The landscape for teacher evaluations is quickly evolving, as policymakers and educators wrangle with the public’s rising demand for greater accountability – and measurable gains – by public schools.
Currently at least 24 states have adopted policies making “classroom effectiveness” a factor in measuring a teacher’s performance. Here’s one indicator of just how quickly these reforms are moving: In 2011, just 15 states required teacher evaluations of any kind, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality.
As accountability pressures on the nation’s teaching force mount, scrutiny of colleges of education is intensifying as well. There is also a growing focus on teacher preparation as a critical component to school improvement. The Hechinger Report teamed up with news outlets nationwide to consider these critical issues. Here’s a roundup of the reporting:
Teachers unions are facing new challenges to their influence, even as pressures mount on their members to demonstrate their effectiveness on the job. In a joint project, The Hechinger Report and GothamSchools teamed up to explore the shift sphere of teachers unions, with a special focus on New York City, the nation’s fifth-largest school district. Here’s a roundup of the coverage:
EWA President Stephanie Banchero sits down with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman for a wide-ranging discussion on innovation and education. Recorded May 2, 2013, at EWA’s 66th National Seminar at Stanford University.
Benjamin Herold, reporter at WHYY’s Newsworks, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, crunched numbers at EWA’s Diving Into Data Workshop Feb. 22-25 and came up with an interesting analysis of neighborhood schools and how students and their parents choose whether to stay in the local school or move elsewhere.
To do their jobs, education reporters on the federal beat depend on access to congressional staffers. But what happens when those staffers want anonymity while discussing policy at a public forum? EWA asked two reporters – Libby Nelson of Inside Higher Ed and Eric Kelderman of The Chronicle of Higher Education – to explain why they’re pushing back against what they contend is an unreasonable demand.
University of Maryland-Baltimore County President Freeman Hrabowski, who has been featured on 60 Minutes, will give the keynote address Feb. 8 at EWA’s intensive one-day conference for journalists “Under the Microscope: Examining STEM Education.” Topics covered will include the impact of the new Common Core math requirements, the influence Next Generation Science Standards initiative, and the challenges of shepherding students to STEM degrees in college.
We recently held our one-day seminar for journalists on the topic of teacher training. Ready to Teach: Rethinking Routes to the Classroom was held at the University of Minnesota on Oct. 26, and if you couldn’t join us in Minneapolis, you can browse some of the sessions below.
In addition to a large block of forthcoming videos from the 65th National Seminar and our ongoing series of guest blogs on Ed Beat, we captured a few sessions as podcasts. You can find descriptions and download links below. Happy listening!
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:
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.
UVa English professor Mark Edmundson goes head to head with the Boss in the pages of the April 1 NYT.
“‘Everybody’s got a hungry heart,’ Bruce Springsteen sings. Really? Is that so?
I’m willing to testify; Not all students have hungry hearts. Some do, some don’t, and having a hungry heart (or not) is what makes all the difference for a young person seeking an education.”
The continuing saga of Bully’s MPAA rating reached a sort of non-resolution Monday, when Harvey Weinstein announced that the Weinstein Co. will release the film, which follows the lives of a group of students coping with bullying at school, without its R rating.
Though we haven’t posted our agenda for the 65th National Seminar, I can tell you that one of the sessions we have planned will be on the subject of improving access to schools. You may recall the incident from December in Connecticut in which New Haven Independent reporter Melissa Bailey clashed — on video — with a PIO who ultimately apologized and resigned (Emily Richmond previously
In Sunday’s Washington Post, former New York City Dept. of Education Chancellor Joel Klein sounds the alarm on education as an election year issue.
“Unless voters insist that candidates give education the attention it deserves, this will be another political season in which both sides offer pablum without seeking a mandate for the ambitious reforms our schools require.”
The California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force this week released a set of recommendations “aimed at improving the educational outcomes of our students and the workforce preparedness of our state.”
Earlier today I was glued to a liveblog of the latest Apple event, which centered around the company’s foray into e-textbooks. The company debuted iBooks 2 for iPad, a service aimed at revolutionizing students’ interactions with their texts, their classrooms, and their teachers.
I just caught up with a fascinating 60 Minutes story on a student from Great Neck, N.Y. who sold his formidable SAT-taking skills to desperate classmates for thousands of dollars. Described as a “hired gun” by the district attorney who prosecuted him, Sam Eshaghoff took the SAT at least 16 times, charging as much as $2,500 for a score in the 97th percentile or above.
Interview conducted and edited by Emily Richmond, EWA public editor
Gary Miron, a professor of education at Western Michigan University, is the lead author of a new National Education Policy Center report examining Education Management Organizations (EMOs) that are operating public schools. Miron spoke with EWA about the report, which you can read in full here.
EWA’s seminar for higher education reporters was held on Nov. 4 and 5 at UCLA. We’ve already got a few podcasts up, and you can view more resources here. Below, the first of eight videos drawn from the conference — we’ll have more next week.
This is the second in a series of podcasts drawn from EWA’s Nov. 4-5 Higher Ed seminar at UCLA.
In order to meet the workforce demands for better educated employees, colleges and universities will have to teach more adults. A look at the evolving options for non-traditional students to further their educations.
Caroline Hendrie spoke yesterday with Ed Week’s Alyson Klein about a bill coming up next week in the Senate that would make major changes to NCLB.You can read her Ed Week piece explaining the legislation here.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution just published part five in an occasional investigative series on the state of teaching in Georgia, looking into the state’s recruitment and retention strategies, teacher preparation models and its largely unsuccessful efforts to fire ineffective teachers.
There’s a lot of great reporting here, and though it is behind the AJC paywall, the paper has been kind enough to make PDFs of the stories available exclusively to EMC members. You can find each of the current five parts linked at the bottom of this message.
Talia Milgrom-Elcott is a program officer in urban education with Carnegie Corporation of New York. She spoke with EWA about the new “100Kin10” initiative to add 100,000 “excellent” Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics teachers to public school classrooms in the next 10 years.
1. Why has Carnegie chosen to make STEM teacher recruitment a priority?
(Interview conducted and edited by Emily Richmond)
UC-Berkeley professor and author David Kirp, a member of President Obama’s 2008 transition team, spoke with the EWA about fresh angles on familiar education stories, how family nest eggs can help parents and children learn fiscal responsibility, and his new book (“Kids First:FiveBig Ideas for Transforming Children’s Lives and America’s Future”).
When reporters get data about immigrant student achievement, it’s typically lumped into one category. Do we need to start asking districts to break down the data into more specified categories, such as the length of time a student has been in the local school system?
Due to what I can only characterize as catastrophic laptop issues, Emily Richmond’s interview with Heather Vogell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution will not be posted until early next week, contrary to the announcement in this week’s EdMedia Commons newsletter. I’m sorry for the delay.
I’m pleased to announce that very soon you’ll be seeing a lot of new faces here, as we’re nearing the end of our beta period. Starting next week, we’ll be sending out the first wave of invites to the general EWA membership.
So, first off, thanks to everyone who has participated so far. I think I speak for the whole staff when I say we appreciate your help in this early phase of EMC.
Note: Between June 13-16, Andreas Schleicher will be fielding your questions on the board about the topics raised in the two interviews below, or any other area you wish to discuss. If you have a question, leave it as a reply below.
This is the first thread in the Education in the News forum, which is primarily reserved for discussions of news stories, videos, etc.
If you’re posting a link to a news item you want to discuss, make a new thread and fire away.
Public education was one of the largest beneficiaries of the $814 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, but questions remain about how – and whether – some $100 billion in federal stimulus funds for education have made much difference.