• Is the Computer the New Chalkboard?
    Want to learn more about the state of online learning in Tennessee? The Beacon Center of Tennessee cordially invites you to a special presentation about the state of online learning in Tennessee  featuring Susan Patrick President & CEO, International Association for K-12 Online Learning and Former Director of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education “Online Learning: Is the Computer the New Chalkboard?”   Wednesday, March 28th 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. his event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by Monday, March 26th to Ryan Turbeville at [email protected] or (615) 383-6431.
  • Jason Riley: What About the Kids Who Behave?
    The Obama administration is waving around a new study showing that black school kids are “suspended, expelled, and arrested in school” at higher rates than white kids. According to the report, which looked at 72,000 schools, black students comprise just 18% of those enrolled yet account for 46% of those suspended more than once and 39% of all expulsions. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the administration is “not alleging overt discrimination in some or all of these cases,” but that’s certainly what he’s implying when he bleats on about the “fundamental unfairness” of the situation. Of course, if racial animus toward blacks explains higher black discipline rates, what explains the fact that white kids are disciplined at higher rates than Asian kids? Is the school system anti-white, too? This is yet another argument for offering ghetto kids alternatives to traditional public schools, and it’s another reason why school choice is so popular among the poor. One of the advantages of public charter schools and private schools is that they typically provide safer learning environments. So even if voucher programs in Milwaukee and Washington, D.C., and high-performing charters like KIPP Academy weren’t producing higher test scores and graduation rates—even if the academic results were no better than the surrounding neighborhood schools—parents can take comfort in knowing that their children are safer. That might not seem like a big deal, but five students were arrested every day in New York City schools in the last three months of 2011, according to data released by the New York Police Department. The New York Civil Liberties Union subsequently issued a press release to highlight the fact that 90% of those arrested were black or Latino, which is the story that the press and the politicians ran with. Kids who attend school to learn can be forgiven for wondering why their well-being is treated as a secondary concern.
  • Neither Broad Nor Bold : Education Next
    The Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, a coalition of education professors and interest-group leaders, including the heads of the country’s two largest teachers unions, have concluded that family income itself determines whether or not a child learns. A better case can be made that the growing achievement gap is more the result of changing family structure than of inadequate medical services or preschool education.
  • Video: Georgia Charter School Decision Could Set National Precedent
    The Georgia Legislature is hotly debating a bill that would allow the state to cover the costs of charter schools even if local school boards reject them, setting up a case that could set national precedent on educational reform. The amendment would codify the authority of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, an organization created by the state in 2008 after complaints that school boards were turning down charter school applicants, preventing competition.
  • School Choice Increases Student Safety
    A newly released report by David Deming, assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School for Education, shows that school choice doesn’t just foster academic improvement and increased graduation rates—students are also safer.
  • Senators Demand Release of Head Start Data
    Four years after data collection was completed, Americans are still awaiting the results of a study conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the impact of the federal Head Start program. The congressionally mandated evaluation was extended in 2006 to determine the effects of Head Start after third grade in order to assess the long-term impact of the program. Data collection for the third-grade follow-up study was finished in 2008, and yet the results have remained sealed off somewhere inside HHS.
  • Harper named to serve on Core Council to review school standards
    Bradley County Schools will be represented on the Common Core Leadership Council by Sharon Harper, director of research and evaluation. The council is working with the Tennessee Department of Education on planning the implementation of Common Core standards to make the transition smooth across the state.

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