America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranks schools through an index formula that’s a simple ratio, reports the Washington Post: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. A ratio of 1.000 means the school had as many tests as graduates……Read More
Podcast Series: Innovations in Education
Explore the full series of eSchool News podcasts hosted by Kevin Hogan—created to keep you on the cutting edge of innovations in education.
Is teacher education a disaster?
One of the biggest debates in public education today is over how to best educate student teacher for the rigors of the classroom, the Washington Post reports. This is the third and final part of a series on the subject by scholar Mike Rose, who is on the faculty of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and author of books that include Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education and Possible Lives: The Promise of Public Education in America. A revised and expanded version of his latest book, “Why School? Reclaiming Education for All of Us“, is due out in February……Read More
Why teachers think Gov. Christie is a bully
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he’s not a bully, but there are plenty of teachers in New Jersey who would disagree, the Washington Post reports. Here’s a small part of the transcript from the press conference that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave on Thursday to proclaim his innocence in the scandal in which some of his aides jammed traffic by shutting down access lanes from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge in order to punish a Democratic mayor……Read More
How lasting are the benefits of preschool?
As President Obama advocates for a dramatic expansion of publicly funded preschool, there is growing debate about whether preschool pays off academically for kids, says Michael Alison Chandler for the Washington Post. Most controversial is the so-called “fade-out” effect that has surfaced in research, showing that students who attend preschool begin kindergarten more prepared than control groups of students who did not, but they lose their edge on reading or math tests within the first few years as other children catch up……Read More
Should principals stop visiting classrooms?
Principals are above all supposed to be “instructional leaders” but exactly what that means — or how to be effective in that role — isn’t entirely clear, the Washington Post reports. Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks at the research on what makes for an effective instructional leader in the post below. Willingham is a professor and director of graduate studies in psychology at the University of Virginia and author of “Why Don’t Students Like School?” His latest book is “When Can You Trust The Experts? How to tell good science from bad in education.”…Read More
I’m no Common Core fan, but give it a chance
As our national battle over the Common Core standards escalates this year, remember that new standards and curricula rarely improve schools, says Jay Mathews for the Washington Post. What does work is families becoming more affluent, teachers becoming more proficient and students spending more time and energy on their studies. New lesson plans and textbooks such as those being unleashed by the Common Core in nearly all states have no effect on parental income. Some teachers and students may do better when there are changes in what they study, but so far there is little proof of that. That does not mean, however, that we should dump the new standards……Read More
D.C. teacher at Friendship Tech Prep charter quits, says he was pressured to inflate grades
Caleb Rossiter recently quit his job as a ninth-grade algebra teacher at the Friendship Tech Prep public charter school in Southeast Washington because, he says, his supervisors pressured him to artificially inflate failing grades and ignored his safety concerns by sending two disruptive students back into his class, the Washington Post reports. Such administrative mindlessness is common in American public schools. It has been a source of teacher frustration for decades. Many who watch D.C. schools closely might be surprised to hear this happened at Tech Prep, run by the well-regarded Friendship Schools charter network. Patricia A. Brantley, the network’s chief operating officer, says the school did nothing wrong……Read More
The link between early childhood education and PISA scores
Buried under the headlines of the last week about the newly released Program for International Student Assessment results — which showed American 15-year-old students nowhere near the top on the 2012 math, reading and science tests, is an interesting bit of data, the Washington Post reports. It’s the connection between early childhood education and the top-performing PISA nations. PISA is given by an organization called the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is made up of 34 countries, including the United States, China, Germany and Japan. In the majority of OECD countries, more than three quarters (79%) of 4-year olds are enrolled in early childhood education programs. And according tothe report on 2012 PISA scores released last week, across OECD countries, students who attended early childhood programs performed better—a full year ahead of their peers……Read More
Parents say they don’t need state test results
Last month, I asked whether parents and grandparents were worried about threats to annual testing caused by the national switch to the Common Core standards, the Washington Post reports. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan had warned that California would be shortchanging students and their families if it held to its plan not to report school test averages next year. Almost everyone who responded to me said Duncan was wrong. I proposed in that column a year’s respite from reporting state test results, while teachers adjusted to the new Common Core lessons and tests. “Schools can give the new tests but use the results only for improving teaching methods, not for assessing students and teachers,” I wrote……Read More
Why educating the educators is complex
Smack in the middle of the fiery debates about teacher education is the troublesome fact that we lack a fitting and consensual definition of teaching itself, the Washington Post reports. In his blistering 2005 report on teacher education programs, former president of Teachers College, Arthur Levine, noted the “schism [in] teacher education between those who believe teaching is a profession like law or medicine, requiring a substantial amount of education before an individual can become a practitioner, and those who think teaching is a craft like journalism, which is learned principally on the job.” Levine may well be capturing a significant ideological or rhetorical distinction in the current debates about how to educate teachers, but the distinction illustrates our problem, for teaching has elements of both profession and craft, as Levine defines them—and even that fusion of the two terms doesn’t fully capture a teacher’s work……Read More