Sunday, February 21, 2016

Public Education News Round-up

I'm leaving out opting out and charter schools stories; they need threads of their own.

Over in Pasco (FL), they are so desperate for teachers they have a $1,000 training program to become one for their schools.  I was not aware of this program.
The Professional Development Program that helps train people without education degrees to become teachers costs $1,000. However, candidates do not have to pay the money up front. Instead, they can have that money deducted from a series of paychecks and pay it over time.
Remember how crummy American kids are at math?  Not the elite students who are growing in power and numbers.  From The Atlantic (and you should check out the photographs of the kids in this article:
Stoner and five teammates were representing the United States in the 56th International Mathematical Olympiad. Still, it was hard to know how his team had stacked up against those from the perennial powers China, Russia, and South Korea.  For the first time in 21 years, the United States team had won first place. Speaking last fall from his dorm at Harvard, where he is now a freshman, Stoner recalled his team’s triumph with quiet satisfaction. “It was a really great moment. Really great. Especially if you love math.”

It also wasn’t an aberration. You wouldn’t see it in most classrooms, you wouldn’t know it by looking at slumping national test-score averages, but a cadre of American teenagers are reaching world-class heights in math—more of them, more regularly, than ever before.

"..gifted-and-talented programs, which are publicly funded and can start in elementary school. But the history of these programs is fraught. Admission criteria vary, but they have tended to favor affluent children.  As a result, while many such programs still exist, they’ve been increasingly spurned by equity-minded school administrators and policy makers who see them as a means by which predominately affluent white and Asian parents have funneled scarce public dollars toward additional enrichment for their already enriched children.

The No Child Left Behind Act, which shaped education for nearly 15 years, further contributed to the neglect of these programs. Ignoring kids who may have had aptitude or interest in accelerated learning, it demanded that states turn their attention to getting struggling learners to perform adequately—a noble goal. But as a result, for years many educators in schools in poor neighborhoods, laser-focused on the low-achieving kids, dismissed suggestions that the minds of their brightest kids were lying fallow. Some denied that their schools had any gifted children at all.
Uh oh, the Washington Post reports that more GOP-lead states are moving towards taking over school boards. 
Governors in Michigan, Arkansas, Nevada, Wisconsin, Georgia, Ohio and elsewhere — mostly Republican leaders who otherwise champion local control in their fights with the federal government — say they are intervening in cases of chronic academic or financial failure. They say they have a moral obligation to act when it is clear that local efforts haven’t led to improvement.

Eleven states have passed or debated legislation to create state-run school districts in the past year, according to the Education Commission of the States, which tracks state education policy.   All state takeovers to date have occurred in school districts that are impoverished and majority African American and Latino.
That phrase in red? That's the one Mayor Murray likes to use when talking about "helping" Seattle Schools.

Huffington Post has this article on the new trend to help public education - desegregation.
Schools and states have poured millions of dollars into overhauling teacher evaluation systems, rotating staff members and collecting and analyzing data, all with the goal of helping to close the achievement gap between rich and poor students and lift the performance of struggling pupils.

But in doing so, many schools may have overlooked a proven educational innovation: school integration.

The federal government has taken notice of these attitude changes. President Barack Obama's proposed 2017 budget includes over $100 million to distribute to schools looking to integrate socioeconomically

14 comments:

Outsider said...

If Mayor Murray is plotting to take over the schools, is that becuase he thinks Seattle schools are too PC, or not PC enough? Sincere question from not-long timer.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Neither. He thinks he and his ed reform friends know how to get better results than our present leaders. He absolutely would say the focus needs to be on the students who are not achieving (and I agree) but I believe that anyone who does not include each and every student in any statement about public education is thinking about public ed in the wrong way.

Anonymous said...

FYI, the Pasco story is from Pasco County, Florida, not Pasco, Washington, in case anyone didn't catch that.

--JvA

Melissa Westbrook said...

JvA, I should have said that. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Yes Virginia, it's not only white kids who can do higher maths.

- Surprised Much?

Lynn said...

The students pictures at the top of the math article are attending a camp for low income students who have the potential to be high achievers. The winning US Math Olympiad team consisted of six male students - three white and three Asian.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Surprised Much, my point was to point out that yes, all kids can do higher math. So, no, I'm not surprised much.

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Melissa Westbrook said...
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Anonymous said...

http://www.columbian.com/news/2016/feb/22/evergreen-to-change-high-school-start-times-in-2016-17/

Evergreen District going to later start times for high school too!

HP

Anonymous said...

Trump has failed at almost everything he has done. The only thing he is good at is promoting himself.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

Voting Trump, you are entitled to your opinion. You are not entitled to speak it at every thread. If we are not talking politics or it's not an Open Thread, please refrain from going off-topic.

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