- Memphis City Council OKs school budget; officials expect classes to start Monday
Memphis City Schools Supt. Kriner Cash says school should start on time Monday thanks to a deal forged Tuesday with the Memphis City Council. The council approved the school district’s $884 million budget and a payment schedule for the city’s contribution, ending contentious talks that included a threat by school officials to delay the start of the academic year.
- The Public Weighs In on School Reform
These are among the questions we explore in this, the fifth-annual Education Next–PEPG Survey, which interviewed a nationally representative sample of some 2,600 American citizens during April and May of 2011 (see sidebar for survey methodology). In addition to the views of the public as a whole, we pay special attention in this year’s survey to two potentially influential types of participants in school politics: the affluent and teachers.
- MSU study: Good elementary teachers equally important as small class sizes
In his study, Spyros Konstantopoulos, associate professor of education at MSU, found that, beginning in kindergarten, teachers can significantly affect students’ reading and math scores in later grades. “The findings suggest teacher effects do not fade, but remain strong predictors of student achievement,” Konstantopoulos said in a statement. The study highlights the importance of identifying and hiring effective teachers in the early grades and implementing interventions such as professional development to improve teacher effectiveness, Konstantopoulos said.
- Public Right on Choice, Wrong on Standards, But Always Well Intentioned
Today the good folks at the journal Education Next released their annual survey of education opinion. What follows is a quick summary of many of the things the pollsters found, followed by a little commentary about the national-standards results.
- Haunting Words to Inspire Every Teacher – Charting My Own Course
That’s when I stumbled in on that life-changing conversation in the teacher’s lounge. “It happened to them,” were the four words that shut me and the other teachers up. “It happened to them, not to you. You tell the stories like it’s some kind of entertainment, but it happened to them—the kids. They are the ones who 30 years from now will remember these stories with tears in their eyes.” He went on to explain that he, too, used to complain and feel like the victim until another teacher rebuked him with those words. He felt compelled to pass that wisdom on.
- Troubled charter schools ‘going forward’
MBA’s middle school did not make Adequate Yearly Progress for the second consecutive year, a grave situation for charter schools in Tennessee, where the law gives charters two years to prove themselves. If they fail, they can be shut down.
- Former Memphis mayor Herenton hopes to run 9 charter schools
Former mayor Willie Herenton hopes to be running a consortium of nine charter schools across city and county school boundaries by this time next year. He is proposing four high schools, three middle schools and two elementary schools for his W.E.B. DuBois Consortium.
- With expectations high, failing Cameron Middle has fresh start
It’s the state’s first conversion charter school — a public school taken over by a charter. Every fifth-grader who is zoned for Cameron can attend Cameron College Prep, but each student must sign a commitment to follow the strict rules, including a plan to go to college. Parents were asked one on one to buy in.
- Fond du Lac latest district to balance budget with new law
FOND DU LAC: School officials announced last week that they were able to use the power granted them by Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill to balance their district budget. The district was initially forecasting a budget deficit of $4.4 million for the coming school year. But the school board, freed from the handcuffs of union collective bargaining, required teachers to pay 5.8 percent of their own retirement pension costs, as well as 12 percent of their health and dental costs. Now board members are in full financial control of the district for the first time in decades. They are free to implement policies that benefit students and taxpayers without union approval. If that means further cuts to labor costs in future years, the board has complete freedom to implement those cuts.
- Stolen Education, Stolen Children, Stolen Future
This is an informational presentation I gave at a rally in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. Much of this information can be found in Charlotte Iserbyt’s book The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America. As shocking as it may be, it is all factual and verifiable. Please educate yourself on this vital issue.