Your October 21, 2009 EWA Newsletter
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Last Chance to Sign Up....
Join EWA for "Small Schools and High School Reform: Shrinking Size,
Diminishing Returns?" - a three-day seminar Nov. 8-10 in San Diego,
Calif. exploring issues and story ideas related to small schools and
high school reform. Participants will visit schools and examine
programs in the San Diego Unified School District, hearing firsthand
from teachers, principals, students and parents about their
Linda's Excellent Blogging Adventures
EWA's public editor Linda Perlstein launched her new blog, The
Educated Reporter, Monday, October 19. If you haven't visited
yet, keep up to date on her postings on school reforms, book reviews,
interviews and musings on the ever changing world of education
EWA board member Richard Whitmire wrote an editorial for the
Washington Post on DC schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's reform
efforts and her support of charter schools. Whitmire says the
chancellor is taking a step in the right direction by promoting
student achievement, but she is racing against time to rehabilitate
the beleaguered school system. http://www.ewa.org/site/R?i=vL_-2d1Alv7-rvMf93PswA..
EWA, the National Panel on Latino Children and Schooling, and the Pew
Hispanic Center hosted a day-long discussion on Latino youth and
education in Washington, DC. Don't miss reading
these reports released by Pew "The Changing Pathways of Hispanic Youths
Into Adulthood" and "Latinos and Education: Explaining the Attainment
Gap". You can also read coverage of the meeting here.
Reports: NAEP scores, Kids Survey, Getting Through High School
Classrooms and Community Organizing
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University finds
that community organizing at the grassroots level in seven American
cities contributed to improving student achievement, as well as parent
involvement and engagement, and even teacher morale. The research was
conducted over a six-year period. Organizing campaigns in Austin,
Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Oakland, Philadelphia and the Bronx were
used in the study. http://www.ewa.org/site/R?i=4DieZrPU-zU29J5e06o7XA..
Math Scores Up for Eighth Graders; Fourth Graders at Standstill
Fourth grade test scores in mathematics on the National Assessment of
Educational Progress (NAEP) stalled for the first time in two decades,
leaving federal officials wondering how to regain momentum.
Eighth-graders continue to see their scores rise, albeit only
marginally. The overall average score for fourth-graders in 2009
remained unchanged compared to two years before. U.S. education
secretary Arne Duncan told the New York Times, "We've got
to get better faster."
Moving Through the Pipeline
The Southern Regional Education Board finds that states must do more
to boost their high school graduation rates. Its report, "The
Next Generation of School Accountability: A Blueprint for Raising High
School Graduation Rates and Achievement," examines how states can
strengthen graduation rates as a part of school accountability
laws. Another report, "Gaining Ground on High School Graduation
Rates in SREB States: Milestones and Guideposts," focuses on how
states are preparing themselves to meet new federal guidelines by
Just Being a Kid
Do you wonder what's it like being a kid today? Check out
Highlights Magazine's first ever "State of the Kid" survey, which was
released in Washington, DC last month. While a plurality (36 percent)
of kids would play or have fun, one surprising tidbit is that nearly
one in four kids say they would spend the extra time reading and
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) will release a new report, "Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: 2005-2007," on Thursday, Oct. 29 at the Education Statistics Services Institute. The study will show the range of difference in state proficiency standards in reading and mathematics and whether states have changed the rigor of their standards between 2005 and 2007. NCES is the statistical center of the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education. To RSVP contact Raquel Maya at (202) 842-3600, Ext. 212, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Job and Upcoming Events
ProPublica is looking for two investigative reporters. Applicants will
be considered from any specialized or generalist investigative
reporting background, but the group is especially interested in
applicants focused on education, immigration, energy or environment.
Both of the reporters to be hired will be based in ProPublica's New
York City office. Interested applicants should send their resumes to
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials
(NALEO) Educational Fund is seeking a communications director. The
person will work with senior management on communications strategy.
The position can be based in Los Angeles or Washington, D.C. If interested send a letter of interest and resume to Mark Glaze at email@example.com; (202)
The Knight Digital Media Center is hosting a Web 2.0 training for journalists Dec. 14-18 at the Graduate School of Journalism on the University of California Berkeley's campus. Application deadline is Friday, Oct. 30. http://www.ewa.org/site/R?i=7iNTlKt-fOX8sChE4Y80wA..
The National Association of Black Journalists is hosting "Advancing in Broadcast Management Seminar" Saturday, Nov. 7 in Baltimore, Md. http://www.ewa.org/site/R?i=i_ZF96VvywndJBuNnWsksQ..
"Reaffirming the Role of School Integration in K-12 Public Education Policy: A Conversation Among Policymakers, Advocates and Educators" will be held at Howard University's School of Law, Friday, Nov. 13. You can see scheduled panelists and the agenda here. http://www.ewa.org/site/R?i=5hevfQfr_XF1-9SaOeAdEA..
The Society of Professional Journalists is sponsoring "How to be an Entrepreneur as a Business Journalist" Dec. 7-11. http://www.ewa.org/site/R?i=5D5eba5NuS1ovu6j30Ti5Q..
Sign Up for this five-day IRE boot camp Dec. 7 -11 at Florida International University. http://www.ewa.org/site/R?i=H0ewHTMNh15wqKnpliC-zw..
From the Beat
Fenger kids tell why they fight
Azam Ahmed, Kristen Mack and Annie Sweeney
The Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Tribune begins an in-depth look at youth violence,
examining its complex causes and uncovering possible solutions.
Metro Nashville school workers abused expenses
Digital cameras, Bluetooth headsets, iPods and gift cards are just a
few of the $22.6 million in purchases Metro Nashville Public Schools
employees charged with district credit cards. Employees in the
cash-strapped district dined out at local restaurants, bought gourmet
coffee and purchased expensive office chairs with the swipe of a card.
School officials said many of the purchases were necessary to keep the
75,000-student system running.
Looking for Solutions to the Catholic-School Crisis
He is neither old nor a priest nor particularly attached to
time-honored traditions. At 35, John Eriksen, one of the nation's
youngest Catholic-school superintendents, offers a ruthless assessment
of parochial education. "The biggest threat that urban Catholic
schools face is nostalgia," he says.
Please send your best stories and member news to Mesha Williams at
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, Chicago
Tribune; Richard Whitmire, immediate past president, freelancer;
Kathryn Baron, freelance radio reporter; 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,