DCPCSA November 2015 Newsletter

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November 2015 Newsletter How schools would be judged under ‘Every Student Succeeds,’ the new No Child Left Behind
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Nov 30, 2015- Federal lawmakers on Monday released the final text of a compromise bill to rewrite No Child Left Behind, including closely watched language outlining how the nation’s K-12 schools would be judged — and how struggling schools would be improved — if the legislation passes. Read more

The Gift of Reading
By Frank Bruni
New York Times

Nov 25, 2015- The list of what a child needs in order to flourish is short but nonnegotiable. Food. Shelter. Play. Love. Something else, too, and it’s meted out in even less equal measure. Read more

Goodbye, No Child Left Behind
By Claudio Sanchez

Nov 30, 2015-After a long stalemate, a bipartisan team of congressional negotiators has agreed to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The law, currently known as No Child Left Behind, sends roughly $14 billion a year to schools that serve mostly low-income students. Read more

Is homelessness among U.S. kids declining, or surging? It depends on who you ask.
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Nov 19, 2015- child homelessness declining, or is it skyrocketing? If you are looking at federal government figures for the answer, you could be forgiven for being confused. Read more

Negotiators Come to Agreement on Revising No Child Left Behind Law
By Mokoto Rich
New York Times

Nov 19, 2015- Overcoming years of partisan bickering over the federal government’s role in public education, congressional negotiators came to an agreement on Thursday to revise the No Child Left Behind law for the first time since it was signed by President George W. Bush 14 years ago. Read more

Does It Pay To Pay Teachers $100,000?
By Ryan Schuette

Nov 19, 2015- We're brought up to believe our teachers are modern-day saints. Just look at how we portray them in the movies and on TV. From Dead Poets Society's iconic Mr. Keating to resourceful LouAnne Johnson in Dangerous Minds, we reinforce time and again that teaching is a noble calling.Read more

School readiness gaps are improving, except for black kids
By Richard V. Reeves

Nov 13, 2015- There is an encouraging message from a new paper by Sean Reardon and Ximena Portilla: school readiness gaps are narrowing. But it’s not all good news. Between 1998 and 2010, inequality in school readiness—in terms of math, reading, and behavior—declined quite significantly, according to Reardon and Portilla’s analysis of ECLS data, being presented today at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Annual Conference. This positive trend can be seen for gaps in both income and race (or at least, for Hispanic-white differences). Read more

Succeeding Where Others Have Failed: Teaching Teachers to Make Financial Literacy Compelling
By Teachers College, Columbia University

Nov 13, 2015- The grades are in on states’ efforts to teach financial literacy to high school students, and the results are not ones that anyone wants to take to the bank. In a new report by Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy, 26 states received grades of C or worse on their literacy requirements for high school students. Twelve states got an F, and only five got an A. Read more

A Third Way, Not A Third Rail on School Discipline
By Sarah Yatso
Real Clear Education

Nov 12, 2015- Overly harsh and unfair school discipline policies have, for years, been fodder for finger-pointing and the rampant blame game makes it less likely that we will find smart policy solutions for an intractable problem that plagues all school types. Read more

This high school student just won $250,000 for his film explaining Einstein’s theory of relativity
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Nov 9, 2015- Ohio high school senior Ryan Chester became the inaugural winner of a new college scholarship on Sunday night, winning $250,000 for his 7-minute film that uses simple props and hand-drawn graphics to explain Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Read more

Clinton's Baseless Charter School Claim
By Sara Mead
US News

Nov 24, 2015- Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton told a South Carolina audience that "most charter schools ... don't take the hardest-to-teach kids," accelerating an already heated public debate about charter school discipline policies and the role of charters in education reform.  Read more

Elevating the Status of the Teacher Educator
By Teachers College, Columbia University

Nov 17, 2015- As the product of an alternative certification route for new teachers in New Mexico, Bill Davis found himself unprepared for the realities of the classroom. He had neither interned as a student-teacher nor taken basic courses in instructional methods, and found himself not only having to learn quickly on the job, but for the first time asking himself some of the more fundamental questions about his role in the classroom. Read more

Are we facing a nationwide teacher shortage?
By Dick Startz
Brookings Institute

Nov 9, 2015- Here’s a question to consider: Are teacher shortages... A. Real? B. Imaginary? C. Both? D. Neither? Are we facing a nationwide teacher shortage? Read more

To Educate a Diverse Nation, Topple the Ivory Tower
By Marybeth Gasman
Huffington Post

Nov 2, 2015- Visit an American college campus today and you'll see a more diverse student body than ever before. Over the last 30 years, the number of Hispanic students has risen five-fold, Asian and Pacific Islander enrollment has tripled, black enrollment has risen 150 percent and Native American enrollment has doubled. Read more

School Truancy Needs a Career and Technical Solution
By Carol Randolph
North Dallas Gazette

Nov 11, 2015- A sobering report released by the Children’s Law Center and D.C. Lawyers for Youthsays District of Columbia high schools are struggling with a chronic truancy problem that at any given time involves more than half of their enrollment. The report is critical of anti-truancy measures that increase administrative and legal interventions without addressing the underlying cause. Read more

Exclusive interview with Irene Holtzman, executive director of FOCUS
By Mark Lerner
Parents have School Choice Kids Win

Nov 23, 2015- I had the distinct privilege of sitting down recently with Irene Holtzman, the newly selected executive director of Friends of Choice in Urban Schools. The first question I wanted to ask her is why she was the one selected for the position. Read more
A quarter of D.C. students ‘on track’ for college, PARCC test results show
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Nov 30, 2015- Twenty-five percent of the students in third grade through eighth grade in the District met or exceeded expectations on new standardized tests in English last spring, and 24 percent met a new benchmark on updated math tests, according to results released Monday by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.Read more

DC Public Charter Schools Show Significant Achievement in PARCC Assessment
By Scott Pearson
DC Public Charter School Board

Nov 30, 2015- As we acknowledged during the release of the High School PARCC results a month ago, this year’s results set a baseline from where we will improve. What we know now is that about a quarter of our children are at or exceeding standards, and another quarter are approaching these standards. While there is no question that these results represent tremendous improvement over where we would have been five years ago, we also have no illusions that we have a long way to go. We are committed to meeting that challenge. Read more

Just 4 percent of special education students in the District considered proficient on new PARCC tests
By Michael Allison Chandler
Washington Post

Nov 30, 2015- Just 4 percent of special education students in the District in grades 3 through 8 scored proficient on new standardized tests, according to results released Monday by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. That’s compared to about a quarter of all students who met a new college-ready benchmark on the updated tests. Read more

Charter-Traditional School Collaboration Must Center on Student Achievement
By Dr. Ramona Edelin
Washington Informer

Nov 3, 2015- Just days ago, a U.S. federal court issued a preliminary order in a case that has been progressing through the legal system. The D.C. Association for Chartered Public Schools, with Eagle Public Charter School and Washington Latin Public Charter School as co-litigants, is asking the court to enforce District law. D.C. law requires that every District public school student at the same grade level or with the same special-education needs be funded with equal local taxpayer dollars.  Read more

Clinton's charter school flip-flop betrays her insincerity
By Washington Examiner

Nov 16, 2015- Facing a presidential primary against Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton has been working to co-opt his support base by pandering vigorously to her party's left-wing. The most glaring example of this came in last month, when she suddenly abandoned her full-throated support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.Read more

D.C. school gets high marks for home visits
By Kellye Lynn

Oct 29, 2015-A program that takes teachers into their students' homes is showing success in improving reading and attendance. Every teacher at D.C. Scholars Stanton Elementary in Southeast is expected to conduct a home visit between July and October with their students' parents. Read more

Districts steer disproportionate funds to a small segment of the teaching force
By Marguerite Roza
District Chronicles

Nov 23, 2015- By most accounts, teachers aren’t paid enough. On an annual basis, teacher salaries lag those of other professions. Paltry earnings are often linked to high teacher turnover or insufficient quality in the workforce. Read more

College enrollment rates are dropping, especially among low-income students
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Nov 24, 2015- Low-income high school graduates were far less likely to enroll in higher education in 2013 than in 2008, a downward trend that came at the same time the Obama administration was pushing to boost college access and completion, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data. Read more

If we had a more equitable DC…
By Leah Hendey
Urban Institute

Nov 19, 2015- The disparities in the District of Columbia are sobering. At a conference hosted by the City First Foundation earlier this month, I highlighted data demonstrating that Wards 7 and 8, east of the Anacostia River, are lagging behind in development, business growth, income, and high school graduation rates. Ed Lazere from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute shared that one in four children east of the Anacostia lives in extreme poverty. Despite a 54 percent citywide increase in average family income since 1980 (adjusted for inflation), family incomes in Ward 7 have remained stagnant. In Ward 8, they are below 1980 levels. Read more

DC Public Charter Schools Serve Students from All Socio-Economic Backgrounds
By DC Public Charter School Board

Nov 20, 2015- Contrary to what some claim, public charter schools are serving students from all socio-economic backgrounds and demographic groups in the District of Columbia. These are the findings of a new, comprehensive School Equity Report released on November 19 by the District government. Undermining claims by some that public charter schools pick and choose students and avoid certain demographic groups, the School Equity Report found Read more

D.C.’s school reforms are yielding results
By Anthony A. Williams and Donald E. Graham
Washington Post

Oct 29, 2015- District residents have to be confused after the release of apparently conflicting student test results this week. The new annual tests given to some D.C. students seem to show dramatic declines in the percentages of high school students scoring “proficient,” or working at grade level. Read more

D.C. greenlights path to high school diploma for those who pass the GED
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Nov 19, 2015- The District’s State Board of Education approved a resolution Wednesday night directing the city’s top education official to draft regulations that would allow students who pass the GED exam to receive a high school diploma. Read more

D.C. charter applicant targets 'at-risk' students
By Moriah Costa
Education Watchdog

Nov 17, 2015- A charter school group wants to help disengaged teenagers in the District graduate from high school and go to college. Pathways In Education (PIE) submitted an application to the D.C. Public Charter School Board to open a blended learning high school for students deemed “at-risk.” Read more

Exclusive interview with Shavonne Gibson, Director of Instruction Center City Public Charter Schools
By Mark Lerner
Parents Have School Choice Kids Win

Nov 18, 2015- I recently had the great pleasure of sitting down with Ms. Shavonne Gibson, the director of instruction for the six campuses of Center City Public Charter Schools. I had met Ms. Gibson a year ago at an Ahead of the Curve conference sponsored by Fight for Children and the DC Public Charter School Board. Read more

D.C. has the nation’s fourth-highest concentration of charter school students
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Nov 11, 2015- The District has the nation’s fourth-highest concentration of charter school students, behind New Orleans, Detroit and Flint, Mich., according to a report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Read more

The nation’s high school dropout rate has fallen, study says
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Nov 10, 2015- e U.S. high school dropout rate has fallen in recent years, with the number of dropouts declining from 1 million in 2008 to about 750,000 in 2012, according to a new study to be released Tuesday. Read more

How to build a better teacher: Groups push a 9-point plan called TeachStrong
By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post

Nov 8, 2015- A coalition of 40 education groups — including some strange bedfellows — is starting a national campaign aimed at “modernizing and elevating” the teaching profession.Read more

How do parents in prison affect children in school?
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Nov 13, 2015- The D.C. Council wants to study how parents’ incarceration affects their children’s performance in schools across the District and the types of supports that might help these students. Read more

PARCC switches to a Chinese menu of standardized testing options
By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post

Nov 12, 2015- The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, which created a standardized test to measure whether students have mastered the Common Core State Standards, announced Thursday that it will allow states to pick and choose whether to buy a complete test or just a portion or even individual test questions. Read more

Feds spent $7 billion to fix failing schools, with mixed results
By Lyndsey Layton and Emma Brown
Washington Post

Nov 12, 2015- A national program that pumped a record $7 billion into failing schools — and became one of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s signature policies — has yielded mixed results, according to a new federal analysis released Thursday. Read more

PARCC scores show success of BASIS (pg 6)
By Pater Bezanson, CEO, Basis DC
The Northwest Current

Nov 11, 2015- Our BASIS DC families and prospective families across the city are rightfully proud of the high BASIS DC scores on the latest Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests. Read more

Bad tests
By Editorial Board
Washington Post

Nov 8, 2015- A NEW REPORT on student testing is prefaced with the observation that testing in the nation’s schools is the most hotly debated issue in public education today, with some of the debate well-informed and some “self-serving and misleading.” Read more

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