• NUGENT: In the new year, we must be bold
    Preparing our young people today to compete in tomorrow’s world requires us to be bold and address what works in education and jettison what does not. Let’s keep all options on the table, including privatization, charter schools, online education, year-round schooling, vouchers, neighborhood schools, home-schooling, etc. What we can’t allow is for our tax dollars to continue to be stripped from us and thrown at a public education system that is outrageously expensive, archaic, bureaucratic, inefficient and dysfunctional. I say “Flunk you” to the National Education Association and to parents who don’t care.
  • Faulk Proposes Evaluation Reform for Tennessee Teachers
    State senator Mike Faulk has filed a bill that would look to reform the Tennessee teacher evaluation process by allowing high value-added student test scores to count more in the assessment, writes Rick Wagner at Times News.
  • Gwen Samuel on Parents Pushing Back Against the Status Quo
    This is the year of the “Push Back” Parent, the time to push back  against and change the laws that deny our children access to equitable high quality educational opportunities! This includes school residency laws and zip code education education policies. As parents, we are the only blocks of people with no real legal ability to make educational decisions that impact our children’s overall well being in public schools! But collectively, we the parents have the power to change that!
  • Digital Classrooms: Is The Investment Paying Off?
    There is a raging debate about the effectiveness of the ‘digital classroom’ – with arguments solely focused on the $31.2 billion education technology market and whether the investment is delivering a return to cash-strapped school districts. Collaborative technology is a valuable aid in teaching students to engage in meaningful discussion, take responsibility for their own learning and become critical thinkers in a rapidly-shifting world – skills necessary for success in the 21st century workforce. The real value of education is not really what we learn; it’s how we learn – which involves the effort and process that goes into the act of learning itself. No matter how many new digital tools come out, the common denominator is still people. And it will always be people. The new collaboration revolution in education technology places people squarely at the center of the equation, making it easier to connect and produce solid results.
  • A Public School Leader’s Lesson in Creating a Culture of Excellence
    We’re all used to hearing about the public school that is underperforming. But there are, without question, pockets of excellence throughout the country. Prince Georges County, Maryland, has one such pocket in Crossland High School—a public school with a passionate and respected principal at the helm.
  • Viewpoints: ‘Parent trigger’ laws get support from across the spectrum
    An educational revolution is sweeping across the United States: “parent trigger” laws that offer hope to the downtrodden, give a voice to the voiceless, and that finally bring together the most lefty of liberals and the most conservative of tea partyers. Even the most liberal supporters of traditional public schools find themselves uneasy with the reality that people with money already have freedom of choice in education, either through private schools or by buying a house near a good public school, while the poor minorities get the leftovers. Parent trigger laws automatically target those most desperately in need of a hand. And, since charter schools throughout the nation are funded with lower per-student spending than traditional public schools, each conversion to a charter with parent trigger also means more money per student for those remaining in public schools.
  • Dreams of many ride on Metro Nashville’s magnet lottery
    After a random drawing on Saturday, parents will learn who won seats at Metro Nashville’s magnet schools and who didn’t. In the fall, 5,929 of Metro’s 78,000 students applied to attend the academic magnets and 28 other magnets next school year. As of Friday, district officials said they couldn’t determine how many had applied for academic magnets or how many seats would be available, but typically there are three times the number of applicants as seats.
  • More Pay for Public-School Teachers Won’t Increase Quality
    In yesterday’s “Room for Debate” feature, The New York Times asks whether public-school teacher compensation should be increased. The answer we give, based on our recent report, is that teachers already receive more compensation than comparably skilled private-sector workers. If the current compensation bonus has yet to increase the quality of the teacher workforce, it is not clear how an additional raise would produce better results. Public school districts should focus on maximizing the value of their existing resources rather than spending even more money inefficiently.

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