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
Providence, Massachusetts received a $5 million prize in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, and they plan to use it to study the “word gap,” or how the difference in the amount of language a baby is exposed to advances their academic success. They’ll give low-income families recording devices to calculate how many words the children hear, compared to higher-income families, and coach parents on how to boost language exposure. The Boston Globe
The U.S. Department of Education will pre-screen applications for the fourth round of the Investing in Innovation grants. The awards are worth $3 million and are part of the larger $150 million contest. The deadline to apply is April 26th, and the contest looks for innovative ideas to solve problems in education. Politics K-12
New analysis shows that teachers may be some of the happiest professionals, despite recent debates on teacher pensions, salaries, and performance reviews. The research examined teachers’ “well-being,” measured by physical and emotional health, job satisfaction, and feelings of community and safety. Physicians ranked second after teachers. New York Times 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
"You're not special."
That's the headline-grabbing line from a commencement speech at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts given by David McCullough Jr. (son of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author David McCullough).
But, aside from his diatribe against weddings in the opening paragraph, the address offers quite a bit of useful advice for high school graduates and, at the very least, should be somewhat memorable for the graduates--unlike the commencement address at my high school graduation, which was given by a local Divison III college football coach.Read Entire Post
The Sunshine News in Florida takes a look at Florida’s graduation rate and how it was calculated.
The New York Times writes about computers and cellphones and the constant stream of stimuli they offer as well as the challenges that they present to focusing and learning. Also in the Times, columnist Thomas Friedman discusses Arne Duncan’s “national teacher campaign”, an effort to take the profession much more seriously and elevate it to where it should be.
In the Providence Journal, education columnist Julia Steiny writes, “Written word builds bridges between school and home.”Read Entire Post
During the mid-term elections, thirty-seven governors' races were decided, along with seven state schools superintendents' contests. Eleven states, plus the District of Columbia, hosted board of education races. And 6,115 legislative seats were on the ballot in 46 states. –Education Week
Baltimore public school system’s on-time graduation rate for black males increased from 51 percent in the 2006-07 school year to 57.3 percent in the 2009-10 school year—a 12.4 percent increase. Its overall graduation rate increased from 60 percent in 2006-07 to 66 percent in 2009-10—a 10 percent rise. Black students make up 87.8 percent of the district’s enrollment. –Baltimore public schools
In Massachusetts, charter school enrollment has climbed to 27,484 this year, up from 12,518 in 2000. The number of charter schools has grown from 40 to 63 in the same span. –Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
On Saturday the Wall Street Journal ran a piece by Michelle Rhee and Adrian Fenty entitled The Education Manifesto. In the essay, they wrote , “Four years ago, we both found a cause that inspired us to work hard every day. Reformers nationwide need to take up that mantle. Now is not the time to go soft on tough decisions. Fixing our schools will require courage and persistence, but young lives are at stake. What could be more worth the risks?”
The Boston Herald reports that the number of Massachusetts children attending charter schools has more than doubled in the past decade, reflecting national trends.
A story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution examines the costs of remedial education at Georgia’s colleges.
One month after school districts in New Jersey received their share of $268 million to bring laid off teachers back to the classroom from the Education Jobs Fund, most districts have not hired anyone and are socking the money away for next year, according to The Star-Ledger.Read Entire Post
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."
Read Entire Post
Education Week reporter Alyson Klein interviews Rep. John Kline on ESEA, Race to the Top, and common standards.
Several key reforms in Race to the Top winning states hinge on the effectiveness of data systems, but the judges and outside experts worry states could face some heavy lifting to ensure their data systems keep up with their policy plans, Education Week reports.
According to the Washington Post, two D.C. Council members said Tuesday that they will press mayoral primary winner Vincent C. Gray and Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee to negotiate an "extended transition" that could keep her in the job until the end of the 2011-12 school year.
The editorial staff at the Star Advertiser (HI) thinks the state board’s selection of Kathryn Matayoshi as permanent superintendent to head the embattled Department of Education is a cause for hope.
The number of public school districts and schools not making adequate yearly progress in Kansas under No Child Left Behind increased significantly this year, according to The Lawrence World Journal.
The Boston Globe reports that MCAS test scores released yesterday show that more Massachusetts schools than ever are failing to measure up to federal achievement standards, with 57 percent out of compliance.
And in Pennsylvania, more than eight in 10 schools met the required academic goals for the federal No Child Left Behind law in 2010, according to The Patriot-News.
Patrick Welsh, an English teacher at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, explains why he thinks schools can’t manage poverty in USA Today.
More than 40 percent of Chicago’s public high schools are failing, according to the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Public Schools’ internal documents.
In California, a civil liberties group is suing the state over charges incurred by public school students to use textbooks or take required tests or courses. The group is arguing that the state has failed to protect the right to a free public education. Read more in a story in today’s New York Times.
According to the latest results of a teaching licensing exam in Connecticut, colleges and universities that train new teachers are producing too many graduates who don't know how to teach children to read.
More than one-third of Massachusetts students evaluated during the 2008-2009 school year were overweight or obese, according to a report released yesterday.
Yesterday, the Department of Education recognized 304 schools as 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools.Read Entire Post