Blog: The Educated Reporter

Five Back to School Reads for Parents and Reporters

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  • The Education Experts Blog at National Journal has great summaries of policy shifts and a strong line-up of commentators who contextualize the news. There’s a new topic at the start of every week, with the most recent one centered on NCLB waivers. Keen observations include concern the waivers are not doing enough to strengthen early learning; waiver states shift their priorities from nearly all schools to just the worst 15 percent; and the fear states are being coerced into adopting changes that may not be economically feasible.
  • What do school leaders really want to tell parents? Readers Digest (via The Huffington Post) interviewed current and former principals to find out the 22 secrets parents should know about the start of the new school year. Highlights include tips on when’s the best time to schedule an interview (in the morning), a reminder kids blather on about everything that happens inside the home (finances, fights, alcohol abuse), and that the best students are “often the ones most afraid to tell their parents when they screw up.”
  • Keeping up with the back to school theme, Great Schools compiled a list of suggestions for parents to help boost their kids’ achievement. Examples include praising a child’s effort rather than the result; the academic benefits of having a home library; and turning children’s penchant for T.V. viewing into a game in which parents quiz their kids on plots and themes during commercial breaks.
  • Oregon is pushing forward with a trial program that assesses Kindergarten readiness. The pilot system will gauge “social-emotional, self-regulation, approaches to learning, early literacy and early math, according to the work group report,” writes Education Week.
  • At the Chicago Tribune, Gregory Karp offers advice for parents on keeping back to school shopping within budget. The column is timely, as several studies suggest parents are not finding the best deals and will spend nearly $700 this year on clothes, supplies and electronics.