- TN Voucher Proposal Coalition Builds, Faces Strong Opposition
A Tennessee lawmaker is preparing a refined version of voucher proposal that passed the state Senate before stalling in a House legislative committee early in 2011. Kelsey regularly meets potential new supporters for his proposal, he said, including new support from the grassroots group TEA for Education. “I feel confident our coalition will expand by January,” he said, referring to the start of the 2012 legislative session.
- Urban Parents Don’t Care About What Gary Orfield Thinks
These, along with the sclerosis within public education systems makes it more critical than ever to give poor urban families as many choices as possible to escape the worst traditional schools. They don’t care about the segregation they knowledgeably choose; their concern is about the quality of education for the children they love. They truly understand that for which Thurgood Marshall, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were fighting. Choices of great schools, traditional, charter or private, both in their neighborhoods and outside of them without restriction. In other words: Urban parents don’t care about so-called civil rights activists who work in ivory towers, live in suburbs, release reports on “segregation” just in time for Black History Month (wink, nudge), and avoid the worst American public education offers on a daily basis.
- Manhattan Moment: Why 2011 is the Year of the School Voucher
Seemingly out of nowhere, however, 2011 has become the Year of the Voucher. Legislatures in 12 states — as well as the U.S. Congress, which saved D.C.’s voucher program from annihilation at the last minute — have either adopted new voucher policies or expanded existing programs. But more broadly, the push toward vouchers is coming from a new breed of reform-minded politicians from both parties. Once a taboo subject, vouchers are now talked about openly on the campaign trail, and politicians are hiring reformers to run high-profile school systems.
- Nashville schools nominated for rewards for their successes
Several Nashville schools would qualify for rewards — public recognition and perhaps money for projects — under a new measurement submitted by the state to the U.S. Department of Education. The state released its list this week. Those recognized for pure performance are:
- Idea exchange at MBA to discuss education
Education innovation and creativity is the topic for the second annual [email protected]
from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Montgomery Bell Academy, 4001 Harding Road. Students from local high schools and colleges will launch the conversation and idea exchange, which anyone can join. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door and include lunch. Order or find out more information at www.tedxyouthgreaternashville.com.
- States strengthening teacher evaluation standards
Teachers and principals’ own report cards are getting a lot more attention. Even more changes are anticipated in coming months.
- Unified Memphis-Shelby County schools may fall short at roll call
The quiet undercurrent in the school consolidation effort is the possibility that hundreds of students in the poorest performing schools in Memphis won’t initially be part of the merged district. Hundreds more enrolled in charter schools also won’t be in the mix, nor presumably will the hundreds of others that charter school operators plan to recruit for schools opening in two to three years. The combination quickly whittles down how large the unified district will actually be, including the tax dollars to support it. The diminished size became evident this week when the state Department of Education submitted its request for a waiver from No Child Left Behind regulations. If granted, the bottom 5 percent of schools in the state would be eligible for the Achievement School District, a special statewide district under the authority of a Nashville-based superintendent.
- Report on proposed online, or virtual, school courses cites lack of regulation
Cyberschools, the fastest-growing alternative to K-12 public education, are almost totally unregulated and in immediate need of oversight, according to research from the University of Colorado. “NEPC speculates that online schools can’t verify student work, but provides no substantial evidence to support the claim,” he said in an e-mail. “State-certified teachers oversee student learning. Online school students participate in state assessment tests proctored by state-certified teachers,” he wrote, noting that K12 online teachers also are required to meet “highly qualified standards” in their subjects.