There’s a new piece on The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog with this headline: “ Vergara vs. California: Are the top 0.1% buying their version of education reform?” Anybody paying attention to school “reform” knows that the answer to that question is that some folks in that group are trying their best. But they don’t always win. They didn’t in a highly contested Democratic primary race for a seat on Colorado’s state Board of Education.Read full article >>
DIBELS, or Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills, is a set of procedures and measures developed at the University of Oregon for assessing literacy development in students from kindergarten through sixth grade. The DIBELS website says that the measures — one-minute fluency exercises — were “specifically designed to assess the five early literacy components: Phonological Awareness, Alphabetic Principle, Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Fluency with Connected Text,” but critics say its validity is very weak. (Here’s an extensive critique.) Nonetheless, DIBELS has become widely used in schools around the country since 2001 — reaching some 2 million children a year. In this post, Rachael Gabriel, an assistant professor of reading education in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, write about continuing problems with DIBELS and how struggling readers are affected.Read full article >>
The U.S. Education Department just announced an agreement — or, rather, a bailout — with for-profit Corinthian Colleges, Inc., which would keep open the chain of more than 90 schools that has been investigated repeatedly by government entities for issues including false advertising and high dropout rates. It even was found to have paid companies to hire its graduates temporarily to boost its job placement rates.Read full article >>
Grab a book and get a meal.
The Prince George’s Memorial Library System is providing free lunch to children who might otherwise go hungry during the summer because they depend on free and reduced-price lunches during the school year.Read full article >>
Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent by states and school districts on standardized tests every year, money that could be used for purposes far more helpful in improving student achievement. What are those purposes? Here are some suggestions, from Jim Arnold and Peter Smagorinsky. Jim Arnold recently retired from the superintendent’s position of the Pelham City Schools in Georgia and he blogs at drjamesarnold.com. Peter Smagorinsky is Distinguished Research Professor of English Education at the University of Georgia. His essays are archived here.Read full article >>
Fairfax County schools superintendent Karen Garza has announced a slew of new hires as part of her organizational shake-up of the administration that will take effect July 1.
The hires include five new “executive principals” who will serve as deputies to the assistant superintendents leading the recently created “regions” that will divide the county’s 196 schools, replacing the old eight clusters. Garza also created two new executive principals for school improvement, who will focus on student achievement in schools with lagging performance.Read full article >>