• AFT’s Anti-Michelle Rhee Website Illustrates Unions are Buckling Under Reform Pressure
    The tacky union websites, however, are a perfect example of why virtually all education non-profits keep their donor lists private: to avoid the ruthless tactics employed by Big Labor to silence those they oppose. The anti-Rhee website is a clear sign that StudentsFirst is making headway in the education reform movement, and should be commended by students and taxpayers for their hard work.
  • One Idea For Better K-12: The School As Workshop
    Forbes’ new Human Ingenuity series chooses one big problem each month and asks our readers, staffers and contributors for their best solutions. This month (September) we’re asking, “What’s your best idea for fixing K-12 schools?”
  • Is Anybody Up for Defending the Common Core Math Standards?
    …over the past three months, we’ve now asked six individuals involved in the Common Core math standards to pen a piece making the case for their rigor and quality, and each has declined in turn. I think the reluctance to contribute is due to hubris, impatience to focus on implementation, political naivete, and disdain for what they see as mean-spirited carping. Common Core advocates seem to have already grown impatient with public give-and-take and eager to declare the issue settled. They want to rush on to designing assessments, overhauling curricula and preparation, and imagining next steps.
  • Pay teachers for performance
    Another new survey, this one from Phi Delta Kappa International (an educator association) and Gallup, shows that Americans know who to blame for this mess. It isn’t teachers: The public is largely supportive of our nation’s educators and three out of four respondents have ”trust and confidence in public school teachers.” Instead, respondents believe that the inertia in our nation’s school system and unwillingness to tackle the tough topics in education reform comes from teachers unions. Nearly twice as many people think that unions have hurt the quality of public education in America as have helped.
  • Report: Use of Race to Top funds varies
    The report, “Scopes of Work: How Select Districts Are Using Race to the Top Funds,” profiles a sample of school districts and how they intend to spend their share of Race to the Top funds.
  • Mike Carpenter Resigns County Commission to Head Education Group
    helby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter has resigned his position on the commission and will be moving to Naashville to become state director of the StudentsFirst, a non-profit ad hoc organization devoted to educational reform.
  • Pilot program would help stabilize mobile students in Knox
    Highly mobile students, those who change schools two or more times in a single school year, may have a program that would allow them to stay at their initial school even if they move out of the school zone. At its meeting tonight, the Knox County school board will vote on whether to approve a stability pilot program at Whittle Springs and Vine middle schools, Belle Morris Elementary School and Fulton High School that would specifically address mobile students.
  • E-Learning Opens Doors for Gifted Students
    Online learning can open the door to a vast array of expanded course selections, individualized attention for students, and the flexibility for students to move at their own pace—all factors that make virtual learning environments an attractive option for gifted students.
  • Duncan Names Seven to National Assessment Governing Board
    U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today the seven education leaders from around the country who will soon be appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board… The National Assessment Governing Board meets quarterly to make decisions on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), including the subjects NAEP measures and the frameworks of assessments that students eventually take.
  • Metro schools, chamber set to reintroduce ‘academies’ via tours
    Dates for six separate “VIP tours” at various Metro high schools have been set, with hopes of showing elected and community leaders the merits of “The Academies of Nashville,” the model of redesign for the district’s 12 comprehensive high schools. The educational approach — which utilizes outside business support via the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce — breaks students up into career or theme-based academies such as hospitality, engineering or marketing in hopes of adding “real-world relevance” to curriculum.
  • H.R. 2218, The Empowering Parents Through Quality Charter Schools Act
    This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider the Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 2218). This important legislation will help more students gain access to a quality education by facilitating the development of high-performing charter schools. To help more cities raise the bar on student achievement, H.R. 2218 will not only incentivize states to remove barriers to charter school growth, but will also encourage the sharing of best practices between charter schools and traditional public schools.

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