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 >>
They occupy a tiny but significant niche in higher education: Public liberal arts colleges.
A Washington Post article on the scramble this fall at St. Mary’s College of Maryland to raise its enrollment underscores the unusual market position of these schools. They aim to be selective and intimate, like private liberal arts colleges, but with enough public funding to make them more affordable. That’s the theory.Read full article >>
A growing number of colleges nationwide are scrambling to fill classes, a trend analysts say is driven by a decline in the number of students graduating from high school and widespread concern among families about the price of higher education.Read full article >>
Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s nominee for state superintendent of education received both praise and pointed criticism at a confirmation hearing Friday before a D.C. Council committee.
Jesus Aguirre has served since October as the District’s acting state superintendent of education, overseeing an agency that funnels millions of federal dollars to schools, runs buses for students with disabilities and crafts policies that affect both traditional public schools and public charter schools.Read full article >>
Here is a third post in a debate on The Answer Sheet about international test scores and whether they tell us anything important about the U.S. public education system.
The conversation began with a post I wrote last week titled “The fetishization of international test scores” which looked to the upcoming release of 2012 PISA test scores on Dec. 3 and said we place too much attention on these scores. A few days ago I published a dissent from Marc Tucker, resident of the non-profit National Center on Education and the Economy. Both pieces mentioned a report released early this year by Martin Carnoy, education professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, Richard Rothstein, research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, which raised questions about whether the average scores in the 2009 PISA were reported lower than they should have been.Read full article >>
Two dozen people gathered on a sidewalk in Northwest Washington on Thursday night to show support for suspended television news anchor J.C. Hayward and to call for her return to her station.
Hayward, a 42-year veteran of WUSA (Channel 9), has not appeared on air since Oct. 1, when she was named in a lawsuit alleging that the former managers of Options Public Charter School had developed a contracting scheme that diverted millions of dollars to two for-profit companies.Read full article >>
The rejection letter Amanda Scarangella received last year from the University of Virginia set off a tear-soaked night for the Ashburn teen.
For Scarangella, who took seven Advanced Placement courses at Stone Bridge High School and participated in an elite girls leadership training program, the rejection letter was a shock. For her parents, who moved to Northern Virginia because of its strong public schools and access to renowned public colleges, it was frustrating.Read full article >>
The Prince George’s County Board of Education narrowly voted Thursday to support a request by the schools chief to make significant changes to the district’s $1.7 billion budget.
The 5 to 2 to 2 vote allows Schools Superintendent Kevin Maxwell to proceed with his request to transfer $18 million from various accounts in the budget to pay for several executive-level positions, enhancements in the art program, security improvements and other initiatives. The County Council now must approve the request for the proposal to take effect.Read full article >>