Sent to the San Francisco Chronicle, Dec 3, 2013The media has learned nothing from the extensive research done on international test scores in the last decade ("U.S. Students Get Stuck in Middle of the Pack on OECD Test," December 3). Study after study shows that the strongest predictor of high scores on these tests is poverty, a conclusion that is backed by a number of other studies sho
Don’t you hate it when you take the time to answer a survey, then never hear a word about the results? Rest assured, EdSource won’t let that happen. In November, many of you participated in our first survey of EdSource Today readers. We were very gratified by the response. Nearly 200 ... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit the Edsource Today website for full links, other content, and more! ]
The Guardian has published a major investigative piece that once again exposes the scandalous ways of the right wing lobbying group, American Legislative Exchange Council(ALEC). Among the biggest revelations: ALEC may soon face a budget crisis, and is feeling the heat of public pressure from activists and its own membership in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting by George Zimmerman in Flo
I tried. I really tried. Maybe there is something wrong with me. I mean who wouldn't want a nice, new, clean book with every word you should say written out in nice, clean, bold text? Who wouldn't want each lesson guided? Each lesson telling you what to do, how to do it, and when to do it? I tried. I couldn't do it. When it told me to say certain words, I found myself saying other words.
Poverty rates alone don’t explain the U.S.’s low PISA scores, which came out today. (Hechinger) Dana Goldstein: Parsing PISA means examining income inequality, tracking, and healthcare, too. (Slate) Diane Ravitch: Remember that the U.S. has never been first on international tests. (Answer Sheet) Shanghai isn’t “China”—and one writer says it’s cheating to allow the media to equate them. (Slate) ST
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio with members of his early education working group. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s ever-expanding transition team just got a little bigger. De Blasio today introduced the six-person group in charge of figuring out how to make a reality out of his campaign’s boldest pledge, to provide full-day pre-kindergarten to nearly 70,000 four-year-olds. De Blasio first announced he wou
Leaked documents today reveal the secretive lobbying group ALEC is losing members and financial support as the public becomes aware of its goal to empower corporations and destroy the middle class.For years, the Koch-funded organization has acted as a corporate dating service, funding lavish vacations for state lawmakers and introducing them to corporate donors with deep pockets. In exchange, lawm
For far too long, three little words have been holding back the adult interests that long to put students first. What are they you ask? The teachers union conflict of interest laws. Thankfully these outdated and antiquated restrictions are now out of sight and out of mind where they belong. And while haters like you are ...read moreThe post Carerruption | EduShyster appeared first on NPE News Brie
The news reports say that the test scores of American students on the latest PISA test are “stagnant,” “lagging,” “flat,” etc. The U.S. Department of Education would have us believe–yet again–that we are in an unprecedented crisis and that we must double down on the test-and-punish strategies of the past dozen years. The myth persists ...read moreThe post My View of the PISA Scores | Diane Ravitch
Finland was not at the top of the PISA league tables in the latest assessment. So what does this mean for the future? Here, Pasi Sahlberg explains that Finland never cared about being first. What it wanted most was to have the kind of education that was best for youth development. What will happen now ...read moreThe post Pasi Sahlberg: How Should PISA Scores Affect Finnish Education? | Diane Ravi
Though the number of American Indian farmers has soared in recent years, many of them still have difficulty getting access to credit. Despite a growing number of American Indian youth joining their local chapters of Future Farmers of America, few young Natives are enrolling in food and agricultural programs in college. And in spite of food production taking place on many reservations, there is lit
When it comes to educational performance among advanced nations, the United States remains in the middle of the pack. But when it comes to eliminating educational disparities between poor students and their more affluent peers, the U.S. lags behind “many other countries.” Those are among the key findings from the latest version of the Programme for International Student Assessment or the PISA 2012
Here are some excellent additions to The Best Posts & Articles On 2012 PISA Test Results I posted this morning just after they came out: NASSP Statement on PISA Results: Despite Fervor Over Scores, US Continues to Ignore Lessons My View of the PISA Scores is by Diane Ravitch. The PISA Puzzle is by Dana Goldstein. Here are a couple of excerpts from her Slate piece: There’s another PISA result t
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces California
Delegates to the 2014 U.S. Senate Youth Program
Senator Sabrina Mia Van Zuiden sounds good!
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that two academically accomplished and civically active high school students will represent California in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation's 52nd annual U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP).
Daniel Cameron Hamidi of Yorba Linda (Orange County), a senior at Valencia High School in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, and Sabrina Mia Van Zuiden of Chula Vista (San Diego County), a senior at Hilltop High School in the Sweetwater Union High School District, each will receive a $5,000 scholarship and attend a one-week, all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March.
Torlakson also named two alternates in the event one or both of the delegates are unable to attend. The first alternate is Justin Marc Hopkins of Los Angeles, a senior at Loyola High School, a parochial school in Los Angeles. The second alternate isWilliam Oh of Santa Clarita (Los Angeles County), a senior at Golden Valley High School in the William S. Hart Union High School District.
"Young people like these four are a big part of the reason I'm so optimistic about California's future," Torlakson said. "They combine a natural curiosity and care for the world around them with hard work and support from their schools and communities. I'm proud that they will be representing California in Washington."
Students must be nominated by their high school principal to participate in the program. A selection committee from the California Department of Education (CDE) reviewed eligible nominees, and Torlakson selected the awardees based on the quality of the application, high academic achievement, interpersonal and communication skills, knowledge of American government and U.S. history, involvement in school and community activities, demonstrated qualities of leadership, extracurricular activities, and service to the community.
The four students are scheduled to be recognized by the State Board of Education during its January 15-16, 2014, meeting in Sacramento.
Daniel Cameron Hamidi of Yorba Linda (Orange County) is a senior at Valencia High School in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District.
With a passion for politics and the law, Daniel is secretary of the Associated Student Body (student body government), where he has held office, including sophomore class president, since his freshman year. Beginning in 2011, he has been a student representative to the School Site Council.
He is also state speaker of the Assembly for Junior State of America (JSA), one of numerous JSA posts he has held throughout his high school career. He is captain of the school's mock trial team and director of Youth Outreach for Boy's State, among many other activities, including volunteering for more than 200 hours as an American Cancer Society Legislative Ambassador and several hundred more hours working for political campaigns or for community-based organizations.
Academically, Daniel carries a 4.4 grade point average and is a National AP Scholar and a National Merit Scholar semifinalist, scoring in the top 1 percent of juniors nationwide on the 2012 PSAT. He won first place in the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association Essay Contest when he was a junior. As a sophomore, he made the most phone calls in the state for the Yes on Proposition 29 (the California Cancer Research Act) campaign.
Daniel, his sister, and mother fled oppression in Iran and from that harrowing experience he decided to set his sights on becoming a federal judge. "My mother's attorney and the judge quickly became my heroes, and I longed to do what they did one day—help those who suffer," he wrote in his USSYP application. Daniel also would like to run for Congress and to open a nonprofit organization to provide counseling for abused women and children.
Delegate Sabrina Mia Van Zuiden
Sabrina Mia Van Zuiden of Chula Vista (San Diego County) is a senior at Hilltop High School in the Sweetwater Union High School District.
Sabrina is vice president of the Associated Student Body, a student representative to the School Site Council, and for the past two years, president of the Hilltop High United with Uganda club, which raises funds for a sister school in Kampala, Uganda. She has been a member of the Academic League team since her freshman year, serving as president in her junior year. Sabrina has also been a library volunteer, an elementary and high school tutor, and a San Diego County Registrar of Voters volunteer.
In her junior year, she was presented with the Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award through the University of Rochester for "demonstrated commitment to understanding and addressing difficult social issues, leadership and dedication to community action" in addition to her strong grades and rigorous courses. She was one of six students to represent America at the International Youth Forum, a leadership conference on Jeju Island, South Korea.
With a 4.34 grade point average, Sabrina is an AP Scholar with Distinction and was awarded a certificate of excellence by her high school after scoring a top score of 5 on all her AP exams.
She hopes to pursue undergraduate studies in sociology and business at the University of California, Berkeley. "From there, I'd like to go on to earn a master's degree in sociology and participate in research, specifically concerning the human trafficking issue growing in our country," she wrote in her USSYP application.
First Alternate Justin Marc Hopkins
First alternate is Justin Marc Hopkins of Los Angeles (Los Angeles County), a senior at Loyola High School, a parochial school in Los Angeles. Justin is president of the Associated Student Body and was a representative in his junior year and class president in both his sophomore and freshman years.
Justin has been president for the past three years of Loyola Parliamentary—Speech and Debate and president and founder of the Loyola Bipartisan Club. He is also president of the Cedars-Sinai Hospital Teen Advisory Board and is a Music for Healing Singer, volunteering more than 450 hours. He is also a member of the Loyola Choir and lead singer in a local band. As president of the Loyola Peace and Justice Coalition, Justin traveled to Sacramento to lobby for Senate Bill 9, the fair sentencing for youth legislation signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in September.
Justin carries a 4.57 grade point average, is one for five students in his class that earned a Loyola Outstanding Student Award, is a National Merit semifinalist, an AP scholar with Honor, in addition to receiving many other academic acknowledgments.
"My goal is to help shape the United States of American into a stronger, faster and more prosperous nation," he wrote in his USSYP application. "I want to serve in Congress as a United States Senator from the great state of California where I can hopefully make meaningful policy changes."
Second Alternate William Oh
Second alternate is William Oh of Santa Clarita (Los Angeles), a senior at Golden Valley High School in the William S. Hart Union High School District and is president of the Associated Student Body. He has been active in school politics since his freshman year, when he was class president.
Since the beginning of his high school career, he has been continually active in school events and politics, including as founder and president of the community service-oriented Octagon Club, president of the Speech and Debate Club, co-president of the Key Club, board member of the City of Santa Clarita Visions in Progress Youth Advisory Committee, and has been a summer intern for Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon.
William has donated hundreds of hours in community service activities, including campaigning for McKeon, President Barack Obama, Warren Furutani for Los Angeles City Council, and John Choi for Los Angeles City Council.
William has a 4.5 grade point average and is an AP Scholar with Distinction, in addition to receiving several academic awards. As a sophomore he was a Green Your School national winner and was awarded a $5,000 environmental grant from dosomething.org for his recycling campaign.
"The vote and the American system of government and politics make me marvel," he wrote in his USSYP application. "I want to be able to continue this American tradition: the power of the vote, the opportunity to fight for a better life, and the chance to advocate for what is right."
# # # #
Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100
The Obama administration’s cheerleading for the Common Core State Standards Initiative is designed to calm critics and rally supporters for the ambitious overhaul of the nation’s elementary and secondary school curriculums.
But that effort may be backfiring, and some analysts say it’s time for the president, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and other officials to back off or risk fueling more opposition.
Common Core, which establishes specific benchmarks for students in math, English and other subjects, is designed to align often-diverse state curriculums.
After an early rush to embrace reform, a growing number of states are pulling back from Common Core or from the tests and assessments based on the initiative.
Louisiana and Massachusetts are the latest to announce delays in tests and assessments tied to Common Core amid growing skepticism from parents and others.