Education Reading Round-Up

From the Washington Post's The Answer Sheet, an article about D.C.'s county superintendent calling on President Obama and Secretary Duncan to call a moratorium on standardized testing.

He also said it was wrong to evaluate teachers based on the scores their students get on standardized tests because the method that is is based on “bad science.” He noted that he had previously worked in the New York City Department of Education, the nation’s largest school system, where was director of school performance and accountability. It became clear, he said, that the formulas used to assess a teacher’s value with the use of test scores had huge margins of error, as much as 55 points.
In fact, he said that a good way to create assessments for Common Core-aligned curriculum would be to crowd-source the development and let teachers design them rather than have corporations do it. He criticized policies that help make public education 
“a private commodity.”
An op-ed from Ed Week about equity in education by Pedro Noguera.

In a report entitled "E Pluribus...Separation: Deepening Double Segregation for More Students", the Civil Rights Project at UCLA has documented that a growing number of Black and Latino students attend racially isolated public schools. The report also points out that "The Obama Administration, like the Bush Administration, has taken no significant action to increase school integration or to help stabilize diverse schools as racial change occurs in urban and suburban housing markets and schools." It is important to note that this retreat from the commitment made by the Brown decision to reduce segregation "with all deliberate speed", is occurring as our nation is becoming more racially diverse. We should be doing all we can to prepare young people to function in a more heterogeneous society. Instead, not only are our schools becoming more racially homogenous, they are also blatantly unequal.

Also along those lines, here's a link to The Civil Rights Project at UCLA and their latest work, E Pluribus...Separation: Deepening Double Segregation for More Students. 

This report shows that segregation has increased seriously across the country for Latino students, who are attending more intensely segregated and impoverished schools than they have for generations. 

In spite of declining residential segregation for black families and large-scale movement to the suburbs in most parts of the country, school segregation remains very high for black students.  It is also double segregation by both race and poverty.  

Small positive steps in civil rights enforcement have been undermined by the Obama Administration’s strong pressure on states to expand charter schools - the most segregated sector of schools for black students.

This country, whose traditions and laws were built around a white, middle class society with a significant black minority, is now multiracial and poorer, with predominately nonwhite schools in our two largest regions, the West and the South. In the following report, we underscore the fact that simply sitting next to a white student does not guarantee better educational outcomes for students of color. Instead, the resources that are consistently linked to predominately white and/or wealthy schools help foster real and serious educational advantages over minority segregated settings. 

From Education Week, a story about a gifted program expanding in Connecticut. 

The Hartford Courant reported recently that the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation awarded the University of Connecticut's Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development a $500,000 grant to replicate the Renzulli Academy model in three other urban school districts.
The newspaper reported that nearly all of the program's students are minorities, many of them are African-American, and about 70 percent come from low-income families.
The National Association for Gifted Children argued recently that the United States as a whole doesn't pay enough attention, or provide enough resources for, gifted and talented students, especially those from low-income families.
Also from Ed Week Teacher, a good article (with helpful links) to help bright kids who may be misunderstood.
"Being quirky and "odd" is a blessing, and - before you snort your energy drink out your nose - let's talk about why. You sure as heck may not be seeing the blessing because it's much easier to get mixed up in the soup of adolescence, turmoil, being bullied or being the bully, feeling isolated, raging at the world, drugs, identity confusion, helplessness, hopelessness, your avatar world, mental illness, home problems, school problems, friend problems or no-friend problems, health problems, being misunderstood, or whatever else it is that's in your personal soup."
From the National Gifted Education Convention in November, coverage from Ed Week.  
 A math museum opened in NYC called The Museum of Mathematics, according to Ed Week.  
The Museum of Mathematics is not intended to provide a history lesson with artifacts on display from Newton, Galileo, and Euclid, but instead to bring math to life for young people, inspiring exploration and discovery. In fact, the primary target audience is children in grades 4-8, said MoMath founder and executive director Glen Whitney.
"We have in mind somebody in 4th through 8th grade, who is maybe starting to pick up that it's not cool to like math," Whitney, a former hedge-fund quantitative analyst, told me. "But we want to keep that [early] spark alive."
That said, he fully expects the MoMath exhibits, which bring a decidedly hands-on approach, will appeal to "everybody from kindergartners to graduate students in mathematics."
 From Ed Week the Top 10 Children's Book Trends for 2013.  They include bullying,non-fiction and survival stories.


mirmac1 said…
The Stranger expounds on the Mayor's race.
mirmac1 said…
"...and there is talk of an elementary school to accommodate new families moving in and the others that will fill the housing under construction."

Lynne Varner does her insidious toadying again in this editorial:

Editorial: South Lake Union looks up
Real Housewives of the North End said…
Cut Copy And Paste Melissa Westbrook
Seattle Principal said…
Melissa Westbrook has never had a Real Idea in her life
An idea is a concept or mental impression.[1] Ideas are often construed as representational images; i.e., images of some object. In other contexts, ideas are taken to be concepts, although abstract concepts do not necessarily appear as images.[2] Many philosophers consider ideas to be a fundamental ontological category of being. The capacity to create and understand the meaning of ideas is considered to be an essential and defining feature of human beings. In a popular sense, an idea arises in a reflex, spontaneous manner, even without thinking or serious reflection, for example, when we talk about the idea of a person or a place
Charlie Mas said…
You might want to save this sort of criticism for a post other than one which makes no claim other than to be a collection of news stories.
n said…
If cutting and pasting from Wikipedia is Seattle Principal's idea of a "real idea," I'll continue to prefer Melissa's thoughtful and curiosity-driven commentary. Thank you very much.
Anonymous said…
well said "n"

Seattle reader

I'm with Charlie; I regularly put up a collection of public education news stories I think might interest readers. What have I got to do with that topic? And Seattle principal? I am pretty sure I can guess who you are.
Anonymous said…
Well Melissa, if you can guess who "Seattle Principal" is, please tell us that he/she isn't really a principal. That would be a relief. But, if so, he/she is a true pedant - "idea" or not.

Seattle Parent

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