• Board asks state to reconsider new teacher eval regs
    MURFREESBORO — City Schools administrators are spending too much time evaluating veteran teachers, time which could be better used helping newer teachers become more effective in the classroom, Director Linda Gilbert said. Murfreesboro City School Board members signed off on a letter to state Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman Tuesday night asking him to reconsider the required number of evaluations needed for experienced teachers under a new model adopted July 1. County schools officials did the same earlier this month.
  • Shelby County charter school organizers seek millions in funds
    Shelby County Schools has received nearly three times the number of charter school applications this year as in previous years combined. So far this year, SCS has received eight charter school applications — two of them from former Memphis mayor Willie Herenton — compared to just three applications over the past few years. The deadline to apply is Saturday.
  • Memphis City Schools system repeats national honor for music education
    On Tuesday, Memphis City Schools was honored for the fourth time as one of the Best Communities for Music Education in America by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation.
  • Tea party hears merger update from Shelby County Schools chairman
    Shelby County Schools board chairman David Pickler told the 20 or so organizers in attendance that he hopes the unified system will focus on the concept of neighborhood schools. He said the new system could look dramatically different. “It could be three, four or five subdistricts,” he said.
  • Common-Core Math Standards Don’t Add Up
    In my view, unlike the English/language arts standards, the mathematics components of the Common Core State Standards Initiative are a bitter disappointment. In terms of their limited vision of math education, the pedestrian framework chosen to organize the standards, and the incoherent nature of the standards for mathematical practice in particular, I don’t see how these take us forward in any way. They unwittingly reinforce the very errors in math curriculum, instruction, and assessment that produced the current crisis.
  • Lamar Alexander: Let states control schools
    Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) struck a bipartisan tone Tuesday, arguing that the federal requirements for evaluating students and teachers set out in No Child Left Behind should be scuttled in favor of state-set standards. Alexander’s proposed legislation would dismantle yearly progress requirements set out in the No Child Left Behind, the Bush administration’s landmark education policy reform, instead requiring each state to set its own standards for teachers and students.
  • Putnam teachers decide about alternative salary structure this week
    Teachers in Putnam County this week are making a choice this week:  whether to remain in the current teacher’s salary system in which they receive pay increases on the basis of education and years of experience or move to a performance related salary system in which such pay increases and bonus awards are received on the basis of evaluation scores, professional investment in learning and student performance. New teachers are automatically included in the P.A.S.S. (Putnam Accelerating Student Success) plan, but all other teachers must “Opt In” if they want to participate.   The plan is one of a few across the state of Tennessee that addresses differentiated pay for teachers as an aspect of educational reform.
  • Education Commissioner Praised For Getting Accurate Evaluation Information To Educators
    Ms. Gresham said the department is working very hard to clear up any misinformation regarding the new process by directly communicating with educators about the TEAM system.
  • Do Rich People Know What’s Going On in Their Local Schools?
    Clearly, the affluent draw a sharp distinction between the problems in American education and the condition of their local public schools.
    And, of course, it is true that students in suburban schools perform at a higher level on state tests than do the students attending inner-city schools. Yet it turns out that many, probably most, of the schools in affluent neighborhoods deserve no better than a “C.”
  • A Better Way to Fix No Child Left Behind
    Washington can’t create good jobs, and Washington can’t create good schools. What Washington can do, though, is shape an environment in which businesses and entrepreneurs can create jobs. It can do the same thing in education, by creating an environment in which teachers, parents and communities can build better schools. Last week President Obama, citing a failure by Congress to act, announced a procedure for handing out waivers for the federal mandates under the No Child Left Behind law. Unfortunately, these waivers come with a series of new federal rules, this time without congressional approval, and would make the secretary of education the equivalent of a national school board.
  • The Center For Education Reform
    Center for Education Reform (CER) today unveiled a new, state-of-the-art, interactive website designed to perform as the central portal for the education reform movement.
  • When the Best is Mediocre
    American education has problems, almost everyone is willing to concede, but many think those problems are mostly concentrated in our large urban school districts. In the elite suburbs, where wealthy and politically influential people tend to live, the schools are assumed to be world-class. Unfortunately, what everyone knows is wrong.
  • It’s Not All About Poor Kids
    As our new Education Next piece shows, this suburban complacency is not well-founded.  Suburbanites need education reform for the sake of their own children and not just for the poor kids in the big cities.  If suburban elites commit to education reform for their own children,we may finally get improvement for low-income kids in the cities as well.

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