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Protecting your children's privacy: The Facts
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Item(s) found: 486
Putting Private Info on Government Database
Tuesday March 09 2010, 4:34 PM
Phyllis Schlafly writes - [The Fordham report made numerous recommendations to beef up student privacy, such as collecting only information relevant to articulated purposes, purging unjustified data, enacting time limits for data retention and hiring a chief privacy officer for each state. There is no indication that these suggestions will be implemented. The Obama Department of Education officials believe that collecting personally identifiable data is "at the heart of improving schools and school districts." One of the four reform mandates of the Race to the Top competition is to establish pre-kindergarten to college-and-career data systems that "track progress and foster continuous improvement."]
Schools Wait, Teeth Gritted: Their Grades Are Coming
Saturday September 01 2007, 9:31 AM
NY Times reports, "Making good on a promise to hold educators more accountable for student performance, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will oversee the distribution of report cards for each of the city’s schools next month. Each school (and by extension its principal) will receive a letter grade in the mail, and the grade and the data that led to it will be posted on the Web, where parents can see and possibly stew over them. Mr. Bloomberg described the grades as part of 'the most sophisticated achievement data system in the nation, which will allow us to focus on how well individual students are learning.'"
City's learning curve
Tuesday August 28 2007, 7:24 AM
NY Daily News opines, "As Klein said in an interview with Children's PressLine for Queens News, ' ... new ideas are worth trying. And if they don't work, you move on.'"
Not giving up on school reform
Tuesday August 28 2007, 7:14 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle opines, "Denver school leaders aren't giving up. Rochester's must keep trying, too."
The Education Gadfly
Friday August 24 2007, 8:08 AM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation -- August 23, 2007, Volume 7, Number 32.
Schools in Crisis
Sunday August 19 2007, 9:58 AM
Post-Standard opines, "The Syracuse community hasn't ignored the plight of troubled middle schools. A civic-minded group rallied behind the failing Shea Middle School. Shea is being phased out and will become the Bellevue Middle School Academy in September, but the work of the group lives on in the West Side Community School Strategy, a more expansive project, focusing on schools and neighborhoods. But such efforts must be communitywide. Local leaders - and not just school district leaders - must recognize that as go the middle schools, so go the school district, the city and the region. They should do as New York City leaders have done: Declare a crisis and determine to fix it - together."
PEN Weekly NewsBlast
Friday August 17 2007, 10:07 AM
Public Education Network (PEN)
The Education Gadfly
Thursday August 09 2007, 2:18 PM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. August 9, 2007, Volume 7, Number 30.
BOOKS BEFORE BREAKFAST
Thursday August 09 2007, 7:13 AM
NY Post opines, "Only 29 percent of students enrolled in city schools' free and reduced-cost lunch programs also take advantage of the schools' free breakfast, according to a recent report. To hear Gotham's 'hunger' advocates tell it, this portends a humanitarian crisis. Funny, we thought that students turning down free food is a fairly good indication that they're, well, not hungry."
Why don't we make education succeed?
Wednesday August 01 2007, 10:06 AM
Press Republican contributor Ken Wibecan opines, "A nation that sent a human being to stroll on the moon can surely figure out how to educate their young people. A little creative thinking can go a long way. In a sane society, schools that fail in their mission 'both private and public' would disappear while the good ones flourish. Either we make the difficult but necessary changes or we fall behind the rest of the world and complain about why Americans keep losing so many good jobs to foreign competition."
MIKE HEAD OF THE CLASS
Friday July 27 2007, 8:39 AM
NY Post Maggie Haberman reports, "Bloomberg's takeover over the public schools was rated a success by 51 percent of voters in the Quinnipiac University poll taken this month. Some 27 percent said it's been a failure, and another 22 percent weren't sure."
KLEIN PLAYS FAVES: FOES
Friday July 27 2007, 7:59 AM
NY Post reports, "The Campaign for Fiscal Equity, whose 14-year-old lawsuit won billions of extra education funding for the city over the next four years, said some of the cash won't reach the struggling schools it's supposed to help."
Ithaca City School District faculty member appointed to task force on preschool special education
Thursday July 26 2007, 1:02 PM
Ithaca Journal reports, "The task force, which is comprised of 13 education professionals from across the state, was created to study ways of improving early education for children with disabilities. The group will examine the transition between early childhood programs and elementary school, the cost of preschool special education programs and the task force will do a comparative study of different state's special education preschool programs. Jasinski said he is excited to be part of the task force."
Getting Down to Facts: A Research Project Examining California’s School Governance and Finance
Monday July 23 2007, 9:03 AM
The researchers aimed to make the best possible use of existing research findings, identifying important holes in existing research and determining whether there were empirical studies that could be performed in the given timeframe to fill some of these holes. The new empirical work stems from this approach. As a result, the studies each provide a strong review of the literature with targeted new empirical additions.
Congress Prepares for NCLB Reauthorization Debate
Tuesday July 17 2007, 7:08 AM
School Reform News contributor Dan Lips, education analyst at The Heritage Foundation writes, "After months of committee hearings, congressional leaders are now looking to begin the legislative process for the scheduled reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Democrats control Congress, but Republican leaders are proposing an agenda of policy ideas to be considered in the reauthorization."
Smaller schools work well in NYC
Sunday July 15 2007, 12:33 PM
Murray B. Light, former editor of The Buffalo News opines, "Truancy, discipline problems, substance abuse and gang involvement show great improvement. The level of student activity in extracurricular school also is much higher and more varied in the small schools than in the larger ones. The report also shows that student attendance was better in the smaller schools and that a smaller percentage of students dropped out of the smaller schools than the larger ones."
Teachers, on Paper: The Chancellor’s View
Saturday July 14 2007, 9:55 AM
NY Times op-ed contributor Joel I. Klein, Chancellor, New York City Department of Education responds to “So Much Paperwork, So Little Time to Teach,” by Samuel G. Freedman. Klein writes, "He [Freedman] turns 'paperwork' into a dirty word. But when teachers track student performance, they can spot trends, tailor instruction to the needs of students and take corrective action. We have worked to eliminate busywork and have created easy-to-use tools that give teachers constructive information that makes them more effective. Our city is attracting, and holding on to, great teachers, and they are making a difference for our children"
The Education Gadfly
Friday July 13 2007, 11:06 AM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation -- July 12, 2007, Volume 7, Number 26 . Gotham City showdown: Ravitch and Cantor on NYC reading scores. Diane Ravitch's June 7 Gadfly article took the New York City Department of Education to task for hyping the most recent reading scores for students in grades 3-8. "The scores," she wrote, "were mainly flat or declining." And the much-ballyhooed rise in eighth-grade reading "downplayed the curious fact that eighth grade scores were up across the state." Her interpretation drew a critical review from David Cantor, the NYC Department of Education's Press Secretary. His critique and Ravitch's response follow.
Just a hint of gain for empower schools -- Joel's pet program shows slight boost
Monday July 09 2007, 10:17 AM
NY Daily News reports, "Chancellor Joel Klein created the empowerment school program at the beginning of the 2006 school year to give principals more independence in spending and instruction. A total of 332 principals signed on. Although the difference between empowerment school averages and those of other city schools is only a few percentage points, the Ed Department sees the scores as a signal that giving principals more autonomy works."
Reform needed for school funding
Monday July 09 2007, 8:53 AM
Ithaca Journal op-ed contributor Ron Mac Lean, on behalf of Citizens Advisory Committee, Political Action Concerning Education and the Trumansburg Central School District opines, "For many years, numerous organized attempts have been made to convince our legislators that the School Aid Formula is not fair and equitable to all students throughout New York. Under the present method of school aid distribution, the “wealthier” school districts continue to prosper with curriculum, costs per student and tax levy disproportionate to 'poorer' districts. A recent New York Times article noted that in 2005, of the 100 highest-spending districts in the nation, 25 are in Westchester County and 38 are on Long Island. This year Albany did take a step in the right direction by revising portions of the funding formula."
An insider's view of a school board
Sunday July 08 2007, 11:30 AM
Times Union reports, "He [Peter Golden] was motivated to start it [blog], he said, because more people vote in presidential elections than in school board races, even though the latter could have more of a direct effect on their lives. 'I wanted to open the process," Golden said. "I wanted people to be more interested.'" (website address is: http://petergolden.com/Boardside.htm)
A Local Lesson That Democrats Fail
Tuesday July 03 2007, 9:18 AM
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen opines, "The litany of more and more when it comes to money often has little to do with what, in the military, are called facts on the ground: kids and parents. It does have a lot to do with teachers unions, which are strong supporters of the Democratic Party. Not a single candidate offered anything close to a call for real reform. Instead, a member of the audience could reasonably conclude that if only more money were allocated to these woe-is-me school systems, things would right themselves overnight."
Money for Nothing
Monday July 02 2007, 8:26 AM
NY Times Op-Ed contributor BARRY SCHWARTZ opines, "Obviously, the intrinsic rewards of learning aren’t working in New York’s schools, at least not for a lot of children. It may be that the current state of achievement is low enough that desperate measures are called for, and it’s worth trying anything. And we don’t know whether in this case, motives will complement or compete. But it is plausible that when students get paid to go to class and show up for tests, they will be even less interested in the work than they would be if no incentives were present. If that happens, the incentive system will make the learning problem worse in the long run, even if it improves achievement in the short run — unless we’re prepared to follow these children through life, giving them a pat on the head, or an M&M or a check every time they learn something new. Perhaps worse, the plan will distract us from investigating a more pertinent set of questions: why don’t children get intrinsic satisfaction from learning in school, and how can this failing of education be fixed? Virtually all kindergartners are eager to learn. But by fourth grade, many students need to be bribed. What makes our schools so dystopian that they produce this powerful transformation, almost overnight?"
The Education Gadfly
Friday June 29 2007, 9:12 AM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation -- June 28, 2007, Volume 7, Number 25.
Bloomberg's Misguided Pay-the-Student Plan
Saturday June 23 2007, 6:15 PM
Huffington Post contributor Diane Ravitch comments, "From the point of view of society, the plan is wrong because it tears at the social fabric of reciprocity and civic responsibility that makes a democratic society function. Should we pay people to drive safely? Should we pay them to stop at red lights? Should we pay citizens for doing the things that good citizens do on their own? The pay-for-behavior plan is anti-democratic, anti-civic, anti-intellectual, and anti-social. It is the essence of the nanny-state run amok."
The Education Gadfly
Friday June 22 2007, 9:09 AM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation -- June 21, 2007, Volume 7, Number 24.
Mr. Rivera Goes to Albany -- Is Spitzer’s new education lieutenant a genuine reformer?
Sunday June 17 2007, 11:21 AM
City Journal contributor Peter Meyer (Contributing Editor of Education Next) writes, "It was a promising sign, perhaps, that the 57-year-old Rivera, a grandfather, had turned down a cushy $300,000 offer to take the reins of Boston’s 150-school district in order to try to fix—with no real power and a mere $169,000 salary—New York’s 4,448 schools. He had to be nuts—a plus when doing real education reform."
Good News on Math
Friday June 15 2007, 9:54 AM
NY Times opines, "The new scores won’t be considered fully legitimate until New York’s students are judged on the federally backed National Assessment of Educational Progress. That’s the country’s most rigorous exam and the yardstick for measuring state standards and tests. Even so, all signs suggest that the city and state are on the right track."
It all adds up to success
Wednesday June 13 2007, 10:15 AM
NY Daily News opines, "Next year, Bloomberg and Klein are giving teachers the ability to closely track how well students are learning, so those who lag can get immediate special attention. And the mayor and chancellor are giving parents report cards that will grade how individual schools are working. The trends are moving in the right direction after years of stagnation, and the innate abilities of thousands of kids are finally being unlocked."
My View: Ignore the Albany circus and report on the tax tragedy
Wednesday June 13 2007, 8:29 AM
Times Herald-Record op-ed contributor Antonio J. Gajate opines, "The lack of a meaningful nonpartisan response from the Albany Legislature to the demands for property tax reform in this state seems to be running neck and neck with the lack of reporting by the Times Herald-Record about all the work being done by grass-roots groups throughout the region and the state regarding property tax reform, particularly how it relates to school funding."
New York City math scores climb
Tuesday June 12 2007, 7:46 AM
NY Daily News Erin Einhorn reports, "Fourth-graders did better than last year, but their 74.1% passing rate was less than their peers in 2005, when 77.4% passed. This year's eighth-graders had the highest passing rate since 1999 with 45.7% passing, compared with the previous high of 42.4% in 2004. In 1999, 2000 and 2001, less than 23% of eighth-graders passed. Sol Stern, a frequent Bloomberg critic and a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, said the scores 'are better than being flat,' but grumbled: 'If that's all you can produce with 15 extra school days [the sum of 37-1/2 minutes over a year], 4 billion extra dollars, thousands of extra teachers and a greater emphasis on test preparation, I don't think it's spectacular. It's not worth the Nobel Prize.'"
Send charter law to reform school
Sunday June 10 2007, 9:44 AM
Times Union op-ed contributor Thomas Rogers, executive director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents opines, "Until the state pays the bulk of the costs, local districts -- whose taxpayers finance charter schools -- must have more say regarding charter school approval and renewal. The current system makes charter schools and district schools into enemies, instead of collaborators. Other statutory reforms must include: Robust oversight and consequences for academic failure. A state-financed safety net to accommodate enrollment fluctuations. Penalties for charter schools that plan poorly or send students back to the district schools. Downward recalculations in funding if charters do not enroll disabled students in proportions similar to district schools. Timelines for major decisions, scheduled to permit adequate planning by school districts and informed voting by the public. Prohibitions on management companies taking profits from academically failing schools."
Cash is cool: Mike
Saturday June 09 2007, 8:12 AM
NY Daily News reports, "Mayor Bloomberg defended a controversial proposal to pay kids for high test scores yesterday, but said there are no specific plans to make it happen."
‘Failing’ schools to get axe - DOE decides to reshuffle the deck once more
Monday June 04 2007, 11:08 AM
Bay Ridge Courier reports, "Schools Chancellor Joel Klein announced plans to revamp 'failing' alternative schools and programs due to poor attendance and success rates. To be eliminated are schools for pregnant girls, New Beginnings centers, which take in disruptive students, and many schools operated by Offsite Educational Services (OES), the alternative high school system that helps students earn General Equivalency Diplomas (GED) and offers small learning environments."
Demilitarizing What the Pentagon Knows About Developing Young People: A New Paradigm for Educating Students Who Are Struggling in School and in Life
Friday June 01 2007, 12:53 PM
CCF Working Paper, May 2007, Hugh B. Price, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies. "Millions of adolescents are marginalized academically and destined for oblivion in the twenty-first century economy. They barely, if at all, will be able to uphold their obligations as citizens and providers. The U.S. military figured out how to nurture and unleash the potential of young people like these generations ago. By demilitarizing and deploying what the Pentagon knows about educating and developing aimless young people, these troubled and troublesome young Americans can be transformed into a valued social and economic asset to our nation."
The Condition of Education 2007
Friday June 01 2007, 12:37 PM
This website is an integrated collection of the indicators and analyses published in The Condition of Education 2000–2007. Some indicators may have been updated since they appeared in print.
Institute for Student Achievement Receives $18,000 Investment From the Long Island Community Foundation
Wednesday May 30 2007, 10:09 AM
This grant will support ISA's partnership with Hempstead High School, where ISA is working to transform the school into four small, personalized and academically small learning communities that graduate students on time and college ready. The conversion of Hempstead High School brings together three institutions, ISA, Adelphi University and the Hempstead School District, that share a vision for the development of Hempstead High School into a school of academic excellence. This transformation represents a critical "first" for Long Island, as it is the most ambitious conversion of a large, comprehensive high school ever to be undertaken in the region. The conversion of the school, which serves approximately 1,800 students, will not be merely the downsizing of a large school. It will be a culture shift -- from a community characterized by low expectations, impersonal relationships and poor instruction -- to a school characterized by high expectations, high student academic achievement and a personalized learning environment that welcomes students and parents. This shift will result in an increased student attendance rate, an increased course passing rate and an increased graduation rate.
ELIOT'S COLLEGE TRY
Wednesday May 30 2007, 9:01 AM
NY Post op-ed contributor THOMAS W. CARROLL, a graduate of SUNY-Albany and president of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability opines on considerations, "Creating a new school of education focused less on education theory and more on proven teaching techniques. Right now, the best urban schools in the state - including those run by KIPP Achievement First and Uncommon Schools - have to retrain and 'reprogram' teachers who've graduated from even the 'best' ed schools. Why not let these successful schools design from scratch an ed school that gets it right the first time?"
The Education Gadfly
Tuesday May 29 2007, 5:04 PM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation; May 24, 2007, Volume 7, Number 20
Buffalo superintendent gets locked in
Friday May 25 2007, 10:00 AM
Buffalo News opines, "Even though the superintendent’s contract was extended by a board in a better position to evaluate him, he now faces a tougher task than he would have in forging teamwork with a new board and new board members who were shut out of this decision. Both sides should get past that hurdle and get to work on the real needs of the district, its employees and, most of all, its schoolchildren."
A moment to evaluate Mills
Thursday May 24 2007, 8:06 AM
Newsday opines, "Mills should keep his job - for now. But the state must do its job, in Roosevelt and beyond. And that includes starting to think about new leadership in Albany."
Civics Exam: Schools of choice boost civic values
Sunday May 20 2007, 9:23 AM
Patrick J. Wolf, professor of education reform and 21st century chair in school choice at the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions writes, "In summary, the empirical studies to date counter the claims of school choice opponents that private schooling inherently and inevitably undermines the fostering of civic values. The statistical record suggests that private schooling and school choice often enhance the realization of the civic values that are central to a well-functioning democracy. This seems to be the case particularly among ethnic minorities (such as Latinos) in places with great ethnic diversity (such as New York City and Texas), and when Catholic schools are the schools of choice. Choice programs targeted to such constituencies seem to hold the greatest promise of enhancing the civic values of the next generation of American citizens."
Saturday May 19 2007, 9:20 AM
NY Post Op-Ed contributor Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers opines, "Finally, I proposed a service differential to compensate teachers who go above and beyond for their students. As an alternative to taking courses to earn additional income, teachers would provide extra service, such as developing a unit of lesson plans for their department or designing a school-to-work internship program. These proposals are powerful recruitment and retention incentives that would transform hard-to-staff schools into schools that teachers would gravitate to and parents would want their children to attend. After all, that is what it's all about, isn't it?"
Principals Act in Plan to Reduce Bureaucracy
Friday May 18 2007, 9:53 AM
NY Times reports, "More than a third of New York City’s public school principals embraced a challenge from Chancellor Joel I. Klein to free themselves as much as possible from outside oversight under a new reorganization and become full stewards of their individual schools, the city said yesterday. But few took up the chancellor’s offer to work with a private nonprofit group. And a great majority chose to align themselves with veteran schools superintendents from the traditional schools bureaucracy."
GIVING UP ON SCHOOL REFORM?
Tuesday May 15 2007, 8:03 AM
NY Post Op-Ed contributor Rev. Johnny Ray Youngblood, co-chair of East Brooklyn Congregations and of the Metro NY Industrial Areas Foundation opines, "The impact on the teaching corps in poor-performing schools is obvious. Newer and younger teachers have a very high attrition rate. Assigned to schools no other teacher chooses to go to, surrounded by teachers as new and inexperienced as themselves, younger teachers tend to have less support, less mentoring and less success. A large percentage leaves within three years. The effect on the students is also great. They don't benefit from the wisdom and professionalism that years of trial and error can bring a teacher. Instead, they see the newest and least equipped teachers year after year. Turnover in their schools is much higher than in other schools. Their morale and performance suffer. The financial impact is also serious. Because the better schools have higher numbers of veteran teachers, they have bigger budgets than poorly performing schools. Funding formulas announced by Chancellor Klein last week begin to correct this unequal funding. But the success of the city's most challenged schools depends not just on more funds but also on the gradual redistribution of more experienced teachers into every city school. Without a corps of veteran teachers, no amount of money can make students and schools succeed."
Give schools more time to comply with Contract for Excellence
Monday May 14 2007, 8:56 AM
Legislative Gazette reports, "Educators and lawmakers alike praised Gov. Eliot Spitzer for his landmark investment in public schools, but a Senate bill passed unanimously last week would allow certain schools more time to comply with new accountability measures the increased funding is tied to."
More schools on LI making the grade
Saturday May 12 2007, 9:26 AM
Newsday John Hildebrand reports, "Private analysts are skeptical. They note that the state Education Department for the first time this year has decided not to release "school report cards" until budget votes are completed. Voters need those report cards to judge schools' performance, analysts say, because the reports cover test results for a full range of subjects, not just the highlights. And some voice concern that the state would release the names of the highest-scoring schools so close to election time. "So we're having a cheerleader session before the budget vote," said B. Jason Brooks, a senior research associate at the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability, an Albany-area think tank. 'Yet parents and residents don't have straightforward data.'"
The Education Gadfly
Thursday May 10 2007, 4:40 PM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation -- May 10, 2007, Volume 7, Number 18
PEACE IN KLEIN'S TIME
Wednesday May 09 2007, 9:46 AM
NY Post opines, "Schools Chancellor Joel Klein yesterday laid out a funding plan for city schools - and, in so doing, made clear just what City Hall paid to buy peace from labor and allied radical groups. His plan includes funds to cover a deal announced last month with teachers' union boss Randi Weingarten and her radical pals. Officials say this won't cost more than 'a few million' dollars. But for how long did Weingarten stay bought? Not so long, it seems."
Charter schools are on the way
Wednesday May 09 2007, 9:14 AM
Times Herald-Record opines, "Believers believe they offer a new birth of freedom from unions and regulations; nonbelievers believe they offer a government-funded attack on standards and salaries."
Senate slams Spitzer school reform plan
Wednesday May 09 2007, 8:31 AM
Times Union reports, "At issue is the Contract for Excellence program, under which 56 school districts statewide are slated to receive an approximately 10 percent boost, or an extra $15 million in aid. But they also must enact changes in their programs."
California k-12 school funding reform
Friday May 04 2007, 8:14 AM
Contra Costa Times opines, "At the top of any K-12 funding reform should be greater local control, meaning fewer state mandates and less categorical spending. Let school districts decide how they can best spend the money. The state also should put an end to ADA funding and use enrollment figures instead, updating them once or twice a year. The time and money spent compiling the daily attendance of every student in California is wasteful and unnecessary. Fluctuations in ADA have no relationship to the costs of running a school. Total enrollment does. School districts also need to take a closer look at just how much of the revenue they get goes directly into the classroom -- the higher the percentage the better."
Rochester city schools will falter if leaders get faulty data on pupil progress
Wednesday May 02 2007, 9:07 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle guest essayist Cynthia Elliott, Rochester Board of Education member opines, "There is no doubt in my mind that people genuinely want to help our children succeed. But that involvement will be ineffective and our goal of 100 percent graduation rates will not be realized if we don't have accurate information. Only with accurate information can we even begin to entertain the strategies to achieve academic excellence."
Rivera moves on
Tuesday May 01 2007, 7:51 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle opines, "But there's more to Rivera's record than this. His success in raising fourth-grade test scores at nearly every elementary school was a testament to his focus and emphasis on school-based leadership. His work in the elementary grades, along with his restructuring of the unwieldy and often unsafe middle schools, was a chief reason he was chosen state and national superintendent of the year in 2006. Rivera kept the peace with the labor unions, forged good relations with state politicians and, by and large, with the elected school board. Most of all, he's seen the good and the bad. If he can bring that knowledge and wisdom to bear on Spitzer and state Education Commissioner Richard Mills, he will continue to serve children well."
The Education Gadfly
Monday April 30 2007, 10:39 AM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation; April 26, 2007, Volume 7, Number 16.
Another 'F' for Rochester city schools
Monday April 30 2007, 8:34 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle opines, "Whether you accept the state's contention that the city's four-year graduation rate is 39 percent or the city's argument that it's really 53 percent, the point is that not enough is being done at every level, but especially in the middle grades, to prepare children for high-school work and the Regents testing mandate. The graduation rates mirror, in a way, what's happening on the eighth-grade math and language tests: very weak performance at too many schools that leads to students feeling at sea once they get to high school."
DESPERATE CITY 'OUT' TO RESCUE SCHOOLS
Monday April 30 2007, 7:53 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "Facing a steady decline in student performance through the middle grades and pressure to combat that decline, the city is seeking an outside firm to help it devise a new 'middle school strategy,' The Post has learned. The strategy would look at everything from 'school design' to staff experience and per-pupil spending, to determine why students score lower on tests as they get older."
Improving by degrees
Thursday April 26 2007, 10:16 AM
NY Daily News opines, "Many have attacked the reforms, and many have doubted whether students were actually learning more. Gains on standardized reading and math tests have been questioned as the products of dumbed-down exams. And Klein's own tally of rising graduation rates has been dismissed as statistical balderdash. His numbers and the state's figures differ because they count varying student populations, but Mills has now certified the trend. And it is happily up. So much so that Mills pointed other districts to some of the techniques now in use in the city's schools, virtually all of which hinge on constantly measuring the progress of individual students and tailoring teaching to their needs. The approach is at the heart of the drive by Bloomberg and Klein to hold everyone in every school accountable for producing results, as opposed to moving students along on a conveyor belt of failure. It's very basic, and it's working. Well done."
School Push-Outs: An Urban Case Study
Wednesday April 25 2007, 11:46 AM
Elysa Hyman writes, "While the specter of the No Child Left Behind Act continues to loom over our nations’ schools, grassroots organizations, parent groups, attorneys, educators and policymakers must monitor their local school systems and take action if schools are engaging in exclusionary practices. National coalitions must be formed to highlight the unintended effects of the Act and to advocate reform of laws and policies that punish schools for trying to educate all students or that provide incentives for schools to push them out of the building."
Billionaires Start $60 Million Schools Effort
Wednesday April 25 2007, 10:10 AM
NY Times DAVID M. HERSZENHORN reports, "The project will not endorse candidates — indeed, it is illegal to do so as a charitable group — but will instead focus on three main areas: a call for stronger, more consistent curriculum standards nationwide; lengthening the school day and year; and improving teacher quality through merit pay and other measures. While the effort is shying away from some of the most polarizing topics in education, like vouchers, charter schools and racial integration, there is still room for it to spark vigorous debate. Advocating merit pay to reward high-quality teaching could force Democratic candidates to take a stand typically opposed by the teachers unions who are their strong supporters. Pushing for stronger, more uniform standards, on the other hand, could force Republican candidates to discuss the potential merits of a national curriculum, a concept advocates for states’ rights deeply oppose and one that President Bush has not embraced."
School Districts (outside of NYC) that will have to file Contracts for Excellence for the 2007-08 School Year
Tuesday April 24 2007, 9:49 PM
PRINCIPALS GET 25G EXTRA CREDIT IN DEAL
Tuesday April 24 2007, 8:28 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "Ending nearly four years of ugly haggling, the city reached a tentative contract yesterday with the union representing school administrators that gives 23 percent raises and offers principals an extra $25,000 a year to take over underperforming schools. The nearly seven-year retroactive deal with the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators also provides every principal the chance to earn a $25,000 bonus based on their students' progress and sharply curtails seniority rights for assistant principals. The pact concludes a stalemate that loomed over the Bloomberg administration's efforts to reform the school system, in part by broadening the authority of principals this fall in exchange for greater scrutiny."
New & Notes
Monday April 23 2007, 10:20 AM
From the desk of Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Senior Deputy Commissioner of Education - P-16, April 20, 2007.
ELIOT TALKS THE TALK
Sunday April 22 2007, 9:32 AM
NY Post opines, "So, yes, Spitzer is again saying the right things. Mayoral control is essential to the schools. If New Yorkers aren't happy with education, they need to be able to give someone - the mayor - the boot. But Spitzer's pattern of speaking loudly while wielding a small stick shouldn't raise hopes too high."
PRINCIPALS CRAM FOR BIG CHANGES
Sunday April 22 2007, 9:26 AM
NY Post reports, "City principals will flock to a Manhattan hotel tomorrow for a crash course in the school system's latest reorganization, scrambling to learn details about a newly revealed program they must implement by the fall. The symposium at the Grand Hyatt will attempt to explain three 'support organization models,' which all schools must choose from in the next month. The support organizations are designed to help schools hit accountability targets, provide professional development, attract high-quality teachers and design programs to help scores and attendance, according to the Department of Education."
Mr. Rivera Goes to Albany
Saturday April 21 2007, 10:58 PM
City Journal, Spring 2007; Peter Meyer, a Contributing Editor of Education Next writes, "Rivera says that he will push the governor’s initiatives, which he helped create as a member of Spitzer’s education-policy transition team; they include detailed accountability standards and the Contract for Excellence, which obligates educators to spend money on 'what works.'"
The Education Gadfly
Friday April 20 2007, 9:32 AM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. April 19, 2007, Volume 7, Number 15
Boosting Accountability in New York's Schools
Friday April 20 2007, 9:12 AM
How to Meet the Governor's Historic Challenge, Thursday, March 8, 2007. A panel of state and national education experts gathered at the state Capitol in Albany March 8 to examine and debate Gov. Spitzer's historic education reform plan, which aims to hold New York schools more accountable than ever before. This page features a link to a slide presentation by one of the featured speakers, and also includes streaming audio of the event including John C. Reid, Assistant Secretary for Education State of New York; Thomas W. Carroll, President, Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability; Paul E. Peterson Director, Program on Educational Policy and Governance Kennedy School of Government; Moderator: David F. Shaffer, President, Public Policy Institute of New York State; Panelists: Carl Hayden, Chancellor Emeritus, New York State Board of Regents; Richard C. Iannuzzi, President, New York State United Teachers; Timothy G. Kremer, Executive Director, New York State School Boards Association; Thomas L. Rogers, Executive Director, New York State Council of School Superintendents; Sol Stern, Contributing Editor, City Journal and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
THE SCHOOL WARS: TEACHERS UNIONS MAULED GOV
Friday April 20 2007, 8:46 AM
NY Post Op-ed contributor Thomas W. Carroll, president of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability opines, "In sum, the governor's vision for educational accountability got mangled in the legislative process. The public and educators will get much better student data. But the political process removed the 'teeth' from any consequences for failure. Teachers unions hijacked the infusion of billions of dollars in state money for things they favor - smaller class size (read more dues-paying teachers) - and blocked crucial companion measures like longer school days, longer school years and more flexible work rules that are the sine qua non for successful schools, especially those serving economically disadvantaged populations. At the same time, the governor couldn't expand school choice on anything like the scale of the vast need for alternatives, especially in New York City. The net result: New York state will spend billions more on public schools, and likely produce marginal, if any, changes in outcomes. Eventually, the new assessment system will let us demonstrate this failure conclusively - but that will be faint solace for the generation of children who will be forever damaged by our failure to get reform right."
THE SCHOOL WARS: LESSONS FROM NYC
Friday April 20 2007, 8:40 AM
NY Post Op-ed contributor New York City Mayor Bloomberg opines, "I've always been a strong believer in the idea that if an extra year is necessary in order to learn basic and essential skills and knowledge, then that year is well-spent. And as our program to end social promotion demonstrated real results, the status-quo crowd stopped screaming. Turning around the school system in D.C. won't be any easier than it's been here in New York. But it can be done - and it must be done. The future of our cities, and of our nation, rests on whether we can create schools where children receive the high-quality education they will need to pursue their dreams in the 21st century. Our children deserve nothing less, and we can't settle for anything less."
Parents, UFT and city in talkathon
Thursday April 19 2007, 9:01 AM
NY Daily News CARRIE MELAGO reports, "The city officials offered to modify the proposed new school funding plan, possibly leaving teachers' salaries out of the formula, sources said. They also suggested the creation of a task force to study parent involvement, sources said. 'There were crumbs for everybody,' said a person who attended the meeting."
Eight for 2008: Education Ideas for the Next President
Tuesday April 17 2007, 6:51 PM
Education Sector is offering the following eight education ideas for the 2008 presidential campaign -- Unlock the Pre-K Door , Offer Teachers a New Deal , Create a National Corps of 'SuperPrincipals', Open New Schools in Low-Income Neighborhoods, Launch Learning into the 21st Century, Reward Hard-Working Immigrant Students, Give Students a Roadmap to Good Colleges, Help Students Help Others.
Chancellor Klein Specifies Restructuring of New York City Schools
Tuesday April 17 2007, 7:48 AM
NY Times reports, "Principals are being asked to choose among three options: empowerment, in which schools are organized into networks and led by network support teams; partner support organizations, in which nine private nonprofit groups can be hired on contract to provide support to schools; and four learning support organizations, run by former regional superintendents, each with a different theme."
Connecticut's New Education Commissioner Faces a Long To-Do List
Sunday April 15 2007, 9:42 AM
NY Times reports, "Mr. McQuillan, who is to begin his job on Monday as the state’s commissioner of education, said Connecticut has been a leader in education reform and has a unique governing structure that fosters teamwork among local school boards, the State Department of Education, legislators and educational advocates."
The Education Gadfly
Friday April 13 2007, 10:18 AM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation; April 12, 2007, Volume 7, Number 14
Catholic schools need more than our prayers
Thursday April 12 2007, 9:00 AM
NY Daily News guest contributor Peter Meyer, contributing editor at Education Next and author of a new report in that journal, titled "Can Catholic Schools Be Saved?" opines, "This is not a sectarian fight, nor should it be. The era of choice in public schools has opened the way for daring reform in the public school system - and the most daring and successful of these new schools look remarkably like Catholic schools of old: they are focused and mission-driven. Parents deserve a choice in the school their children attend. It is in the educational interests of our children not only to allow that competition to take place, but to encourage it."
Troubled Schools Turn Around by Shrinking
Wednesday April 11 2007, 12:54 PM
NPR Larry Abramson reports, "So what are the chances that Northwestern can be reborn as an effective, small, career-oriented high school? Allan Golston has spent years trying to reform high schools for the Gates Foundation. He says Northwestern already has one strike against it: It has a history to overcome. 'New schools are just easier,' Golston says. Comprehensive high schools are more challenging, because 'the number of supports that you need in these comprehensive high schools are significant.'"
End city district tug of war over school finances, record
Wednesday April 11 2007, 7:52 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Op-Ed contributors, Rochester Board of Education president and additional board members opine, "City Hall has taken a public stand that funding should be tied to academic achievement. Certainly, this board expects and promotes improved academic standards. Yet reducing aid will not produce better outcomes. No one would suggest that the police force cut its budget because the crime rate is rising. Money does not equal results; however, no reasonable person could expect better results from fewer resources. The district has been focusing on fundamentals, and we have been getting results by virtually every measure. Even our seniors are graduating to a higher standard. Our graduation rate has hovered around 50 percent for many years, but in 2003, only 21 percent of our students earned a Regents diploma. Now, 52 percent of our graduates earn Regents diplomas in four years and an additional 6 percent get theirs in five years."
UFT BIDS TO GRADE MIKE PLAN
Wednesday April 11 2007, 7:35 AM
NY Post David Andreatta writes, "The head of the city's teachers union wants to put together a "multipartisan" task force to judge mayoral control of the school system and devise possible alternatives, The Post has learned. Delegates of the United Federa tion of Teachers were expected to vote as early as today to give their president, Randi Weingarten , the green light to move on the project.."
Wednesday April 11 2007, 7:30 AM
NY Post opines, "Again, there's nothing wrong with looking out for No. 1. And most teachers do care a great deal about their students. But let's be clear: The union and its political allies (as we've noted before) have their own agenda here. They want to restore the old status quo - a system over which they and the entrenched educrats held sway, but one that failed to educate huge numbers of kids. Indeed, they want to ensure that they, and those who dance to their tune, are the ones who call the shots."
Fund the Child: A Better Way to Help Disadvantaged Students
Tuesday April 10 2007, 10:55 AM
HumanEvents.com contributor Dan Lips writes, "In January, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed that Gotham adopt three new policies: 'backpack funding,' school-based management, and widespread school choice. This bundle of reforms -- known as the 'weighted student formula' -- embodies a new approach to education finance."
Don't rush school accountability measures
Tuesday April 10 2007, 9:33 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle opines, "The contracts for excellence don't mean much if districts are offered enticing new piles of categorical aid — money for such things as class size reduction and teacher quality — but aren't told with clarity how their progress will be assessed. The narrow windows are yet another consequence of a budget process that starts too late. If Spitzer and the Legislature had cut a deal on schools early in the session, the regulations for the contracts could have been properly prepared and vetted by now. In the absence of that, the state should take pains to work with districts on accountability measures that not only are fair but are given a public airing. "
Mayor Attacks Critics of Plan to Fix Schools
Tuesday April 10 2007, 9:10 AM
NY Times reports, "While the mayor suggested that the gathering yesterday was evidence of a groundswell of support for his agenda, the group was composed of many people who also have business dealings with the school system, including two former Education Department officials, leaders of nonprofit organizations that are helping to run schools and high-profile donors who have given millions to support the mayor’s work. Mr. Bloomberg has come under increasing attack from parent groups, community advocates, elected officials and union leaders, urging him to halt his plans to reorganize the school bureaucracy. These plans include eliminating the city’s 10 instructional regions and adopting a new school budgeting system."
Blazin' Bloomberg, Mike fires salvo at school policy foes, comparing them with NRA fanatics
Tuesday April 10 2007, 8:52 AM
NY Daily News CARRIE MELAGO reports, "Bloomberg said his detractors, including the teachers union, are merely a 'small chorus' that supports the status quo for its own self-interest, just like the National Rifle Association. 'You always do have the problem of a very small group of people who are single-issue focused having a disproportionate percentage of power,' he said. 'That's exactly the NRA.'"
MIKE'S SCHOOL-WAR BLAST: UFT = NRA
Tuesday April 10 2007, 8:36 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "Bolstered by a vote of confidence from 100 civic leaders, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday took aim at what he called 'special interests' trying to derail his education reforms, and compared the tactics of the teachers union to those of gun lobbyists."
Joint Statement on Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)
Sunday April 08 2007, 6:39 PM
The groups worked together to offer recommendations in 11 areas, including giving states and schools the flexibility to use "growth models" to gain credit for increasing student achievement; creating rewards and differentiating consequences; supporting meaningful, long-term school reform; and ensuring fair testing of special populations. Recommendations also ask that the reauthorization include a renewed state-federal partnership that will provide states the flexibility to ensure the law works effectively in each and every state.
The Education Gadfly
Saturday April 07 2007, 12:37 PM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation; April 5, 2007, Volume 7, Number 13
P-16 Education: A Plan for Action
Wednesday April 04 2007, 9:10 AM
Improve high school attendance and graduation rates by setting performance targets, promoting promising practices that remove barriers to graduation, and holding schools accountable for dramatic improvements. Problem: Since higher standards were adopted in 1996, the number of high school graduates each year has increased. However, only 64% of students who entered 9th grade in 2001 graduated in four years; 18% were still enrolled and 11% had dropped out. Rates for Black and Hispanic students were below 45%. Data show that graduation rates are closely tied to attendance rates. As attendance declines below 95%, graduation rates decline significantly. And both attendance and graduation rates decline with poverty. New York’s current graduation rate standard is only 55%, one of the lowest in the nation. Schools need to focus on the least served students, such as Black males, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities. Actions: ¦ Set a State graduation rate standard, publish four- and five-year graduation rates by school, and specify a schedule of improvement targets for schools to close the gap between their graduation rate and State standard. Set targets now for the students who entered 9th grade in 2004 and will graduate in 2008. This action is especially important to ensure that more schools intervene to help the most underserved students, such as Black males, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities Research and benchmark other states for effective, innovative strategies that improve high school graduation and attendance rates. Include strategies that begin in middle school and focus on the transition from middle to high school. Emphasize a meaningful curriculum that includes the arts, music, physical education and career and technical programs. Provide effective strategies to schools to enable them to achieve the State targets through regional networks
Message from Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Senior Deputy Commissioner of Education- P-16
Wednesday April 04 2007, 9:03 AM
It is an exciting time for education in New York State. For the first time in recent history, we have a solid P-16 action plan for statewide education reform and the resources necessary to fully support our schools and to help all students reach high standards of performance. The Board of Regents have set forth a P-16 agenda to improve graduation rates, strengthen instruction, raise learning standards, and increase accountability. At the same time, the new 2007-08 State budget includes an unprecedented increase of $1.7 billion in aid to school districts across the State. With the action plan and resources as the foundation for the future of education in this State, we are well-positioned to marshal the talent and energy across the Pre-Kindergarten through higher education continuum to achieve greater success for all students.
Real N.Y. school reform has only just begun
Wednesday April 04 2007, 8:34 AM
NY Daily News guest contributor Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform opines, "Many Democrats in particular will find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between, on the one hand, a reform-minded governor who is responding to a frustrated public and, on the other, to entrenched political forces that have proven to be more than willing to simply continue along without making important changes that would make excellence commonplace in our schools. Among the reforms we must begin to try without further delay: genuine accountability for our teachers that gives principals more authority to hire and fire educators; pay scales that give different teachers different salaries, based on market realities and quality; an aggressive overhaul of the way teachers are trained; and more choice for students and families. To be sure, the most historic part of this year's education budget is the resolution of the 14-year-old Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, under which the state will now hike its spending on education by billions of dollars per year. But lasting change will require much more than just sending more and more money into systems where children compete with grownups for their share of the attention. In that regard, the fight has just begun."
National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teachers
Tuesday April 03 2007, 5:32 PM
The National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, & Teaching (NCREST) is a research and development organization at Teachers College, Columbia University. Founded in 1990 by Linda Darling-Hammond and Ann Lieberman, NCREST is currently co-directed by Jacqueline Ancess and Thomas Hatch. NCREST is affiliated with Teachers College Department of Curriculum and Teaching.
Get Mayors in the Schooling Game
Tuesday April 03 2007, 9:58 AM
David Harris, President and CEO of The Mind Trust and Andrew J. Rotherham, co-founder and co-director of Education Sector and a member of the Virginia Board of Education opine, "Mayors can open their own public schools. Doing so does not mean walking away from other struggling public schools, but it does mean providing more high quality seats for students and introducing healthy competition into the public sector. This is not just a theory. In Indianapolis, America's 12th largest city, Mayor Bart Peterson is creating an entirely new sector of public schools. In 2001, the Indiana legislature granted the Mayor of Indianapolis the authority to issue public school charters to nonprofit entities as part of broader charter school legislation. Mayor Peterson, a Democrat who has served as mayor since 2000, enthusiastically embraced the authority and the idea of public charter schooling. Public charter schools are independent public schools that are tuition-free, open to all children, and publicly financed."
SPITZER'S SCHOOL SELLOUT ...
Saturday March 31 2007, 8:42 AM
NY Post opines, "The charter battle is about something more vital than money: It's about this state's children and what sort of future they are able to make for themselves. It wasn't enough that the unions and the education lobby made off like bandits, with $7 billion of new cash over the next four years. Spitzer also seems willing to let unions and educrats shackle charters beyond recognition. Even the fig leaf of 100 more charter schools can't hide that. What a disgrace."
The Education Gadfly
Friday March 30 2007, 4:15 PM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation April 1, 2007, Volume 0, Number 0
SCHOOL WARS: NOTHING TO FEAR
Friday March 30 2007, 8:19 AM
NY Post Adam Brodsky opines, "RUN for your lives, kiddies! Mad Chancellor Klein is about to launch School Reorganization No. 3! That's the hysterical message from labor and left-wing groups opposed to Joel Klein's latest school reforms. Wednesday, more than two dozen Chicken Little members of the City Council actually announced legislation to slow Klein down - lest the sky tumble down on Gotham's young'uns. Some state lawmakers are set to sound similar alarms on Monday. Please. The kids will be fine, reforms and all. At worst, their schools won't be any more awful than they've been for the past few decades. Anyway, the Big Reorg isn't really all that big. Some of Klein's ideas are so commonsensical, anyone opposing them couldn't possibly have kids in mind. Others merely hold promise - or seem little more than spine-stiffening exercises. It's hard to see cause for fear - while there may be grounds for hope."
Mike's school funding fix worked out West
Thursday March 29 2007, 8:11 AM
NY Daily News Guest Contributor Arlene Ackerman, Christian A. Johnson professor of Outstanding Educational Practice at Teachers College, Columbia University opines, "Many have complained that the reform push here has shut out community voices. But to their credit, Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein are now doing extensive outreach. People shouldn't hesitate to speak out - not only about what they think the precise sums of money ought to be but also, in the end, about how individual schools should spend their budgets given newfound autonomy. In San Francisco, site-based decision-making provided new opportunities for community members to participate in the decisions that matter most to children. The same can happen here. The mayor and chancellor have aroused anxiety in part because they have tackled one issue that we in San Francisco didn't address. We essentially said that schools with many senior teachers would be held harmless for those teachers' higher costs. Bloomberg has said he will do that for existing teachers, but not for future teachers. Because high-poverty schools chronically have lower-salary teachers, that's a big step. The mayor deserves applause for tackling this challenge."
Young African-American boys are in crisis -- and nation is silent
Wednesday March 28 2007, 12:24 PM
Sun Times contributor Rev. Jesse Jackson writes, "These kids face long odds from day one. In the crucial early years -- from the time of conception to age 3 -- when the mind is largely forged, they are shackled. One in five children is raised in poverty in this rich country, with no systematic program to ensure prenatal care, health care, day care, parental education. We've got too many babies raising babies who don't have the resources or the knowledge of how to take care of their children. We should be mobilizing intervention on the front side of these lives. Instead, we spend more on police, crime and prisons on the back end."
Illinois uses test loophole
Wednesday March 28 2007, 8:51 AM
Chicago Tribune reports, "Under the reform, schools are judged only on the scores of students enrolled for a 'full academic year.' Each state is allowed to determine what constitutes a full year. Until last year, Illinois schools were responsible only for students enrolled by Oct. 1 of that school year. Now, students must be enrolled by May 1 of the previous school year for their score to count under the federal law. The relaxation of the rules helped 53 schools, including 28 in Chicago, escape the federal failing schools list. Schools that land on the roster face a series of escalating sanctions, including allowing students to transfer to better campuses and offering free tutoring to those who remain. The enrollment exemption is designed to avoid penalizing schools that have many students transferring in after the school year has begun -- often, children from homeless, migrant and low-income families."
WFP: WEINGARTEN'S FAKE PROTESTERS
Wednesday March 28 2007, 8:23 AM
NY Post opines, "The far-left Working Families Party and its minions - 27 members of the City Council, led by Education Committee Chairman Robert Jackson, answering to teachers-union boss Randi Weingarten - are holding a press conference/rally today at City Hall to launch the latest assault on continuing mayoral control of the city's public schools. Specifically, the group will announce a new council resolution calling on Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein to postpone an upcoming school-reorganization plan, pending a 'dialogue' on the future of the city's schools."
No Retreat on School Reform
Monday March 26 2007, 9:28 AM
Washington Post Op-Ed contributor Sen. Edward Kennedy, a lead author of the Leave No Child Behind Act opines, "Part of the act's promise was that greater accountability would be accompanied by greater support. We knew that federal resources would be critical to achieving the goals. When the law was adopted in 2002, Congress delivered $22 billion to support public education -- an increase of 20 percent over the previous year. This was an unprecedented federal investment. The law promised increased funding levels over the life of its provisions, in step with the increase in targets for student performance. Yet year after year, the federal government has failed to provide the resources that states and school districts need to improve struggling schools. Assessment and accountability without the funding needed to implement change is a recipe for failure.":
New York City Schools Chancellor KLEIN EDGES TOWARD SCHOOL REVOLUTION
Sunday March 25 2007, 9:06 AM
NY Post reports, "Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said during a teaching symposium yesterday that the city should 'take a serious look at some of the recommendations' in a December report by the bipartisan New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce and consider making 'bold, systemic challenges to the status quo.' The report entitled 'Tough Choices or Tough Times' - the subject of yesterday's panel discussion - made several recommendations, including a 'state board qualifying exam' that would be taken by all children after 10th grade to determine the future of their education. Depending on their scores, students would be sent for two years in high-level secondary school or two to three years in regional vocational schools or community or technical colleges. The commission - which counts Klein as a member - also advocated the elimination of school districts and local school funding, a system of 'contract schools; run by independent entities, high-quality universal pre-K, free adult education and an option for teachers to take higher salaries in exchange for fewer pension benefits."
Rochester City School District expects more aid
Friday March 23 2007, 9:00 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "When the smoke clears, the City School District could use the additional funds for initiatives that: Extend the school year from 180 to 200 days for students in first through eighth grades who are not meeting state language arts and math standards. Provide funding for a pilot program in some currently unnamed city schools to lengthen the school day. Provide intervention programs for three high schools — Jefferson, Monroe and the International Finance & Economic Development Career school at Franklin — recently cited by the state for registration review. Establish an African-American studies program. Convert Frederick Douglass from a middle school — which the state has recently threatened to close — to a high school with grades 7 through 12. The district has a pending partnership agreement with the State University College at Brockport that will make Douglass an early college high school, [City School Superintendent ]Rivera said."
The Education Gadfly
Thursday March 22 2007, 9:37 PM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation; March 22, 2007, Volume 7, Number 12
Utah heats up long-simmering school-voucher debate, Governor has signed into law the first 'universal' voucher program in the US
Thursday March 22 2007, 9:49 AM
Christian Science Monitor reports, "The idea of vouchers dates back to the 1950s, when economist Milton Friedman suggested it would promote competition and improve schools. Proponents also argue that families should be able to apply some tax dollars to whatever school they choose. Opponents insist that public money should be used only for public schools, rather than to subsidize private and religious institutions. The Reagan administration pushed for vouchers, as did the current Bush administration in the initial education-reform proposals leading up to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which is now five years old and up for reauthorization. But so far, voucher programs have persisted only in about half a dozen states and districts; most are offered to students in low-income families, low-performing schools, or special-education programs."
Charter school group announces expansion
Wednesday March 21 2007, 8:52 AM
AP reports, "A national nonprofit charter school organization once featured on Oprah Winfrey's talk show said Tuesday it had raised $65 million toward a $100 million goal to greatly expand its presence in the Houston area. Starting this summer, officials with the nonprofit Knowledge is Power Program Foundation said the money will be used to expand the Houston chain from eight schools and 1,700 students to 42 charter schools with 21,000 students over the next decade."
Wednesday March 21 2007, 7:30 AM
NY Post opines, "Frankly, it's the UFT and its dubious allies who are disrespecting parents. Shame on them."
Key State Education Policies on PK-12 Education: 2006
Tuesday March 20 2007, 12:20 PM
This CCSSO report informs policymakers and educators about the current status of key education policies across the 50 states that define and shape elementary and secondary education in public schools. The report is part of a continuing biennial series by the Council’s state education indicators program. CCSSO reports 50-state information on policies regarding teacher preparation and certification, high school graduation requirements, student assessment programs, school time, and student attendance. The report also includes state-by-state information on content standards and curriculum, teacher assessment, and school leader/administrator licensure.
50-State Report on Key State Education Policies
Tuesday March 20 2007, 12:06 PM
From the Council of Chief State School Officers , "The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announces publication of the biennial report Key State Education Policies on PK-12 Education: 2006. The most recent edition of this report updates two decades of research, providing 50-state analysis and trends for state policies that define teaching and learning across the nation. The report covers several areas of state policy that will define efforts of states, districts, and schools to meet key requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)."
Save these students
Tuesday March 20 2007, 8:17 AM
NY Daily News columnist Bill Hammond writes, "What is it about charter schools that makes people in Albany so nuts? These privately managed public schools are working miracles in the inner cities of New York, delivering superior education to poor kids at lower cost than many regular public schools. A sane state government would let a thousand charters bloom. Yet Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and his majority Democrats - who claim to represent the downtrodden - are trying to squash the movement."
PARENT PROTEST SHAKES SCHOOL-SHAKEUP MEETING
Tuesday March 20 2007, 8:04 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "Dozens of angry parents, students and activists last night disrupted a panel meeting headed by Chancellor Joel Klein, in protest of his planned reorganization of the city's school system. Chanting, 'No respect for parents' and 'Listen to the parents,' about 60 protesters stalled the monthly gathering of the Panel for Educational Policy at Department of Education headquarters for 20 minutes."
Union does disservice to Roosevelt
Monday March 19 2007, 10:24 AM
Newsday Ray J. Keating opines, "Government's failure in terms of educating our children is on sad display in Roosevelt. Lots of hard-earned taxpayer dollars have been wasted. But far worse, so many individuals have failed to reach their full potential due to a lousy education. Why can't we have a school choice plan like Utah's in New York? And why not start in districts like Roosevelt so parents can give their kids a chance by liberating them from failing schools? There is no reason we cannot, except for politicians who cower before the education unions. Our elected officials should be ashamed."
Rochester City schools in distress
Monday March 19 2007, 9:25 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle opines, "While outgoing Rochester schools superintendent Manuel Rivera has been aggressive in dealing with poor middle school performance, it's clear from the state's tougher stance on performance that the new superintendent must bring in major credentials in education reform. For the new leader, there will be no time for settling in or the typical new-arrival 'assessment'' of the situation. This community will need from the new superintendent a commitment from day one to shake up the status quo, to continue those aspects of Rivera's program that worked — and there were many — and to quickly identify and change those that didn't."
What Albany owes N.Y.C.
Monday March 19 2007, 9:15 AM
NY Daily News opines, "School mandates - Spitzer would give Mayor Bloomberg the flexibility to use the extra school aid as he thinks best. But Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver tied it with strings sought by United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. These include a requirement to cut class sizes, which may or may not be the best use of dollars but would surely boost the number of teachers. Drop the mandates."
Take 'em to school, Mike
Monday March 19 2007, 8:59 AM
NY Daily News opines, "The drumbeat of opposition to school reform grows ever louder under the skillful orchestration of teachers union President Randi Weingarten. It's time for Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein to fight back with facts."
School finance reform plan gains support
Friday March 16 2007, 8:41 AM
Post-Standard reports, "[Assemblyman] Magnarelli also said the [Statewide School Finance] consortium's formula is fair and would drive more money into poor urban and rural districts. The consortium developed the formula a decade ago and has been advocating for it ever since. The organization, based in East Syracuse, has almost 300 members, including school districts throughout Onondaga, Cayuga, Madison and Oswego counties, Timbs said. Its formula would establish a per-pupil foundation aid, adjust it for regional cost differences, provide extra aid for high-need students who cost more to educate and include a "save harmless" provision so that no district would lose basic aid. Statewide, about 200 of the 700 or so districts would see no increase and the rest would see their aid go up, said Larry Cummings, executive director of the Central New York School Boards Association, which founded and coordinates the consortium. Most Central New York districts would see increases."
More learning takes more time
Friday March 16 2007, 8:27 AM
Times Herald-Record opines, "We should embrace the extra cost of a longer day and year if it returns a dividend. We should not avoid the investment for fear that it would be lost in poorly run schools. Therefore, we should make sure that the schools are managed better and invest accordingly."
The Education Gadfly
Thursday March 15 2007, 6:00 PM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, March 15, 2007, Volume 7, Number 11
New Jersey Gov. Corzine visit draws protest over school-funding formula
Thursday March 15 2007, 8:31 AM
Asbury Park Press reports, "The parents held signs urging the state to reform its education funding policies, including eliminating the Abbott school district designation, which provides extra state aid to poor districts. Freehold is not an Abbott district and has been getting flat funding for years as have other districts throughout the state. Parents at the demonstration said the inequitable funding must stop and that their district desperately needs money."
California Education Reform Under Spotlight
Wednesday March 14 2007, 3:46 PM
AP reports, "Overhauling California's schools will require tougher teacher standards and lots of money -- as much as a mind-boggling $1.5 trillion per year, according to studies being released Wednesday. The reports are intended to kick start a discussion of major reforms to the nation's largest public education system, but make no concrete recommendations."
NCES Website on State Education Reforms
Tuesday March 13 2007, 8:09 AM
This site, which draws primarily on data collected by organizations other than NCES, compiles and disseminates data on state-level education reform efforts in four areas: Standards, Assessment, and Accountability; School Finance Reforms; Resources for Learning and State Support for School Choice Options.
ACCOUNTABILITY for ALL
Monday March 12 2007, 2:41 PM
5 Ways to Reform the Teacher Discipline Process, New York State School Boards Association (2007).
Audit faults Buffalo school contracts
Monday March 12 2007, 7:26 AM
AP reports, "A state audit criticizes Buffalo Public Schools for spending 6-point-3 (m) million dollars for school reform and technology initiatives without contracts detailing the work that was supposed to be done or the ability to make sure the district was getting what it paid for. The 41-page report urges district officials to recover any money spent on services that were not provided while questioning oversight and management."
Funding school reforms may tax California governor
Monday March 12 2007, 6:56 AM
LA Times reports, "There'll be suggestions that more funds be spent on poor-performing and low-wealth schools. That financial incentives be available to recruit teachers for hard-to-fill positions, such as science instructor. That principals be given more free rein to fire bad teachers and pay the best ones better. That the maze of categorical programs be blown up and restructured. That the whole school system be more open to scrutiny — more transparent — and thus more accountable to the public. 'It will encourage all of us to think about education reform in a holistic way,' says Ted Mitchell, former president of Occidental College and currently chairman of the Governor's Committee on Education Excellence, one of the project's requesters."
Expert flunks school testing
Friday March 09 2007, 7:03 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "[Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability president] Carroll said New York needs to: Measure students' gains over a period of time, rather than just use a 'snapshot approach' of comparing students in a single grade each year. Use letter grades or a 0-100 grading system, rather than sorting performance into four levels, so the public can better understand results. Label school performance more accurately. Currently, a school with kindergarten through grade 8 with poor performance in just one or two areas will get the same classification — in need of improvement — as a school that fails in a multitude of areas. That 'simply makes no sense and substantially undermines the overall system's credibility,' Carroll said. Remove conflicts of interest by prohibiting teachers, schools and districts from scoring their own exams. Ensure that exam results are reported sooner. The state Education Department reported results of math and English/language arts exams last fall from the previous school year. The agency has promised to release this year's scores before the school year ends. Provide financial incentives for districts that do well, in addition to having serious consequences for those that do not. The recommendations are in a report the foundation is releasing this week."
The Education Gadfly
Thursday March 08 2007, 6:47 PM
A Weekly Bulletin of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation; March 8, 2007, Volume 7, Number 10
NCLB School Reform Deserves Renewal, and It's Not Enough
Thursday March 08 2007, 11:23 AM
Mort Kondracke, Executive Editor of Roll Call writes, "The state with the best academic achievement records of all -- Massachusetts -- could boast only that about half of its students scored proficiently on the National Assessment of Education Progress. At the bottom was Washington, D.C., with proficiency ratings barely above 10 percent. The chamber hopes to equip its state affiliates and member businesses to confront state legislatures, local school boards and teachers unions to demand reform. It's a worthy purpose. And it could use some help from a presidential candidate who'll call for a grand trade -- professional level pay for teachers in return for professional accountability, pay-for-performance and an end to rigid union work rules. Also, equalization of funding between rich and poor school districts, a longer school day and a longer school year and more investment in early childhood education. Republicans resist spending more. Democrats chronically do the bidding of the teachers unions. America's kids and the country's future need a president who'll break that rancid mold."
All must see to it that schools succeed
Thursday March 08 2007, 9:58 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Guest Essayist Stephen Uebbing, professor in the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education writes, "Schools are reflections of the society they serve, and thus, real accountability must include the social systems surrounding the schoolhouse. Schools must embrace deep parent and community involvement if they hope to realize true reform, especially in high need areas. Fundamental systemic changes, such as the Rochester Children's Zone, offer real promise. In the end, society deserves accountability for its investment, and if the superintendent has to serve as the vanguard for such accountability, so be it. But let's also recognize that we are all accountable for our public schools, and only when we make the entire system accountable do we achieve 'true' reform."
Crowd fumes as chancellor bolts from forum; A PTA president calls the meeting 'a disgrace,' with only 90 minutes for audience remarks
Thursday March 08 2007, 9:44 AM
Staten Island Advance reports, "[New York City Schools Chancellor] Klein's appearance was part of a five-borough series addressing the next phase of Children First, a four-part agenda for school reform that will eliminate regional offices and institute a new student-based school funding formula, a more rigorous teacher tenure review, and greater school accountability measures."
Debunking a Special Education Myth
Thursday March 08 2007, 8:38 AM
Jay P. Greene, professor of education reform, University of Arkansas, and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and Marcus A. Winters, senior research associate at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and doctoral fellow at the University of Arkansas write, " Can spiraling special education costs explain why educational achievement remained stagnant over the past three decades while real education spending more than doubled? Policy makers, education researchers, and school district officials often make this claim. Special education students—goes the argument—are draining resources away from regular education students."
Teachers union given `F' for truth in lobbying ads
Tuesday March 06 2007, 7:47 PM
AP MICHAEL GORMLEY reports, "Spitzer also supports more charter schools _ because they are highly regulated and accountable public schools run by private enterprises. Charter schools must prove success every five years or be closed, which has happened to some already. Spitzer also proposes 'transition aid' to help traditional schools cope financially when they lose students to a charter school, taking their state aid with them. 'Some of the claims are misleading,' said Spitzer spokeswoman Christine Anderson. Nonetheless, the administration will continue to work with NYSUT to advance Spitzer's budget proposal that also calls for a $1.4 billion increase in the fiscal year beginning April 1. 'I find it kind of astonishing, their lack of gratitude, the total piggyness that they want to have it all their own way,' said Tom Carroll of the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability, which supports charter schools."
New York is useful model for school reform; Detroit could learn from switch to small, innovative high schools
Tuesday March 06 2007, 10:25 AM
The Detroit News reports, "In New York City, for example, leaders replaced the lowest performing high schools with small schools. They allow for more personalized relationships between students and teachers, who can get to know their students' emotional, social and academic needs. Small specialty schools also use creative approaches to be both efficient and effective, such as team teaching and using trimesters. In the past, Detroit school system leaders have been unwilling to open themselves to such dramatic reforms and there have been no signals that they are now."
Fixing No Child Left Behind
Tuesday March 06 2007, 8:11 AM
WSJ Review and Outlook, "President Bush's 2008 budget sets aside $250 million for 'promise scholarships' for low-income students in schools that have consistently underperformed for five years. The scholarships would average about $4,000 and "the money would follow the child to the public, charter or private school of his or her choice." Them's fightin' words for the Democrats who now control Congress. But Mr. Bush has the bully pulpit, as well as the moral authority from five years of evidence on failing schools. We hope his Administration uses them to explain why real school choice is essential to any reform in K-12 education."
Council Assails Mayor’s Plan to Give Principals More Autonomy
Tuesday March 06 2007, 7:53 AM
NY Times DAVID M. HERSZENHORN reports, "At yesterday’s Council hearing, the Education Committee chairman, Councilman Robert Jackson, invoked the bus problems as part of his criticism of the department’s overall performance and as a reason for slowing down any additional widening of principals’ autonomy. 'I’m not confident in the D.O.E.’s ability to make such large-scale reform,' Mr. Jackson said. 'All we have to do is look back a month ago to the school bus fiasco.'”
Teacher union ads flunk
Tuesday March 06 2007, 7:00 AM
NY Daily News Bill Hammond writes, "Here's the truth. Spitzer wants to boost annual state aid to public schools by $7 billion, or 40%, over the next four years. That's far more than the Court of Appeals required in its ruling on the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. It's enough cash to finance things teachers have been talking about for decades, such as smaller class sizes. Most interest groups, if confronted by a windfall that huge, would break out the champagne. Not NYSUT. After praising the governor for providing 'increased funding,' they turn around and attack him for wanting to open more charter schools and offer a minuscule tax break to private-school parents."
Education Update Online
Monday March 05 2007, 7:18 PM
Mike's leap of faith
Monday March 05 2007, 8:31 AM
NY Daily News reports, "Last week, more than 1,000 parents and activists rallied against the Education Department's reorganization plans and complained their opinions are being ignored. Bloomberg told the congregations he plans to make the teacher tenure process "more accountable and more rigorous." He also said a new program will start in September to base school funding on the number of students enrolled. 'Some schools get more money than others - that's just wrong,' Bloomberg said."
New York City Schools Chancellor: no letting up on school reform
Sunday March 04 2007, 9:47 AM
NY Daily News interview with Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.
Thursday March 01 2007, 8:23 AM
Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch have found themselves at odds on policy over the years, but they share a passion for improving schools. Bridging Differences will offer their insights on what matters most in education.
THE UFT'S ALBANY PUPPETS
Thursday March 01 2007, 7:19 AM
NY Post opines, "Education Committee Chairwoman Cathy Nolan and Assemblyman Ruben Diaz questioned Mayor Bloomberg's progress in improving the schools in the five years since he wrested control of them from folks like, well . . . Weingarten & Co. In so doing, they made their ultimate goal obvious: to kill off Chancellor Joel Klein's reorganization plan and then reclaim school governance for folks like (you guessed it) Weingarten & Co."
Money would be better spent on ‘new schools'
Tuesday February 27 2007, 8:50 AM
Ithaca Journal contributor Stephen Paul Lucente writes, "The new schools would form the basis of a new decentralized district that would be run by a new class of teacher/administrator who would take on the job of running these smaller enterprises in return for the opportunity to shape their own destiny and share in the rewards. This teacher/administrator position would provide a new career path option for teachers, providing hands-on leadership and the long needed return to teacher control."
No Child Left Behind? Well, Maybe Just a Few
Tuesday February 27 2007, 8:22 AM
Bloomberg.com columnist Andrew Ferguson writes, "Already proposals are being made to rope 12th-graders into the No Child law's elaborate system of federally mandated tests, which means that high schools would finally be held accountable for graduating poorly educated seniors. The most recent of these proposals, by the Aspen Institute, received a favorable response from reformers, including within the administration. Indeed, the administration has tried before to extend the No Child law to upper grades, with no luck. Stopping it was the usual anti-reform stonewall of teachers' unions and congressional Democrats, along with an astonishingly powerful vocational-school lobby."
Democrats Pledge: No Vouchers in NCLB
Saturday February 24 2007, 3:17 PM
Heartland Institute School Reform News Dan Lips writes, "On January 23, Bush announced plans to include expanded school choice options in NCLB, including: requiring underperforming schools to offer scholarships to low-income students, to allow them to transfer to the private or out-of-district public schools of their choice; providing federal funds for school boards to expand local school choice options for low-income families; and using federal funds to make sure schools inform parents about choice options in their communities in a timely manner."
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania school district gets new feedback on privatization
Saturday February 24 2007, 9:00 AM
Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "The Accountability Review Council, an independent body monitoring school improvement in Philadelphia, yesterday agreed there was 'little evidence' that the academic gains made by the six companies running 41 city schools warranted the continuation of additional funding being paid to the managers. The companies, including the for-profit Edison Schools Inc., have gotten $90 million over the last five years."
Dunce cap on school reform
Saturday February 24 2007, 8:48 AM
TU publishes LA Times story, "Although the reports came out five years after passage of President Bush's signature education reform initiative, No Child Left Behind, Hall and others said it would be unfair to blame that program for the students' poor showing. They were already in high school when No Child Left Behind was enacted, and it is primarily aimed at elementary and middle schools." (Read report at www.educationnewyork.com/policy filed under Achievement Gap)
Majority of Linn County, Missouri superintendents believe state education funding inadequate -- hinders academic performance
Friday February 23 2007, 7:48 PM
Linn County Leader reports, "When the litigation was initiated on the premise Missouri's new school funding formula is 'inadequate,' the plaintiffs painted with a broad brush, citing the lack of educational programs, facilities, and qualified educators as resources that needed to be propped up with additional state dollars. But Stanford University Economist Eric Hanushek testified on behalf of the state this week that 'any measure that looks only at inputs-i.e., where the dollars go-without also tracking outputs-how students perform-is fundamentally flawed.'"
Florida Gov. Crist boosts education
Friday February 23 2007, 9:08 AM
News-Press.com reports, "• Reading coaches: Crist’s proposal would put a reading coach in every public school, costing about $26 million. About 2,100 of Florida’s 2,500 schools employ reading coaches, who assist teachers in creating and identifying strategies to improve student reading. • Virtual tutors: Crist supports spending $10 million to create an Internet-based program that lets parents and teachers track a child’s academic progress online while pinpointing areas where they need help. • Teacher bonuses: Crist wants to modify the state’s new teacher performance pay plan — a $295 million component that lets principals dole out bonuses as high as 10 percent to each school’s top educators. "
Breakthrough in School Choice
Friday February 23 2007, 8:20 AM
Adam Schaeffer, policy analyst for the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute writes, "Utah has just approved the nation's first universal school choice program, and in New York, Eliot Spitzer has become the first Democratic governor to propose a private school choice program in his state budget. These two firsts are a major shot in the arm for education reform, and they offer a glimpse of the possibilities to come."
School Finance Reform: Back to Where We Started
Friday February 23 2007, 7:18 AM
New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies studies finds, "The objectives intended by the court were to equalize opportunity to obtain adequate education (“pupil equity”) and to equalize the tax burden associated with providing it (“tax equity”). However, it now appears that the laws and programs to reform school finance, enacted beginning in 1999 to comply with the Claremont II decision, have had no effect on pupil equity, as measured by per pupil spending. Among the highest spending districts, spending is now actually a little higher relative to the median than it was in 1999. Also, while the new laws enacted in 1999 initially did affect taxpayer equity and resulted in somewhat more equal tax rates for schools among towns, much of that change has been eroded away in the past six years. If current trends continue, the variation in tax rates will be just as great in two years as it was in 1998. In essence, measured against the two goals of the Claremont II decision, the state’s school finance reform has had little impact, and we are back to where we started in 1999."
Teach character to cut racial gap in school results
Thursday February 22 2007, 10:47 AM
Star-Tribune Katherine Kersten writes, "Here in Minneapolis, the time is right for significant school reform. The district's new superintendent and school board are flexible and open to new ideas. District authorities are engaged in what they call 'a good, constructive dialogue' with KIPP representatives."
Arizona State University charter school's opening delayed
Thursday February 22 2007, 9:28 AM
The Arizona Republic reports, "Q: What will be unique about the schools? A: Staff, teachers and leaders will be trained in the process of innovations of teaching and curriculum. They could look into achievement in math, for example, so students are ready to take algebra in eighth grade, so they may need to look at curriculum. That could be a change. You see an improvement in this area and it could be presented to other Arizona schools, and it's proven in a real-life setting."
The virtue of school choice
Thursday February 22 2007, 8:44 AM
The Daily Texan reports, "On the national level, we spend twice as much per student as we did 30 years ago, adjusted for inflation, and schools have only gotten worse. At the same time, private and charter schools spend less per student and squeeze out better student performance than public schools. But there is one reform that is slowly gaining momentum: school choice. School choice advocates argue it isn't money or broken homes that explain the decline. Schools have turned into government monopolies that are unresponsive to parents' needs and have little motivation to improve educational quality. More money and government regulations only create larger bureaucracies, and choke the life out of learning."
Admissions Jockeying Starts Earlier in New York
Thursday February 22 2007, 7:08 AM
NY Times DAVID M. HERSZENHORN writes, "But some educators say greater school choice primarily benefits students with savvy, motivated parents who are able to spend time figuring out the best schools to list on applications, and puts at a further disadvantage the children with little support at home. 'I think it may in the long run offer more opportunity for better education for kids who aren’t getting it,” said Norm Fruchter of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. “But any choice program or effort gets initially monopolized by people who have the advantages of access and information and the ability to move on what their kids need.'”
New York City Education Department Becomes an Open Book
Tuesday January 16 2007, 5:37 AM
NY Post David Andreatta writes, "After four years of landmark changes to the school system, the Department of Education is preparing to turn over mounds of data related to its most radical reforms to independent researchers, The Post has learned. A list of top priorities for the new Research Partnership for New York City Schools includes examining the controversial academy for training principals, empowerment schools, and changes to the high-school admissions process."
Foundation money may aid Pittsburgh city high school makeover
Monday January 15 2007, 8:54 AM
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, "Around the country, however, high-school improvements have emerged as communitywide responsibilities. Philanthropies might provide the bulk of funding, but districts still have to find local partners to provide additional cash or other kinds of assistance."
A promising education
Sunday January 14 2007, 9:03 AM
Times Union contributor Frederick J. Frelow, director of the Early College Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, N.J. writes, "The next chapter on civil rights in New York will begin in the state's public schools. Indeed, the future of an entire generation of Americans is in the hands of our state leaders right now. They can create national models for education finance, leading the way for 49 other states to meet King's challenges and make good on the Founders' promise. This investment will not only yield a better prepared work force, but make New York's young people ready for true citizenship."
No tuition break for Utah migrants, most say
Saturday January 13 2007, 10:11 AM
The Salt Lake Tribune reports, "Sizer, the chairman of Utahns for Immigration Reform and Enforcement (UFIRE), is strongly supporting a bill in this year's Legislature that would repeal a state law allowing undocumented students who graduate from a Utah high school to pay in-state tuition at the state's nine institutions of higher education."
Connecticut School Bus Safety Reform
Saturday January 13 2007, 9:59 AM
The Hartford Courant reports, "[Connecticut] School bus drivers will now be subject to the same screening standards as teachers and coaches, Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Robert M. Ward announced Friday. 'If you're not allowed in the classroom, if you're not allowed to coach children, you should also not be able to drive them to school,' said Ward."
Bush-Democrat alliance on education law feared
Friday January 12 2007, 3:43 AM
Washington Times reports, "Mr. Bush is urging Congress this year to renew one of his biggest domestic accomplishments, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law of 2002, which aims to increase student achievement through more testing and by tracking results of schools and holding them accountable. Democrats, who now control the House and Senate, are demanding some changes to the law, most notably a significant boost in funding levels. The option of adding high school reform to this year's 'to-do' list hasn't been publicly discussed lately, but Mr. Bush included the makings of such a plan in his budget proposal last year. The NCLB law focuses on grade school and requires testing just once in reading and math from grades 10 to 12. His plan from last year would have expanded high school testing to all three years."
Reforming New York’s Property Tax System: A Report on the January 10 Conference sponsored by the Center for Governmental Research, the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Empire Center of NYS Policy
Thursday January 11 2007, 8:58 AM
Empirepage editor Peter G. Pollak suggests as a step in the right direction, "Reform the Star Program to impose a cap on school district spending increases with provisions for enrollment increases and capital spent on new buildings."
Mike's ed shakeup
Wednesday January 10 2007, 4:35 AM
NY Daily News Juan Gonzalez: reports, "According to education sources who have been informed about portions of the plan, the mayor will propose: Doubling the number of schools in Schools Chancellor Joel Klein's experimental "Empowerment Zone" from the current 300 to more than 600 - nearly half of all schools in the system. Hiring private education companies as consultants or managers to oversee smaller networks of schools within the Empowerment Zone. They also would run some support services for the entire system. Further reducing the 10 existing regional school districts into five superdistricts - one for each borough."
Frozen Assets: Rethinking Teacher Contracts Could Free Billions for School Reform
Tuesday January 09 2007, 6:57 AM
Education Sector report written by Marguerite Rosa . Many common provisions of teacher contracts require school districts to spend substantial sums to implement policies which research has shown have a weak or inconsistent relationship with student learning. This report examines eight such provisions: Increases in teacher salaries based on years of experience; Increases in teacher salaries based on educational credentials and experiences; Professional development days; Number of paid sick and personal days; Class-size limitations; Use of teachers’ aides; Generous health and insurance benefits; and Generous retirement benefits.
Kennedy to promote extended school days
Monday January 08 2007, 7:04 PM
Boston Globe reports, "Massachusetts is the first to undertake a state-sponsored initiative to lengthen time spent in some schools beyond the traditional six-hours-a-day, 180-day school year, according to Kennedy's office. Advocates say increasing classroom time should boost student achievement, especially in urban districts where parents tend to be less involved in their children's schooling. But advocates say districts cannot simply add hours. The quality of those additional hours must be strong, and educational programs might have to be rethought, they say."
Lift SUNY onto honor roll of American universities
Monday January 08 2007, 6:29 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle contributor Ed O'Shea, English professor at SUNY Oswego writes, "During his campaign, Gov. Eliot Spitzer expressed two goals for public higher education in New York: Employ more of the state's college graduates in the state. Enhance the quality and reputation of the State University of New York among other large state systems. I believe the two objectives are closely related. While some of the causes of SUNY's comparative malaise are structural and systemic and not easily addressed, others will respond to intelligent public policy initiatives. Here are my suggestions, gleaned from almost 30 years teaching in SUNY:" READ MORE
Mayors Seek to Take Charge of Schools
Sunday January 07 2007, 10:21 PM
AP reports, "The California Legislature gave the Los Angeles' mayor partial control over schools. But a judge last month struck down that law, saying it violated that state's constitution. The mayor is appealing. Mayoral control of schools is being debated in Albuquerque, N.M., and Seattle too. City leaders and their allies make the case that better schools help make cities prosper. Mayors say they are better equipped to take on the infighting, inertia and high turnover rates associated with school boards and the superintendents who report to them. New York's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, put it this way when Fenty and members of the District of Columbia City Council visited recently: "There's an old story that a camel is a racehorse designed by a committee and there's a lot more truth to that than not," Bloomberg said. "You don't run things by committee. You don't try to come to consensus when it's our children's future." Such statements have earned Bloomberg criticism from people who say he has failed to seek community input and operate in a transparent way, said David Bloomfield, who heads a program at Brooklyn College that trains school administrators."
Education reform law -- No Child Left Behind (NCLB) up for fixes
Sunday January 07 2007, 7:20 AM
CONTRA COSTA TIMES reports, "Bush has invited Miller, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to meet in the Oval Office on Monday, the law's fifth anniversary, to talk about potential changes, said Danny Weiss, Miller's chief of staff. The meeting resembles a 2001 gathering at which members of Congress and the then-new president unveiled a draft of the education initiative Bush signed into law the following year."
NYCLU Urges Spitzer to Implement School-Based Reform, End School Segregation
Saturday January 06 2007, 11:04 PM
ACLU press release: "The recommendation that the state work to decrease racial inequality in the education system arises from Racial Transformation and the Changing Nature of Segregation, a recent study of racial segregation in public schools, prepared by Gary Orfield and Chungmei Lee for the Harvard Civil Rights Project, which showed that '[t]he highest levels of black segregation [are] found in New York, Illinois, California and Michigan. In these states, the average black student attended schools with less than one-quarter white students in 2003.' The NYCLU urged the governor to adopt a vigorous program to combat school segregation, including introducing effective magnet schools and adopting transfer programs that foster integration."
Expert panel to help chart course of Louisiana state's education
Saturday January 06 2007, 10:56 PM
The Town Talk reports, "A panel of higher education experts has begun an 18-month look at what's right and wrong with Louisiana's colleges and universities with an eye toward making them better."
New Jersey Abbott districts plan focuses on personal attention
Saturday January 06 2007, 3:30 PM
The Jersey Journal reports, "State [New Jersey] and local school officials are rewriting the lesson plan for secondary education. The new plan - to be in place in middle and high schools in the state's poorest school districts by September 2008 - calls for small learning communities, more rigorous course work, and personalized mentoring during the high school years."
4 Keys to Real School Reform
Thursday January 04 2007, 4:40 AM
NY Post contributor Thomas W. Carroll, president of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability and founder and chairman of the two Brighter Choice Charter Schools in Albany writes, "Spitzer's State of the State message underscored his commitment to 'a vibrant education system that demands accountability and rewards excellence.' He promised more funding, too, so that 'the debate will no longer be about money, but about performance.'" Excellent rhetoric, but the rubber meets the road in his first executive budget, due Feb. 1. Spitzer and his new budget director, Paul Francis, should consider some crucial reforms:"
Gov: Spitzer: Our Kids Deserve More
Thursday January 04 2007, 4:30 AM
NY Post FREDRIC U. DICKER writes, "City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said Spitzer's suggestions about a longer school day and year shouldn't be applied across-the-board. 'This has got to be targeted based on need,' Klein said. "Some kids need extended day, extended year. Other kids obviously are achieving well. I think you need to have differentiation," he added. City teachers union President Randi Weingarten said she wouldn't comment until she sees further details. In the city, the school year is currently 185 days and the length of the day ranges from 6 hours and 20 minutes to 6 hours and 57 minutes. The governor and state lawmakers have authority over the number of days in the school year, as well as the length of the day, the city Department of Education said."
Teahers Taking Wrong 'Train'
Wednesday January 03 2007, 5:33 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "According to the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, a coalition of educators aiming to improve middle schools, 43 states offer some sort of middle-school teacher training but only 21 of them require these instructors to have that credential. New York, for instance, began offering a grades 5-9 teaching license in 2000. But it still offers overlapping licenses of grades K-6 and 7-12 and allows teachers with them to teach in middle schools. The result of the overlapping licenses, observers say, are teachers less in tune with the needs of middle-grade students because their formal training leaned to elementary or high school. In New York, the overlap is necessary in part to maintain enough certified teachers to meet state and federal requirements. But the state has begun placing much more emphasis on teacher training across all grades. Requiring teachers to have at least six credit hours of literacy training, introducing training in specific subject areas and tracking the success of teachers as they enter the workforce are just a few changes imposed in recent years."
Report Card on American Education: A State by State Analysis: 1983-1984 to 2003-2004
Tuesday January 02 2007, 7:33 AM
This American Legislative Exchange Council study ranks the educational performance of the school systems in the states, and the District of Columbia according to several criteria including National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), SAT, and ACT scores. Author Andrew T. LeFevre concludes, "As more and more parents see that they can—and should— have a choice in their child’s education, it causes more and more leaks in the dam that has been holding back real educational reform. And soon, the educational establishment will run out of fi ngers to plug those leaks and then the fl ood of educational reform and school choice will finally be free to flow all across this great nation—bringing liberation to many that have struggled far too long to escape from an educational system that has failed them all too often."
Little 'Middle' Left in Apple Schools: ED. DEPT. MOVING TOWARD K-8 FORMAT
Tuesday January 02 2007, 5:04 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "Perhaps not by coincidence, city officials say, middle-graders in K-8 schools are consistently scoring higher on reading and math tests than those in middle schools. 'There is less violence in these schools, the achievement is somewhat better and the attendance is higher. That's the bottom line,' said Kathleen Cashin, superintendent of Region 5, which covers some of the poorest neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. She added that the configuration was in high demand by parents looking for stability for their children and to keep older and younger siblings together longer. "
Money myth in education
Tuesday January 02 2007, 3:23 AM
Washington Times contributor Matt Warner, education task director for the American Legislative Exchange Council writes, "This month, the American Legislative Exchange Council -- the largest U.S. nonpartisan group of state legislators -- released the 2006 Report Card on American Education concluding that 'despite substantial increases in resources being spent on primary and secondary education over the past two decades -- per pupil expenditures have increased by 77.4 percent (after adjusting for inflation) -- student performance has improved only slightly.' CFE argues that Americans need to shell out billions more -- on top of the nearly $500 billion they spend now -- to reduce class sizes, spend more per pupil and raise teacher salaries. If these "reforms" were the answer, no doubt most Americans would pay the price. But in fact America's classrooms have already been shrinking over the last two decades. Today's class sizes are nearly 11 percent smaller than in 1983 -- the year the Reagan administration issued its education report titled 'A Nation at Risk,' a clarion call for serious reform in education."
A New Year for School Reform
Sunday December 31 2006, 9:46 AM
NY Times opined, "With the easy achievement gains already behind us, the next level of progress will require rigorous systemic change. The states, for example, will need to adopt rigorous examinations that track the federal test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, more closely. They will have to crack down on state teachers colleges that turn out poor graduates, and devise ways — including differential pay — to persuade highly qualified teachers to work in failing schools that they have historically avoided. To move forward, the country must also find new ways to support and transform failing schools, beyond labeling them failures and presuming that the stigma will inspire better performance."
School tax relief is good, but rest of record is sketchy
Friday December 29 2006, 4:56 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal contributor Edward McCormick, member of the Arlington school board, chairman of the New York State Educational Conference Board and a member of the Dutchess County BOCES board writes, "The enactment of the School Tax Relief (STAR) program was the governor’s most creative and largest statewide accomplishment that affects public schools. STAR now exceeds $3 billion in school tax relief. While not intended to increase school funding, STAR contributed to a period (1998-2001) of unprecedented success for school budget passage at the polls. Three years of record school aid increases, a booming economy, plummeting pension costs and initiation of the statewide voting day helped also. While advantageous to the passage of schools budgets, STAR missed an opportunity for education policy reform."
Boston school partnerships need a push
Wednesday December 27 2006, 9:35 AM
Boston Globe opines, "On Jan. 4, the leaders of 10 struggling schools are scheduled to meet with university experts in the areas of public health, after-school programming, curriculum support, family engagement, and pedagogy. The plan, according to Deputy Superintendent Chris Coxson, is for the universities to step up in their individual fields of expertise and provide help across the board to the following schools: English High School; the Lewenberg and Curley middle schools; and the Agassiz, Winthrop, Chittick, Marshall, Russell, Elihu Greenwood, and Trotter elementary schools. The advantages of pairing private universities with individual public schools should not be overlooked in this effort to create a wide network of support services."
Change in the air for California schools
Wednesday December 27 2006, 8:27 AM
AP reports, "Scott [Sen. Jack Scott, chairman of the Senate Education Committee] said the state's first priority in considering changes should be teacher quality. It should ensure that all students have access to the best teachers, rather than having them concentrated in wealthier schools that already have high achievement rates, as they are now. 'I'm working very hard on this matter because it may be the key civil rights issue of the 21st century: What are we doing to address the unequal quality of teaching?" he said. "Here we have the students in the low-performing schools, many of them are English-language learners, they come from poverty homes, and yet we haven't distributed our teachers in such a way that the best teachers are teaching in those schools.'"
Bad Guess on U.S. Future
Tuesday December 26 2006, 1:52 PM
Washington Post Jay Mathews writes, "If the report's authors' fears prove true, and American living standards begin to decline because of competition abroad and poor schooling, the U.S. education system will change very quickly. But we education reporters learned long ago that most national commissions are wrong. It is better to wait and let actual events, rather than well-staffed guesses, determine our next move."
Los Angeles Mayor appeals decision on control of school district
Tuesday December 26 2006, 1:49 PM
AP reports, "Lawyers for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa filed an appeal in his court battle to take control of the Los Angeles Unified School District. A judge struck down a law granting Villaraigosa partial control of the nation's second-largest school district, ruling Thursday it violated the state constitution and the city charter."
Famous truants to be featured at Ohio reform school museum
Sunday December 24 2006, 9:30 AM
AP reports, "The tens of thousands of boys who spent time at the Boys Industrial School were deemed incorrigible, truant, thieves or burglars by juvenile courts, but a few of them went on to fame and success."
Big ideas for schools
Saturday December 23 2006, 9:53 AM
Dallas Morning News opines on "Tough Choices, Tough Times", " For instance, the suggestion to start children in school at age 3 could help big-city teachers, such as those in Dallas, get students learning at grade level by early elementary years. It's also worth discussing the proposal to create personal savings accounts modeled on the GI bill. The feds would kick in $500 when a child is born and lesser amounts until a child reaches 16. Individuals and employers alike could contribute so workers could use the accounts to get the continual training they will need to stay abreast of a fast-changing economy. The costs need fleshing out, but Congress should hear more about this proposal."
Charter schools also closing achievement gap
Saturday December 23 2006, 8:39 AM
B. JASON BROOKS, Senior Research Associate , Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability, in a letter to the Times Union writes, "Unfortunately, it is the traditional education establishment that more often than not stands in the way of expanding and replicating such successful schools. Just look at the effort put forth this very week by the state teachers' union as a last-ditch attempt to prevent new, successful charter schools from opening anywhere in the state. While people make excuses for why an achievement gap persists and continue to stand in the way of expanding successful schools, the demand for high-quality charter school options -- schools that are closing that gap right now -- continues to grow."
L.A. mayor's school-control law blocked
Friday December 22 2006, 9:15 AM
AP reports, "A state law granting Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa partial control of the nation's second-largest school district was struck down Thursday by a judge who ruled it unconstitutional. The mayor, elected after promising to reform the city's troubled schools, vowed an immediate appeal and said he would ask the state Supreme Court to consider the matter directly."
The Best and Worst in Education, 2006
Friday December 22 2006, 8:12 AM
Richard D. Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation concludes, "In 2006, momentum appeared to build to take action on the fundamental economic divide that continues to riddle K-12 and higher education—the very institutions that, in America, are supposed to be the 'great equalizers.'”
School Entrepreneur Named to Be a Deputy Chancellor
Friday December 22 2006, 3:28 AM
NY Times reports, "Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein yesterday appointed the former president of Edison Schools Inc., the world’s largest for-profit operator of public schools, as a deputy chancellor, perhaps the boldest move yet in the Bloomberg administration’s effort to increase the role of the private sector in managing city public schools. The former Edison president, Chris Cerf, is a longtime friend of Mr. Klein and has been a consultant to the city’s Education Department since early this year, paid with private donations."
Education Study: Remake the Public Schools
Wednesday December 20 2006, 8:26 AM
NPR interview, "New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce recommends a major overhaul of U.S. public schools. Commission member Harry Spence, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, and Jack Jennings, president of the Center on Education Policy, discuss the report."
Mike Bloomberg is blind to promise of school choice
Wednesday December 20 2006, 4:25 AM
Daily News contributor Andrew J. Coulson, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom writes, "Instead of trying to simulate market incentives, why not actually create a free education marketplace? With a simple program of need-based financial assistance - such as the education tax credits supported by both New York's outgoing governor and its governor-elect - families could all be assured access to the schools of their choice. It's time school reformers - and big-city mayors like Bloomberg - stopped ignoring the best hope of preserving America's competitiveness in the global economy."
Jeb Bush leaving a tumultuous mark on Florida's schools
Monday December 18 2006, 6:35 PM
"AP reports, "Others now are measuring the governor's education performance as he prepares to leave Tallahassee. There's little consensus but even his critics concede Bush put a laser focus on education in Florida like never before. 'I really believe he has a sincere desire to help kids who are in schools that are not performing at the level they should be,'' said Andy Ford, president of the Florida Education Association. `'You've got to give the guy credit for that. He did something that we've neglected in this state for far too long.' The union leader, though, faulted the governor for expanding private school vouchers instead of adopting proven solutions and for fighting against class-size reduction by claiming it was too expensive while still cutting taxes. The governor also missed opportunities to improve schools because he refused to include the union in policy decisions, Ford said."
Schools deserve much more
Saturday December 16 2006, 10:04 AM
San Jose Mercury News writes, "No Child Left Behind's testing requirements are concentrated in elementary and middle school. With the law already under siege, it's unlikely that Congress will expand testing in high schools. U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings acknowledged that during a meeting with the San Jose Mercury News editorial board this week. However, there is more that the federal government could do to promote fundamental changes in high schools. It could create incentives for teachers willing to work in the toughest schools and fully fund extended days and Saturday schools in low-income areas. It could fund programs to entice engineers to teach math and science part time to ease the impending teacher shortage."
Lawsuit challenges LA mayor's school takeover
Saturday December 16 2006, 9:21 AM
AP reports, "A state law that gave Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa partial control of the nation's second-largest school district is unconstitutional, opponents argued in the first court hearing on the controversial reform measure."
New Jersey legislative tax reform effort fizzles
Friday December 15 2006, 9:37 AM
Star-Ledger reports, "Falling far short of their promise to deliver comprehensive property tax reform by year's end, state lawmakers yesterday shied away from voting on controversial bills to spur mergers of towns and school districts and trim public officials' pensions."
Expert Panel Proposes Far-Reaching Redesign of the American Education System
Friday December 15 2006, 3:30 AM
NY Times David M. HERSZENHORN reports, "The commission’s work was quickly hailed by some as a potentially groundbreaking document. 'This report has the potential to change the debate on education at the national level,' said Jack Jennings, the president of the Center on Education Policy, who is a Democrat and prominent expert on the federal education law. The national teachers’ unions were apprehensive. Antonia Cortese, executive vice president of the American Federation of Teachers, said the proposals included 'some seriously flawed ideas with faddish allure that won’t produce better academic results.' Reg Weaver, the president of the National Education Association, urged 'caution in calling for drastic changes.'”
Lesson Plan for Education Reform
Thursday December 14 2006, 12:49 PM
Business Week reports, "If implemented, the commission's recommendations—signed by 26 members from all corners of the corporate, nonprofit, education, and political worlds—would revolutionize the way children are educated in this country. Among the ideas: a set of Board Examinations allowing all 10th graders to place into college; improved compensation and incentives to attract better quality teachers; an overhaul of the American testing industry; contract-run schools instead of schools run by school boards; improved education for all three- and four-year-olds; standards for state-run funding instead of local funding; legislation for continued education for adults; a new GI Bill; and regionally focused job training."
Tough Choice, Tough Times
Thursday December 14 2006, 12:40 PM
National Center on Education and the Economy Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce Executive Summary: READ HERE
Spitzer’s school plan will benefit all
Wednesday December 13 2006, 10:15 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal contributor Billy Easton, executive director of Alliance for Quality Education writes, "Throughout his campaign, Spitzer consistently articulated an education plan based on proven strategies. The elements of his plan will get many more children prepared to succeed as adults. He starts with pre-kindergarten, which increases graduation rates and employment success and reduces crime. He supports smaller classes, which show long-term increases in test scores, graduation rates and college preparedness. Training and recruiting skilled teachers is another Spitzer education priority that is backed by extensive research. He supports producing strong principals to lead our schools. And he advocates helping kids who are falling through the cracks by partnering with community-based organizations (such as after-school programs), expanding literacy programs and improving vocational education. This is a refreshing vision designed to actually address the needs of every child. It is not difficult to imagine it cannot all be done on the cheap. What is the price tag Spitzer has identified to pay for all of this? $8.5 billion. This is for a multiyear statewide solution, not a New York City focused plan."
Ohio State Education Board wants say in school-funding reform
Wednesday December 13 2006, 9:25 AM
Plain Dealer reports, "The report calls for school-based budgeting to ensure that money gets to the buildings that need it most. It also says the state should align financial decisions with 'best practices' - educational initiatives that have proved effective. The report also calls for the state to more aggressively 'weight' funding so the children who are hardest to educate get the most money."
Gates Beats Bush as Most Influential in Education, Survey Says
Wednesday December 13 2006, 6:28 AM
Bloomberg.com reports, "Gates, whose $32 billion foundation has contributed more than $1.2 billion to education since its founding in 2000, outpolled second-ranked Bush, who pushed for the No Child Left Behind Act. Former President Bill Clinton took sixth place and is credited with overseeing the reauthorization of the federal law that is the predecessor to No Child Left Behind, the report said."
Charter High Schools Closing the Achievement Gap
Tuesday December 12 2006, 9:01 AM
Prepared by WestEd for the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement. Study concludes, "Closing the achievement gaps that separate the academic performance of various subgroups of students is a central goal of current education reform efforts nationwide. Hard-earned progress has been made at the elementary school level, but high school students are not progressing nearly as well. Indeed, it is at this level that performance gains in general have been most elusive and chronic student achievement disparities among significant subgroups seem most intransigent. Yet success is not beyond reach. This guide profiles eight charter secondary schools that are making headway in meeting the achievement challenge. They are introduced here so their practices can inspire and inform other school communities striving to ensure that all of their students, regardless of their race, ZIP code, learning differences, or home language, are successful learners capable of meeting high academic standards." U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement, Charter High Schools: Closing the Achievement Gap, Washington, D.C., 2006.
University of the State of New York, P-16 Education: A Plan For Action
Monday December 11 2006, 1:53 PM
We will confront the data, share it broadly, and use it to define as precisely as possible where resources and energy should be applied. We will recognize the achievements and also declare the problems as clearly as we can. We will engage everyone by listening to the people the education system is supposed to serve, to parents, to educators at every level, to the employers, and to the elected officials who must weigh enormous competing demands for scarce resources. In particular, we will engage students and their parents, and the wider community because educational institutions do not belong to the educators but to the people. We will create a communications plan to listen to, inform, and involve people statewide. We will define measurable objectives so that others can hold us accountable, and we can hold education leaders accountable for improving results. We will study the practices of high performing education systems, states and nations, and adapt the best to New York’s situation. We will examine what actions are most effective, and invite others to learn with us. We will take action focused on systematic change to effect sustained improvement. We know, for example, that closing the achievement gap for students requires correcting the unequal distribution of teaching talent. And we know that in demanding change in educational institutions to achieve better results, we must also build capacity in our own State Education Department to take on its part of this improvement strategy. We will continually renew the alignment of our actions to ensure coherence and effectiveness. For example, academic standards, curriculum, assessment, and instructional practice have to be aligned to be effective. When one element changes, all other elements must be examined to ensure that the system remains effective. We will strengthen USNY, because it has great potential to build more effective transitions for students from one level of the system to the next. We will advocate for State and federal financial resources and legislative actions that will help achieve better educational outcomes. And we will be accountable for the effective use of those resources.
How Do You Spend $1.93 Billion?
Sunday December 10 2006, 8:42 AM
NY Times Op-Ed contributor Harold O. Levy, New York City schools chancellor from 2000 until 2002 opines, "Having been a witness for the plaintiffs in the case, I can now say that however much money we ultimately get, the critical question is how we spend it."
Deficit is closed in Philadelphia school budget
Saturday December 09 2006, 6:38 PM
Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "The Philadelphia School Reform Commission yesterday closed the $73.3 million deficit in the school district's $2.04 billion budget, accepting some of chief executive Paul Vallas' recommendations for cuts and setting others aside." Imput from four separate public meetings had an impact on the commission's decision according to commission chairman, Nevels.
New York Teachers Union down on charter schools
Saturday December 09 2006, 7:43 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "Peter Murphy of the New York Charter Schools Association called the report bogus and an attempt to sabotage expansion of charters. 'They are acting like a schoolyard bully to this fledgling reform movement that's showing real success for children by coming out with an 11th-hour hit-job, pretending to be a study, that's unworthy of a high-school research class,' he said."
Teachers are truant, too, Philadelphia reform commissioner says
Thursday December 07 2006, 8:13 AM
Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "With 10 percent of students absent on any given day, and the mayor and a school chief pledging to hire 400 new truancy officers, there's plenty of attention on a student attendance problem in the Philadelphia School District. But at yesterday's School Reform Commission meeting, Commissioner Daniel Whelan suggested that teacher attendance deserves some of the spotlight, too."
Bad apples and public schools
Wednesday December 06 2006, 4:12 AM
Washington Times Terence P. Jeffrey writes, "Increasing per pupil spending by another 111 percent -- whether it is done by compassionate conservatives in Washington, D.C., or plain old liberals in your home state -- will not fix public schools. It's time to give all American parents vouchers equal to the per-pupil spending in local government schools. Then parents can decide whether the government schools deserve their children -- or whether they will try the apples elsewhere, thank you."
Florida Gov. Bush vows national school reform
Tuesday December 05 2006, 11:20 AM
"Miami Herald reports, "Flanked by Bloomberg, New York City schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and Florida Education Commissioner John Winn, Bush said the 5-year-old federal law created by his big brother, President George W. Bush, needs to take after his A-Plus plan. The law is up for renewal by Congress next year."
How the No Child Left Behind Act Punishes Schools with Disadvantaged Students
Monday December 04 2006, 11:14 AM
This column asks whether NCLB accomplishes its objective, based on a recent study of Kansas and Missouri by William Duncombe, Anna Lukemeyer, and John Yinger, "As discussed in my previous column, a state can lower the share of its schools that are subject to federal sanctions by lowering its student performance targets. This strategy will not, however, save schools with high concentrations of disadvantaged students, which are, for reasons outside their control, the schools most likely to be sanctioned. However, a state could help to resolve the unfair treatment of schools with concentrated disadvantage by altering its own aid formulas. Existing state aid formulas do not adequately recognize the higher cost of education in these schools, but they could easily be adjusted to do so. The federal government could also encourage this type of response by revising NCLB to reward the states that do the best job of focusing their aid on the neediest school districts. Another possible reform to NCLB would be to increase both the amount of federal funds and the extent to which these funds are focused on the schools with the highest concentration of disadvantaged students."
Bucking Tide of School Reform, a Leader Gets Results
Monday December 04 2006, 3:32 AM
NY Times reports, "'These are the children that are traumatized, that are hungry, that are fatigued, that are stressed,' she [Kathleen M. Cashin] told the audience. 'We decided the goal was not to try to take the fewest numbers, but to have T-shirts for them, and book bags and intervention services, to welcome them, be nurturing to them, because these are the children who have been most hurt.'”
FREE US ALL FROM UNFAIR AND CORRUPT ED. SYSTEM
Sunday December 03 2006, 8:57 AM
NY Post Ryan Sager writes, "When companies have to compete, consumers win. Yet when it comes to one of the most important products any of us will ever purchase - a child's education - we treat parents (at least the nonrich) as prisoners instead of as consumers. The reason? Because a corrupt education monopoly - consisting of the teachers' unions, the principals' unions, and public-school administrators - doesn't want to have to compete."
Sunday December 03 2006, 8:08 AM
NY Times op-ed contributor RICHARD DE LISI, dean of the graduate school of education at Rutgers University writes, "What New Jersey needs next is research to determine what aspects of teacher preparation are most important and whether one approach is more effective than another at promoting student achievement. Unfortunately, a key tool that would make this research possible is missing here: a database that tracks both student and teacher information from prekindergarten to 12th grade. Several states have developed strong database systems. But here, concerns about cost and privacy have kept us from creating one. These concerns are serious. But other states, sometimes through trial and error, have overcome them, and we can learn and benefit from their experiences."
NEA stands against real reform to help students
Saturday December 02 2006, 9:04 AM
Chicago Sun-Times contributor David White, adjunct scholar at the Lexington Institute, a public policy research organization based in Arlington, Va. writes, "The number of high school dropouts is reaching crisis proportions. Today, nearly half of all blacks and Latinos fail to graduate. Dropouts earn about $260,000 less over the course of their lives. They're 72 percent more likely to be unemployed. Among prisoners, 80 percent don't have a high school degree. The National Education Association just issued a much-ballyhooed 12-point plan to eradicate this problem. But don't hold your breath. The misguided plan is more about shifting resources to the NEA's power base than doing what it takes to ensure that more students will finish school."
Tennessee Gov. Bredesen focuses on education for legacy
Friday December 01 2006, 8:02 AM
The City Paper reports, "While additional funding for urban school systems has been discussed for years, Bredesen is backing two new education initiatives to help high school students graduate. The governor wants to add truancy officers in all of the state’s 400 public high schools to improve attendance and, hopefully, result in more high school students graduating." Gov. Bredesen may devote about $25 million more to continue to expand pre-K in the state’s next budget.
Yale prof honored for work in education
Thursday November 30 2006, 1:01 PM
The Courier-Journal reports, "In the era of the federal No Child Left Behind law -- and its mandate to boost student achievement -- raising test scores has become the focus in public schools. But that is a mistake, according to leading child psychiatrist James P. Comer, who says schools need to take a more 'whole child' approach, focusing on helping children develop socially, emotionally and intellectually."
New York City Schools hit on immigration bar
Wednesday November 29 2006, 7:01 AM
NY Daily News Erin Einhorn reports, "The report charges the vast majority of small schools either don't have services for so-called 'English language learners' (ELLs), who comprise almost 12% of the high school population, or exclude them altogether. It also says that immigrant families have less access to information about options for their kids. The city Education Department allows new schools to exclude both ELLs and special-ed students in their first two years because the schools are too new to properly serve those kids. It's a policy being reviewed by the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, which launched a probe after a complaint from a citywide group of high school parents. "
KIDS HIT LANGUAGE BARRIER
Wednesday November 29 2006, 6:56 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "Researchers could not say how many of the 184 new small schools created under Bloomberg exercise the two-year exclusion policy. But they found that 41 percent of 126 small schools surveyed do not offer any English-as-a-Second Language or bilingual services - apparently in violation of city, state and federal laws. 'The problem isn't just access,' said Chung-Wha Hong, director of the New York Immigration Coalition. 'Sometimes they can get in the door but they then face a long-term problem because there are no services for them.' The city Department of Education insisted that only a handful of small schools did not have a single ESL student enrolled."
D.C. Superintendent Janey Seeks Time to Turn Around Schools
Wednesday November 29 2006, 6:45 AM
Washington Post reports, "Janey called for laying 'a new foundation' for schools that includes higher academic standards, more rigorous student assessment and modernized facilities. It was his first-ever 'State of the Schools' speech, as well as his first formal public statement since his future came into question when Mayor-elect Adrian M. Fenty said in September that he might seek to take over the schools."
School reform: Haven't we been here before?
Tuesday November 28 2006, 9:07 AM
Washington Times reports, " Schools cannot improve academic performance alone. They do not, and cannot, operate in a vacuum. But we expect educators to address all manner of social ills and economic impediments plaguing students who are not ready or too stressed to learn when they reach the schoolhouse doors. Then we place the additional pressure on overwhelmed teachers of teaching to a standardized test, as if that is the Holy Grail of measuring individual improvement."
4 failing Massachusetts schools may become pilots to fix themselves
Tuesday November 28 2006, 8:27 AM
Boston Globe reports, "Dan French, executive director of the Boston-based Center for Collaborative Education, said that Boston's pilot schools generally perform better than regular schools on several measures, including daily attendance, college-going rates, and MCAS scores. But the 20 pilot schools have also been a source of contention with the teachers union, which blocked expanding the schools for months over issues such as overtime pay."
N.Y. Schools Get Passing Grade
Tuesday November 28 2006, 7:43 AM
The Post-Journal reports, "According to a study by the Washington-based Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a conservative think tank, when it came to student achievement in the state’s schools, the education system received a D grade. Educational reform efforts graded slightly better, earning a C+. States nationwide received grades based on the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress in reading, mathematics and science for minority students, with graduation rates factored into the average. Not all states provided information for the study."
school's comeback formula: Expel cynicism, stress reform
Sunday November 26 2006, 1:28 PM
Boston Globe reports, "Randolph Community is one of 57 Massachusetts schools now in "restructuring" under the state's school accountability system, and its attempts to improve student performance underscore the urgency, and the difficulty, involved as low-performing schools demand previously unattainable results . The school's reform campaign, though unusual in its scope, illustrates how the pressure to raise test scores is forcing many schools to adopt new strategies to get students up to speed. In Randolph, school officials blamed a culture of low expectations and mediocrity for students' weak performance, and set out to destroy it. By making students feel more connected to the school, educators hope to instill a sense of purpose and responsibility that will improve focus and behavior."
New Jersey school funding reform panel to discuss proposals
Sunday November 26 2006, 1:18 PM
AP TOM HESTER Jr. reports, "While the school funding formula hasn't been announced, education department officials presented a plan under which experts determine how much it costs to educate New Jersey children. That cost - about $8,500 for K-12 schools - would be used as the basis for state aid allocations to schools. Funding for special education, children with language problems and transportation would be added as needed. - The number of senior citizens in a community would be considered when state aid for schools is decided."
List for Schools Seems to Grow More Wishful
Saturday November 25 2006, 7:44 AM
NY Times DAVID M. HERSZENHORN reports, "The sum at issue is substantial: $2 billion a year translates to roughly $1,887 per student, or about $943,500 annually in a school with 500 students. While the amount ordered by the court is still huge, a leading critic of school financing lawsuits that have been filed across the country said the focus on the money had distracted from the work of actually fixing the city schools. 'For five years, people have looked to the courts and argued about the money without thinking seriously about what to do,' said the critic, Eric A. Hanushek, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution."
Academies proposed at Poughkeepise city school
Friday November 24 2006, 4:40 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal reports, "Wilson [superintendent] said his experience with small learning communities shows they lead to better attendance, improved grades and higher graduation rates. The academies would likely be open to students in grades 10 through 12. Freshmen entering the high school could be in their own academy, with the focus on preparing them for the rest of their academic career by emphasizing study skills, improving motivation and exposing them to school resources."
Students are benefiting from single-sex classes
Thursday November 23 2006, 3:49 PM
Buffalo News contributor B. Jason Brooks , Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability writes, "Thanks to the revised federal regulations, districts now have the green light to embrace this innovative public school reform, which holds great promise."
Queens Feels Squeeze Of Overcrowded Classes
Thursday November 23 2006, 6:35 AM
Queens Chronicle reports, "Education reform advocates were quick to capitalize on the findings as evidence that the mayor’s plan to alleviate school crowding and reduce class size was falling behind. 'If we want our kids to succeed at every level, there is simply no way we can continue having classes this large,' said Leonie Haimson, of Class Size Matters, a Manhattan based advocacy group dedicated to lowering class sizes. 'It’s not good for kids, and it’s not saving money.' But education officials countered that the figures showed steady progress in the mayor’s plan to reduce class sizes, pointing to marginal declines in class enrollment from year to year at each grade level. Agency officials also noted that the recent class size averages are well below the limits established under the city’s teachers union contract, which recommends a threshold of 25 kids in kindergarten and 32 students in grades one through six."
An Education Gov?
Monday November 20 2006, 4:45 AM
NY Post contributor Thomas W. Carroll, president of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability and chairman of the Brighter Choice Charter School for Girls and the Brighter Choice Charter School for Boys, the top elementary public schools in Albany writes, "To start with, we need to get over the artificial distinction between public and private schools. As Rev. Floyd Flake is fond of saying, we should focus on educating the public, not public education. With literally hundreds of thousands of students now attending schools that the state Education Department designates as failing, the territorial and exclusive focus of some on public district schools is misguided. Our focus should be creating more good schools and fewer bad schools, regardless of whether these happen to be organized as private, religious, public charter or standard district schools."
Tax credits for private school tuition? Yes
Sunday November 19 2006, 7:04 PM
NY Daily News contributor CATHERINE HICKEY, superintendent of Catholic schools of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York writes, "For hundreds of thousands of poor and working-class parents, public school is the only economic option. A real tax credit is a reasonable way to ensure that each and every child can obtain a good education in the school of his or her parents' choice."
Funding is key to education reform
Sunday November 19 2006, 3:35 AM
The Seattle Times reports, "Here is what lies in the future for our schools and our children if we enact even a portion of the panel's ideas: • State funding for all-day kindergarten, thus eliminating tuition-based classes and the piecemeal offerings that vary from school to school. • Expanded professional development and a pay scale based on merit. • More-rigorous high-school course requirements targeting the gaping weaknesses in math and science curricula. • A 10-year plan for expected increases in enrollment at colleges and universities. And those very things are what our schools and children won't receive if a long-term, stable source of funding isn't developed."
Hands off our school!
Thursday November 16 2006, 4:55 AM
NY Daily News reports on plans to tear down an upper East Side [New York City], "Supporters say the building, once known as Julia Rikers for its dangerous reputation, has reinvented itself as a home for six notable schools, including a performing arts high school, a school for autistic children and a school created to serve children of people who work in the area. Their objections were highlighted yesterday by Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez.."
NYC schools chancellor urges 'radical change'
Wednesday November 15 2006, 2:29 PM
Daily Princetonian reports, "This 'culture of performance,' Klein said, depends in large part on school officials' willingness to be innovative and depart from existing systems of public educations. 'Talent matters," he said. A central topic in the discussion was the "Autonomy Zone" that Klein and other education officials implemented in 2004 to allow schools to develop independently. Twenty-six NYC public schools comprised the initial Autonomy Zone population, with the principals of each school signing what Nadelstern called 'performance agreements.' These agreements allowed principals to commit voluntarily to high levels of accomplishment within their schools."
NCLB Achieves Its Top Goal—Accountability
Wednesday November 15 2006, 4:52 AM
This op-ed excerpt by Secretary Spellings appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on November 14, 2006, "Accountability is NCLB's first pillar of reform. The law represents the latest renewal of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was intended to ensure a quality education for all in exchange for increased federal funding. For 40 years, however, few paid much attention. There was no accountability for student achievement and virtually no consequences for not following the law. Today, thanks to NCLB, Wisconsin and 49 other states have accountability plans in place, holding schools responsible for improved student achievement. Every state measures student performance annually in grades 3-8 and once more in high school. And every state separates student information by student group so parents and teachers can learn who is falling behind and needs extra help. This is especially critical when it comes to reading. Reading is the key that unlocks every other subject."
Plan separates boys and girls
Monday November 13 2006, 9:20 AM
Herald Tribune reports, "Until recently, federal Title IX regulations were unclear on whether public schools could legally separate the sexes. In 1995, just three U.S. public schools had single-sex classrooms, according to the National Association for Single Sex Public Education. But in the past few years, the federal government has been moving to clarify the rules and is actually now calling for schools to research the effects of single-sex classrooms. Today, there are about 250 public schools with single-sex classrooms -- including seven in Florida."
To boost students and teachers, steer clear of merit pay on the road to reform
Monday November 13 2006, 5:25 AM
Christian Science Monitor contributor Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association writes, "The key question for any teacher compensation system is whether it is designed to improve student learning or to advance short-term political goals. These efforts linking teacher pay to test scores are not part of any integrated strategy to raise student achievement. Instead they represent an oversimplified approach masquerading as school improvement."
Study to analyze Utah charter schools
Sunday November 12 2006, 9:25 AM
The Salt Lake Tribune reports, "The Utah Education Policy Center plans to pursue a study on the effectiveness of the state's charter schools, examining whom they benefit and what their impact is on traditional public school districts. The work will follow the policy center's report released Thursday on the state's charter schools. That report, gathered for the Legislature's Executive Appropriations Committee, did not examine school quality so much as the schools' purpose and governance."
Johnny got a raw deal
Sunday November 12 2006, 8:23 AM
NY Daily News contributor Joe Williams writes on the New York City teachers contract deal, "By cutting such a deal so early rather than keeping pressure on, Bloomberg has made a statement loud and clear: Only contract nips and tucks are needed from here on out. Major new work-rule changes are unnecessary."
Bilingual education reforms urged
Saturday November 11 2006, 6:13 PM
Buffalo News reports, "The director of multilingual education would oversee programs to serve children whose predominant language is something other than English. While Buffalo students speak more than 40 languages, most bilingual students are Spanish-speakers."
2006 Essential Elements: Schools-To-Watch
Friday November 10 2006, 8:23 AM
Models of Academic Excellence, Social Equity, Developmental Responsiveness, Organization and Structure. For more information about NY State's Schools to Watch program please visit the New York State Middle School Association Website at http://www.nysmsa.org/.
From the Desk of Jean C. Stevens, Interim Deputy Commissioner, New York State Education Department
Friday November 10 2006, 8:08 AM
ELA and Mathematics Results on the New York State Testing and Accountability Reporting Tool (nySTART): Beginning November 14, authorized users in schools and districts will be able to access parent reports for the grades 3-8 State assessments in mathematics using nySTART. Beginning November 13, files containing the mathematics parent reports will be distributed to Regional Information Centers and the Big 5 school districts. If your district has contracted with a Regional Information Center or BOCES to print the reports, please contact them for information about the printing and distribution schedule. Information about interpreting student scores, particularly the standard performance indices, is available at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts/nystart/2006/InterpretingStudentScores_files/frame.htm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Accountability Verification: On November 14, school districts and charter schools will have access to two sets of reports allowing them to verify student data that will be used to determine each district’s and school’s accountability status at the elementary and middle levels for the 2006-07 school year. Each school superintendent, school principal, and staff member with account administrator privileges can access these reports through nySTART, using their personal UserIDs and passwords. The deadline for submitting data changes to your district’s Regional Information Center or Level 1 Repository operator is November 20. More information about the verification process is available at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts/nystart/. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Essential Elements Schools to Watch: New York State is one of 14 states that has joined Schools to Watch, a national recognition program developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. In New York, seven schools were selected for the 2006 group of Schools to Watch by distinguishing themselves in academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organization and structure. A list of the schools is available at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/mle/news/schools2watch.htm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reminder of Annual AHERA Notifications to Employees and Parents: The federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requires all schools to provide public notification regarding inspections and other activities related to asbestos. Schools must also make its asbestos management plan available for public inspection. For more information, go to http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/facplan/AHERA/aheranotifyreminder.htm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- VESID Update: National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) and National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC): Guidance regarding NIMAS and NIMAC, as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is now available at http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/persprep/nimas.htm. NIMAC is designed to streamline access to instructional materials that meet the NIMAS standard for students who are blind or have other print disabilities. Please review and share as appropriate; a response is needed no later than November 30, 2006. Provision of Special Education Services to Parentally Placed Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary School Students with Disabilities: This memorandum, available at http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/ nonpublic.htm, informs school districts of their responsibilities to provide special education services to parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities for the 2006-07 school year. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous News and Notes: 10/27/06 10/20/06 10/6/06 11/09/2006
New York City teachers deal not so sweet
Friday November 10 2006, 4:38 AM
NY Daily News reports, "Klein [New York City schools chancellor] has been critical of provisions in the teachers contract that he says protect incompetent teachers. He has called for the ability to alter the length of the school day and for the ability to pay some teachers more than others. He even boasted at a recent event that he was creating a 'new labor-management paradigm' in the school system. But the 24-month contract that teachers seem likely to approve in a formal ratification vote next month - the last teachers contract over which Klein is likely to have any influence - contained virtually none of reforms he has advocated."
First We Take Your Money, Then We Take Your Schools
Thursday November 09 2006, 8:31 AM
Neal McCluskey, policy analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom writes, "Regrettably, the reality is that George Bush has not been a good Federalist. When it comes to education, he has repeatedly flouted the Constitution and expanded the scope of federal power. If he continues to do so for the next two years, his legacy will not be what he had hoped."
Charter schools can finally move forward in Ohio
Tuesday November 07 2006, 8:29 AM
The Tribune Chronicle opined, "Overall, they offer a small dose of competition from which everyone benefits — except perhaps teachers unions and their supplicants, who also have to convince charter teachers to join their organizations instead of conscripting them as a condition of employment or simply under peer pressure. Ohio’s charter program, started in 2001, now includes some 250 schools. Now it can move forward without the cloud of obstructionist litigation. It’s about time."
Philadelphia district hires auditor to review finances
Tuesday November 07 2006, 8:23 AM
Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "In the wake of the Philadelphia School District's surprise $73.3 million deficit announced last month, the School Reform Commission announced yesterday it had appointed an internal auditor to serve in part as a financial watchdog. The commission has hired James P. Doosey, a former vice president and interim chief financial officer of the district, to the new $110,000-a-year post. He starts Nov. 20. 'We must bring our financial house in order so that we can focus our attention and efforts to the main business of the school district - to educate our children,' commission chairman James Nevels said in a prepared statement. 'Hiring an internal auditor is a necessary step to ensure that the SRC has the capacity to act as well-informed stewards of the district's budget.'"
Upper Arlington schools add charters, choices
Monday November 06 2006, 8:33 AM
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH reports, "If the Upper Arlington school district hadn’t set up charter schools, there might not be an International Baccalaureate program at Upper Arlington High School or a quirky program for a small group of students who desire a different high-school experience. Wickliffe, the district’s elementary school long known as an innovative, creative place to learn, wouldn’t have been able to work with Harvard University to try a different way of honing teachers’ skills. The money, about $580,000 in all from state and federal government grants, rolled in when Upper Arlington made its three charter schools."
Teachers' special-ed input sought
Thursday November 02 2006, 9:42 AM
Buffalo News reports, "The effort to reform Buffalo's special-education system will involve input from teachers, School Superintendent James A. Williams said at Wednesday evening's Board of Education meeting. 'We will call on you to work with us,' Williams said of district staff members. 'It will not work unless we have input from the teachers.'"
Improving our schools calls for collaboration
Thursday November 02 2006, 9:03 AM
Times Union contributor LINDA HILLMAN, President, Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce in a letter to the editor writes, "Good decision-making does not happen in a vacuum. The community, including the business community, must join the dialogue on how to support the best possible education for our children, a critical factor in successful economic development initiatives."
Port Chester's Edison School plans workshops for educators
Wednesday November 01 2006, 7:14 AM
Journal News reports, "Principal Eileen Santiago began the first of many community programs with an after-school program 10 years ago, run by the organization SER. The school has since added other services, including adult job training, parenting programs, health services and English classes. As time went on, the improvised effort became an example of what came to be known around the country as "community schools" and received federal funding."
Symbol of hope
Monday October 30 2006, 7:56 AM
Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "To upgrade instruction, she [Adderly, a hands-on principal] tapped two of the school's best teachers to be math and literacy leaders and to coach other teachers. Every day, the coaches and Adderly work with teachers from a different grade and brainstorm how to help struggling students. Because many students also come to school with family, emotional and behavioral problems, Adderly set up three meetings a week to deal with them. For those meetings, Adderly introduced videotaping to capture students' classroom behavior. The tapes are shown when counselors, parents and teachers meet to devise plans to help."
In New Jersey, System to Help Poorest Schools Faces Criticism
Sunday October 29 2006, 11:59 PM
NY Times WINNIE HU writes, "Garfield is a so-called Abbott school district, one of 31 poor districts that have received a total of $35 billion in state aid since 1997 as part of an ambitious court-ordered social experiment to narrow the achievement gap between rich and poor students, whites and minorities. In a decision that set a precedent for school equality cases nationwide, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the poorest urban school districts should be given the resources to spend as much on their students as the wealthiest suburban districts do. Now a growing number of New Jersey elected officials, educators and parents are calling for sweeping changes to this school financing system, saying that it has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars in the Abbott districts. For every success story like Garfield, where fourth-grade test scores have risen to the state average, there are chronic problems, like those in Newark, Camden and Asbury Park."
Columbia Teachers College Alumnus is Project Director For New Columbia High School
Saturday October 28 2006, 8:02 AM
Columbia Teachers College writes, "Maldonado-Rivera's appointment was jointly announced today by Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger and New York City Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein The new school, which will be operated by the New York City Department of Education in close collaboration with Columbia University, will be initially located in a transitional space and will accept students in the sixth grade, eventually serving approximately 650 students from grades six through 12 in a new building in Manhattanville."
Obstacles likely too great for lofty education plan
Saturday October 28 2006, 7:41 AM
Rocky Mountain News contributor Linda Seebach, former teacher and long-time editor and columnist writes on "cliched" report, "Is it 'unconscionable' that only one in 10 African-American or Hispanic students earns a postgraduate degree? Maybe; it depends on why. It's not unconscionable that women earn only a small minority of degrees in math or engineering if it is their free choice to enter law or medicine instead. I wish these earnest people all the luck in the world with their ambitious goals. I just don't think they have much chance of achieving them."
New York education group merges with Annenberg Institute
Wednesday October 25 2006, 9:30 AM
The Brown Daily Herald reports, "The Community Involvement Program, an education policy program previously housed under the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University, merged with Brown's Annenberg Institute for School Reform this September. According to Michael Grady, the deputy director of the Annenberg Institute, the CIP split from NYU because of 'serious policy disagreements,' and officials decided that Brown was the right home for the organization."
The Fordham Report 2006: NEW YORK STATE
Tuesday October 24 2006, 8:05 AM
Thoman B. Fordham Institute report writes, "New York's current state academic standards are solid, and nearly one-quarter of high school students passed at least one Advanced Placement exam, leaving the Empire State second to none in this category. The state is also working diligently to grow the number of minorities taking Advanced Placement exams. Between 1992 and 2003, for example, the number of African-Americans and Hispanics taking the test doubled. Charter school policy is not doing as well. Charter schools have proven wildly popular in New York since 1998, when Governor George Pataki's charter school proposal became law-when it turned out that legislators wanted a pay raise for themselves more than they wanted to follow the teachers union's bidding."
The Fordham Report 2006: How Well Are States Educating Our Neediest Children?
Tuesday October 24 2006, 7:51 AM
The Thomas B. Fordham writes, "The Fordham Report 2006: How Well Are States Educating Our Neediest Children? appraises each state according to thirty indicators across three major categories: student achievement for low-income, African-American, and Hispanic students; achievement trends for these same groups over the last 10-15 years; and the state's track record in implementing bold education reforms. In this, the inaugural edition, just six states can claim even moderate success over the past 15 years at boosting the percentage of their poor or minority students who are proficient in reading, math or science. The study also finds that California, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, New York, and Texas are national leaders in education reform--leading the nation with a dedication to solid standards, tough accountability, and greater school choice can yield better classroom results." READ THE REPORT BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK.
Changing direction for Philadelphia schools
Friday October 20 2006, 8:20 AM
Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "At the Philadelphia schools, one of the goals on their 'balanced scorecard' centers on attendance. McDaniel, a 525-student school in a city neighborhood with one of the highest rates for shootings that occur during the school day, failed to meet "adequate yearly progress" under the No Child Left Behind law last year, in part because its attendance fell below 90 percent."
Video-gaming American schools
Thursday October 19 2006, 9:18 AM
The Enquirer reports, "One of the nation's most prestigious scientific groups on Tuesday put video games into play in an ambitious new bid to transform American education. The Federation of American Scientists called for major investment in digital educational games that could reshape how students learn and workers are trained for 21st century jobs."
Taxpayers, teachers call for school funding reform
Thursday October 19 2006, 6:04 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal reports, "Trudi Renwick, senior economist from the nonpartisan Fiscal Policy Institute, a research and education organization, said a proper balance needs to be found in funding schools with both state and local money. Rising taxes are not due to district overspending or increasing teacher salaries, but insufficient state aid and the increasing costs of maintaining services, she said."
Let the New Jersey school merger fight begin
Wednesday October 18 2006, 8:30 AM
Star-Ledger reports, "[New Jersey] State lawmakers will begin discussing a series of proposals today to establish 21 countywide school offices that would oversee virtually every function of public education, a change proponents say will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The offices, each controlled by a single superintendent and four- member county board, would replace hundreds of local superintendents and central office staff."
Imagine the best schools in the world ... no exceptions, no excuses
Wednesday October 18 2006, 7:39 AM
Delawareonline contributors Marvin N. Schoenhals, Vision 2015 and Chairman/President of WSFS Financial Corporation and Valerie A. Woodruff, Delaware's Secretary of Education write, "Over the past 11 months, our 28-member Steering Committee has worked very hard. We have come to grips with the strengths and challenges of Delaware's public school system. We have searched the world for the best practices of school systems that are succeeding. Our plan, Vision 2015, results from an unprecedented level of research, analysis, discussion, debate, and decision-making. To support the Steering Committee, we engaged nearly 80 individuals in work groups, and involved another 400 citizens in more than 50 meetings throughout Delaware. And we engaged two top-flight firms -- The Boston Consulting Group and Cambridge Leadership Associates -- to keep us focused and moving forward. We really did our homework. And we did a lot of it."
Bloomberg and Klein Keep Pushing Ahead
Wednesday October 18 2006, 7:31 AM
New York Observer writes, "At the moment, private groups are managing nearly 200 small public schools through a program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That private funding, however, will expire in June in about 50 schools. The city is considering an idea to continue the private management by using public money as the Gates grants—which were never intended as a permanent funding source—expire."
School-funding reform is focus of meeting
Tuesday October 17 2006, 6:20 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal reports, "Eleven Dutchess County school districts are sponsoring an informational meeting, 'Fixing School Taxes,' on Wednesday at Arlington High School. It's an effort to answer taxpayers' questions and encourage grassroots involvement in school-tax reform. The event has been organized by Help Arlington Lower Taxes, a committee of Arlington board members, employees and local residents."
Merit system won't pay off
Monday October 16 2006, 2:29 PM
Statesman Journal contributor and mother of eight children, Karen Utley writes, "Public education is expensive. The rate of student failure is deeply depressing. Policy makers and budget-keepers search for simple solutions, but complicated problems require incremental adjustment and no progress will be made until they stop hoping they can fix the schools by blaming the teachers."
Teacher, management collaboration a key lesson
Saturday October 14 2006, 9:57 AM
The Providence Journal reports, "Urbanski [director of the Teacher Union Reform Network] argued that you can't accomplish true reform unless you change what happens to children's lives before and after school. That means doing more in the areas of early childhhod education, after-school programs, health care and housing."
Court should not determine school funding
Friday October 13 2006, 5:04 AM
UticaOD.com writes, "Whatever the court decides in this case [Campaign for Fiscal Equity], our children's education is really in our hands. It's up to us to pressure the legislature to take the appropriate steps to reform the school aid formula."
Recreate New York high schools
Monday October 09 2006, 7:31 AM
The Journal News writes, "Today's students can't wait decades for high school to become meaningful schooling — it has to be aggressively restructured now. With tougher standards, expanding curriculum and new technology demands in their faces, that means high-schoolers should be supported in taking five, even six years to earn high school diplomas — including those who aren't classified 'special-ed' or pegged as English-learners. And bright or otherwise gifted students should be allowed opportunities to graduate in less than four years."
FOR THE CHILDREN
Sunday October 08 2006, 8:59 AM
NY Post opined, "Klein [New York City schools chancellor] is to be applauded for looking to breathe fresh air into a stale system. For years, he's been hoping to shake up school management through such promising ideas as charter schools - only to be stymied by the educrats and their puppets in Albany. Clearly, he's not giving up."
New agenda for Texas education
Sunday October 08 2006, 8:19 AM
Chron.com contributor Jim Windham, Texas Institute for Education Reform writes, "During the 1990s, Texas became a national leader in education reform when a bipartisan group of Texans joined together to establish academic standards and accountability as the framework for transforming public schools. The reforms began in 1993 when the state adopted a new accountability system that linked school accreditation with success in meeting academic standards."
CSRQ Center Report on Middle and High School Comprehensive School Reform Models
Friday October 06 2006, 8:31 AM
This Comprehensive School Reform Quality Center report "serves as a consumer guide that will help decision makers sort through claims about which school reform approaches could truly meet the needs of students. The report is the first comprehensive review of middle and high school whole-school reform models ever issued. To prepare this report, the CSRQ Center screened nearly 1,500 documents and reviewed 197 studies on 18 widely implemented middle and high school models. We used rigorous standards that are aligned with the requirements for scientifically based research established by NCLB. Each model is rated on a number of dimensions, including evidence of raising student achievement. The reviews of the individual models provide education decision makers with profiles of each model and the evidence needed to make decisions to meet locally defined needs."
Plattsburgh City School students with disabilities not meeting standards, report says
Friday October 06 2006, 6:55 AM
The Press-Republican reports, "Plattsburgh City School officials were not surprised by Thursday's report. 'The report is based on 2004-05 data of which the district not only was aware of but had already begun taking measures to address issues a year ago,' Short [Plattsburgh City School Superintendent] said. 'Throughout this past summer a team of teachers have further worked on a Gap Closing Committee specifically created to address district needs.'"
Alliance grows; Syracuse schools benefit
Thursday October 05 2006, 7:31 AM
"The institutions [Le Moyne College, Onondaga Community College, the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SUNY Upstate Medical University] will support the 'smaller learning communities' within the high schools; help prepare city students for college; and prepare teachers to work in an urban school. The partnership will work with the district to figure out exactly what its role will be."
New Jersey property tax committee plans to tackle special ed
Wednesday October 04 2006, 8:13 AM
The Daily Journal reports, "Proposals from the state panel on school-funding reform will focus on reducing the number of special-education students sent to expensive private schools, said committee co-chairman Sen. John Adler. But containing special-education costs is so complex that Pennsylvania and several other states have decided there is no suitable way to figure it out, noted Thomas Parrish of the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research. They instead rely on other factors such as a district's size and poverty."
Public forum is part of school reform
Friday September 29 2006, 8:04 AM
Selma Times-Journal letter to the editor: Gerald Shirley, Principal, School of Discovery, Selma, Ala. writes, "Engaging the public is now a form of school reform. Public dialogue can generate positive action-oriented results. It is more than just talking or offering lip service."
'No Child Left Behind' commission
Monday September 25 2006, 6:10 AM
Herald Tribune reports, "States have widely different standards for how they are measuring school progress under the law, and testing can be skewed by students with disabilities and those whose first language isn't English. 'Most groups felt they were not fully involved with writing the initial legislation, so now they want to have their say,' said Jack Jennings, director of the Center for Education Policy."
Taking a look at longer classes
Monday September 25 2006, 5:19 AM
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin "A main roadblock to extending the year is financial concerns. Any move to add days to the school year, or hours to the school day, would have to be negotiated with labor unions, including teachers' associations, officials said. And this would mean higher labor costs. 'If you extend the school year, I would assume people would expect addition compensation,' Busch said."
Late for schools: It took state four years after takeover to appoint monitor for Roosevelt district, now $4M in the red
Monday September 25 2006, 4:38 AM
Newsday JOHN HILDEBRAND writes, "A review of Roosevelt's records reveals numerous early warning signs. During the summer, for example, the district laid off teachers and cut services including full-day kindergarten, after local voters twice rejected its budget. The second 'no' vote followed a state audit's revelation of irregular spending, sloppy bookkeeping and loose financial controls. At the time, the district's business office was in turmoil. It had undergone three changes of leadership in four months."
Save the kids caught in the middle
Monday September 25 2006, 4:24 AM
NY Daily News opined on middle schools, "Klein [chancellor] is all too aware of the middle-school miasma. It is one of the reasons why he is establishing school-by-school accountability measures, pushing to expand the number of charter schools and seeking to empower principals. If anything, these dismal test results should give him more muscle in a fight to stop teachers and principals from treating kids as if they naturally become dull at the age of 12."
Vallas receives Urban Innovator Award
Friday September 22 2006, 9:33 AM
Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "'He [Vallas] has been responsible for sweeping reforms in Philadelphia which have led to higher test scores, better-trained teachers, safer schools, a unified curriculum and improved financial stability,' the institute [Manhattan Institute] said in a statement."
Should Philadelphia schools leave Pennsylvania control?
Thursday September 21 2006, 8:42 AM
Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "Mayor Street's office is creating a task force and hiring a consultant to look at the state of education in the city - including whether it's time for the school district to leave state control."
Why We Need a National School Test
Thursday September 21 2006, 3:55 AM
Washington Post Op-Ed contributors William J. Bennett, education secretary under President Ronald Reagan and Rod Paige, education secretary under President George W. Bush write, "As both of us have long argued, Washington should set sound national academic standards and administer a high-quality national test. Publicize everybody's results, right down to the school level. Then Washington should butt out."
Mayor Bloomberg In California For Education Announcement
Wednesday September 20 2006, 11:31 AM
NY1 reports on mayoral control of schools, "The jury is still out on whether putting the mayor in charge of schools was a total success."
'Lite' Choice in School Reform
Wednesday September 20 2006, 12:07 AM
The Washington Post reports, "Under-performing schools in Prince George's, Baltimore and elsewhere across the nation have seized on the turnaround specialist as a quick fix that satisfies the federal No Child Left Behind directive, which requires chronically low-performing schools to choose some form of alternative governance, such as a new staff or management by a private company. The report by the Center on Education Policy cites the Prince George's system as emblematic of a national trend: When school systems are forced to take corrective action, they tend to chose the least radical -- and least corrective, it says -- option."
School-tax reform battle being waged on local fronts
Tuesday September 19 2006, 7:05 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal reports, "Anybody fed up with rising school taxes can get involved in local campaigns to reform the current property-based system."
Lesson lost: Romer's [Los Angeles schools superintendent] mistake was forgetting the parents
Monday September 18 2006, 8:26 AM
LA Daily News opined, "Romer's mistake was that he concentrated on building new schools and raising test scores - both worthy efforts - but rolled back the clock on community involvement. That's why parents have been turning to charter schools and why the public is more or less behind the mayor's takeover effort."
Turn city schools into magnets
Sunday September 17 2006, 12:12 PM
The York Daily contributor and home-schooling parent NANCY SNYDER writes, "There was a time when I taught my children everything they knew. Now, when I can't find a solution to a problem, I go to my children. So I recently asked them, 'What can be done for our city schools?' Noah responded quickly, 'Set up a cooperative system throughout the county. Turn the city schools into magnet schools that will attract students from middle-class families throughout the county. Bus city students who aren't in the magnet schools to nearby suburban schools.'"
Mississippi Education: Dropouts Bounds' (State Superintendent of Education) next target
Sunday September 17 2006, 12:02 PM
The Clarion Ledger opined, "Bounds is embarking on a fund-raising drive to implement ways to keep kids in school. It's a daunting task, Bounds says, because a key to keeping kids in school is having them ready to enter school. By third grade, he says, teachers can predict which kids will ultimately drop out. 'Some states base the number of prison beds on that figure,' he said. The children started school behind and can never catch up - exacerbated here because Mississippi is one of the few states without a prekindergarten program."
The battle over charter schools in California
Sunday September 17 2006, 11:31 AM
Inside Bay Area reports, "Despite the growth, charters make up only about 6 percent of the state's schools, and they enroll only about 3 percent of California students, according to EdSource, a nonpartisan educational policy group. Charter schools never have found easy acceptance in the state. School districts have fought or blocked their creation within city boundaries, teachers' unions accuse the movement of undermining hard-won contracts and charter operators complain they have been hamstrung and undercut by a confusing and constricting stream of laws that stifle the very reform the schools were formed to foster."
Texas School Finance Talks Begin
Friday September 15 2006, 9:29 PM
KXAN reports, "School finance reform may turn out to have little to do with schools when lawmakers come back to Austin next month. It will be finance first and then schools second."
Los Angeles Unified School District left the parents behind
Friday September 15 2006, 1:31 PM
LA Daily News reports on highlights of a California state audit, "The district has 'all but abandoned' efforts to increase parental and community involvement, a goal of its 2000 reorganization. Promised staffing reductions were only temporary, and the number of support employees has actually increased over 1999 levels. The district says additional employees are needed to manage school construction and technology programs. The district should evaluate why local advisory councils have not met objectives; develop guidelines for what the councils should accomplish; and define how local districts can help."
Issue of school reform tackled at recent Kentucky retreat
Friday September 15 2006, 12:35 AM
The Kentucky Standard reports, "Haycock [Director of The Education Trust] said there are certain things in common among high achieving schools and school districts. Among these are: setting clear, high goals for students; putting all children in a demanding high school core curriculum; use of a common curriculum that does not leave teachers to develop their own; benchmark testing that tracks performance; and providing extra help for students that arrive behind at a certain grade level."
Education Policy Should Not Be Based on Programs that Cannot be Replicated
Thursday September 14 2006, 12:06 PM
Education Finance and Accountability Program at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University (EFAP) Director John Yinger writes, "The use of additional funds does not, of course, guarantee success. Many schools undoubtedly use policies and practices that cost more than equally effective alternatives. But one cannot identify these alternatives simply by looking at a few successful schools. Instead, we need to continue evaluating a wide range of programs to determine which ones can raise student performance under what circumstances and at what cost."
Buffalo special education program a "major problem'
Thursday September 14 2006, 11:04 AM
Buffalo News reports, "Williams [superintendent] said his staff is preparing to seek bids from outside consultants to assess the system and make recommendations for reform. He did not set a timetable, but called special education his "No. 1 priority" now that a three-year academic improvement plan is taking hold. About 20 percent of Buffalo's students have special education designation, far more than other local school districts and one of the highest rates in the state."
It's way past time for school funding reform
Thursday September 14 2006, 5:56 AM
Times Herald-Record contributor Sue Books, professor in the Department of Secondary Education at SUNY New Paltz opined, "In 2003, the funding gap between the 25 percent of school districts in New York with the most and the least poverty was $2,280 per pupil. Between two high schools with 1,500 students each, this amounts to $3.4 million a year. Funding gaps on this scale mean children in some schools receive much more than others of almost everything money can buy for schools: buildings in good repair; well-qualified and adequately compensated teachers; challenging programs; opportunities to participate in art, music and sports; and enough guidance counselors to help students through the increasingly complex college-application maze."
$3.4M Study of New York City Schools
Thursday September 14 2006, 4:51 AM
NY Post DAVID ANDREATTA reports, "The city [NYC] has agreed to pay the Rand Corp. roughly $3.4 million to study its effort to end social promotion from the third and fifth grades, The Post has learned."
Think tank urges Florida school reforms, no class-size limits
Wednesday September 13 2006, 10:20 AM
Orlando Sentinel reports, "New educational reforms could be ahead for Florida schools now that a conservative think tank has called for better-qualified teachers, tougher reading and math standards and an end to the state's constitutional directive to reduce class sizes."
Florida county school board votes to control charters
Wednesday September 13 2006, 1:05 AM
FLORIDA TODAY reports, "In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the Brevard County School Board voted to retain its exclusive authority over charter schools and stressed in a resolution its constitutional role to 'operate, control and supervise all free public schools' in the district, including charters."
Reforming Education in Florida: A Study Prepared by the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education, Hoover Institution 2006
Tuesday September 12 2006, 2:04 PM
By Paul Peterson. This assessment by the Koret Task Force identifies reforms that have been undertaken and Florida's education policies related to accountability, curriculum reform, effective teaching, school choice, and organizational change, including voluntary preschool education, class-size reduction, and more effective resource management. Contributors include John E. Chubb, Williamson M. Evers, Chester E. Finn Jr., Eric A. Hanushek, Paul T. Hill, E. D. Hirsch, Caroline M. Hoxby, Terry M. Moe, Paul E. Peterson, Diane Ravitch, and Herbert J. Walberg. Additional contributors include Paul Clopton, Elena Llaudet, Sonali Murarka, and Marguerite Roza. (Chapters of the book can be viewed.)
Cooperstown plans kickoff for new academic targets
Monday September 11 2006, 7:00 AM
Cooperstown Crier reports, "The initiative is designed to push the Cooperstown School District from 'good to great' by 2010, officials said, and has been worked on by committees made up of parents, faculty, staff, administrators, community members and students since February."
Center on Education Policy
Sunday September 10 2006, 11:26 PM
Point of no return
Sunday September 10 2006, 12:09 PM
LA Daily News opined on Los Angeles schools and constitutionality of mayoral control, "Instead of trying to hold back the tidal wave of public and political support for the mayor's plan, the school board should embrace progress — unless, of course, the members care more about themselves than the kids."
Using Data To Drive Policy
Sunday September 10 2006, 11:24 AM
The School Administrator, Terri Duggan Schwartzbeck writes, "Until more states have the data systems that can truly track student growth and all the factors involved, including courses taken and graduation/dropout information, policymakers in Washington will remain hampered by gaps in the data. How do we ever truly know what students know? That’s the million-dollar question."
Florida high school implements tenth-grade academy to support students
Sunday September 10 2006, 2:49 AM
Boca Raton News reports, "With the implementation of a ninth-grade academy two years ago and a tenth-grade academy this year, students are segregated to different buildings based on grade level. Teachers of different subject areas are also teamed up and assigned to certain students, according to Johnny McDaniel, assistant principal at Atlantic Community High School."
New York school funding reform efforts
Friday September 08 2006, 9:21 AM
Millbrook Round Table reports, "The current public school funding mechanisms are failing. Meeting participants felt that state-wide long-term funding reform is needed. Achievement of long-term reform will require a monumental effort and must be supported by the majority of residents in the state."
Time to reform the New York state school aid formula
Friday September 08 2006, 8:17 AM
Ithaca Journal Op-Ed contributor Ronald Mac Lean writes, "During our [citizens advisory group] initial year, an initiative was created to educate taxpayers of the political aspects of education. This initiative emerged as Political Action Concerning Education or PACE. This fall, PACE will concentrate on promoting school aid reform with our New York state political representatives. Beginning Sept. 9, copies of petitions calling for New York state school aid formula reform will be circulating through out the Trumansburg Central School District by PACE volunteers."
Reform of California's high school steroids rules has its skeptics
Thursday September 07 2006, 7:07 PM
Mercury News reports, "The organization that oversees high school sports in California is poised to adopt a series of measures intended to educate coaches about the dangers of steroids and supplements among the state's 700,000-plus teenage athletes. But despite pressure for reform, many area athletic directors and coaches -- the ones closest to those teenagers -- expressed skepticism that the new policies are needed."
Los Angeles school board to sue over schools bill constitutionality
Wednesday September 06 2006, 7:16 PM
LA Times reports, "The district will file suit to overturn legislation giving Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa substantial authority over the city's schools."
NEA head speaks at Ithaca City School District rally
Wednesday September 06 2006, 7:52 AM
Ithaca Journal reports, "Weaver [NEA head] stressed the impact educators have on children and told the district's employees that teaching methods must evolve with the students. 'As times change we have to change too,' he said. 'You can't teach in 2006 the same way you did in 1986.' Weaver, who taught middle school for 30 years, talked about his own efforts to change when in the late 1980s he observed his students' home lives becoming more volatile."
Education system needs reform, not a billion dollars
Tuesday September 05 2006, 3:56 PM
Las Vegas Business Press contributor Chuck Muth, president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. writes, "A BILLION (!) dollars more for education? That's a lot of dough. But if it comes with spending offsets and serious education reforms that break the government-school monopoly on education, it might be worth considering. The only thing apparently standing in the way is: the teachers unions."
Back to School in a System Being Remade
Tuesday September 05 2006, 3:23 AM
NY Times reports on NYC schools reform, "Chancellor Klein said last week that he was intent on moving the school system 'from a culture of excuse to a culture of accountability.' 'Our parents will come to see that the information they’re getting, the quality education their kids are getting, the sense of what it’s like at the school, is going to change,' he added. 'And I think our parents will insist on sustainability.'”
D.C. School Superintendent Janey Proposes Year-Round Classes to Aid Ailing Programs
Monday September 04 2006, 9:35 AM
The Washington Post reports, "D.C. School Superintendent Clifford B. Janey is proposing year-round classes at five mainly low-achieving schools in an effort to give students more time in the classroom by shortening the long summer break."
Back to school, on to the future ... AND ... with smart new leaders (2 editorials)
Sunday September 03 2006, 8:02 AM
NY Daily News opined on New York City schools Chancellor Klein and school reform plans, "Even more ambitious, a new computer system will let teachers and administrators check whether a child has improved by a full performance level, or gone down by half a level, and compare results by classroom, by demographic group and by individual student. Success will become readily apparent, as will failure. Performance will finally count."
Standing by their principals: 'Empowerment' bigs win freedom from educrats
Sunday September 03 2006, 7:56 AM
NY Daily News Erin Einhorn reports, ""The thing people are really concerned about is where they go if there's a problem,' said Tim Johnson, head of a citywide parents group. 'There doesn't seem to be a clear path of accountability like there is in the current system.' Empowerment principals say they understand the concerns, but they argue that the consequences of failing will drive the schools toward success."
Where's the courage in education reform?
Saturday September 02 2006, 9:07 AM
Scrippsnews contributor Star Parker writes, "According to NCLB, students in failing schools must be notified and permitted to transfer to another school. We have found that 250,000, about 30 percent, of the students in the LA system are eligible for such transfers, yet notification is not being given and there have only been only slightly more than 500 transfers."
What the Public Really Thinks of School Choice
Friday September 01 2006, 11:07 AM
Andrew J. Coulson, Center for Educational Freedom opined on PDK school choice poll, "Phi Delta Kappan could do its part to remedy that knowledge gap by returning to the original wording of its question. But we needn't conduct a poll to know that that isn't likely to happen. Phi Delta Kappa is an advocacy organization for the public school monopoly, and the last thing a monopolist wants to do is remind people that in other countries, families enjoy real educational choices, and schools have to compete for the privilege of serving them."
Study D.C. education with kids in mind
Thursday August 31 2006, 10:48 PM
USA TODAY contributor Jeanne Allen, Center for Education Reform, Washington writes, "The reason that the Washington scholarship program exists, and the reason that public charter schools are serving nearly 25% of all public school students in the District of Columbia, is because the traditional system has failed so many families for countless years."
New Jersey double districts need to be consolidated
Thursday August 31 2006, 6:43 PM
Examinter Op-Ed contributor Cy Thannikary, Citizens for Property Tax Reform, Allentown writes on New Jersey's fragmented school system, "This fragmented school system leads to corruption, inefficiency and political power play at the local levels. If we have to achieve any reduction in property tax, we need to address this inefficient system. Many experts, including educators are of opinion that at least some of these school districts, especially the double districts, can be consolidated without sacrificing educational quality of our children."
No cure-all seen in bonus for principals
Thursday August 31 2006, 12:26 PM
The Baltimore Sun reports, "In education, principals' positions are becoming harder to fill, particularly in low-performing schools. As hundreds of principals in Maryland approach retirement, the federal No Child Left Behind Act is requiring states to impose penalties on schools that don't make adequate progress on standardized tests. That means principals could be putting their jobs at risk for taking on the toughest assignments."
Class-Action Suit in New Jersey Filed Over Education
Thursday August 31 2006, 12:16 PM
School Reform News, The Heartland Institute, Aaron Atwood writes, "A strong partnership between national and state-level school reform activists has already formed in support of the lawsuit. Several national groups--including the Black Ministers' Council, Latino Leadership Alliance, and Alliance for School Choice--have joined forces with a state group, Excellent Education for Everyone (E3), to support the plaintiffs."
Los Angeles School District reform measure likely faces day in court
Thursday August 31 2006, 10:44 AM
Los Angeles Daily News reports, "The California School Boards Association, one of the powerful opponents to the legislation, believes there is little doubt the bill is unconstitutional."
Bush's Education Reforms Falter
Tuesday August 29 2006, 8:54 AM
Forbes.com writes on NCLB, "Some public policy fields exhibit high rates of technical success and political prestige. However, most public policy innovations enjoy lower success rates because: -- the technical knowledge required for the successful delivery of particular policy outcomes is not available; -- politicians, interested parties and voters typically contest a policy's principles, objectives, instruments, costs, or effectiveness; and -- adoption of all public policies implicitly or explicitly defines some winners and losers. U.S. education policy exhibits all three of these characteristics and is, accordingly, politicized."
School test aid could cost Hawaii millions more
Monday August 28 2006, 10:14 AM
Honolulu Advertiser reports, "The Department of Education spent $7.9 million in contracts with three educational assistance providers last year and that amount could rise to an estimated $15 million this year as twice as many schools face the most severe sanctions of the No Child Left Behind Act."
A focus on needs of school 'tweens: As classes begin today, Baltimore educators turn to middle school, the often forgotten grades
Monday August 28 2006, 9:32 AM
Baltimore Sun reports, "The sweeping changes at the Baltimore County school reflect a growing movement among school systems across the country, which have long sought to boost elementary and high school performance and are now turning their attention to the youngsters in between."
Back to School / 7 trends to watch: From reading to algebra, everything in school is starting earlier
Sunday August 27 2006, 9:25 AM
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, "Everything is starting earlier and earlier in education. The trend is being driven by a combination of factors: parental anxiety that children will fall behind if not pushed almost from birth; frustration with schools that have failed to boost achievement for disadvantaged students or challenge the middle and top tiers sufficiently; cut-throat competition for college entrance; a growing reliance on high-stakes testing; a sense that America is losing ground in the global marketplace."
Schools hired guns' fat checks: No-bid contract doles out $17M in cost-cutting bid
Sunday August 27 2006, 8:31 AM
NY Daily News exclusive, ERIN EINHORN and MICHAEL SAUL report, "Seven of the high-powered consultants hired by City Hall to cut fat from the school bureaucracy are charging taxpayers more than a million dollars each for work over the next 18 months, the Daily News has learned."
Exploding the Charter School Myth
Sunday August 27 2006, 8:23 AM
NY Times opined on charter schools, NCLB and teacher quality, "One advantage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 was the wave of education studies it started. They offer hope that Congress will look at the record when it considers reauthorizing the law next year. If it does, lawmakers will back away from the part of the act that offers charter schools as a cure-all. They should instead home in on the all-important but largely neglected issue of teacher training and preparation — which trumps everything when it comes to improving student achievement."
Don't confuse learning with research skirmish
Saturday August 26 2006, 9:35 AM
Times Union Op-Ed contributor JEANNE ALLEN, Center for Education Reform, Washington, D.C. responds to "It's wrong to declare the charter school movement as revolutionary," Aug. 14 Op-Ed, "Mr. Morse closes his letter saying: 'If our government intends to seriously address the root causes of poor performing schools, our elected leaders must look to the origins of poverty, illiteracy and school failure, and not continue to exploit urban school children and their struggles for their own political gain.' We couldn't agree more. And to that we might add that research war skirmishes have nothing to do with parents wanting to send their children to a school that works."
Arizona Gov. Napolitano: Raise school attendance age
Wednesday August 23 2006, 9:20 AM
Arizona Daily Star reports, "State Schools Superintendent Tom Horne said altering the dropout age is not the answer. 'My solution to the dropout problem is to persuade kids that they should be in school with things like outside mentoring, peer counseling, flexible hours and career technical education,' Horne said. 'But if you force kids who don't want to be there to be there, they can be disruptive.'"
Charter school students score lower in reading and math
Tuesday August 22 2006, 6:57 PM
AP reports, "The NCES studied fourth-grade math and reading scores at 150 charter schools and 6,764 traditional public schools nationwide. At the time, there were nearly 2,700 charter schools in 36 states. There are now more than 3,600."
The 38th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools
Tuesday August 22 2006, 10:47 AM
(September 2006) By LOWELL C. ROSE executive director emeritus of Phi Delta Kappa International and ALEC M. GALLUP, co-chairman, with George Gallup, Jr., of the Gallup Organization, Princeton, N.J. "In probing the public’s opinions of NCLB, the PDK/Gallup poll finds that there is widespread support for the law’s goals -- closing the achievement gap between African American and Latino students and their white peers and improving educational outcomes for all students -- but broad disagreement with its specific strategies. When asked whether testing students in only English and math, as currently required by NCLB, can give a fair picture of a school, 81% of the public say no. And 78% are worried that the law’s focus on these two subjects will mean less emphasis on other subjects. The poll finds that two-thirds of those surveyed oppose measuring school success by the percentage of students passing a single statewide test, while 81% prefer measuring the improvement that students make during the year."
North Carolina schools: Will smaller lead to better?
Sunday August 20 2006, 7:19 PM
New Record reports, "But new research suggests small schools might not offer much academic improvement to the students who need it the most. And opponents say small schools limit the variety in courses and extracurricular activities, such as sports, that often are all that keeps some students from dropping out. Even small-schools advocates admit that breaking down high schools doesn't always work. And that by itself, small is not the answer."
Metro Nashville grad rates rise by technicality: Schools count summer finishes for first time
Sunday August 20 2006, 6:34 PM
The Tennessean reports, "Metro Schools Director Pedro Garcia said the district has ramped up efforts to reduce dropouts. Some initiatives include help transitioning from middle to high school, support for struggling freshmen and classes that allow students to recover failed classes or pick up basic skills. 'Our grad rate is our number one goal,' Garcia said. Tennessee, along with many other states, was able to get special permission from the U.S. Department of Education to insert a one-year lag in the graduation rates."
The Condition of Education in Brief 2006
Sunday August 20 2006, 3:46 PM
Report topics covered "include: public and private enrollment in elementary/secondary education; projections of undergraduate enrollment; racial/ethnic distribution of public school students; student achievement from the National Assessment of Educational Progress in reading, mathematics, and science; adult literacy; status dropout rates; immediate transition to college; school violence and safety; educational attainment; parental choice of schools; expenditures for elementary and secondary education, and federal grants and loans to undergraduate students." Livingston, A. (2006). The Condition of Education 2006 in Brief (NCES 2006-072). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.
Funding windfall will go to salaries, programs: North Dakota legislature to consider equity formula; state funds will help some districts
Sunday August 20 2006, 1:32 PM
Grand Forks Herald reports, "Devils Lake Superintendent Steve Swiontek has no trouble finding potential uses for his school's expected windfall in state funding for education. 'No. 1, we'll look at teachers' salaries,' he said. 'Our base salary is $23,200, compared to about $30,000 at Grand Forks and Fargo.'"
Looking beyond textbook learning: Upstate educators urged to embrace innovation at Saint Rose institute
Saturday August 19 2006, 8:21 AM
Times Union reports on seminar, "He [Noguera] is considered by many to be one of the nation's most important voices on education reform and diversity. The institute, formed last year with a $1.6 million federal grant, trains educators to better deal with modern issues affecting schools. Much of Noguera's address focused on creating a solid environment for teaching in urban areas, especially when dealing with low-income and special education students, as well as those who do not speak English. Teachers and administrators, especially in urban school districts, must work hard to create strong relationships with students to interest them in learning, he said."
Research ‘sparse’ on reconfiguring schools
Friday August 18 2006, 8:13 AM
The Mercury reports on Pennsylvania local school presentation, "It notes there are a number of factors for the community to consider when pondering any change in configuration. They include costs, the potential to increase or decrease parental involvement, 'the effect on whether the neighborhood schools close or remain open,' the effect on student achievement, 'the opportunity for interaction between age groups' and whether existing buildings can be used. All of these topics were raised during the March meeting with the public."
After Katrina, School Reforms Make New Orleans Most Chartered City in U.S.
Thursday August 17 2006, 10:50 AM
BUSINESS WIRE announces, "One year after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has become one of the most chartered cities in America, with nearly 70 percent of its public school students in schools of choice, according to a new report in the forthcoming issue of Education Next, on newsstands September 1." [Education New York Online will link to the report when available.]
Single-sex classes go public
Thursday August 17 2006, 8:54 AM
USA Today editorial opined on gender in education, "Successful single-sex schools have everything to do with adjusting to different learning styles — and nothing to do with predators and prey. That's a lesson for educators and the ACLU."
Bad for both boys and girls
Thursday August 17 2006, 8:47 AM
USA Today Op-Ed contributors Emily Martin, ACLU Women's Rights Project and Katie Schwartzmann. ACLU of Louisiana opined, "The most reliable evidence available shows that proven approaches to educational reform — such as smaller classes, teachers with decent salaries and parental involvement — make much more sense than separating boys and girls based on outmoded stereotypes."
NO MORE EXCUSES FOR SCHOOL FAILURE
Tuesday August 15 2006, 8:43 AM
NY Post op-ed adapted from speech given by Joel Klein, New York City schools chancellor, "OUR reform strategy, which we call 'Children First,' is premised on the core belief that strong school-level leadership will result in high-functioning schools. Our aim is to accomplish three fundamental cultural shifts."
North Dakota school funding aid
Monday August 14 2006, 12:04 PM
Grand Forks Herald reports on North Dakota school funding reform and the state commission's reform promise, "to greatly reduce disparities, while guaranteeing that no districts will get less than they currently do."
Security Through Education
Monday August 14 2006, 7:55 AM
Washington Post contributor William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland opined on school reform, "The best way to achieve such transformational changes is through so-called statewide K-16 councils, which bring educational leaders from all levels -- superintendents, principals, university presidents, deans -- together with business and community leaders on a regular basis to develop reform agendas. Such an approach is working in Maryland and a few other states. As a second means of plugging the holes, state governments and higher education need to rethink the way they distribute financial aid."
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill on tax reform legislation (video)
Sunday August 13 2006, 8:03 PM
Tax Reform Effort of Northern Dutchess (TREND) director Vicky Perry interviewed Assemblyman Kevin Cahill on his proposal to reform New York State taxes and school funding.
Iowa Gov. Vilsack urges innovation in Iowa schools: Suggests creative solutions, such as mix of ages in classroom
Saturday August 12 2006, 2:20 PM
Des Moines Register reports on Iowa school reforms initiatives to improve international competition, "Multi-age classes are already held at the Downtown School in Des Moines, which also uses other research-based practices such as parental involvement, a longer school year, ungraded classes and small class sizes."
Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce L.A. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Villaraigosa's School District Plan
Friday August 11 2006, 11:57 AM
LA Times reports on support and opposition to LA mayoral control of schools, "The chamber's support was somewhat hedged — the bill in the state Legislature, it said, 'is not a cure' for all of the Los Angeles Unified School District's problems — but it placed a widely recognized and respected business group on the record in support of Villaraigosa's efforts. That could have special weight because the bill is seen in some quarters as being driven by union interests, notably United Teachers Los Angeles, which also has endorsed it."
Debate school vouchers without injecting race
Wednesday August 09 2006, 11:10 PM
USA op-ed contributor Kevin Chavous, Distinguished fellow, Center for Education Reform opined on school vouchers, "Let's also make sure we know the truth, which is that children who have choices do better than those who do not. The research is abundant, as are stories of triumph when America's impoverished families are given the opportunity to choose the schools their children attend."
Los Angeles Mayor's Staff Makes Changes to Protect School Reform Plan: Adds provisions to assure city councils of control and to deflect legal liability
Tuesday August 08 2006, 10:57 AM
LA Times reports, "New language in the proposed bill, however, specifically keeps the City Council, and other affected city councils, in charge of the purse strings: 'Nothing … shall be construed to require any city to expend city resources on services to the school district.'"
Maryland Gov. consolidates early learning with education
Friday August 04 2006, 8:14 AM
Baltimore Sun op-ed contributor Sandra J. Skolnik, executive director of the Maryland Committee for Children writes, " Consolidating early care and education with K-to-12 education is a move supported by research, logic, and economics, creating a continuum of development from birth through grade 12. And yet, it breaks with decades of thinking that held 'education' in the K-12 silo while state involvement in early care has been largely the purview of social service departments. It required vision from Maryland's governor, legislative leaders, and state school superintendent to make a break with past thinking and with entrenched bureaucratic interests. It remains to be seen whether other states will muster the political will to do so."
NYC Mayor Bloomberg endorses mayoral control of Los Angeles schools
Friday August 04 2006, 7:42 AM
NY Daily News reports, "Bloomberg and Daley [Chicago mayor] said mayoral takeover of the public school system has resulted in more-empowered principals, improved safety and new programs to support struggling students and schools."
In Push to Open Small Schools, a Big Obstacle: Limited Space
Thursday August 03 2006, 12:24 AM
NY Times reports, "In the Bronx, 500 students in two high schools are not sure where they will go when classes start next month. The schools were supposed to share a former elementary school, but nonprofit groups that have occupied the building since 1982 refuse to leave and a lawsuit has been filed. The students are likely to end up in trailers outside the building."
Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability
Wednesday August 02 2006, 9:43 AM
New York Charter School Resource Center
Wednesday August 02 2006, 9:40 AM
School Choice Lawsuit in New Jersey Raises Much Needed Public Awareness about the Crisis in Education
Tuesday August 01 2006, 6:52 PM
Hispanic Business reports, “'It is clear that students are not receiving the education the state constitution demands. No student – Hispanic, White, Black or Asian – should be forced to attend a school that violates their constitutional right because of where they live. These students deserve equal protection under the law and must be granted an immediate remedy.' said Martin Perez, Board Member of Hispanic CREO and President of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey."
HISPANIC COUNCIL FOR REFORM AND EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS (CREO)
Tuesday August 01 2006, 6:49 PM
Indiana U to help prep students for a college curriculum
Tuesday August 01 2006, 8:47 AM
Journal Gazette reports, "The center will use 'best practices' to help teachers who instruct preschoolers through 12th-grade students. At Decatur Middle School in Indianapolis, teachers and administrators have spent five years working with IU faculty to improve the township’s high school dropout rate."
Bill Gates, the Nation's Superintendent of Schools
Monday July 31 2006, 11:55 AM
LA Times contributor Diane Ravitch, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of education at New York University opined, "In light of the size of the foundation's endowment, Bill Gates is now the nation's superintendent of schools. He can support whatever he wants, based on any theory or philosophy that appeals to him. We must all watch for signs and portents to decipher what lies in store for American education."
One year brings two views of Buffalo schools superintendent Williams
Sunday July 30 2006, 11:46 AM
Buffalo News reports, "After 13 months on the job, Buffalo School Superintendent James A. Williams gets broad credit - from critics and supporters alike - for pinpointing the massive problems facing city schools and launching efforts to tackle them. At the same time, many people charge that he's damaging his chances of boosting student achievement by moving too fast, failing to include key players in the decision-making process and alienating teachers, parents and even some Board of Education members with a blunt, in-your-face style."
Reform unites residents, Groups are formed to press for change in taxation system
Sunday July 30 2006, 10:12 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal reports, "In recent months, community groups focused on school tax reform have been popping up across Dutchess and Ulster counties. Regional groups now exist in northern, southern, eastern and central Dutchess. Most revolve around lobbying legislators at the state level in an effort to change the way schools are funded."
An Unfailing Belief in the Power of Teaching
Wednesday July 26 2006, 8:25 AM
NY Times DAVID M. HERSZENHORN writes, in a story about NYC schools' head of instruction, Dr. Alonso, "He hates it when students are referred to as 'at risk,' icily noting that they are at risk only when educators fail. He denounces failed teaching techniques the way a preacher condemns sin. His speeches are dense with jargon."
HOPES ON HOLD, ALBANY HAMSTRINGS SCHOOL REFORM
Tuesday July 25 2006, 8:02 AM
NY Post guest op-ed contributor Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City schools writes, "Charter schools provide high-quality education to some of the poorest communities in our city, giving amazing opportunities to children who are more than 90 percent African-American and Latino."
Education Alliance (Brown University)
Sunday July 23 2006, 8:59 PM
Center for Education Reform (CER)
Sunday July 23 2006, 8:34 PM
South Carolina businesses aim to alter new tax law
Sunday July 23 2006, 10:42 AM
The State reports, "When state lawmakers passed the property tax reform plan in June, they said it would end the war between homeowners and school districts. However, the legislation may have opened a new front — a war between businesses and schools."
When activism masquerades as education
Friday July 21 2006, 7:15 AM
NY Daily News guest contributor, Manhattan Institute's senior fellow Sol Stern writes, "Far too many New York City public schools - including some of the new small schools created by Chancellor Joel Klein and funded with money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - distort education by imbuing social justice into everything they do."
What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)
Thursday July 20 2006, 11:30 PM
Educational Priorities Panel
Wednesday July 19 2006, 1:09 PM
Public vs. Private Schools
Wednesday July 19 2006, 8:36 AM
New York Times editorial writes, "Instead of arguing about the alleged superiority of one category over another, the country should stay focused on the overarching problem: on average, American schoolchildren are performing at mediocre levels in reading, math and science — wherever they attend school."
Just for the Kids Best Practice Studies: Findings from New York Schools
Wednesday July 19 2006, 8:14 AM
Research teams investigated 10 consistently higher performing and five averageperforming elementary schools to determine the differences in practices between higher and average performing elementary schools.
Pay teachers more and demand results
Tuesday July 18 2006, 9:07 AM
Morton Kondracke, columnist and executive editor of Roll Call, writes on school reform, "With student performance still dismal 23 years after a federal report proclaimed a 'nation at risk,' it’s just possible that a decisive, bipartisan 'grand bargain' can be struck to improve the public schools."
New York State Educational Conference Board
Friday July 14 2006, 2:11 PM
Panel releases Los Angeles schools reform study; Recommendations include decentralization, but less mayoral influence
Friday July 14 2006, 9:15 AM
Daily News (LA) reports, "The 54 recommendations presented by the 30-member Presidents' Joint Commission on LAUSD Governance include decentralizing the district and giving greater authority to administrators and teachers at local schools - hallmarks of proposed legislation brokered by Villaraigosa and two powerful teachers unions. But the report also recommends requiring voter approval for any major change in school district governance and giving the mayor only a limited role in the district."
Teachers, and a Law That Distrusts Them
Wednesday July 12 2006, 7:11 AM
NY Times registration, Michael Winerip writes on NCLB and school reforms, "The question is: How successful can an education law be that makes teachers the enemy?"
Arizona state gives K-12 schools $5.5M for e-learning
Monday July 10 2006, 9:05 AM
Business Journal of Phoenix reports, "A bill recently signed into law will create a task force of technology, business and education leaders to oversee implementation of e-learning measures across Arizona."
Texas school reform in state's hands, education chief setting rules for local districts on spending, test scores
Monday July 10 2006, 8:04 AM
Dallas Morning News reports, "Control over public schools is swinging back toward the state as Texas' education chief and her staff write a series of new rules regulating everything from how districts spend their tax dollars to how much student test scores must improve each year."
Pennsylvania provides $12.5 million more to schools in Pittsburgh, but with strings
Saturday July 08 2006, 9:36 PM
Post-gazette.com reports, "But it gives Superintendent Mark Roosevelt new latitude to reassign and demote administrators, something that he said could aid his efforts to turn around the district's academic and financial problems."
Research on urban K-8 schools' performance offers mixed results
Friday July 07 2006, 9:53 AM
Shreveporttimes.com reports, "For at least a decade, urban school systems have moved away from middle schools with sixth, seventh and eighth grades to K-8 campuses."
Highlights of preliminary conclusions of North Dakota education reform commission
Friday July 07 2006, 12:12 AM
Coalition for Community Schools
Wednesday July 05 2006, 9:20 AM
A community school is both a set of partnerships and a place where services, supports and opportunities lead to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities.
Bipartisan Coalition Backs New School Funding Model; Solution Boosts Spending for Needy Children and Promotes Education Choice
Tuesday July 04 2006, 7:47 PM
US Newswire reports, "The proposal, Fund the Child: Tackling Inequity and Antiquity in School Finance (visit http://www.100percentsolution.org ), is a 'manifesto' that offers a comprehensive solution to the most pressing problems in American education, including funding disparities on many levels."
Philanthropy Heads In New Direction
Tuesday July 04 2006, 6:40 PM
CBSnews.com reports Christian Science Monitor article by Mark Trumbell, "Indeed, the very scale of the Gates Foundation exposes it to longstanding pitfalls. Bill Gates has said it's as hard to give money away effectively as it is to make money in the first place. Moreover, some experts see risks in private foundations gaining too much influence through their money and partnerships. The reason: They are not accountable to voters or shareholders."
Teachers Unions and Public Schools: Who Needs 'Em?
Monday July 03 2006, 9:53 AM
Los Angeles Times registration
Monday July 03 2006, 9:25 AM
Los Angeles schools fight reform with public's money. Dailynews.com reports, "WE'RE not sure what's worse: that the Los Angeles Unified School District is fighting a full-fledged battle to thwart reform, or that it's spending taxpayer money to do it."
Lessons from Boston city school superintendent
Sunday July 02 2006, 8:01 PM
The Christian Science Monitor
National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (NCSPE)
Saturday July 01 2006, 8:46 PM
Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)
Saturday July 01 2006, 8:43 PM
Utah wheels of education reform start to turn today
Saturday July 01 2006, 9:36 AM
Sen. Morahan holds Rockland-Orange education spending summit
Friday June 30 2006, 8:56 AM
The Journal News (Education New York Online editor correction to Journal News story: Peter Applebee, New York state Senate Finance Committee)
Friday June 30 2006, 8:12 AM
Los Angeles Mayor launches school reform website
Thursday June 29 2006, 8:05 PM
View LA Mayor's website at: http://www.excellenceinlaschools.com/
Study Shows Pennsylvania Students Benefiting from Targeted Investments in Education
Thursday June 29 2006, 1:54 PM
“Does Segregation Still Matter? The Impact of Social Composition on Academic Achievement in High School”
Wednesday June 28 2006, 10:26 AM
Russell Rumberger with Gregory Palardy. Teachers College Record, 107 (2005), 1999-2045. This article addresses the question of whether school characteristics can be changed by policies to reform schools and funding systems versus policies to desegregate schools.
Confusion instead of Los Angeles school reform
Wednesday June 28 2006, 8:38 AM
Debunking the fictions that block school reform
Tuesday June 27 2006, 9:48 AM
Read "The Shape of the Starting Line" on Education New York Online, EDUCATION POLICY link, POVERTY folder.
The Shape Of The Starting Line
Tuesday June 27 2006, 9:39 AM
Produced By: Tom Sgouros. This report contains a review of some important research findings about the links between poverty and academic success, and research relevant to several popular school reform proposals. It also covers matters relating to professional practice, school conditions, literacy and early childhood education.
Panel's Draft Report Calls for an Overhaul of Higher Education Nationwide
Tuesday June 27 2006, 7:23 AM
NY Times registration
Measured Progress: A Report on the High School Reform Movement
Monday June 26 2006, 8:53 AM
Studies on the impact of the wide-ranging efforts over the past half-decade to reform the nation's public high schools have produced important—and encouraging—findings, researcher Craig Jerald reveals in a new Education Sector report titled "Measured Progress: A Report on the High School Reform Movement."
Education for entrepreneurs
Monday June 26 2006, 8:37 AM
Center for Civic Innovation
Sunday June 25 2006, 10:59 AM
Capital Region high-tech school gets a reboot
Sunday June 25 2006, 8:05 AM
The Reform Of School Reform
Friday June 23 2006, 7:14 AM
Fixing Los Angeles schools
Thursday June 22 2006, 10:45 AM
Los Angeles mayor, 'It's a great deal for our kids'
Thursday June 22 2006, 10:42 AM
Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty: Schools in 'silent crisis'
Monday June 19 2006, 1:15 PM
High school reform: A necessary change
Monday June 19 2006, 9:42 AM
ALBANY'S SCHOOL TEST (NY Post registration)
Monday June 19 2006, 7:38 AM
DOES WHOLE-SCHOOL REFORM BOOST STUDENT PERFORMANCE? THE CASE OF NEW YORK CITY
Saturday June 17 2006, 11:52 AM
Robert Bifulco, William Duncombe, John Yinger. Education Finance and Accountability Program (EFAP). Thousands of schools around the country have implemented whole-school reform programs to boost student performance. This paper uses quasi-experimental methods to estimate the impact of whole-school reform on students’ reading performance in New York City, where various reform programs were adopted in dozens of troubled elementary schools in the mid- 1990s. Two popular reform programs—the School Development Program and Success for All—do not significantly increase reading scores but might have if they had been fully implemented. The More Effective Schools program does boost reading scores, particularly for the poorest students, but only when program “trainers” remain in the school and the students are native English speakers.
Reforms That Could Help Narrow the Achievement Gap
Thursday June 15 2006, 9:08 AM
Richard Rothstein, Research Associate of the Economic Policy Institute, outlines a series of reforms, in addition to school improvement, that could help narrow the achievement gap.
Iowa Senior High reform to target freshmen
Thursday June 15 2006, 8:38 AM
Will arts partnership boost a sagging Pennsylvania city school?
Wednesday June 14 2006, 10:14 AM
Ohio school funding reform is real joke
Tuesday June 13 2006, 8:42 AM
Missouri Governor Signs Education Bills Into Law
Tuesday June 13 2006, 7:27 AM
Monday June 12 2006, 7:52 AM
Big Easy taps Windy City aid; Chicago experts to help effort to create unique charter school system
Sunday June 11 2006, 10:23 AM
High Schools That Work
Saturday June 10 2006, 10:07 AM
University of North Carolina receives funding for Early College High School study
Thursday June 08 2006, 6:56 PM
Unschooling unpopular, but it's growing trend
Thursday June 08 2006, 1:02 PM
Uniforms possible in elementary schools, too
Tuesday June 06 2006, 7:37 AM
Teacher of the Year on Turning a School Around
Monday June 05 2006, 7:30 PM
Black educators divided on Villaraigosa schools plan
Monday June 05 2006, 6:41 PM
Survey: South needs more research and education
Monday June 05 2006, 9:22 AM
For richer and poorer
Monday June 05 2006, 8:05 AM
Illinois Gov.'s Education Plan
Saturday June 03 2006, 9:31 PM
NCES State Education Reforms
Friday June 02 2006, 3:05 PM
Kentucky receives education award
Thursday June 01 2006, 1:33 PM
A look at the Texas school tax package approved by the Legislature
Wednesday May 31 2006, 7:08 PM
Tuesday May 30 2006, 5:48 PM
An interview with Eric Hanushek
Smaller learning communities initiatives striving to keep kids in school
Sunday May 28 2006, 7:51 PM
Just for the Kids - New York
Sunday May 28 2006, 10:58 AM
New Hampshire 'Follow the Child' initiative makes learning personal
Sunday May 28 2006, 9:55 AM
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson proposes school reform
Thursday May 25 2006, 4:05 PM
Will Illinois Gov. Blagojevich's school reform plan work?
Thursday May 25 2006, 9:08 AM
Education reform is on right path in state
Tuesday May 23 2006, 7:04 AM
SAGE Partners With The National Association Of Secondary School Principals
Sunday May 21 2006, 11:11 AM
The state of education in Boston
Sunday May 21 2006, 10:48 AM
PA Governor Rendell Says His Commitment to Education Stronger Than Ever
Friday May 19 2006, 11:54 PM
Improving College Readiness and Success for All Students: A Joint Responsibility Between K-12 and Postsecondary Education
Friday May 19 2006, 5:26 PM
Improving College Readiness and Success for All Students: A Joint Responsibility Between K-12 and Postsecondary Education—Michael W. Kirst and Andrea Venezia
Mississippi education chief proposes revamping schools
Friday May 19 2006, 5:17 PM
U.S. must commit to education
Friday May 19 2006, 9:32 AM
Education must be a priority
Friday May 19 2006, 7:56 AM
Don't ditch education reform, fix it
Friday May 19 2006, 7:51 AM
UFT's dangerous game
Thursday May 18 2006, 8:00 AM
Superintendent's reform plans criticized
Wednesday May 17 2006, 10:40 AM
CUNY course a fresh start for dropouts
Sunday May 14 2006, 5:05 AM
A look at Texas education improvement initiatives approved Friday
Friday May 12 2006, 7:09 PM
New Jersey school funding reform proposal
Wednesday May 10 2006, 6:48 PM
Boston's Success Could Be Lesson for D.C. Schools (Washington Post registration)
Monday May 08 2006, 11:56 PM
Texas school reform awaits hearing
Monday May 08 2006, 11:33 AM
School Reform in Danger (NY Times registration)
Monday May 08 2006, 10:18 AM
The News Interview: Schools Chancellor Joel Klein
Sunday May 07 2006, 8:10 AM
A recipe for excellence
Saturday May 06 2006, 12:46 PM
Florida bill would delay school start
Saturday May 06 2006, 9:12 AM
Gov. Sebelius Signs Bills to Improve Kansas Schools
Saturday May 06 2006, 9:02 AM
Texas education improvement initiatives approved Friday
Friday May 05 2006, 8:39 PM
Changing New Jersey school formula seen as key to tax reform
Thursday May 04 2006, 4:52 PM
Student Achievement at Small California Schools Is Mixed
Tuesday May 02 2006, 7:41 PM
NMSA Calls Upon Policymakers to Support Appropriate Reform for Middle Schools
Tuesday May 02 2006, 10:54 AM
Research Offers Lessons for Improving Low-Performing High Schools; Studies Address Five Challenges Facing Educators
Monday May 01 2006, 11:36 AM
To read full report see education new york online EDUCATION POLICY page, SCHOOL REFORM folder.
Meeting Five Critical Challenges of High School Reform: Lessons from Research on Three Reform Models
Monday May 01 2006, 11:29 AM
Janet Quint , 2006. Recent MDRC evaluations of three high school reform models — Career Academies, First Things First, and Talent Development — offer hope that comprehensive programs can improve low-performing high schools. This research synthesis for policymakers and practitioners offers practical lessons for creating personalized learning environments, helping struggling freshmen, improving instruction, preparing students for the world beyond high school, and stimulating change in overstressed high schools.
Resist '65% solution' fad
Sunday April 30 2006, 9:55 PM
What Makes a Good High School?
Sunday April 30 2006, 2:31 PM
Sunday April 30 2006, 8:03 AM
What Makes a High School Great?
Sunday April 30 2006, 12:40 AM
Improve our schools; Public education's the theme in California political campaigns
Saturday April 29 2006, 8:51 AM
Florida Senate kills class-size proposal
Saturday April 29 2006, 7:48 AM
Pennsylvania Gov. Rendell's Project 720 initiative
Friday April 28 2006, 3:09 PM
Illinois law would reform school mergers
Friday April 28 2006, 12:12 AM
Larger class sizes and private school vouchers are Florida GOP priorities
Thursday April 27 2006, 8:24 AM
Former New York City School Board President Praises Educational Initiatives
Wednesday April 26 2006, 11:05 PM
Nevada Sen. Ensign Encourages Innovation in Education
Wednesday April 26 2006, 5:50 PM
Lawmakers consider graduation standards but dump school hours plan
Wednesday April 26 2006, 1:41 PM
Wednesday April 26 2006, 6:56 AM
House Mulls Tax Bills in Texas School Finance Reform
Monday April 24 2006, 9:11 PM
An economist's view of education reform
Friday April 21 2006, 8:30 AM
Funding reform would harm school libraries
Wednesday April 19 2006, 11:27 PM
Tennessee Gov. Bredesen touts education efforts
Wednesday April 19 2006, 8:33 AM
Assembly Senate bills would dismantle LA Unified School District
Tuesday April 18 2006, 9:45 PM
Layoffs May Follow a City Takeover of Los Angeles Schools
Tuesday April 18 2006, 11:24 AM
NJ school budget woes stir calls for reform
Sunday April 16 2006, 9:28 AM
Los Angeles Teachers Union Wants Early Say on School Reform
Saturday April 15 2006, 8:59 AM
Stanford profs lead CA education inquiry
Tuesday April 11 2006, 10:58 AM
‘Thousands More’ work to change education
Monday April 10 2006, 9:13 AM
Monday April 10 2006, 7:52 AM
What's wrong with America's high schools?
Sunday April 09 2006, 3:16 PM
Try a new tack for our schools
Sunday April 09 2006, 12:57 PM
Budget aids parents, schools, hurts businesses, research
Sunday April 02 2006, 11:13 AM
$2.6M study of CA schools
Sunday April 02 2006, 10:13 AM
Real fixes for science, math education
Friday March 31 2006, 1:15 PM
Mills applauds efforts to boost graduation rate
Friday March 31 2006, 8:09 AM
What’s better and what's not
Friday February 24 2006, 6:14 PM
Catalyst Chicago, 2006. What’s better and what’s not. Data on key measures of school improvement under Chicago Mayor Daley.
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