In the News: A Clipping Service – January 16, 2012

In this edition of In the News:

  • Measuring Teacher Effectiveness
  • New Superintendents Chosen for Department of Education and RSD
  • Louisiana Education Stories
  • National News
  • Announcements

Measuring Teacher Effectiveness

Big Study Links Good Teachers to Lasting Gain
New York Times – January 6, 2012
A new study of the value-added method of teacher evaluation shows that teachers who help raise their students’ standardized-test scores have a lasting positive effect on those students’ lives beyond academics. The study tracked 2.5 million students over 20 years and found that students with high value-added teachers are less likely to become pregnant as teenagers, more likely to enroll in college, and more likely to earn more money as adults.

Popular Frameworks Found to Identify Effective Teachers
Education Week – January 6, 2012
The latest Gates Foundation study looks at classroom observations as a method of teacher evaluation. Multiple observers trained on one of five teaching frameworks evaluated over 7,500 classroom lessons. All five teaching frameworks were shown to be effective, bearing a positive relationship to student achievement. The study concludes that classroom observations can be effective if observers are carefully trained to ensure consistent application over multiple classes. The study also notes that teacher observation alone is less reliable than a combination of observation, student feedback and value-added measures of student test score growth.

New Superintendents Chosen for Department of Education and RSD

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education selected John White as the new State Superintendent for Education. White has named Patrick Dobard as Interim Superintendent of the Recovery School District, pending BESE approval. For more information on, and reaction to, these appointments, read the articles below.

State Education Board Names Superintendent of Education
WAFB – January 11, 2012

Deputy Superintendent Patrick Dobard to Head Recovery School District
The Times-Picayune – January 11, 2012

New Education Leaders are Champions of Independent Charter Schools and Test-based Accountability
The Times-Picayune – January 12, 2012

Louisiana Education Stories

School Voucher Program Gets Fresh Look in Louisiana
The Times-Picayune – January 15, 2012
Governor Jindal is expected to push for an expansion of Louisiana’s voucher program. Vouchers have seen a resurgence in national support in the past year. In New Orleans, early data suggests that a number of schools participating in the voucher program are struggling with student achievement.

Education Week Survey Gives Louisiana Schools a ‘C’
The Times-Picayune – January 12, 2012
Education Week released the results of its annual Quality Counts survey, giving Louisiana an overall grade of 77.2, or a C. That is slightly higher than the national average of 76.5 and puts the state at No. 23 nationwide. Louisiana gets an A in the category of Standards, Assessments and Accountability, but in the category of K-12 Achievement, which is based primarily on National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) scores, Louisiana scored an F.

National News

Report Finds Child Poverty Rising in the States
Education Week – December 30, 2011
The nation’s child poverty rate has increased each of the last four years and is likely to continue to climb in the near term according to a report from the Brookings Institution. The report tracks the economic well-being of children during the current recession using three state-by-state indicators: children with an unemployed parent, individuals receiving nutrition assistance benefits, and child poverty. Louisiana ranks sixth highest in child poverty with a rate over 27%, compared to the national average of 22%.

2011-12 Federal Budget: Department of Education Overview
Education Commission of the States – January 2012
Curious to know how federal budget cuts will affect education? This easy-to-read budget summary outlines which education programs got more funding (Title I, IDEA), which programs will stay the same (Striving Readers) and which programs were cut significantly or completely (Race to the Top, Foreign Language Assistance, Teaching American History).

Teach For America Teachers Moving into Policy Positions
Minnesota Post – January 13, 2012
John White, Louisiana’s new State Superintendent of Education, is just one of many Teach For America alums who are finding their way into high level, public policy positions in education. Tennessee’s new state commissioner of education is a TFA alum. So is the chancellor of Washington, D.C. schools. TFAers are school superintendents in NYC, Massachusetts, Arizona and elsewhere. Some 600 are school principals, and, of course, Louisiana’s own Kira Orange Jones was just elected to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Costs of Online Learning
Education Gadfly – January 12, 2012
A new study compares the cost of operating a traditional school to the cost of operating a virtual school. Overall, virtual schools and blended schools (a combination of traditional and virtual) are less expensive to run, especially in areas like labor and school operations. So now the question is, are they more effective?

No Child Left Behind Turns 10 – Perspectives on the Law
Education Week – January 5, 2012
In recognition of the 10th anniversary of the No Child Left Behind Act, Education Week asked seventeen leaders in the K-12 community to write brief essays that consider the law’s impact.


Special Event to Launch National School Choice Week 2012
You are invited to the kickoff of National School Choice Week on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at the UNO Lakefront Arena from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Entertainment will be provided by The Temptations and Ellis Marsalis. This event is free and open to the public.

National School Choice Week is a grassroots movement of professional associations, advocacy groups, parents, students and teachers calling for an effective education system that has the flexibility to allow parents to choose the learning environment that is best suited for their child.

LAPCS Launches Innovative Online Tool to Track Student and School Performance
The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools has launched Charter Discovery, an online tool that provides in-depth analysis and demographic information on Louisiana’s charter schools. The website allows you to access data on individual schools, track student performance by gender and ethnicity and compare multiple schools at one time.