In the "wait, what?!" category comes this story from the Washington Post's Answer Sheet - School puts nearly 100 kindergartners in one class in a teaching experiment. The first sentence in the article says "no, it's not a headline from The Onion."
This is being tried at the lowest-performing school in Detroit. There are three teachers in the class.
Incidentally, the lead teacher is 30 years old, another teacher is in her second year and the third is in her first year.
It's from a story in the Detroit Free Press. It sounds like it works (somewhat) but I honestly do not believe it is what is best for children.
The AP is reporting that Washington state is the only state denied renewal of its NCLB waiver that seems unlikely to get their waiver back (the other three states seem to be doing what Arne Duncan wants).
Randy Dorn, the WA state superintendent said this:
Dorn said he didn't think the proposed change to state law - going from
optional use of statewide tests to mandatory use in teacher evaluations
without a specific goal on how big a factor the tests would be -
wouldn't have changed the way teachers are evaluated.
Seriously? Of course, it would make a difference to teachers. That principals already talk with teachers about scores does not make the next logical step to make scores the primary driver of their evaluations.
Speaking of NCLB, here's another dumb idea - Race to the Top. Education Week created a very fun (and funny) road map of RttT.
Remember how everyone thought giving every student a laptop was the way to go? Hoboken School District has a closet for you. From WYNC:
Inside Hoboken’s combined junior-senior high school is a storage
closet. Behind the locked door, some mothballed laptop computers are
strewn among brown cardboard boxes. Others are stacked one atop another.
Dozens more are stored on mobile computer carts, many of them on their
That’s all that remains from a failed experiment to assign every student a laptop at Hoboken Junior Senior High School.
"We bought laptops that had reinforced hard-shell cases so that we
could try to offset some of the damage these kids were going to do,”
said Crocamo. “I was pretty impressed with some of the damage they did
anyway. Some of the laptops would come back to us completely destroyed.”
Some rather sobering numbers from Washington State's latest GED results (via Pearson testing). There is some fascinating linkage with Common Core and Gates and ALEC. This is from Restore GED Fairness:
The new 2014 Pearson GED test is much harder than the previous 2002 version of the GED test. In fact, in Washington State 80+% fewer students have earned their GED from January to April 2014 as did in 2012 during the same time period. This drop is due to the difficulty of the test.