Media Commons Archive
In the wake of a new fedeal report showing minority students are disciplined at school at a higher rate than their white peers, the New York Times is pushing for the Office for Civil Rights to take more initiative in addressing the issue at the local school level:
“Somewhere between a third and a half of high school graduates leave high school prepared with a reasonable chance to succeed in college,” according to one prominent study on the subject. If only a minority of secondary school students actually acquire the skills they need to earn a college degree, what are the skills the rest of their classmates need to develop in order to become “college ready”?
Five Questions for … Lumina Foundation’s Dewayne Matthews, on the Goal 2025 Campaign, Tracking Students, and the Changing Landscape of Community Colleges
The Lumina Foundation’s Goal 2025 campaign seeks to increase the percentage of American adults with college degrees to 60 percent. A new study finds that the percentage is inching upward, although it still hovers below 40 percent. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Education is proposing revising how colleges and universities are evaluated, so graduation rates would include students who attend part-time, as well as those who are returning to school.
The National Education Policy Center released a provocative report today that looks at per pupil spending in charter schools run by charter management organizations compared to similar district schools. Some schools run by high-profile charter networks spend more per pupil than comparable district schools in New York and Texas, the report noted. On the other hand, other CMO schools, particularly in Ohio, spend less.
The Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard has published a piece on our collaborative reporting/training project on school turnarounds:
Thanks to Nieman reporter and EWA member Adrienne LaFrance for turning in a nice write-up! And thanks to all EWA’s partners, especially Education Week and the Hechinger Report, for pulling off the project!
Hard as it may be to believe, students who were part of the nation’s first school vouchers program are now old enough to have graduated from college. Patrick Wolf, an education professor at the University of Arkansas, calls in to the Wall Street Journal to talk about his multiyear study of the Milwaukee program, which comes away with a pretty positive view of vouchers. Obviously there’s a lot to consider here, but his closing statement is noteworthy:
EWA will kick off its 65th National Seminar with a luncheon session on “Shifting States: Changes in Store From Common Core.” Ahead of that discussion, an excellent primer for getting up to speed on this ambitious initiative is a special report now available from Education Week on math, literacy and common standards.
Newsrooms are hurting (Breaking News, right?) and the promise of online revenues replacing the fount of print advertisement has been either a disappointment or a glacial process doing little to ward off layoffs and shuttered bureaus.
But news outfits are still producing high quality stories, some of which can have a tidal effect on the industries touched by the reports and exposés, creating a potential revenue stream hitherto untapped.
Five Questions for … University of Virginia Prof. Thomas Dee, on New Study Showing SIG School Progress in California
A new study by University of Virginia researcher Thomas S. Dee has found early evidence that the federal School Improvement Grant program had a positive impact on student achievement in the California schools that were awarded the competitive funds. Dee compared schools that were “just eligible” for the funds with those that were “just ineligible,” with both groups sharing largely similar baseline characteristics.
The Associated Press has a thoughtful story addressing an important question in the push for school reform: How do you measure the performance of special education teachers when the progress of their students is so difficult to quantify?
From the AP’s story:
With the interest rates for federally subsidized students loans set to climb to 6.8 percent—twice the current rate—if Congress doesn’t pass legislation before the July 1 deadline, the push to spur action is taking some election year twists.
The Washington Post did its annual Spring Cleaning feature on Sunday, taking on societal conventions from the arguably pointless (Premium Gas) to the outdated (Software Patents), even venturing into Seinfeld territory (The Social Kiss). In the process, they deemed two education mainstays obsolete and worth tossing out.
Five Questions for … Educational Psychologist Gale Sinatra, on Tennessee’s “Monkey Law,” Teaching Evolution, and Why Science Literacy Matters
Tennessee’s so-called “Monkey Law,” — which provides guidelines for teachers when discussing controversial topics such as evolution and protects them from sanctions if they challenge the underlying scientific theory — became law by default when Gov. Bill Haslam opted not to veto it. EWA spoke with Gale Sinatra, an educational psychologist and professor at the Rossier School of Education at USC, who specializes in science teaching and learning.
With fears the high school graduation rate will suffer in the coming years, Los Angeles Unified School District officials have moved to pass legislation that would greatly reduce the number of credits and college-prep courses required to graduate from high school, reports the Los Angeles Times.
My new colleague — and soon-to-be-EWA member — Brian McVicar is working on a story about a contract signed with faculty today at Grand Rapids Community College.
Among the interesting features of the deal is a five-year freeze of the current salary schedule and eliminating annual step increases.
Plus, future pay increases will be based on demonstrated exemplary performance.
I know we’ve had much talk at the K-12 level about performance-based evaluations, but has anyone heard of such a thing in higher education?
Student journalists have come under fire in recent weeks for satirical publications that tread into some murky waters.
Kristopher Brooks had his reporting job offer from the (Del.) News-Journal rescinded after he issued a self-congratulatory press release via social media, which included quoting words of praise from his hiring letter.
Brooks, who previously worked at the Omaha World Herald before attending NYU to complete a master’s degree, describes himself as a “veteran education reporter” in the press release — although that was not the beat he would have been assigned to cover at the Delaware paper.