A weekly roundup of the week’s most important news, information and blog posts about curriculum, teaching, education policy and other items of interest to the Core Knowledge community.
The Great Schism
Diane Ravitch vs. Checker Finn over the latter’s dismissal of Randi Weingarten’s inaugural speech as AFT President, in which she called for schools to become community centers offering a range of services.
Magic Bullets Frustrate Reformers With Elusive Ways
As Donald Rumsfeld did not say, “You go to school with the teachers you have. Not the teachers you wish you had.”
Text, Yes, But Is It Reading?
Are the hours kids and teenagers spend prowling the Web a threat to literacy? Or is it simply a new form of reading and writing?
The Politics of History
Lawmakers in California have had a busy summer deciding what students in the Golden State should be taught in school.
Could the demand to deliver differentiated instuction be part of why teachers burn out so quickly?
Parents’ failure to impose moral values in the home has left many children out of control, says the head of a U.K. teachers union, with educators now expected to effectively raise young people themselves.
Principal Apologizes for “Excellent” Rating
His school made AYP, earned an “excellent” rating from the state, and passed the 2008 Ohio Achievement. Principal David Root has just one thing to say: “I’m sorry.”
Best of the Blogs
What if “improving teacher quality” isn’t THE answer? at The Education Gadfly
We can’t hire enough great teachers, and we can’t get the best teachers to serve in the neediest areas, notes the Fordham Foundation’s Mike Petrilli. So what’s our Plan B?
On New York State Tests, A Growing Achievement Gap Between White/Asian and Black/Hispanic New York City Students at Eduwonkette
“As we all expected,” writes Eduwonkette, “the New York City Department of Education had questionable motives for stalling the release of the New York State scale score data.”
Snake Oil is still Snake Oil even when its Broader and Bolder at D-Ed Reckoning
Broader, Bolder needs a healthy dosage of humility, especially since so many of its bromides remain untested.
NCLB: Less Than Meets the Eye, More Than Nothing at Jay P. Greene’s Blog
NCLB is neither being unfunded nor a mandate. It’s as if the unfunded mandate crowd is saying: “The $10,000 per pupil we already get just pays for warehousing. If you actually want us to educate kids, that’ll cost ya extra.”
Your education road map to the 2008 state and national elections at Campaign K-12
Could there be an entire presidential debate focused on education? Maybe, if the Business Coalition for Student Achievement gets its way.
Good News (and Some Bad): A Report Card on U.S. Education at Brittanica Blog
While the highest performing students in the county are making steady gains, Karin Chenoweth notes, the lowest performing students are improving even faster in math and early reading.
Teaching and Curriculum
Teaching Secrets: Five Tips for the New Teacher
Hit the ground running and breathe when you leave. If you make you students the enemy, you will lose. And always remember, the show must go on.
Girls measure up to boys in math
The Associated Press
In the largest study of its kind, measuring the performances of more than 7 million children on standardized math tests, researchers found no difference in the scores of boys versus girls.
Education should lift all children
The Detroit Free Press
Six years after the passage of the federal No Child Left Behind law, Susan Neuman argues there is frustratingly little evidence that it will close the achievement gap between low-income, minority children and their middle-class peers.
Pay-Hike Plan for Teachers In D.C. Entails Probation
The Washington Post
A plan floated by Washington, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee offers teachers huge salary increases—if they give up seniority and spend a year on probation.
No Single Explanation For Test Score Bump
The Washington Post
Test score gains across the U.S. illustrate a basic disagreement among educators since the 2002 enactment of No Child Left Behind: Are kids getting smarter, or are tests getting easier?
Education as a Civil Rights Issue
The New York Times
Recent events suggest that the civil rights establishment generally is ready to break with the teachers’ unions and take an independent stand on education reform.
McCain, Obama Offer Dueling Education Plans
National Public Radio
Barack Obama is proposing a laundry list of educational benefits that would reach from birth to college. John McCain, plans to focus on enabling local educational initiatives and expanding virtual learning.
The Greatest Scandal
The Wall Street Journal
The profound failure of inner-city public schools to teach children may be the nation’s greatest scandal. The differences between the two Presidential candidates on this could hardly be more stark.
Homeschooling and Parenting
The Downside of Redshirting: The trouble with older kindergarten
At what age should children go to kindergarten? At what age should your child go to kindergarten? What if these questions appear to have different answers?
Unschool vs. School
A home-schooled teenager went to school for a year to see what it was like.
A Teenage Mother, Wiser, Speaks Up
The New York Times
“Some girls think it’s cool to have a baby. I want them thinking straight. I want them to really know the consequences from somebody who’s living with it every day.”
Diversity Coming to History Everywhere
The Park Record (Park City, Utah)
New interpretive material at the Park City Museum will include a sign depicting Native Americans in Park City, even though very few ever established residence here. Research indicated that American museum goers “have simply come to expect Native American history in their museums.”