• Study Questions Whether ‘i3′ Found Innovation
    The U.S. Department of Education’s $650 million experiment to find and scale up innovative education ideas was a mixed success—for the first time, money was awarded to programs that showed evidence of past success, but those rigorous standards also produced a list of winners full of the “usual suspects,” a new report finds. The report released today by Bellwether Education Partners, a Washington consulting firm, hammered away at a crucial question: Was the Obama administration’s Investing in Innovation program successful in finding truly innovative ideas that will improve K-12 education?
  • Salvation Army collecting back-to-school supplies
    The Salvation Army of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County once again is collecting donations of back-to-school supplies for children from kindergarten through 12th grade… Donations can be brought in by Monday, Aug. 1, to the local facility at 1137 W. Main St., adjacent to New Salem Highway and one block from Old Fort Parkway. Drop-off hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. until noon on Friday.
  • 2011 Sales Tax Holiday: August 5-7
    The State of Tennessee’s Annual Sales Tax Holiday is held every year on the first Friday in August and ends the following Sunday night. This year’s tax-free holiday weekend begins at 12:01 a.m on Friday, August 5 and ends Sunday, August 7 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Nashville school calendar dates in flux
    Plans to extend Metro Schools’ 2012-13school year — starting it on July 25 — were met with skepticism Monday night at a meeting to get parents’ opinions. About 60 people joined a public discussion at Martin Professional Development Center.Director of Schools Jesse Register’s position is to cut two weeks from the summer break and adopt a “balanced calendar,” where the time spent in class before winter break matches the time spent after the break.
  • Memphis City Schools board to discuss funding deal today
    The Memphis City Schools board will meet tonight to consider a funding deal with the city that, if approved, means schools should start on time. Though it’s not nearly the full amount city school leaders say the city owes the district, the deal would require the city to pay $15 million up front and another $48 million by Sept. 30, Jones said. If the board approves the plan, schools should begin Aug. 8 as scheduled, Jones said.
  • A Young Mom Resists A Cycle Of Failure
    Second of a five-part series: Of the million or so kids who drop out of school every year, nearly half are girls. They drop out for the same reasons boys do: they skip school, fall behind academically and they’re bored. But the single biggest reason girls drop out is because they get pregnant.
  • Gates Foundation Follies (Part 2) « Jay P. Greene’s Blog
    In Part 1 of this post, I described how the Gates Foundation came to recognize the importance of using political influence to reform the education system rather than focusing on reforming one school at a time in the hopes that school systems would see and replicate successful models. The Gates Foundation made the wrong choice. Their top-down strategy cannot work for the following reasons:
  • Study Finds Key Early Skills for Later Math Learning
    Psychologists at the University of Missouri have identified the beginning of first grade math skills that teachers and parents should target to effectively improve children’s later math learning. A long-term psychology study indicates that beginning first graders that understand numbers, the quantities those numbers represent, and low-level arithmetic will have better success in learning mathematics through the end of fifth grade, and other studies suggest throughout the rest of their lives. “Math is critical for success in many fields, and the United States is not doing a great job of teaching math,”
  • ‘Education’: The Relentless Political Weapon
    Spending on Head Start is ultimately just money down a rathole according to the federal government’s own assessment. In K-12 education, Washington has dropped ever-bigger loads of cash onto schools out of ever-bigger jumbo jets, but has gotten zero improvement in the end. In higher education, all the money that supposedly makes college more affordable is actually a major driver behind students having ”to pay more for college”—just what the President decries—because it enables colleges to raise their prices at rates far outstripping normal inflation.
  • Editorial: Virtual Academy is a welcome innovation for state’s students
    [Hooray for Knoxnews! This was an extremely balanced editorial] Tennessee has been in the online education world for some time, but the new Tennessee Virtual Academy based in Union County promises to kick the process up a couple of notches. Indeed, it might well figure into serious education reform. Education officials see the virtual academy as a viable alternative for students who, for various reasons, seek their educational experience outside the traditional classroom.

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