Saturday, April 19, 2014

All Week @ The Answer Sheet 4-19-14

The Answer Sheet:

All Week @ The Answer Sheet

Clergy warn Christie: Your Newark school reform is a mess
Dozens of members of the clergy in Newark have warned Gov. Chris Christie (R) that school reform efforts by his appointed superintendent are causing so much controversy and “unnecessary instability”  in the city that they are “concerned about the level of public anger we see growing in the community” over the issue. The state-operated Newark […]

Why community schools are part of the answer
Brock Cohen taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 12 years and is now pursuing a doctorate at the University of Southern California while working at the nonprofit Los Angeles Education Partnership as a schools transformation coach. He helps develop community schools, which build strategic partnerships with both public and private organizations to provide essential supports and reso

Arne Duncan dismisses critics: ‘Lots of drama, lots of noise’
There he goes again. Education Secretary Arne Duncan went to New York recently and introduced state Education Commissioner John King at a function at New York University, calling him “a remarkable leader” and “as smart and as thoughtful as anyone working in this space.” As for the growing number of critics of King’s education reforms, Duncan […]
The real meaning of diversity (beyond the Benetton ads)
When colleges say they believe in diversity, what do they really mean? It talk of diversity nothing more than a gimmick to get college websites and brochures to look like politically correct Benetton ad?  Alejandra Dubcovsky, an assistant professor of history at Yale University, addresses this issue in the following post. Dubcovsky’s research and teaching focus on colonial America. She is a […]

APR 17

The ‘new’ Graze to the Top program
If you need a laugh, this is for you. It’s by Matt Farmer, a Chicago trial lawyer  who is a member of the Local School Council at Philip Rogers Elementary School. Farmer wrote this satirical piece about Race to the Top, the competitive funding program run by Arne Duncan’s Education Department to dispense federal grants […]
Bad behavior in college: Not just at Dartmouth
Philip J. Hanlon, the new president of Dartmouth College, has just gone public with his concern that the Ivy League school’s future “is being hijacked by extreme behavior,” by which he means in part sexual assaults and the proliferation of groups with “racist and sexist undertones.” He also lamented a campus culture marked by commonplace […]
Seven things kids need to read better (and raising standards isn’t one of them)
For two decades,  Ellie Herman was a writer/producer for television shows including “The Riches,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Chicago Hope” and “Newhart.” Her fiction has appeared in literary journals, among them The Massachusetts Review, The Missouri Review and the O.Henry Awards Collection. In 2007, she decided, “on an impulse,” she wrote, to become an English teacher and […]
Even the strongest relationships sour
Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, and John White, Louisiana’s education commissioner, were once a great school reform pair — seemingly inseparable.  Times have changed. In early 2011, Jindal tapped White, then the superintendent of the Recovery School District in New Orleans, to become education chief in Louisiana and the state Board of Education approved the […]

APR 16

What is the SAT good for?
The College Board released new details on Wednesday about how the SAT will change in early 2016. My colleague Nick Anderson wrote about the changes in this story, explaining how the test, once billed as evaluating “aptitude,” is now being marketed as a measure of high school achievement. But does it even do that? Bob Schaeffer, public […]
Students don’t need a ‘voice.’ Here’s what they really need.
Sam Levin was a student when, in 2011, he founded the Independent Project at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Massachusetts. He had thrown out an idea to administrations about allowing students to create a learning environment in which teachers serve as mentors and coaches while students post questions and design ways to answer them in unorthodox […]
Live online chat at 1 p.m. today
I’ll be doing a live chat on at 1 p.m. today, so if you have any questions or comments about anything in education (or even marginally related), send them in here: Here’s a transcript of the first chat, and here is the transcript of last week’s.

APR 15

Testing resistance movement exploding around country
The testing resistance movement is growing rapidly around the country and parents are opting out their children from high-stakes standardized tests in most states. What do test reformers want to accomplish? Monty Neill, executive director of  FairTest, explains in this post. FairTest, or the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, is dedicated to eliminating […]

APR 14

Guess where Florida is field testing its new standardized tests? (Not Florida)
Alberto M. Carvalho is the superintendent of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida, and was named the national 2014 Superintendent of the Year by the School Superintendents Association. He’s held that job for more than five years, having worked his way through the school district as a teacher, assistant principal, lobbyist and other positions. […]
The big losers in NYC charter fight: students with disabilities
With big bucks from Wall Street supporters behind her, charter network operator Eva Moskowitz won a fight she started with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio over charter schools. De Blasio got politically hurt in the battle after being steamrolled by Moskowitz and Gov. Andrew Cuomo — but in the end, it isn’t de Blasio who […]
Frequent school moves can harm children’s mental health — study
A  study conducted in England concludes that children who jump from school to school frequently are at increased risk of developing psychotic symptoms when they became preteens.  The study, titled “School Mobility and Prospective Pathways to Psychotic-like Symptoms in Early Adolescence: a Prospective Birth Cohort Study” and published online by the Journal of the American Academy of […]

APR 13

Statisticians slam popular teacher evaluation method
You can be certain that members of the American Statistical Association, the largest organization in the United States representing statisticians and related professionals, know a thing or two about data and measurement. That makes the statement that the association just issued very important for school reform. The ASA just slammed the high-stakes “value-added method” (VAM) of […]
Where kids get suspended for not sitting up straight
Some school disciplines are lenient. Some are strict. And then there’s the Noble Charter School network in Chicago. At the 14 Noble campuses, kids get suspended for infractions such as not sitting up straight in class, being a minute late and not looking at the teacher when instructed. And until last week, students ordered into […]
‘We’re real parents in a real crisis’
QUEST, or Quality Education for Every Student, is a volunteer parent group in Massachusetts working to persuade state legislators to adequately fund public education and maintain the current cap on the number of charter schools. Mary Battenfeld, a member of QUEST and a parent of three Boston Public School students, writes in this post why […]