• Haslam’s Three New ‘R’s
    Gov. Bill Haslam can be found emphasizing new fundamentals of education in a video from the Southern Governors’ Association, which met over the weekend in Asheville, N.C.
  • Andrew Breitbart discusses his new site BigEducation.com
    New media mogul Andrew Breitbart discusses his new site BigEducation.com.
    BigEducation will give parents, activists and students a place to expose corruption in public education.
  • After Words with Steven Brill – C-SPAN Video Library
    C-Span video conversation with Diane Ravitch historian of education and educational policy analyst with Steven Brill author of “Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools”
  • State ‘Proficiency’ Ratings Still Fall Short of National Benchmarks
    ince the No Child Left Behind Act was enacted in 2001, standardized testing has become a focal point of education reform. The federal education law required states to have nearly all children test “proficient” by 2014, but allowed states to set their own definitions of proficient since the federal government  is statutorily prohibited from setting state-level curriculum and assessment. Low NAEP marks have led several states to increase proficiency standards in the past few years. [States] have incentives to lower their standards to put a better name on poor results. But they also have scrutiny from parents and journalists and political figures.
  • Haslam joins local teachers in education roundtable
    Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam visited Unicoi County Middle School last week and conducted a roundtable meeting with Director of Schools Denise Brown, state Rep. David Hawk and a host of teachers from all grade levels, with experience ranging from one to more than 40 years. The governor also addressed the new teacher evaluation system, which ranks each teacher on a scale from 1 to 5 based on a detailed performance rubric.
  • The parents: the force that can’t be beat
    This kind of technological revolution still hasn’t happened in education, making it the last holdout. Instead, the nation has made a bet on more — not higher-performing — teachers, increasing the number by considerably more than half over the past 40 years, without getting results. Things like interactive software, which can engage students and enable them to move at their own pace, as well as virtual schools, which can bring learning from a distance rather than only through classroom teachers, will revolutionize the way we educate our kids. These things will also undermine the unions’ current grip on the system as parents and others come to understand that quality instruction is not only the province of classroom teachers.
  • TN’s ‘Achievement’ Superintendent Welcomes Accountability
    Barbic’s job is nothing short of figuring out how to replace academic despair and defeatism with success, excellence and optimism in Tennessee’s most dismally performing schools. TNReport talked with Barbic about his vision for the Achievement School District, how he plans to cope with bureaucratic and political obstacles and what he believes the criteria ought to be for holding him accountable:
  • US DoE Gives $10 Million Grant for Charter School Facilities
    Today the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced a $9.98 million grant to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Grants Program. The grant will support facilities financing to charter schools nationwide. The Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Grants Program provides assistance to help charter schools meet their facility financing needs. Under this grant program, funds are provided on a competitive basis to public and nonprofit entities, and consortia of those entities, to improve the credit of charter schools, thereby improving their access to financing for school facilities.
  • Providing Headache Relief for Families in Tennessee
    On August 20, the Appeal published a slanted article calling the new Tennessee Virtual Academy, “a real headache,” suggesting  widespread frustration among families attempting to enroll their children in the new online public school. Considering the high level of excitement from Tennessee families and the rush to participate in Tennessee Virtual Academy (TNVA), I was very skeptical. So I called Ms. Muhammad to hear her concerns directly. What I got was a much different account than what appeared in the paper. She was aggravated alright – at the Commercial Appeal for twisting her story into a negative article.
  • FEULNER: The Year of School Choice
    There are many good public schools across this country, with dedicated teachers who deserve praise. Unfortunately, there also are many bad schools, especially in urban areas. When you consider the damage those institutions inflict, making it nearly impossible for students to learn and fulfill their potential, you realize it’s nothing short of a national crime. That’s why it’s so heartening to see the school-choice movement gaining ground.
  • The Pending Collapse of National Standards
    As I previewed yesterday, I think the the tide has turned and the push to nationalize standards, curriculum, and assessments will fail.  It’s impressive how far the current effort has gotten and the Gates/U.S. Department have a bunch of folks believing that their triumph is inevitable.  But the drive for nationalization is doomed for the following reasons:
  • Survey: Metro schools families, faculty prefer balanced calendar
    In a recent survey, Metro school families, faculty and staff gave a slight edge to a new balanced calendar for the 2012-2013 school year over a traditional calendar, meaning school would start on July 25 or Aug. 1 if one of two plans is passed. Of 21,091 respondents, 11,201 (53 percent) preferred a balanced calendar that would shorten summer breaks but make fall and spring breaks two weeks long, while also creating “intersessions” aimed at student achievement. The remaining 9,890 (47 percent) respondents preferred a traditional calendar similar to the current one.

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