Education News from Washington Post
A 13-year-old eighth grader in upstate New York woke up on Sunday and decided that it would be funny if she designed a standardized test that made fun of standardized tests. (See below) After all, Sophia Stevens was getting ready to take one of the state's new Common Core-aligned standardized tests on Tuesday, so the subject was on her mind.
You can't have a conversation about education reform these days without, at some point, hearing the words "personalization" and "engagement." What do they really mean? Here to explain is George Wood, superintendent and secondary school principal at the Federal Hocking Local School District in Stewart, Ohio. He is also the executive director of the Forum for Education and Democracy and chair of the board for the Coalition of Essential Schools. This appeared on the forum's blog.
Teachers in Florida filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday, claiming the state’s new teacher evaluation system is unfair because it partly rates their job performance on test scores of students they don’t know and subjects they don’t teach.Read full article >>
(Update: BU identifies student killed at marathon)
Boston University officials have identified one of the three people killed in Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon as a graduate student from China attending the school. Another BU grad student was injured and remained at a Boston hospital.Read full article >>
In the hours after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing at least three and injuring more than 170, college administrators across the country frantically rushed to check the whereabouts of students and staff at the race. Several college newspapers kept running lists of participants and spectators with ties to their schools who had been safely located.Read full article >>
(Update: DC official explains why custodians were evaluated by test scores)
How obsessive have school reformers been with linking student standardized test scores to the evaluations of adults in school buildings?Read full article >>
The D.C. Public Charter School Board on Monday rejected a request from BASIS DC to expand, citing concerns about the high number of students who have withdrawn from the charter school since fall.
BASIS, an Arizona-based chain of charter schools known for its rigorous academic demands, won approval to open doors in the District in 2012 despite questions about whether its model would work for struggling D.C. students. At BASIS schools, middle-school classes are accelerated and students must take and pass a heavy load of Advanced Placement courses to graduate from high school.Read full article >>
This is the third time in less than a year and a half that I am running this post. The first time was during the saturation media coverage of the Tucson shooting rampage that left six people dead, including a 9-year-old girl born on Sept. 11. The shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. in December, in which 20 young children and six teachers were killed, made it relevant again. And now, sadly, the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, in which several people were killed -- including an 8-year-old boy in the crowd -- and scores seriously wounded, including the boy's mother and sister.Read full article >>
Students in various grades in New York schools will start taking high-stakes standardized tests on Tuesday that, for the first time, are supposedly aligned to the Common Core State Standards. School reformers say the tests will better assess how much students know than the old standardized tests did, though critics question that contention, and say that students may be tested on curriculum they have not yet learned. (Here's a post on why the Common Core-aligned tests won't be the "game changer" in assessment that Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said they would be.) Parents at dozens of New York schools are choosing to opt their children out of taking the tests.
I recently published a post by Bill Ayers about the recent Atlanta test cheating indictments that said the road to the scandal "runs right through the White House."Ayers is a retired professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (who may be better known for his radical activism during the 1960s and '70s). Then, Michael J. Feuer, dean of the Graduate school of Education and Human Development at George Washington University and president-elect of the National Academy of Education, took issue with Ayers in this piece in Education Week, which I wrote about here. Below, teacher Steven Lin, named Elementary School Teacher of the Year in Chesapeake, Va., takes on Feuer.
A D.C. charter school asked the D.C. Public Charter School Board on Monday night for permission to raise its enrollment for a rather unusual reason -- but the request was denied. My colleague Emma Brown attended the meeting, and here's the story, in nine tweets:Read full article >>
When Ife Adelona saw a picture of singer Selena Gomez as an adult magazine covergirl circulating on Twitter, the 17-year-old knew what she had to do.
“I immediately went for a second source to make sure it wasn’t true,” Ife said.Read full article >>
The Virginia Education Association’s political arm endorsed Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe for governor during its annual convention in Hampton, which concluded Saturday.
The endorsement was announced after McAuliffe was the only contender to attend the teachers association’s candidates forum Thursday. GOP candidate and attorney general Ken Cuccinelli did not respond to the invitation, union officials said.Read full article >>
(Update: Lawsuit filed; statement from education commissioner added)
A group of teachers and their unions filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Florida officials that challenges the state's educator evaluation system, under which many teachers are evaluated on the standardized test scores of students they do not teach.Read full article >>
Had 2nd kid share anxiety over test-me"C'mon what's worst that can happen?" Him"They can fail me, fire my teacher & close my school." Well.
— teach the city (@NYCcollaborator) April 14, 2013Read full article >>
What makes an effective teacher? Here is a post on the issue from veteran educator Marion Brady, a classroom teacher for years who has written history and world culture textbooks (Prentice-Hall), professional books, numerous nationally distributed columns (many are available here), and courses of study. His 2011 book, "What's Worth Learning," asks and answer this question: What knowledge is absolutely essential for every learner? His course of study for secondary-level students, called Connections: Investigating Reality, is free for downloading here. Brady's website is www.marionbrady.com.
I have been ranking the most challenging schools in the country and this region for 15 years. Rarely have I encountered anything like the American Indian Public Charter High School of Oakland, Calif., the No. 1 school on my 2013 list. It has risen to the top just as its city school board is trying to shut it down.Read full article >>
What do urban school districts need to see in their leaders? Here to explain is Katherine Schultz, a professor and dean of the School of Education at Mills College in Oakland. She is the author of the 2009 book, "Rethinking Classroom Participation: Listening to Silent Voices."Read full article >>
America’s Most Challenging High Schools: National Top 10
Here are the top 10 schools in the national America’s Most Challenging High Schools list, as ranked by The Post’s Jay Mathews:Read full article >>
America’s Most Challenging High Schools: D.C. area’s Top 50
Here are the top 50 Washington area schools on the America’s Most Challenging High Schools list, with private schools marked with a (P), as ranked by The Post’s Jay Mathews:Read full article >>