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- K-12 Education
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten made a big announcement today by calling for a moratorium on all stakes associated with the Common Core State Standards until students and teachers have been given ample training and time to “master this new approach to teaching and learning.” This is a reasonable statement on its face, but what does it mean in practice?
For someContinue Reading »
English teacher John Keating, played by Robin Williams, inspired his tony prep school students in the classic film, Dead Poet’s Society. But I always wondered: Could Mr. Keating hack it in a lower-performing, higher-poverty school?
A recent working paper indicates that, yes, highly effective teachers continue to be highly effective when they switch schools, regardless of the new school’sContinue Reading »
North Dakota withdrew its request for an ESEA waiver on Monday after months of working with the federal Department of Education on its plan.* According to North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler, the disagreement boiled down to how the state should set performance targets for its schools, commonly called Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs). North Dakota wanted to set lContinue Reading »
A new study of states’ ESEA waiver plans reveals that some states are side-stepping graduation rate requirements by reporting the data, but not including it in their accountability systems.
As a result, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education, many of the ESEA waivers granted by the Department of Education contradict the 2008 graduation rate regulationContinue Reading »
In his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night President Obama laid out a wide array of programs and initiatives including many in education. Most of them laudable and important, but I must confess one really got my attention. Roughly mid-way through his speech he proposed a Fix-it-First program, “to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs.” To get this done he is Continue Reading »
Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the Obama administration’s first 10 approvals of comprehensive NCLB waivers.* The Senate HELP Committee marked the anniversary with a hearing today on early lessons from the waivers, but one thing that deserves more attention is the process behind the waiver initiative. Congress should learn from that process—where the federal government outlines criteContinue Reading »
The mere mention of international measures of performance is rare in a NCLB waiver. Everyone knows how poorly American students stack up against their global peers on assessments like PISA, so it’s no surprise that states shy away from comparing their own student achievement against international assessments. Instead, states choose to benchmark academic progress against their own past performanContinue Reading »
We know from research that a student’s reading score can be better predicted by family environment than by schooling. The 2010 study “Children’s Access to Print Related Materials and Education-Related Outcomes” commissioned by Reading is Fundamental concluded that greater access to books and other print materials in the home correlated with increases in a child’s reading performancContinue Reading »
What should be on the new administration’s “to-do list” under the heading of education? That was the question posed to a panel of education experts Education Sector brought together this week at the event “Should There Be an Undersecretary of MOOCs? A Waiver Watchdog? And Other Questions for the Next Four Years.” The experts, all members of Education Sector’s K20 Task Force, took onContinue Reading »
Yesterday, the ShankerBlog posted a piece by Doug Harris proposing that states and districts incorporate student growth into teacher and principal evaluations through an initial “screening” process under which ineffective teachers could be initially identified for further examination and support. Sherman Dorn is right to call this a common-sense idea, albeit with some kinks to work out. But whaContinue Reading »