Happy Friday, everyone! In case you missed it, it's three-day-weekend eve. Congratulations, you made it. We won't keep you long, just enough to give you some tidbits to weigh on your well-earned break.
From Reuters: in the American drive to boost science and math education, it's science that has all the kid-friendly sizzle: Robots and roller coasters, foaming chemical reactions, marshmallow air cannons. Math has... well, numbers.
From Education Week: a new GAO report argues that the U.S. Department of Education needs to do a better job of making sure that the performance of contractors hired through the School Improvement Grant program is reviewed. And according to the report released by the Government Accountability Office (Congress' investigative arm) the Education Department must also improve on making sure states have the information they need to make grant renewal decisions.Read Entire Post
NPR finishes out its five-part series “School’s Out: America’s Dropout Crisis” with this story:
Part 5: A High School Dropout’s Midlife HardshipsRead Entire Post
Today, the people who seem to be hurting the most in our sputtering economy are dropouts in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
As states tally their standardized test scores and graduation rates this summer, they are feeling the squeeze of the 2001 No Child Left Behind law, which Congress has failed to revamp since it came up for reauthorization in 2007, reports the Huffington Post.
According to Maine's Bangor Daily News, Gov. Paul LePage issued an order yesterday that takes a first step toward giving the state’s students the option of a five-year high school education.
In another Bangor Daily News article, author and education expert Tony Wagner is quoted from his keynote address at a conference at the University of Maine, during which he talked about the education system built in the past century and how it is failing today’s students.
NPR continues its series “School’s Out: America’s Dropout Crisis” with this fourth story in the five-part series:
Part 4: Despite Interventions, No-Show Students Drop OutRead Entire Post
In Baltimore, the vast majority of kids who never finish school drop out because of extreme poverty, homelessness, and a drug epidemic that has left some neighborhoods desolate and dangerous. In the toughest neighborhoods, kids miss lots of school days, and that puts them at risk of dropping out. Now, Baltimore’s efforts are driven toward reaching these children early.
The Huffington Post writes that Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), a former superintendent of Denver’s public schools, sees the holdup on overhauling No Child Left Behind as having little to do with education and everything to do with politics: “I’ve learned more about how schools work than how the United States Senate works … For the life of me, it’s hard to see why we can’t make progress on this.”
As part of NPR’s special series “School’s Out: America’s Dropout Crisis,” Claudio Sanchez tells the first three stories in the five-part series:
Read Entire Post
Part 1: From Drug Dealing To Diploma, A Teen’s Struggle
No statistic in education is more damning than the nation’s dropout rate. Almost four million students start ninth grade every year. One in four won’t graduate.
Part 2: A Young Mom Resists A Cycle Of Failure
Of the million or so kids who drop out of school every year, nearly half are girls. They drop out for the same reasons boys do: they skip school, fall behind academically and they’re bored. But the single biggest reason girls drop out is because they get pregnant.
Of more than 100,000 public schools in the United States, about 300 recently have faced suspicions, allegations and, in some cases hard proof, that teachers and administrators cheated to inflate standardized test scores. The Washington Post reports on questions raised in these incidents that have sent tremors through the movement to hold schools and teachers accountable for student achievement through annual testing.
According to an article in Education Week, South Korea plans to replace paper textbooks with digital content.
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According to the Associated Press, at least three states are vowing to ignore the latest requirements under the No Child Left Behind law in an act of defiance against the federal government that demonstrates their growing frustration over an education program they say sets unrealistic benchmarks for schools.
Education Week writes about the new guidelines on crafting curriculum materials for the common standards in English/language arts that are reigniting debate about how to ensure a marketplace of good instructional materials for the new standards without crossing the line into telling teachers how to teach.
The Los Angeles Times reports on a new study that finds California’s higher education system is in decline, with fewer students able to afford college, falling college participation rates and dwindling state support.
Education Week writes about a new initiative that targets “school-to-prison” pipeline.
Test Scores, Schools, and Expectations: The Up, the Down, and the Stagnate
The Hattiesburg American reports that test scores released by the Mississippi Department of Education on July 19 show public school students improved on MCT2 and Subject Area Test (SATP) scores, compared to last year.
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Education Week reports on a new education reform bill introduced yesterday by House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) that will provide states and districts with "unprecedented leeway" to move around federal money. The bill is the latest in a series of bills to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind. However, the measure is already being decried by Representative George Miller (D-CA), the top Democrat on the committee, as a "backdoor" way to dismantle the U.S. Department of Education and an attack on students' civil rights.
Education Week also reports that recent federal investments in teacher residency programs are "illuminating both promising developments and growing pains for the schools of education implementing the more hands-on approach to training."
Nashville Public Radio covers an interview with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, who says he'd like for Congress to work out a "new solution" that replaces the No Child Left Behind program. "The federal government setting the bar high for us is good," he says. "In the end, I think states should be able to say ‘Here's what we think. Let us grade ourselves. Now that you've raised the bar for us, let us do that.' And the states that set the bar the highest, that grade themselves the hardest, are going to do the best."
Below the jump, you'll find news articles on digital learning, an op-ed from former Intel CEO Craig Barrett calling for higher standards, the elimination of a writing test for Illinois's high school juniors, and the "bizarre game of musical chairs" that teachers from low-performing schools perform to find a job.Read Entire Post
Writing for Education Week's K-12 blog, Alyson Klein notes that Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, is less than thrilled with the response from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to his request for more information about the department's plan to give states leeway on parts of the No Child Left Behind Act in exchange for signing onto a package of reforms-to-be-named-later. Summarizing Duncan's response, she writes, "If you expected the department to provide Kline & Co. with a thorough, detailed explanation of the waiver proposal, you'll be sorely disappointed. "
In another post from earlier this afternoon, Klein (the reporter) writes that Kline (the congressman) gave a preview of the House Education and the Workforce's funding flexibility bill today on former Education Secretary Bill Bennett's radio show, Morning in America. And he said that the bill won't be introduced with bipartisan support. More details on the bill are expected to come out this afternoon. You can listen to audio from Chairman Kline's radio appearance at http://edworkforce.house.gov/Audio/.
Now that your speakers are warmed up, you can also listen to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talk to NPR about No Child Left Behind, the plan aimed to improve failing public schools; as well as the Dream Act, which would create a path to citizenship for some undocumented youth.
More links below the jump.Read Entire Post
Here are today's morning announcements.
First, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline challenged U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's plans to override provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act and said he would "use a House rewrite of it this year to rein in the secretary's influence on America's schools," the New York Times reports. The article adds that Kline sent Duncan a letter on Thursday demanding that he explain by July 1 the legal authority that he believed he had to issue the waivers.
National Public Radio has a great article on the Khan Academy. Salman Khan, former hedge fund analyst, started creating videos to help tutor his cousin in math. Those videos became so popular, he quit his job with the hedge fund to work on them full time. Now his online Khan Academy offers more than 2,100 videos and attracts scores of teachers and students.
In Education Week, former U.S. Secretary of Education Richad Riley, a member of the Alliance's President's Policy Council, writes about the "skyboxing" of education. A phenomenon in which students, like their socioeconomic peers at sporting events, are "buffered from realities most students face by their well-appointed educational accommodations." At the same time, Riley writes, the vast majority of students "sit in the equivalent of bleacher seats, or they are stuck behind a pillar, squinting to see their teachers in overcrowded classrooms."
The Associated Press reports on new data from the U.S. Department of Education finding that the achievement gap between Hispanic and white students is the same today as it was in the early 1990s, despite two decades of accountability reforms.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Joel Klein, former chancellor of New York City's public schools and current CEO of News Corporation's educational division, and Jeb Bush, Republican governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007 and co-chair of the Digital Learning Council with Alliance President Bob Wise, make the case for common standards.
Not necessarily education-related, but it's Friday so I'll allow it. The Wall Street Journal reports that the average American aged 15 or older spent just under 4 hours working on weekdays, a six minute decrease from 2009 and down 26 minutes from 2007. The article blames the decrease on the recession, but notes that Americans are sleeping more and watchin a lot more television with their spare time rather than working on the next great American novel.
Any headlines that we missed? Feel free to include them in the comments section.Read Entire Post