• Record-low SAT scores a wake-up call
    SAT reading scores for the high school class of 2011 were the lowest on record, and combined reading and math scores fell to their lowest point since 1995. The results, they say, “reflect the record size and diversity of the pool of test-takers. Since when has diversity and more students taking the test become a legitimate excuse for bad scores? The latest drop in SAT reading scores should not be written off as a statistical outlier, but should be a wake-up call to heed the chorus of reformers, conservatives and liberals alike, whose prescriptions are timely, relevant and might be just what we need to turn our public schools around.
  • Unions: Good for bad teachers, bad for kids
    But the unions say that failing teachers should be given chances to improve. Lots of chances. “We need to lift up the low performers and help them do better,” Nathan Saunders, head of the DC teachers union told me. “There’s a cost of firing teachers… the quality of life of that person is deeply affected by that termination.” Notice that he didn’t mention the kids who are stuck in that class with the teacher being a second, third, or fourth chance?
  • “Education Reforms: Ensuring the Education System is Accountable to Parents and Communities”
    Today, the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), held a hearing to explore state and local efforts to improve public school accountability.
  • Exciting Schools
    School spending has doubled over the past 30 years. Yet what do we get? More buildings and more assistant principals — but student learning? No improvement. If you graph the numbers, the spending line slopes steeply, while the lines for reading, math and science scores are as flat as a dead man’s EKG. Why no improvement? Because K-12 education is a government monopoly, and monopolies don’t improve.
  • My Testimony on National Standards before US House
    As I [Jay P. Greene] mentioned yesterday, I testified before the US House Subcommittee on Early Education, Elementary, and Secondary Education.  Here is the written testimony I submitted:
  • Improvements in Student Achievement Honored at SCORE Gala
    Mt. Juliet High School, the charter school Power Center Academy in Memphis and Fairview Elementary School in Anderson County were big winners Tuesday night at an awards ceremony hosted by the Tennessee nonprofit State Collaborative on Reforming Education. Each of the schools won a “SCORE Prize” against two other finalists in their categories — high school, middle school and elementary school — and winners received $10,000 each to reward the schools’ achievements. They were chosen by SCORE for “dramatically improving student achievement in spite of the challenges they face.”
  • ‘TALENT Act’ could assist best US students in math
    The neglect of gifted math students, she says, “has gotten worse in the United States [while] other countries are increasing their support … to develop students’ talents and creativity.” The TALENT Act, introduced in Congress in April to address the needs of gifted students, would help, she says, “if we hope to compete with what I see around the world.” Among other things, the law would boost teacher training in gifted education strategies and require that assessments measure ability beyond a student’s grade level.
  • Public School Choice Pushed in Michigan
    Michigan…lawmakers, who control both state legislative chambers, have introduced a series of proposals that would give students more freedom to attend schools outside their districts, increase options for taking college classes while in high school, and encourage the growth of charter schools and online education offerings.
  • Harvard Study: Teach For America has Significant Impact on Participants’ Values and Career Paths
    new Harvard University research study finds that participation in Teach For America markedly affects corps members’ education beliefs, racial tolerance, and career paths. Teach For America experience strengthens participants’ conviction in the academic potential of all children regardless of income level or race, and increases racial tolerance among participants across all racial groups. In addition, the experience increases the likelihood that participants will pursue a career in the education sector.
  • John Kline Fails on Parent Power
    When a House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing declares that it will focus on “Ensuring the Education System is Accountable to Parents and Communities“, one would expect to see a list of witnesses including Gwen Samuel of the Connecticut Parents Union, Ben Austin of Parent Revolution, Matt Prewett of the Texas Parents Union, and even the folks at Black Alliance for Educational Options. But today, the House subcommittee conducting this hearing didn’t include any of these advocates for making parents the lead decision-makers in education. Shameful.
  • Michelle Rhee encourages Chattanooga to toughen up on education
    Michelle Rhee, former Chancellor of Washington D.C. Public Schools and a leading figure in national education reform efforts, spared no punches in her address to hundreds gathered at the Tivoli Theater on Tuesday evening for the first installment of the George T. Hunter lecture series.
  • Metro’s New Full-Time Virtual School Reality
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Some call it the future of education: virtual schools.  For the first time, Metro Schools is now offering the option on a full-time basis. Students outside the district can also enroll; go to Metro Schools website for more information.
  • Former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee touts education reform here
    Michelle Rhee envisions public education as the nation’s great equalizer, an institution that bridges gaps created by race, income and geography. At the Tivoli Theatre, she spoke to a crowd of several hundred Tuesday evening as the inaugural speaker in this year’s George T. Hunter Lecture Series.
  • Education Evaluations
    But the new evaluation model has garnered much concern across the state. There are also questions about who is evaluating the evaluators. The need to also look at using evaluation teams rather than only one evaluator, who may be biased. It appears that the system currently underway still requires too much teacher and administrator time and provides too little useful feedback. Some of the problems our members have experienced thus far include:
  • Abolishing the Department of Education is the Right Thing to Do
    The Republican Party has since lost its way. George W. Bush championed the No Child Left Behind law—also known as the No Federal Bureaucrat Left Behind law—which has massively expanded the federal government’s role in education.
  • Voucher Program in Colorado Would Advance Liberty
    Douglas County is not forcing AU to support a religion with which it disagrees.  Instead, it is enabling parents to educate their children in a manner consistent with their own religious convictions.

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