During her career in newspapers and television, my wife, Linda, was a master at finding the hidden heart of what was going on. While editing stories and managing projects, she had a knack for seeing what was most surprising and interesting in the mass of facts before her. When she had a thought recently about my annual rankings of the nation’s high schools, I listened carefully.Read full article >>
Travis Durfee is a teacher at Watkins Glen Middle School in Watkins Glen, New York who is administering Common Core-aligned standardized tests to students that were designed by Pearson, the education company. In the following piece, which he calls “Driving Lessons,” he looks from within the schoolhouse gates at the disconnect between the mandated exams and the Common Core State Standards that the tests are supposed to be designed to evaluate. He describes his piece this way: ”The essay contrasts my father’s driving lessons with what drives my lessons in the classroom today--the mad dash toward accountability under a new educational paradigm where the Common Core trumps common sense.”Read full article >>
If you doubt the power of the charter school movement, consider this: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, just slapped down New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, over the issue. Or, as education historian Diane Ravitch put it in this piece for the New York Review of Books blog:Read full article >>
Michelle Rhee still doesn’t get it.
The former D.C. schools chancellor and now leader of a national organization that pushes corporate school and attacks teachers unions, just wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post that uses bad analogies and a number of straw men to argue against the growing “opt out” movement in which parents are refusing to allow their children to take high-stakes standardized tests. A small but growing number of educators are refusing to administer the tests, too.Read full article >>
D.C. officials released a proposal for new elementary school boundaries Saturday, the first comprehensive overhaul of the politically sensitive partitions in four decades.
The proposed new lines — redrawn to adjust for schools that are overcrowded or underused and to address travel or safety issues — could affect thousands of families. But even more far-reaching than the reconfigured map is a set of three policy proposals the city also unveiled at a public meeting, parts of which could fundamentally change how students are assigned to traditional public schools.Read full article >>
Virginia’s elementary and middle school students will have fewer Standards of Learning tests starting next school year, since Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Friday signed into law a bill that eliminates five tests.Read full article >>
Spring is a busy time for third-grade teacher Marlon Mohammed, who is preparing his students to take the Virginia Standards of Learning tests for the first time.
In addition to reviewing four years of material in reading, math, social studies and science for the cumulative state tests, he also has to teach them how to take the exams. That means familiarizing 8-year-olds and 9-year-olds at Discovery Elementary School in Ashburn with multiple-choice questions and conditioning them to sit through the hour-long tests.Read full article >>
What attribute do Americans find most compelling in the teacher they have identified as having the greatest impact on their lives?
I learned the answer recently when I was listening to a speech by Brandon H. Busteed, the executive director of Gallup Education, about public education and what polls show about how Americans view their teachers.Read full article >>
D.C. officials have put forth a proposal to redraw elementary-school boundaries, but they are also floating three broader policy proposals, pieces of which have the potential to radically change the way in which students are assigned to schools.Read full article >>
When it comes to school and neighborhood inequality, the federal government has a short attention span, discussed here by Elaine Weiss and Patrick Sharkey. Weiss is the national coordinator for the Broader Bolder Approach to Education, a project of the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute that recognizes the impact of social and economic disadvantage on many schools and students, and works to better the conditions that limit many children’s readiness to learn. Sharkey is an associate professor of Sociology at New York University and the author of Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress Toward Racial Equality. He will discuss key findings at an Economic Policy Institute event on Thursday, April 10.Read full article >>