uncommon, but in Colorado it is becoming increasingly more common. Almost 40% of Colorado’s high school graduates need remedial instruction before entering college. Denver Post
Would longer school days improve student achievement and outcomes? Analysis of extended day programs in New York City, New Orleans, and Baltimore suggest student performance in mathematics has improved with increased classroom time. Education Week Read Entire Post
The debate over the proposed 20+ school closings in Washington, D.C. got louder today after a report shows the closures are unlikely to save much money in the 2013-14 school year. Washington Post
A new study shows that the more money parents provide their students for college, the lower the students’ grades tend to be. The connection between greater parental financial contributions and lower grades stayed steady across all kinds of four-year postsecondary institutions. New York Times
The Clark County School District in Denver is instituting an “open book” policy that will allow taxpayers to see exactly where money goes. It’s one of the first school districts in the nation to make its expenses and budget so accessible to the public. Education Week
We’re inundated with news stories on how the recession has negatively impacted recent college graduates attempting to enter the workforce. But is it really true, or is it a myth? The Atlantic Read Entire Post
Five states announced this morning that they will be increasing learning time in the classroom by 300 hours. The states – Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York & Tennessee, made this decision with the intention of increasing student achievement. New York Times
In DC, 20 schools will face closure next year. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson notes that while the closings will be painful, it will allow the District to reallocate resources to improve the quality of education. Similar scenarios are happening in Tucson, Ariz., Chicago and Philadelphia. Wall Street Journal
A judge in Louisiana has declared Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher overhaul unconstitutional. Specifically, the diversion of public money to the voucher program for private schools was ruled unconstitutional. The Times-Picayune
A Q&A session with Education Secretary Arne Duncan last Wednesday morning gives insights into his thinking on many hot-button topics, including common core. Eduwonk Read Entire Post
Hello and happy Monday! Neck-deep in TPS reports and playing catch-up? Let’s see if we can lighten that load for you by providing you with a short list of stories from this weekend and today that deserve your attention.
First, The Washington Post offers up this feature on “flipped” classrooms where students do their reading (or watch teacher-prepared lessons) at home and do their “homework” in class. This type of classroom set-up has found success with some students who do better having a teacher and classmates around to assist with applications of lesson concepts. Overall, if you haven’t heard of flipped classrooms yet (and we hope you have), then this article is a good primer.Read Entire Post
In a recent Huffington Post op-ed, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan comments on a new teacher pay study, saying it asks the wrong questions, ignores facts, insults teachers, and demeans the profession.
Education Week reports that in the second round of the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition, the U.S. Department of Education has identified 23 finalists.
In a republican debate on CNBC last night, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that when he gets into office, he would get rid of three federal agencies, though he could only name two: “Commerce, Education, and the—what’s the third one there?” and then Perry trailed off—this according to Education Week and the Washington Post.Read Entire Post
In today's video blog, I talk about my recent trip to Denver, CO to visit Skinner Middle School and the Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts. I explain how these schools are using elements of Deeper Learning, the delivery of rich core content in innovative ways, to improve student achievement. On Thursday, March 26 2011, the Alliance for Excellent Education will hold an event and releasing a paper on Deeper Learning in Washington, DC. To find out more details or to RSVP, visit: http://media.all4ed.org/briefing-may-26.Read Entire Post
In Colorado, a new accountability system shows that two-thirds of the state's schools are getting top grades, but 5 percent are in academic trouble, according to the Denver Post.
Some key teachers are leery of a new Louisiana law pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal that will link the job status of about 52,000 public school teachers to how students fare in math, English and other courses, The Advocate reports.
According to The Richmond Times-Dispatch, the opening of schools and colleges pushed down the unemployment rate in the Richmond area in September, and other metro areas in Virginia also saw jobless rates dip.
In Texas some students are finding that not all colleges accept dual-credit hours earned in high school, the Dallas Morning News reports.Read Entire Post
On Sunday, 16 school district chiefs, including New York’s Joel Klein and Washington’s Michelle Rhee published a manifesto entitled how to fix our schools in the Washington Post.
The Associated Press reports on a new analysis that finds states appropriated almost $6.2 billion for four-year colleges and universities between 2003 and 2008 to help pay for the education of students who didn't return for year two.
In an op-ed in the Charlotte Observer, Erskine Bowles, outgoing president of the University of North Carolina system, writes, “Ineffective teaching hurts our students - and ultimately, it hurts all of us” and points to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as an example of best practices.
On Monday, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the creation of a program that will provide grants to organizations to expand the reach of their education technology initiatives. Education Week blogger Ian Quillen reports that the Next Generation Learning Challenges program is releasing its first in a series of requests to solicit funding proposals for technology initiatives, with the first round focused specifically on postsecondary education.
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Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education announced $442 million in teacher incentive fund grants and 62 winners from 27 states. According to the Department’s release, the winning applicants represent rural and urban school districts as well non-profit groups and state education organizations. The program seeks to strengthen the education profession by rewarding excellence, attracting teachers and principals to high-need and hard to staff areas, and providing all teachers and principals with the feedback and support they need to succeed.
"Nothing is more important than great teaching. These grants will help schools build a culture that celebrates excellence in the classroom and helps all teachers improve their practice," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
To see a list of winners, click here. And to see how these grant programs will (or in some cases will not) play out on a district-level, check out excerpts from a few state-level papers:
Top-level teachers in select Jefferson County schools could be paid more than $100,000 a year under a pilot program funded by a new $32.8 million federal grant. The program would make some educators working in a handful of high-poverty schools the highest-paid public school teachers in Colorado. Jefferson County's pilot pay system will roll out in the 2011-12 academic year in a few schools — changing the base pay of all teachers, providing up to $10,000 in annual performance bonuses and creating "master teachers."
"We're changing the norms," said Superintendent Cindy Stevenson. "The profession has to change. If we don't do it, someone else will do it to us."
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