In the News: A News Clipping Service – June 14, 2010

In this edition of In the News:

  • Should Everyone Go to College?
  • Charter School Success and Charter School Controversy
  • National Academic Standards Are Ready for States’ Approval
  • Improving Teacher Performance

Should Everyone Go to College?

Tackling a Taboo Topic
Fordham Institute – June 10, 2010
Raising the bar with new national academic standards could worsen the dropout problem for students who think they aren’t smart enough or just aren’t interested in the material being taught. We need to think creatively about providing viable alternatives for students who aren’t headed down the college track.

Charter School Success and Charter School Controversy

Storming the School Barricades
The Wall Street Journal – June 5, 2010
The independent film “The Lottery” began as a simple story about the competition for a spot in one of NYC’s best charter schools – the Harlem Success Academy, but it evolved into a much broader story of the political turf war over the future of public education.

LEAP Results Bolster Case for Charters; Will Legislature Follow Suit?
The Pelican Post – June 11, 2010
While test scores statewide showed only modest improvement, test scores for charter schools showed impressive gains. Students in RSD charter schools had a 50% higher passing rate than in RSD traditional schools.

Ensuring Transparency & Accountability in the Charter School Renewal Process
The Cowen Institute – June 4, 2010
This year BESE will consider the renewal of Type 5 charters (the low-performing schools taken over by the Recovery School District and chartered by BESE). Concerned about the quality of the renewal process, the Cowen Institute looks at BESE’s policies and procedures for Type 5 charter evaluation.

Parents, Advocates Fear New Orleans Charter Schools Have Rejected Students with Disabilities
The Times-Picayune – June 5, 2010
Parents and advocates of children with disabilities gathered to voice their concerns to the federal education department’s Office of Civil Rights.

National Academic Standards Are Ready for States’ Approval

Final Version of Common Standards Unveiled
Education Week – June 2, 2010
In an effort to address the uneven patchwork of academic standards across states, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers organized the Common Core State Standards Initiative. After more than a year of deliberations and substantial feedback, the first-ever national common academic standards were released. Now, individual states must decide whether or not to adopt them.

La. Backing National School Standards
The Advocate – June 3, 2010
The Department of Education is set to approve the new common academic standards for Louisiana, which will make Louisiana’s core curriculum more rigorous than it is now. Initial changes would go into effect in the 2011-2012 school year.

Improving Teacher Performance

Jindal Signs New Teacher Evaluation System into Law
The Times-Picayune – May 27, 2010
A new Louisiana law overhauls the annual teacher evaluation process, requiring a value-added component that ties teacher evaluations to gains in student performance.

How Blame Plays Out in Educational Change
Louisiana Weekly – June 1, 2010
Dr. Andre Perry looks at the downside of value-added teacher evaluations (measuring teacher performance based upon student achievement). He says, “A good value-added formula should weigh multiple variables carefully so we don’t discourage the most talented teachers from entering the most challenging, poor, urban districts, which could be inappropriately impacted by the legislation.”

New Teacher Distribution Methods Hold Promise
Education Week – June 10, 2010
New strategies to equalize teacher talent across high- and low-performing schools are more sophisticated, involving not just teacher transfers but mechanisms for the whole school to improve with the influx of new teachers.