Education News from Washington Post
Back in May I published a post by a veteran elementary school teacher named Ralph Ratto with this headline: ‘Today was the first day I was ever ashamed to be a teacher.’ What prompted him to write it was his experience administering controversial new Common Core-aligned standardized tests to his students in New York. I just received an e-mail that takes off from where Ratto’s piece ends, written by from someone who has worked in two public school systems in Maryland and in private schools for some 25 years as a teacher, counselor, administrator at the school and district levels and in other positions. This person, who is still working, wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisal.Read full article >>
Traniessa Wright slowly pronounces the word “road” and anxiously waits for a student in Room 2 of Pointer Ridge Elementary School to say whether the vowel sound is long or short.
With only one eager student raising his hand, Wright figures that the others might be a little sleepy. After all, it is the middle of summer break. She instructs them all to stand up and, on the spot, creates a game to keep them engaged.Read full article >>
A federal judge has dismissed the few remaining claims in a lawsuit that sought to stop the closure of 15 D.C public schools, rejecting plaintiffs’ arguments that the closures violated the civil rights of city children.Read full article >>
Dozens of community college leaders, dissatisfied with how the federal government measures graduation rates at their schools, have signed up for an alternative reporting system that provides more information about student outcomes.Read full article >>
The August edition of the valuable Consumer Reports magazine includes a piece titled “Back-to-school bests: Our top picks for tablets and laptops — for all ages.”
The piece starts by noting that students today “need a lot more than pencils and notebooks” and then provides short write-ups of five different tablets:Read full article >>
Award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York has written here and here about how college remediation rates are often hyped. In in the following post she expands her examination by looking at the purpose and efficacy of the remedial model. Burris has been exposing the problems with New York’s disastrous school reform effort for a long time on this blog. (You can read some of her work here, here, here, here, and here.) She previously wrote about remediation rates here. 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.Read full article >>
The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, which brings the world the international testing program of 15-year old students known as PISA, just issued a new report called “Measuring Innovation in Education: A New Perspective, Educational Research and Innovation.”Read full article >>
He was wide-eyed at first. Ten-year-old Max Krauze opened his report card on a recent summer day in his North Chevy Chase living room to find an array of grades that reflected his fifth-grade work in Montgomery County’s public schools.Read full article >>
When his daughters’ school announced plans to move to a new building a few blocks from his Petworth home, Wayan Vota thought he had achieved an elusive dream in his search for a charter school: a great one in a convenient location.Read full article >>
This year I have posted a number of pieces (here, here, here and here, for example) about the travesty that is now kindergarten in many public schools. Today, under this school reform in which standardized-test scores are the chief metric for “accountability” of students, schools, teachers, etc., kindergarten has in many classrooms become an academic workshop rather than a place where kids learn through structured play, which is how experts say young children learn best. Young children are often asked to sit for hours at a time, sometimes with little or no recess, to make sure enough reading, writing and math are covered. In this post, I detailed some kindergarten classroom schedules, and this post about “sweat shop kindergarten” drew reaction from readers reporting their children’s experiences.Read full article >>
A member of the D.C. Public Charter School Board is receiving $195,000 to do consulting work for a network of schools that the board is responsible for overseeing, according to a list of recent contracts the board published on its Web site.Read full article >>
Dozens of public universities across the country, including three in Maryland, report that fewer than half of their full-time freshmen in 2007 earned bachelor’s degrees after six years at those schools or after switching to other schools.Read full article >>
Vicki Abeles is a filmmaker, attorney and mother of three. She is also the co-director and producer of the education documentary “Race to Nowhere,” which revealed the damage to young people being done by the pressures of school, homework, tutoring and extracurricular activities. In the following letter Abeles tells her daughter Jamey, who will be a freshman at the University of Denver, to “stay true to the strong and talented self you’ve worked so hard to find, and show the world what college is really for.” Here’s her letter (which appeared on Huffington Post):Read full article >>
Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Karen Garza named South County High School principal Jane Lipp as the assistant superintendent for special services.
Lipp, who had served as South County principal since 2008, will succeed Kim Dockery, who was promoted to the new position of chief academic officer in July.Read full article >>
The D.C. Public Charter School Board released its annual review of charter school finances this week, and for the first time, the board offered a snapshot of schools that have contracts with outside management companies, expenditures of taxpayer dollars that are difficult to track.Read full article >>
The Fairfax County school system ended the past fiscal year with more than $38 million in extra cash, the result of budgeted funds officials did not spend.
Each year, the school system revisits the budget to identify leftover cash that can be used at the school board’s discretion for future projects. The administration plans to use approximately $20 million of this year’s funds to address a projected shortfall of more than $55 million for fiscal 2016.Read full article >>
A panel of judges from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just issued a ruling saying that the University of Texas can continue to use race as one factor in undergraduate admissions decisions in an effort to create a diverse student body.Read full article >>
Seven in 10 voters, including six in 10 Republicans, support a plan for the federal government to expand quality early childhood programs for low- and middle-income families, according to a national poll sponsored by the First Five Years Fund, an advocacy group.Read full article >>
D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has hired Robert Simmons, a professor of urban education whose work focuses on the experiences of African American boys, for a new senior-level position as the school system’s chief of innovation and research.Read full article >>
Lawmakers in North Carolina agreed Wednesday to come up with an alternative to the Common Core State Standards in math and reading.
The House and Senate agreed to a compromise that creates a commission to reexamine the Common Core standards and find ways to improve on them.Read full article >>