Ed Reporter: June 15, 2009
Ed Reporter: June 15, 2009
<<On the Blackboard>>
Keep up to date with EWA throughout the summer by visiting our website for new audio and webinar conferences at http://www.ewa.org/site/PageServer.
For Senior-Year Reality, Try Netflix
As “Friday Night Lights” Shows, College Is Not a Given for Many Students
By Linda Perlstein, EWA public editor
As I paid months of attention earlier this year to the evolving aspirations of a Texan teenager named Tyra Collette, I realized I was witnessing something far more relevant and compelling than 90 percent of what I read in the media about high school seniors and college. You can read the rest of Linda's column here.
Reports to Watch
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released results from the 2008 arts assessment "The Nation's Report Card: 2008 Arts" today which examines the performance of eighth-graders in music and visual arts. For more information on the assessment and to view results from the 1997 arts assessment, visit http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/arts/
The Center on Education Policy will release the first in a series of reports describing the results of state tests administered since NCLB was enacted. State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08: Part I. Is the Emphasis on "Proficiency" Shortchanging Higher- and Lower-Achieving Students? will be released Wednesday, June 17th. A news conference is planned on that day at the JW Marriott Salon D and E in Washington, D.C. To get a copy or RSVP for the event, please contact Chloe Louvouezo at 202-955-9450 ext. 320 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Reports: Dropouts, child well-being index, equal resources
Are High School Seniors Ready?
With graduation season fresh on the minds of school leaders, Education Week analyzes the number of students who actually make it to the big ceremony with the release of Diplomas Count-2009 Broader Horizons: The Challenge of College Readiness for All Students. The report finds the national graduation rate in 2006 averaged 69.2 percent and that high schools are losing at least 1.3 million students each year. Using the Cumulative Promotional Index Method and data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data, EdWeek finds the national graduation rate for public high schools rose by 2.8 percentage points over a 10-year period. Most school districts are performing as expected given the challenges of the poverty rates, per pupil spending, district size and the number of minority school children enrolled.
One Washington, D.C. based think tank has publicly criticized the report’s results. The Economic Policy Institute released a statement saying the formula EdWeek uses produces inaccurate results because there is insufficient information about grade retention and transfers and that undercuts true graduation rates, especially for minority students.
The Opportunity is Now
Some education heavyweights came to Washington to support a new report released by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Institute for Advanced Study calling for the U.S. to “mobilize for excellence” in math and science education to help increase student performance. An independent commission of policy, business and education leaders said excellence in math and science learning is possible “only if school is done differently” and if math and science are placed at the center of education reform. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said at the report’s release, that the time is now to push for innovation. He said never before has a U.S. president, Congress and funding align to accomplish systematic changes for education that could yield dramatic effects for years to come. You can read the report here.
New RTI Practice Guides
What Works Clearinghouse website has published new practice guides for early reading and math for educators. Go here to read the guides.
On the Front Lines
A new report, On the Front Lines of Schools, finds that there is an expectations gap between educators and students. Two-thirds of students who dropout report they would have worked harder if more was demanded of them. Seventy-six percent of principals and 59 percent of teachers say the national dropout rate is a major problem. Educators view a lack of parental support as a significant factor in students’ decision to leave school. In addition, nearly half the educators surveyed say they recognize the importance of keeping parents engaged and coursework interesting for students. John Bridgeland, one of the authors, presented at EWA's annual meeting and you can find his comments on the EWA blog http://ewaindc.blogspot.com/2009/05/what-causes-students-to-drop-out-of.html.The full report is here.
Gains for Children Expected to Decrease
The biggest victims of America’s economic crisis are children. The 2009 Child and Youth Well-Being Index examines the effects of this current recession on the health, well-being and quality of life of children living in America. The findings are sobering with analysts predicting the U.S. will lose ground after three decades of progress on children issues. By 2010 the report projects that 21 percent of U.S. children will live in poverty, up from about 17 percent in 2006, and 28 percent will not have one full-time working parent. Even worse when the current recession ends the median income for U.S. families is expected to drop by five percent, resulting in a decade’s worth of lost wages. Go here to see the rest of the report.
No Fair Share
The New America Foundation released a white paper analyzing teacher equity and federal Title I funds. Equitable Resources in Low Income Schools finds loopholes in federal law and regulations have made the comparability provision in Title I meaningless.
The Widget Effect
Are all teachers the same? A report released by the New Teacher Project (TNTP) says the U.S. education system fails to acknowledge the difference in teacher effectiveness and instead treats them as interchangeable parts. The authors of "The Widget Effect" recommend that school systems adopt a comprehensive performance evaluation system and address ineffective teaching more consistently. You can read the report here.
Here is another forlorn piece about paperless newspapers published in the Washington Post Global section. You can also read this story in Editor and Publisher about Philadelphia guild members forgoing raises to later learn that newspaper company executives at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News received bonuses averaging $150,000 to $300,000. In other guild news, the members of the Boston Newspaper Guild rejected a concession package worth $10 million from its parent company the New York Times. At least 690 staffers who belong to the guild could take a 23 percent cut in pay by next week. The New York Times is seeking to sell the Boston Globe. Three Boston based business executives including a member of the family that used to own the newspaper are reportedly in discussions. A representative of the Guild says a meeting will be held today to come up with cost-cutting measures the union can support.
EWA member and popular ed blogger Alexander Russo’s District 299 blog will appear on Chicago Now as well as Catalyst Chicago. Chicago Now is a new site sponsored by the Chicago Tribune that the company describes as the “Huffington Post meets Facebook for Chicago." Sounds interesting - congratulations, Alexander!
Fellowship, Job Opening, More Industry Events
Applications are now being accepted for the 2009 Dart Center Ochberg Fellowships, a seminar program for mid-career journalists who want to report thoughtfully on emotional trauma, violence, conflict and tragedy.This year's Dart Center Ochberg Fellows program takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, from November 2-7, 2009. Application deadline is July 24th. For more information, visit http://dartcenter.org/fellowships.
New York 1 is looking for an education reporter to handle reporting on all issues related to education in NYC. Our education reporter needs to head up our station's education coverage and own the beat. At least two years of journalism experience - preferably reporting - is required. Experience covering education in NYC is preferred.Please submit your application online at timewarnercable.com/careers.
The Heritage Foundation, with the Sunlight Foundation and Center for Responsive Politics, will present its Computer-Assisted Research and Reporting boot camp for journalists and bloggers seeking to enhance their reporting and research skills. The class will be held at the National Press Club’s Eric Friedheim Library in Washington, D.C. June 19th. For more information, contact Patrick Tyrrell at The Heritage Foundation at (202) 546-4400 or course instructor Mark Tapscott at (202) 459-4968 or email@example.com.
Register for the Society of Professional Journalists Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., Aug. 27-30. http://www.spj.org/convention.asp.
Sign up for the National Association of Black Journalists Conference in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 5-9 at https://www.eshow2000.com/NABJ/conference_program.cfm.
Capitolbeat, the association of statehouse reporters and editors, is sponsoring a journalism conference. The conference will be held Aug. 20-22 in Indianapolis, Ind., at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis. For more information, visit http://capitolbeat.wordpress.com/capitolbeat-2009-welcome-to-indianapolis/.
From the Beat
Freshman year: Make or break
by Betsy Hammond
Freshman year of high school is rarely a favorite for students or teachers. But new research shows that when it comes to getting a diploma, no year matters more. If students don't attend school regularly and don't pass all their classes as freshmen, they are likely to drop out -- no matter how much parent support and great teaching they get later. A student who ends ninth grade without earning six credits has less than a one-in-four chance of earning a diploma, a study in Portland found.
Next Test: Value of $125,000-a-Year Teachers
by Elissa Gootman
The New York Times
So what kind of teachers could a school get if it paid them $125,000 a year? An accomplished violist who infuses her music lessons with the neuroscience of why one needs to practice, and creatively worded instructions like, “Pass the melody gently, as if it were a bowl of Jell-O!” A self-described “explorer” from Arizona who spent three decades honing her craft at public, private, urban and rural schools. Two with Ivy League degrees. And Joe Carbone, a phys ed teacher, who has the most unusual résumé of the bunch, having worked as Kobe Bryant’s personal trainer.
10 Steps to World-Class Schools
by William Brock, Ray Marshall and Marc Tucker
Washington Post (commentary)
The key to U.S. global stature after World War II was the world's best-educated workforce. But now the United States ranks No. 12, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and today's younger generation is the first to be less educated than the preceding one.
Data shows inconsistency in Georgia dropout, graduation rates
by Heather Vogell
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia loses track of thousands of students each year, suggesting the dropout rate may be higher and the graduation rate lower than the state has reported, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis found. Last year, school staff marked more than 25,000 students as transferring to other Georgia public schools, but no school reported them as transferring in, the AJC’s analysis of enrollment data shows.
Lessons of love, survival in kindergarten class
by Christy Watson
For years, the kindergarten students at Putnam City’s James L. Dennis Elementary had no trouble spying their teacher across the playground or as they walked into the classroom. Even on her knees, Robin Fairsheets had to crouch to see her students at eye level. And then there was her long red hair.
by Jill Riepenhoff and Todd Jones
The Columbus Dispatch
Across the country, many major-college athletic departments keep their NCAA troubles secret behind a thick veil of black ink or Wite-Out. Alabama.Cincinnati. Florida. Florida State. Ohio State. Oklahoma. Oregon State. Utah. They all censor information in the name of student privacy, invoking a 35-year-old federal law whose author says it has been twisted and misused by the universities.
Please send your best stories and member news to Mesha Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dale Mezzacappa, president, Public School Notebook; Tanya Schevitz, vp/actives, free lance reporter; Marie Groark, vp/associates, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Stephanie Banchero, secretary, on leave from Chicago Tribune; Richard Whitmire, immediate past president, freelancer; Kathryn Baron, Warren Institute on Race and Diversity; John Merrow, Learning Matters, Inc.; Linda Lenz, Catalyst; Rodney Ferguson, Lipman Hearne, Inc.; Cornelia Grumman, First Five Years Fund; Elizabeth Green, Gotham Schools.org; Scott Elliott, Dayton (Ohio) Daily News; Kent Fischer, GMMB.