Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Poor Teacher Evaluation Systems Will Not Improve Education

July 29, 2014 by twalker  
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Arne Duncan recently praised Tennessee for  “not letting the perfect become the enemy of the good” in teacher evaluations.  Teachers aren’t as enthusiastic and don’t see the new system as “the good.” They are, for the second time, suing the state because the system is, in their eyes, arbitrary and flawed. “When it comes to the new [...]

School-To-Prison Pipeline Starts Even Before Kindergarten

July 29, 2014 by twalker  
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Tunette Powell write that her two preschool-aged sons have been suspended from schools a total of eight times, and she wonders if these suspensions might be the result of unintentional biases against black students. “The problem is not that we have a bunch of racist teachers and administrators. I believe most educators want to help [...]

Americans Overwhelmingly Favor Expanding Early Childhood Education. Is Congress Listening?

July 28, 2014 by twalker  
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By Richard Naithram A new bipartisan national poll released by The First Five Years Fund reveals that both Republicans and Democrats favor a strong federal investment in early childhood education. According to the poll, 71 percent of voters—including 60 percent of Republicans—support this investment even if it increased the deficit in the short term and [...]

Five U.S. Innovations that Helped Finland’s Schools Improve But that American Reformers Now Ignore

July 27, 2014 by twalker  
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Finnish educator and scholar Pasi Sahlberg is one of the world’s leading experts on school reform and educational practices. Sahlberg believes U.S. innovation has helped many successful education systems around the world even as Americans ignore those very same reforms. “ It is interesting that, according to the OECD, the United States exhibits only modest innovation in its [...]

“You’re Not Just Officer Friendly Anymore”

July 27, 2014 by twalker  
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The string of mass killings at schools over the past 15 years has changed the nature of the school policy officers’ job, adding urgent new duties and risks. Federal education and law enforcement agencies have also encouraged schools to switch from all-purpose lockdown policies and train staff and students to run if they can, hide [...]

Educators Defeat Attempt to Strip Teacher Licenses Over Test Scores

July 24, 2014 by twalker  
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By Luke Towler School districts continue to make high-stakes decisions about teacher performance based on how well students perform on state mandated tests, despite mounting opposition across the nation. Yet no state has tied renewal of teaching licenses to test scores – but Tennessee recently came close. Last year, Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman began [...]

‘Blame Teachers First’ Campaign Has a New Leader

July 24, 2014 by twalker  
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For years, Michelle Rhee, the former District of Columbia schools chancellor, has been upheld in the media as someone with the formula and fight required to “fix” public schools. But now that Rhee’s reputation is damaged,  the Blame Teachers First crowd is now eagerly promoting Campbell Brown, the former NBC News reporter. Brown launched the group Partnership for [...]

School Librarian Cutbacks Widen Digital Divide

July 24, 2014 by twalker  
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About one-third of public schools do not have a full-time, state-certified librarian. Members of the American Library Association call it a national crisis, as colleges and careers increasingly require students to have expansive digital literacy skills. Some 20 percent of public school libraries do not have any full- or part-time state-certified librarians, according to a [...]

NRA Video: Kids Should Be Proficient With Guns to Move Up in School

July 24, 2014 by twalker  
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In a video titled “Everyone Gets a Gun,” posted this week by the National Rifle Association, commentator Billy Johnson said firearm proficiency should be a requirement in schools, just like reading and writing. “Just like we teach them reading and writing, necessary skills. We would teach shooting and firearm competency,” he explained. “It wouldn’t matter [...]

Unions Put Teachers on Streets — For Votes

July 24, 2014 by twalker  
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Teachers unions are struggling to protect their political clout, but as the midterm elections approach, they’re fighting back with their most popular asset: the teachers themselves. The unions are sending armies of educators to run a huge get-out-the-vote effort aimed at reversing the red tide that swept Republicans into power across the country in 2010. [...]

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