Here are today's top education headlines courtesy of our policy intern, Bill DeBaun:
I hope the good folks at Education Week are off today (though I know they're not), because they rolled out a bevy of great content over the weekend. Let's try to stave off any looming Cases of the Mondays out there with some education-related news!
Here at the Alliance, we're big proponents of meshing technology and education in the classroom. But technology is also useful for enhancing professional development. Education Week has a series of articles, under the heading "Virtual PD Creates Connections," about just this intersection of technology and teacher development. Take, for example, this article about professional learning networks, "online communities that allow the sharing of lesson plans, teaching strategies, and student work, as well as collaboration across grade levels and departments," that are becoming increasingly popular. Teachers can also use sites like Edmodo as teaching tools to engage students in conversations and disseminate homework and class notes.
Another article in the "Virtual PD" series takes a look at "hybrid professional-development", which blends technological and traditional approaches, and which allows districts to cut costs and embed "small chunks" of professional development into teachers' every day practice. Similar online professional development opportunities are also increasingly available to administrators.Read Entire Post
The New York Times reports on using social media in the classroom to encourage student participation. According to the story, some teachers say “social media, once kept outside the school door, can entice students who rarely raise a hand to express themselves via a medium they find as natural as breathing.” A 17-year old student interviewed in the story said, “When we have class discussions, I don’t really feel the need to speak up or anything. When you type something down, it’s a lot easier to say what I feel.”
State Superintendent Jorea Marple wants more West Virginia schools to adopt a year-round calendar, according to the Charleston Daily Mail.
The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board lauds an ambitious education reform package passed by the Illinois Senate and House, writing, “This bill is good for Illinois teachers and, far better yet, good for Illinois schoolchildren.”Read Entire Post
Unlocking the Power of Expanded Learning Time: Year Two Report on TASC ELT from America’s Promise Alliance. This report highlights the second year of its three-year Expanded Learning Time pilot and introduces a new Grad Tracker tool under production. The Grad Tracker tool uses the “ABCs” indicators to identify kids at risk for school failure and measures whether elementary and middle school students are on track to graduate on time from high school.
Changing Tires En Route: Michigan Rolls Out Millions in School Improvement Grants from the Center on Education Progress. This study examines Michigan's early implementation of the ARRA School Improvement Grant funds, including how many and what type of schools are receiving funding, the school improvement models being implemented, and the type of assistance provided by the state and districts to help improve low-performing schools. The report includes case studies on three SIG-participating schools: Lincoln High School (Van Dyke Public Schools), Romulus Middle School (Romulus Community School District), and Phoenix Multi-Cultural Academy (Detroit Public Schools).Read Entire Post
In Forbes magazine, Michael Horn suggests that online learning would be a more affordable alternative to extended learning time.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to limit the collective bargaining rights of public employees was widely covered this morning with a story in Education Week and two opinion pieces in the Wall Street Journal.
The New York Times reports that the American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten announced a plan yesterday to overhaul how teachers are evaluated and dismissed.
The Texas Tribune asks do Texas schools spend too much on administration?Read Entire Post
The New York Times reports on a new study suggesting that the achievement gap separating black from white students is even bleaker than genrally known.
A Maryland legislative committee voted Monday to reject a new regulation requiring that half of teachers' evaluations be based on student progress, calling into question the future of a $250 million federal Race to the Top grant, the Washington Post reports. Also from the Post - Extended school days under consideration in District public system.
Education Week finds that collaborations are popping up across the country between charter and traditional public schools and showing promise that charter schools could fulfill their original purpose of becoming research-and-development hothouses for public education. Education Week also reports on a handful of school districts, some with the approval of their local teachers’ unions, that are experimenting with alternatives to the fundamental components that govern teachers’ base-pay raises.Read Entire Post
Total number of schools in Illinois that meet the national average of 180 full days of school this year: 1.-Chicago Tribune
Each generation of younger women in the United States is continuing to reach higher levels of postsecondary attainment, while the attainment levels of younger men are falling. –American Council on Education
Seventy percent of students seeking degrees at California's community colleges did not manage to attain them or transfer to four-year universities within six years. -Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy at California State University Sacramento
Today, 14 percent of Americans over the age of 16 -- about 30 million people -- have trouble with basic reading and writing skills and cannot read well enough to fill out a job application, follow a prescription, or even read a simple children's story.-Mike Castle during a House Education and Labor Committee, Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee Hearing last yearRead Entire Post
Eric Hanushek, a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, writes “There is No ‘War on Teachers’” in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
The Chicago Tribune editorial board finds that Illinois public schools are suffering from too little class time.
In four months, Memphis City Schools Supt. Kriner Cash expects to identify as many as 50 schools to close or consolidate next year as he cuts district expenditures and streamlines schools where enrollment has plummeted in some cases to less than half capacity, according to the Commercial Appeal.
Washington state educators are hosting a series of public meetings to gather feedback on adopting the common core state standards.
In the November issue of the Smithsonian magazine, G. Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian, discusses the role of technology in education.
The Minnesota Post reports that underperforming MPS schools try longer days but experts say success will depend on how the extra time is spent.
The Las Vegas Sun reports on the life of homeless students in Clark County School District.
In the Wall Street Journal chairman and CEO of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch explains how American Idol has tougher standards than the American school system.
The Washington Post editorial board reflects on the Education Jobs Fund writing, “So urgent was the supposed need for Congress to forestall a catastrophic loss of teacher jobs that the House was called back from its summer recess and money looted from the food stamp program. That money is now flowing to the states, but since, for many, the crisis was less dramatic than had been described, local school districts are now looking for creative ways to use the money. Let's hope that they are smarter than those who engineered this boondoggle and that they do not waste taxpayer dollars on programs that can't be sustained or policies that don't work.”
Read Entire Post
Maryland's high school testing requirements were designed to increase rigor and the value of the state's diplomas, but only a tiny fraction of seniors this year failed to graduate because of their exam results, and an increasing number of students are using alternative assessments because they have difficulty passing the regular tests, the Washington Post reports.
In his Straight Up blog, Rick Hess writes, “The only condition Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg attached to his $100 million gift to Newark Public Schools was that Governor Chris Christie give control of the schools to Newark Mayor Cory Booker. And now it appears Christie lacks the statutory authority to do so.”
Education Daily finds that the link between student achievement and U.S. global economic competitiveness engages voters most when they consider education issues as a factor in their 2010 voting.
Teacher unions in California angrily denounce an agreement that would result in sweeping changes to teacher seniority protections in the nation's second-largest school system, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney highlights the substantial educational progress that school chief Andres Alonso has made in Baltimore city schools.
The August Chronicle reports that Georgia school systems probably can't afford longer school days.