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
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
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
Stateline.org reports that Delaware Governor Jack Markell defended the new Common Core English and math state standards at a meeting in Philadelphia on Thursday. The article says Markell dismissed the contention that national benchmarks for what students should be learning are part of a “high-level conspiracy from the federal government” to impose its standards on states.
The Philadelphia Public Schools Notebook reports on the city's broken pipeline to college. It notes that only seventeen of the 145 students who started ninth grade at North Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin High School in fall 2005 enrolled in a four-year college. Citywide, only 25 percent of students who started 9th grade in one of Philadelphia's neighborhood high schools that year enrolled in any postsecondary education, compared to almost 80 percent of students who started at the city's most selective magnet high schools. Of those 145 students, seventy-two earned a high school diploma--seventy-three have not.
The New York Times reports that New York City officials have have abandoned plans to negotiate with the union for the removal of some 830 teachers who do not have permanent jobs, but are still salaried, costing the city millions of dollars each year. Instead, Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott proposed on Thursday to offer buyouts to those teachers to leave the system.
The PBS NewsHour spotlights a journalism program in Florida that gives students a reason to stay in school.
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Philadelphia’s embattled schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman is being bought out of her multiyear contract with a combination of public and private funds for the amount of $900,000 in severance. The Associated Press reported Ackerman had a “tumultuous tenure that included increased test scores and graduation rates but also clashes with community members, the teachers union, and elected leaders.” “This decision, as difficult as it was for Dr. Ackerman, is consistent with her history, as well as recognition that for the district to best move forward, it must do so with new leadership,’’ said Robert Archie Jr., chairman of the city-state commission that oversees the schools.Read Entire Post
The cheating scandal that has engulfed the Atlanta public schools (and similar scandals that are bubbling up in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and elsewhere) ought to serve as a "teachable moment" to point to a path forward in how we think about holding schools and educators accountable for student performance. Unfortunately, the incident has provoked a predictable response: those who object to high-stakes testing have used the case to renew calls to ease up on accountability, while those who favor strong accountability say that all that needs to happen is to tighten up on test security.
Neither of these responses addresses the real issue. Accountability is necessary, and easing up on it will not provide children or schools the help they need. At the same time, simply improving test security is not enough.Read Entire Post
Education Week reports that the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse is broadening its definition of “gold standard” research to include nonexperimental designs.
College seniors who graduated in 2009 had an average of $24,000 in student loan debt, up 6 percent from 2008, according to an annual report from the Project on Student Debt. See the New York Times story on this study.
Philadelphia schools chief Arlene Ackerman has been named the nation's top urban school leader, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
In the American School Board Journal , Nora Carr, the chief of staff for North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools, writes “don’t wait –take action” on school reform.Read Entire Post