Competitive grant programs have received the lion’s share of the federal government’s K-12 budget under President Obama, in large part because Senate Democrats have continued to finance it. But what about formula grants that every school district receives for Title 1 and special education? They have been flat-funded in Senate appropriations bills. Politics K-12
An Alabama bill that could repeal the adoption of the Common Core State Standards made headway this week. State Republicans are behind the bill that got voted out of committee. Alabama.com
Philadelphia School District plans to launch an online school this summer called the Philadelphia Virtual Academy. They would adopt a blended learning approach where students learn both online and in-person from teachers. The Notebook Read Entire Post
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
Jon Stewart responds to critics of pre-kindergarten funding in this video. The Daily Show
Students in Iowa who were excited to visit the White House for a tour are feeling the impact of sequestration, as all tours have been suspended due to the budget cuts. However, the Easter Egg Roll is still a go. Education Week
Philadelphia officials voted to close 23 schools as public education supporters rallied on Thursday to save them. More than a dozen people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges. Education Week
Diane Ravitch, an education historian and modern reform critic, has begun her own education advovacy organization, named Network for Public Education. The organization will support candidates who oppose high-stakes testing, mass school closures, and a move towards charter schools. Politics K-12 Read Entire Post
Recently released D.C. school data shows that charter schools expel students at a higher rate than traditional schools. Washington Post
A Pennsylvania school district accounting error has resulted in a loss of millions of dollars in the current budget. Reading School District is looking at a $15.6 million shortfall. A possible consequence is an inability to make its payroll payment in March. 69 News Pennsylvania
The 2011 Progress is International Reading Literacy Study, or PIRLS in reading is administered to 4th-graders annually. This year, results show that schools with disciplinary issues did not show as great academic achievement as schools without safety problems. Education Week
Multiple school districts around the country are introducing school shooter training sessions, with the goal of preparing staff to respond in any situation. NPR Read Entire Post
The Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force on K-12 Education has put together a list of what the best stories the media has covered in education in 2012 and the worst. Charter schools and teachers’ unions claim the top two “hit” spots, while teachers’ pensions and Common Core State Standards lead on the “misses” list. Hoover Institution
Earlier this week, Alliance president, Bob Wise, wrote about the upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Ending the school-to-prison pipeline.” Here’s an overview and wrap up of the hearing. Washington Post
Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite revealed a sweeping plan to overhaul the system. The plan includes closing or relocating 44 schools. Nearly 17,000 students will move to new schools. Education Week
The National Assessment of Educational Progress is building a “comprehensive new way to gauge socioeconomic status,” that will help determine, beyond a traditional look at family income, a student’s family, community and school supports for learning. Education WeekRead Entire Post
On-time graduation rates for DC high schoolers has risen to 61 percent this year, up from 59 last year. This comes a year after new, more rigorous standards for reporting graduation rates were implemented. Washington Post
US Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan spoke to Education Trust’s national conference last night, making it his first postelection speech. He focused on No Child Left Behind waivers. Will we see this as a major focus of his next four years? Politics K-12
The fiscal situation for Philadelphia schools couldn’t be more dire. The Philadelphia School Reform Commission approved a move to borrow $300 million to keep schools running – that is, to pay teachers, buy books for the school year and keep buildings up and running. Philly.com
Is there a generational divide between teachers? New research from the Boston-based policy organization Teach Plus shows that there may be. Younger teachers – those with fewer than 10 years of experience, are more likely to support student performance-based pay and other reform initiatives that veteran teachers may not. Ed Week
The Khan Academy in Silicon Valley has 10 million students, and teachers them all through online videos. The man behind the Academy – Salmon Khan, believes he can offer a worldclass education to anyone, anywhere. ForbesRead Entire Post
Happy Friday and welcome to your afternoon announcements! It’s a beautiful day here in Washington, and we hope wherever you are it’s equally nice. We’ll keep Announcements short and sweet today so you can get your week wrapped up right!
First, some sobering news out of Reading, Pennsylvania from The Huffington Post, which is statistically one of America’s poorest cities. A low tax base and state education funding cuts have made it impossible for Reading to rehire positions left vacant by retirees and have also forced the district to issue pink slips and cut programs. Unfortunately, stories like this are prevalent across the country right now as state and local governments struggle to find ways to fund public education.Read Entire Post
Lots going on over here at the Alliance for Excellent Education, hence the reason your Afternoon Announcements are getting to you so late. We’ve got some tidbits here for you in the word of education news, so buckle in and hold on!
First, Education Week revisits the Alliance’s recently released report Culture Shift: Teaching in a Learner-Centered Environment Powered By Digital Learning as well as a panel from the Content in Context conference from the Association of Educational Publishers and Association of American Publishers School Division. The commentary examines the important question “How Can Teachers Create a Learner Centered Environment?”Read Entire Post
We’re back with another edition of Stats That Stick. Do you have any particularly sticky stats from this week? Leave them for us in the comments!
Number of states that have been approved for a No Child Left Behind Waiver: 17
With yesterday’s approval of eight more NCLB waivers, the number of states who have been awarded flexibility from the current iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act stands at 17. 26 additional states and the District of Columbia still have pending waiver requests, according to the Associated PressRead Entire Post
The following blog post comes from Gerald W. Aungst, supervisor of gifted and elementary mathematics in the School District of Cheltenham Township in Pennsylvania.
In January of 2012, Wyncote Elementary School in Cheltenham began conversations about the upcoming Digital Learning Day scheduled for February 1. The principal, Dr. Crystal Clark, had asked the staff to think about how they could integrate technology into their teaching. Wyncote has teachers who she knew were highly fluent in technology use and others who she knew were becoming anxious at the thought. Not unlike many schools.
She was pleased with the response she got. “There was a willingness to share their tricks of the trade,” says Clark. “Teachers can live a very isolated existence, and everybody just assumes that they know.”
Her request sparked conversations among the teachers. They discussed the tools and software they were already using. “It just started this exchange of resources,” Clark said.
Teachers were made aware of websites they had not encountered before when their colleagues talked about them. Some discovered that other people had been trying out some of the same things they had been using themselves, and they suddenly had a partner to bounce ideas off of. “Once some people heard how others were really using technology, everybody signed up for something in the digital learning cycle,” Clark said.Read Entire Post