In the News: A Clipping Service – March 7, 2011

In this edition of In the News:

  • Sen. Landrieu Calls N.O. Schools a Model for Reform
  • A Childless Recovery
  • Stopgap Bill Cuts Education Spending
  • Charter News
  • Debate on Personnel Practices Continues
  • A Unique Approach to Integration
  • Tools for Success
  • New Orleans News

Sen. Landrieu Calls N.O. Schools a Model for Reform

Sen. Mary Landrieu Calls For N.O. Schools to Serve as Model for National Education Reform
The State Column
– March 7, 2011
According to Senator Mary Landrieu, the transformation of New Orleans public schools following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita should serve as a national model for education reform because we are transforming each and every school to be highly accountable and high-performing.

A Childless Recovery

Will New Orleans Regain Its Lost Children?
AOL News
– March 6, 2011
The general population of New Orleans has declined by 29 percent since the 2000 census; the population of children below age 18 dropped 43 percent. What does this mean for the city long-term, and is it possible that this trend will be reversed in the future?

Stopgap Bill Cuts Education Spending

Stopgap Spending Bill Severs Array of Education Programs
Education Week
– March 3, 2011
The stopgap federal spending bill that President Obama recently signed into law includes cuts to more than a dozen education programs – for at least two weeks, quite possibly for good. The bill includes cuts to Reading is Fundamental ($24.8 million), New Leaders for New Schools ($5 million), the National Writing Project ($25.6 million), and Teach for America ($18 million).

Charter News

Going Exponential: Growing the Charter School Sector’s Best
Education Next
– February 18, 2011
A recent report from the Progressive Policy Institute looks at the importance of growing great charter schools, stating that if just the top 10 percent of charter schools expanded at a rate similar to other growing industries, they could reach all children in poverty by 2025. The report includes recommendations for exponential growth, borrowing strategies from businesses and organizations such as Apple, Habitat for Humanity, and Starbucks.

Download Going Exponential: Growing the Charter School Sector’s Best.

Student Achievement in Massachusetts Charter Schools
The Education Gadfly
– February 24, 2011
In a new study of Massachusetts charter schools, researchers found that urban charter schools show large, positive, and statistically significant effects on student achievement across subjects and grades. The suburban charter schools studied did not show these gains.

Download Student Achievement in Massachusetts Charter Schools.

Debate on Personnel Practices Continues

The Case Against Quality-Blind Layoffs
The New Teacher Project
– February 2011
Layoffs are not good for anyone, but they are worse when they result in the loss of top teachers. In its latest policy brief called A Smarter Teacher Layoff System, The New Teacher Project outlines how quality-blind layoffs hurt students by depriving them of excellent teachers and offers an alternate approach to layoffs that can help schools retain their best teachers.

Read A Smarter Teacher Layoff System.

Yearning to Break Free: Ohio Superintendents Speak Out
Fordham Institute
– March 3, 2011
A statewide survey of Ohio district superintendents and other education leaders on the most critical issues facing K-12 education showed they believe that education gains can be made despite funding cuts. But superintendents believe their success depends on freeing them to manage their school systems’ resources and personnel in more effective and productive ways.

Download the full Yearning to Break Free report.

A Unique Approach to Integration

Seeking Integration, Whatever the Path
New York Times
– February 27, 2011
Schools in Raleigh, NC are looking at a new plan to integrate their public schools, not by race or socioeconomic status, but by academic performance. Under this plan, no school would have an overwhelming number of failing students. Instead a school might have a 70-30 mix – 70 percent of students who have scored proficient on state tests and 30 percent who are below grade level.

Tools for Success

Formative Assessment – A Process, Not a Test
Education Week
– February 22, 2011
The formative-assessment process is an instructional approach that can double the speed of student learning, but educators need to understand how to use it effectively. While student assessments are a key component, it’s not just about the tests. It’s about using the tests to determine when and if adjustments to teaching are needed.

Calif. District Uses RTI to Boost Achievement for All
Education Week
– February 28, 2011
In just a few years, a California district went from one of the lowest performing in the state to a model for improvement and reform. Educators in this district credit Response to Intervention for helping to increase their student test scores.

New Orleans News

A State of Distrust
New Orleans Magazine
– February 2011
Polls show that the general public doesn’t trust the Orleans Parish School Board, but voters do want schools to be returned to local control eventually. So, how do we return schools to local control without jeopardizing the last five years of academic gains?

New Orleans 8th Graders Now Have Choices, Face Complex Decisions for High School
The Times-Picayune
– February 28, 2011
The menu of high school choices has greatly expanded since Katrina, and finding the right school and navigating the choices can be challenging. Some schools have strong athletic programs; others focus on getting all students into college. Fortunately, many elementary and middle schools now provide counselors to help 8th graders find the best high school fit.

2011 New Orleans Parents’ Guide Now Available
New Orleans Parent Organizing Network
– February 2011
The fifth edition of the New Orleans Parents’ Guide is now available. The Parents’ Guide provides easy-to-understand information about public schools in New Orleans, including information about new schools opening in 2011-2012 and updates on schools that are closing or have changed management. You can download the 2011 edition, or you can pick up a copy at a branch of the New Orleans Public Library or at a public school in Orleans Parish.

Charter Schools Join in the Beat of New Orleans Marching Band
The Times Picayune
– March 6, 2011
Several charter schools joined in a great New Orleans tradition this year, marching in a Mardi Gras parade.