Disqus

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Education News News Roundup

A couple of interesting contributors to Stephan Blanford's campaign - former Board member Nancy Waldman (ousted from office in the wake of the Olechefske financial scandal) and former Board member (and Seattle mover and shaker) Don Nielsen.    One oddity, though, is a contribution out of Indianapolis from the Eli Lilly company.  Why Eli Lilly is interested in a Seattle School Board campaign is a mystery.

Interesting in keeping up with national education trends?  Here's a link to the top ed Twitter feeds.  Who's at the top?  Why it's a tie between Arne Duncan and Diane Ravitch.

Americorps gets into the school turnaround action and I think I trust them far more than I would any business.

Officials announced in July that $15 million would go to 13 organizations nationwide during the next three years to put more than 650 AmeriCorps members in schools.

One of the funded projects that will help rural schools exclusively was Berea College's Partners for Education, which is a department within the college that has extensive relationships with its new partner schools as well as others throughout Appalachian Kentucky.

Dreama Gentry, executive director of the department, said PartnerCorps is a new program that was designed specifically for this grant. Its goal is to help Knox Central High and Leslie County High by supporting turnaround efforts and using AmeriCorps members as mentors, college advisers, and family liaisons for low-income, rural students.

"For a long time, we wanted to do a program where we put a critical mass of volunteer role models into one high school, and this grant competition provided us the vehicle to pull together our design," she said. "There are programs around the country that do this in urban schools, but we had not found one that did this in rural schools."

Remember Tony Bennett, darling of ed reform, former head of the Indiana public schools and, more recently, exited head of public schools in Florida (he allegedly manipulated some scores for a couple of charter schools to keep them afloat)?

Something HUGE has happened in Fort Wayne, Indiana which is akin to Garfield High School teachers and staff standing up to MAP.  From Diane Ravitch:

The Fort Wayne Community School Board passed a resolution by a vote of 6-1 to discontinue using the A-F grading system created by disgraced former State Superintendent Tony Bennett. 

"The FWCS Board of School Trustees resolves that it will no longer give public recognition to its schools based solely upon the letter grade assigned to a school under the Bennett A-F System.

The FWCS Board recommends to its Superintendent that FWCS utilize its Balanced Scorecard, district assessment suite and other available measures to develop the criteria for recognizing a school’s continuous improvement and the quality of its instruction.

FWCS Board respectfully urges other school districts in the State of Indiana to adopt this Resolution and, in addition, to develop their own systems of school recognition consistent with this Resolution in order to send a message to Indiana legislators and Indiana’s educational leaders that the strength and quality of school instruction should never be judged on the basis of a single test but rather on the totality of factors described in this Resolution."

Sounds a lot like SPS' scorecard for each school.  If you see the specter of the A-F grading of schools rising again next Washington State Legislative session, just say no. 


Whoops!  Pearson does it...again (with apologies to Britney Spears).  Got student test scores wrong and released them.  From Diane Ravitch's blog:

Mega-publisher Pearson admitted that it released the wrong grades for 4,000 students in Virginia. 

“Pearson issued a similar apology last spring for making mistakes in the scoring of admissions tests for gifted and talented programs in New York City public schools. Other scoring problems by Pearson in recent years caused delays in final test results in Florida and Minnesota.

“Pearson and state education officials said the problem in Virginia was not in the scoring but in how the scores were converted into proficiency levels: fail, pass/proficient or pass/advanced.”

Updated: oh, that was 4,000 students with cognitive disabilities who were told they had passed their tests.  I'm sure that was a very happy day for them that has now turned sour.  Great job, Pearson.

Remember ALEC?  (If not, better learn because they have their "work" in every part of how our country runs including education.)  More and more Americans are getting wise to this group and speaking out.  From The Nation:

The group highlighted by the 2011 “ALEC Exposed” project of the Center for Media and Democracy and The Nation has in recent years been the subject of investigations and inquiries by media outlets across the country. It has been the focus of a nationally broadcast “United States of ALEC” documentary by Bill Moyers & Company. It has been called out by groups such as Color of Change and Common Cause. It has been abandoned by forty-nine corporations (from Amazon.com to Walmart) that once paid for its initiatives.

And this week, as ALEC gathers its corporate and legislative “members” in the city of its founding to celebrate four decades of service to special interests and ambitious politicians, demonstrations against the group have drawn thousands of union members, civil rights activists and social justice campaigners into the streets of Chicago.

ALEC has felt the pressure of public scrutiny. Last year, the group distanced itself from some of its more controversial initiatives, such as restrictive voter ID laws and the Stand Your Ground measures that gained national attention after the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida.

• One hundred and thirty-nine ALEC bills that address education issues with proposals to use taxpayer dollars to fund private schools among the favorites. At least thirty-one ALEC education measures have become law.

4 comments:

Mark Ahlness said...

And on the local front, this just in from Olympia: Dept. of Ed Renews State’s ESEA Waiver Ugh.

mirmac1 said...

Dorn says “Those reforms seem to be effective, but having them in place another year will give us a better sense of how effective.” Wow, they must be working! But we have no clue how much!

mirmac1 said...

Another Times burpitorial

Editorial: National Education Association teacher union wisely engages dissenters

The 3.2 million-member union and a national teacher leadership organization, Teach Plus, selected 53 teachers from around the country, including nine from the Puget Sound area. Many of the local teachers are union members and members of Teachers United, a growing group of teachers thoughtfully challenging the union and its local affiliates’ opposition to some education reforms.

Unknown said...

SSC result 2015 and HSC result 2015 will be given in education boards website

SSC Result 2015

SSC Result 2015 Bangladesh

http://resultsource.blogspot.com/2015/02/ssc-result-2015-wwweducationboardresult.html