• The Global Search for Education: All That Is Me
    So the education system that will optimize the prospects of success in the global world will be one that develops passion, releases creativity, and deeply challenges its young people.  It will be the one that develops all their aptitudes and intelligences, not just a narrow range, as presently happens.
  • The Global Achievement Gap: Why America’s Students Are Falling Behind
    America’s advantage has always been good old Yankee ingenuity, a willingness to make ideas work and figure things out on the fly. But with the rigorous testing that has come to define our classrooms, students are learning that it’s better to stick with the status quo.
  • Wisconsin Senate Blocks Further School Choice Expansion
    Earlier this month initial steps were taken to try to prevent the further expansion of school choice in Wisconsin, despite the fact that public schools were already improving as a result of expansions earlier this year and the enrollment cap has been reached in the first year of the new program in Racine. Now, the State Senate has passed legislation making it impossible for future expansion of vouchers in the state.
  • Occupy Arrest Scam Unmasked
    Cameras were rolling in Chicago recently and captured Chicago Teachers Union organizers finalizing plans for who in the crowd would be arrested. That’s right – it was staged.
  • Excellence in Failure
    These large severance packages are generally a problem when the people offering the package are doing so with OPM — Other People’s Money.  Athletic directors, school boards, boards of directors, and the government find it so much easier to be generous when the money they are offering to their failed coaches, superintendents, CEOs, and large corporations is not their own money. OPM encourages excellence in failure.
  • Utah Legislator to Introduce Education Savings Accounts
    Forthcoming Utah legislation would replace state education funding with savings accounts containing up to $6,000 for parents of high school students to spend among education options like online classes, courses outside their school district, or charter schooling. “When parents can truly exercise their natural right to direct their child’s education, the options available to them will multiply to meet their child’s needs,” Monson said.
  • New evaluations will foster teacher respect
    Now, administrators must watch each teacher in the classroom at least twice per semester and provide timely feedback. And teachers’ evaluations depend, at least in part, on what students learn in the classroom. These are substantial improvements, but they’re only part of the equation. The critical piece is that the entire evaluation and feedback process is built around a specific, detailed blueprint of expectations and best practices developed by experts here in Tennessee. This blueprint recognizes that teaching is as much science as art. Drawing on research about what works, it measures the environment a teacher creates in the classroom, the planning that teachers conduct before and after class, and the instruction that takes place during the class period itself. Within each of these elements, it provides specific examples for what separates an excellent teacher from a good one.
  • Bipartisan group of senators announce agreement on “No Child Left Behind”
    Signaling some unity in the Senate on overhauling the “No Child Left Behind” law, two senators announced Monday an agreement to move forward on bipartisan legislation to revamp it. Soon after, however, Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a statement noting that the bill did not include a provision the administration favors, which is a requirement that local and state districts develop teacher and principal evaluation systems. Duncan said he believes “that comprehensive evaluation system based on multiple measures, including student achievement, is essential for education reform to move forward” and “we can’t retreat from reform.” Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Mike Enzi, Wyo., the top senators from their parties on the Senate committee with jurisdiction over education, made the announcement two days before the committee will consider the sweeping bill that seeks to give more control to states on education and change some of the law’s unpopular proficiency standards.
  • Tennessee Gov. Haslam says administration weighing proposed school voucher bill
    Gov. Bill Haslam said today that he’s weighing the pros and cons of a school voucher bill filed by a Germantown lawmaker before deciding whether his administration will take a position on the issue in the next legislative session. “We brought in people about a couple of months ago on both sides of the issue to help begin that discussion, argue through it. We’re trying to decide as an administration what we’re going to do on the bill that Brian has brought up.
  • Centrist Democrat Reformers and the Price of Rushing No Child’s Reauthorization
    Senate Democrats are going to cater to the NEA and AFT, which have ladled most of their $293 million in campaign donations between 2000 and 2011 on national, state and local Democratic election campaigns. Duncan and his team at the U.S. Department of Education have engaged in what can be best called a misinformation campaign that has denigrated No Child’s accountability measures as being broken. Essentially the very tool that have helped the movement make gains on systemic reform — including requiring the use of student test data in evaluating teachers, expanding school choice and Parent Power, and providing college-preparatory curricula to all students — may end up being ditched altogether. It may not happen this year; after all, the Harkin-Enzi plan, in its revised form, is still unlikely to be given a hearing by congressional Republicans (who also want to deny Obama a legislative victory, cosmetic or otherwise). But it is likely to happen in 2013, especially if Republicans gain full control of Congress.
  • Alexander aims to shape education law overhaul
    A proposal unveiled last week to overhaul the No Child Left Behind education law isn’t perfect but is “a good place to start,” Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander said Monday. Alexander, a member of the Senate education committee and a former U.S. secretary of education, said that when the panel takes up the legislation this week, he will vote to send it to the full Senate. But he said he will push to change the bill before it gets a Senate vote.
  • Dean hopes new academy can up number of city’s college grads
    Dean offered some new details, discussing plans for The SCHoLAR’s Academy, a new six- to eight-week training program designed to improve students’ ACT scores and reduce the number of students who take remedial and development courses in colleges. The academy, which the mayor’s office will oversee, is set to launch next summer.

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