Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ed Week Free Open House

I missed the start of this but there is still time to access a ton of good education articles at Education Week, the online education news website, during their free Open House week. It started March 17 but goes thru Wednesday, the 24th. Most of the time you have to pay to read articles there.

Here's some good ones that I found:

STEM - a lot of good articles.
  • STEM Defection Seen to Occur After High School - Schools produce a strong supply of STEM candidates but many go into other fields once they graduate from high school, a study says.
  • STEM as a Curriculum - "We must first recognize STEM as a unitary idea, not simply a grouping of 4 disciplines in a convenient, pronounceable acronym," write Jan Morrison & Raymond V. Barlett. This is written by the woman who runs the institute, TIES (Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM) which I had hoped the district might use to create the program at Cleveland.
  • Going from STEM to STEAM - interesting article about addition an "A" for Arts to a STEM program.
Open records
NAEP Scores
Gates Foundation


gavroche said...

Melissa said...
Second Study Gives Thumbs Up to NYC Charters - interesting article that compares some work from the CREDO study and the Stanford study.

Melissa, I'm confused by this. CREDO (Center for Research on Education Outcomes) is based at Stanford University too. So which "Stanford study" are you referring to?

Here is the CREDO Report:

That's the study from 2009 that found that the majority of charter schools perform no better, and many even perform worse, than regular public schools.


46 percent of privately run charter schools perform no better than regular public schools.

37 percent of privately run charters perform worse than public schools.

There are many more disturbing facts and articles about what happens when school districts hand over their public schools to private management franchises via charters.

To wit:

Bay Area KIPP schools lose 60% of their students, study confirms

Charter School Faces Withdrawls After Punishments

CEO Pay in Charter School Chains

The Chicago Model of Militarizing Schools

DC Charters' Selective Admissions: Special Ed Students Need Not Apply

Press Release: New Report Explains that Charter Schools' Political Success is a Civil Rights Failure

Charter schools pawn off flunking students, says public school principal

Schools under scrutiny for financing private school with taxpayer dollars

Study: Charter Schools Increasing Racial Segregation in Classrooms

An Examination of Charter School Finances{198C7021-C205-4F44-B914-84BDAF67A34B}

So it is extremely troubling that the Obama administration via Arne Duncan is trying to force states to submit to this flawed model of educating kids (to qualify for the controversial "Race to the Top" contest money), especially when we have perfectly good models in the public education system already, free of for-profit enterprise and agendas.

Washington state voters and parents are wise to be wary of this false "solution" to public education's real and avoidable weaknesses.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I wrote the statement that was used at Ed Week - I know there were two different studies but yes, it would have been better to not state it that way.

gavroche said...

Sorry if this is OT, but here's another item that deserves noting, possibly it's own thread?:


Learning disability ruling holds schools liable

Parents of a child with learning disabilities can sue a school district for ignoring the problems and failing to arrange tutoring or other educational help, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The decision by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in a case from Compton (Los Angeles County) is one of the first in the nation on a parent's ability to enforce a federal law that requires schools to identify all children with disabilities and provide them with an appropriate education.

The law allows parents to seek a state administrative hearing to challenge a school's denial of their request to classify a child as learning disabled. In Monday's 2-1 ruling, the court said parents can also demand a hearing, or file suit on the child's behalf in some circumstances, when a school ignores the disabilities.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires schools to identify and evaluate all children with disabilities who need special education services, and allows parents to file complaints about any shortcomings in the school's procedures, Judge Harry Pregerson said in the majority opinion.

The Compton Unified School District "chose to ignore (the student's) disabilities" and is just as responsible under the law as if it had wrongly rejected her parents' request to classify her as disabled, Pregerson said.

Dissenting Judge N. Randy Smith said the law authorizes parental complaints only to protest a school's wrongful actions, not its inactions or negligence.

He said the law was intended to promote cooperation between parents and schools, but the ruling "weakens parents' role" by making schools solely responsible for monitoring children's development.

Lawyers for the district and the plaintiff, one of its former students, were unavailable for comment. The district could ask the full appeals court for a rehearing or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The student failed every class as a 10th-grader in 2003-04, the court said. Teachers described her work as "gibberish" and said she sometimes refused to enter the classroom or spent time at her desk coloring with crayons or playing with dolls.

Her mother was reluctant to have her tested for disabilities. A mental health counselor recommended an assessment, but the district instead promoted her to the 11th grade.

Her mother requested an assessment the next fall, and the school placed her in special education. The mother then sued on her daughter's behalf, claiming school officials should have made the placement in the ninth grade - when the girl was performing at a fourth-grade level - and seeking remedial tutoring at the district's expense.

The appeals court upheld a federal judge's ruling that required the tutoring. Even if the law required a parent to prove wrongful action by the district, the court said, the Compton district's "willful inaction in the face of numerous 'red flags' is more than sufficient" to show a violation.

The ruling can be viewed at E-mail Bob Egelko at

Read more: