When Maryland officials recently trumpeted the performance of their students on national reading tests, they failed to mention one thing: The state blocked more than half its English language learners and students with learning disabilities from taking the test, students whose scores would have dragged down the results.Read full article >>
When Anne Arundel County parent Julie Hummer first encountered AVID, the nation’s largest college-readiness program, she could not understand why the program accepted only one of her twin sons, Eric, since both were top students. Even more puzzling, given that the program is geared toward average students, was that the one who was rejected, Ben, had some learning disabilities and might have been considered closer to the mean.Read full article >>
Latino students from across Arlington County got to glimpse potential future careers at a leadership conference Friday at George Mason University.
About 200 students spent the day on the college campus and met with Latino professionals to hear how they pursued their educations and jobs.Read full article >>
Massachusetts and Louisiana, both seen as important in the world of school reform, have decided to delay the implementation of high-stakes standardized tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards in the face of growing concern about the initiative. The two states follow nearly 10 others -- including Florida, the pioneer of corporate-influenced school reform -- to slow or rethink Core implementation, actions coming amid a growing movement led by educators and parents who have become skeptical of the standards and the new related standardized tests.Read full article >>
In this post, award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York raises some new questions about the Common Core State Standards and curriculum being developed around them.
Burris has for more than a year chronicled on this blog the many problems with the test-driven reform in New York (here, and here and here and here, for example). She was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2010, tapped as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State. She is the co-author of the New York Principals letter of concern regarding the evaluation of teachers by student test scores. It has been signed by more than 1,535 New York principals and more than 6,500 teachers, parents, professors, administrators and citizens. You can read the letter by clicking here. And she is a co-author of a new open letter to parents from superintendents concerned with Common Core testing, which you can read about here.Read full article >>
The Learning Network Blog: Ripped From the Headlines and Applied to the Classics: Ideas for Pairing Fiction and Nonfiction
The Bee Gees were big and Laura Gill was just 14 the year a teacher at the Potomac School pinned her to the floor of his basement and molested her. Nearly 40 years on, the question she says he asked her is still seared on her mind: Did she like it?Read full article >>
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has now pushed through a new evaluation system that will assign A-through-F grades to each public school, based largely on students’ standardized test scores. The state Board of Education just approved criteria (see below) for the new scheme, which was part of the governor’s 2013 school reform efforts. What Virginians don’t know, because McDonnell hasn’t mentioned it, is that the system he used as a model for his plans is in tatters.Read full article >>
The emphasis on using standardized tests are the chief metric of student progress (not to mention teacher effectiveness) is leaving behind one of the key purposes of education: to stimulate the imagination. Here’s a post on the subject from Marion Brady, a veteran classroom teacher, who has written history and world culture textbooks (Prentice-Hall), professional books, numerous nationally distributed columns (many are available here), and courses of study. His 2011 book, “What’s Worth Learning,” asks and answers this question: What knowledge is absolutely essential for every learner? His course of study for secondary-level students, called “Connections: Investigating Reality,” is free for downloading here. Brady’s website is www.marionbrady.com.Read full article >>
A group of college presidents met recently with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and among the topics that were discussed was the Obama administration’s plans to make colleges more transparent about value and outcomes for students. In this post, Janet Riggs, president of Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., explains her concerns with Obama’s plans and warns about unintended consequences.Read full article >>
In this post, Helen Gym, a Philadelphia public school parent, writes about parents’ efforts to try to get the Philadelphia school district to release to the public basic information about how schools were selected for closure this year. Gym is founder of Parents United for Public Education, a citywide parent group focused on school budgets and funding to improve achievement and accountability in the public schools. She is a former editor of The Notebook, an independent Web site about Philadelphia public schools. She is also a board member at Asian Americans United, a Chinatown-based community organization active in education, youth leadership, immigrant rights, and community development. Gym was named the Philadelphia Inquirer’s “Citizen of the Year” in 2007 for her work in education, immigration and community activism. This appeared on the website of Parents United for Public Education in Philadelphia.Read full article >>