• Ohio puts teachers on notice
    Come September, Ohio will likely be the only state in the country to force thousands of teachers at low-performing schools to take special licensing tests. A provision in Ohio’s budget law requires that by Sept. 1, the state must rank all public schools and charter schools based on a report card measure called the Performance Index – a calculation of student performance on state tests. Schools ranked in the bottom 10 percent will require teachers of “core” subjects to take licensing exams within the school year. Core subjects include reading, math, science and social studies. Re-testing teachers, Gov. John Kasich has said, will hold them more accountable and give districts and charter schools the ability to move ineffective teachers out.
  • Sorry, but you got it wrong: redefinED introduces rebuttED
    rebuttED is what we’re going to tag blog posts that aim to chip away at misinformation circulated by anyone who shapes public opinion about school choice and other aspects of school reform we find critical. It might be a newspaper. It might be a lawmaker. It might be an interest group. Too many half-truths and misrepresentations are getting amplified by news coverage that too often sounds like a broken record. We can’t have a productive debate about what’s best for kids when everything comes back to a mythical story line that’s set in stone and reinforced with rebar.
  • What the Research Says about School Choice
    As it turns out, there is significantly more agreement among researchers and analysts about the evidence on school choice than reporters let on.  While researchers have incentives to quibble and argue, it is useful to step back and see what they agree upon. Last week a group of nine researchers and analysts, including myself, published a piece in Education Week that attempted to summarize the major points of agreement about the evidence on school choice.  I would encourage you to read the article in full as well as examine the links to supporting evidence, but here is my summary of the main points:
  • CPS chief backs federal dollars ‘following’ students to private schools
    Chicago Public Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard voiced support Monday for public dollars “following” students to private schools.
  • Handwaving Away Opposition to the National Standards
    Periodically, over at the Fordham blog, Checker Finn does his best imitation of the cop waving traffic through at the scene of the car crash we like to call Common Core. This is classic Checker handwaving, passing off politics as policy. Let’s look at the four arguments he makes.
  • West Virginia Considers Alternative Certification to Address Teacher Shortage
    West Virginia lawmakers are working to pass bills that address teacher shortages by creating alternative paths to teacher certification. The House of Delegates recently passed two bills allowing college graduates without degrees in education to work toward a teaching certificate. The bills now face Senate deliberation. Currently, West Virginia has a shortage of approximately 1,700 teachers, said bill sponsor Delegate David Perry (D-Fayette). “There is a fundamental shortage of math, science and special education teachers. In counties like McDowell County, though, there is a shortage in all areas,” Perry said.
  • Want to withdraw from Obama Ed?
    Now, amid mounting evidence of the Common Core’s serious legal, fiscal and qualitative flaws, some brave leaders in several of the 45 states that committed to the national standards are trying to de-commit. It may be difficult to unscramble the egg, but if the CC were truly voluntary, wouldn’t you think a state could at least debate withdrawal without incurring the wrath of Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan?
  • Knox panel expresses concern with charter school location
    Thomas Deakins plans to visit the proposed location of Knoxville’s first charter school today. On Monday, he was one of several Knox County school board members who expressed concerns about the location for the Knoxville Charter Academy, which is slated to open this fall. Board members said they worried that the school’s targeted population could have difficulty getting to the school and the site would not serve its intended students.
  • SCORE gathers feedback on evaluations
    On Monday, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education held its third of nine regional meetings to collect feedback on the state’s new system, which requires that every teacher be evaluated every year on a scale of 1 to 5.
  • Career-tech important program in real world
    ut as we move forward, innovate and break free of those practices that no longer work, it is important that we note those programs that do. Chief among them is career and technical education (CTE). While they may not be sexy to career academics and they may not lead to students to Vanderbilt Law School, MIT or a Ph.D. in philosophy, these programs do prepare students for their future in ways traditional education programs simply cannot. As we move forward in reforming Tennessee education, we must be careful not to leave tried and true methods of educating a broad base of students behind. A total of 398,695 students were enrolled in CTE courses last year in Tennessee.
  • Girl Likens Public School Failure to Ban on Teaching Slaves to Read
    A 13-year-old black girl from Rochester likens the pedagogical malfeasance of her public school to the deliberate prohibition against teaching slaves to read–as recounted by Frederick Douglass in his autobiography. And she is hounded out of the school. We can do better than this. We need a free marketplace in education with financial assistance to ensure universal access. Scholarship donation and personal use education tax credits can do that.
  • The progressive choice: embrace school choice
    So if eliminating school choice is not possible, expanding school choice and making it accessible to every family, regardless of family income, should be the preferred course for progressives. But too often progressives are choosing a third option: abandoning their commitment to equal education opportunity.

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