DCPCSA January 2015 Newsletter

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January Newsletter 2015 Why Annual Statewide Testing Is Critical to Judging School Quality
By Matthew M. Chingos and Martin R. West

Jan 20, 2015- With Congress moving rapidly to revise the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), no issue has proven more contentious than whether the federal government should continue to require that states test all students in math and reading annually in grades three through eight. Read more

D.C. teacher of the year helps charter students succeed
By Moriah Costa

Jan 23, 2015- For Jennifer Ramacciotti’s eighth grade math students at KIPP DC AIM academy, it’s all “go, go, go.” “We don’t waste a minute,” she said. Read more

Educational Outcomes Today: How Did This Happen In America?
By American Enterprise Institute

Jan 27, 2015- “On February 1st, 1960, four students from North Carolina A&T sat down at a lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., and demanded to be served. In 2014, four black students sit down at a lunch counter where they’re welcome and can’t read the menu. Read more

Breaking the Cycle of Failed School Reforms
By Anthony S. Bryk, Louis M. Gomez, Alicia Grunow, and Paul G. Lemahieu
Harvard Education Letter
January/February 2015- The recent history of school reform reveals a disturbing pattern: Over and over, change efforts spread rapidly across the education landscape, despite an absence of knowledge as to how to effect improvements envisioned by reform advocates, or whether it’s even possible. Read more

What Would It Mean to ‘Fix’ No Child Left Behind?
By Evan McGlinn
New York Times
Feb 3, 2015- The Elementary and Secondary Education Act is up for reauthorization, and Congress is busy reviewing the federal education law, which since 2001 is often referred as No Child Left Behind. Read more

Teaching Character in Our Schools
By To the Editor

Jan 19, 2015- Before considering what educational approach is most “successful,” the conversation needs to be directed to rethinking the fundamental aims of education and schools themselves. Read more

Support Our Students
By David Brooks

Jan 19, 2015- All college commencements are happy, but community-college commencements are the happiest of all. Many of the graduates are the first in their extended family to have earned degrees. Read more

Social Programs That Work
By Ron Haskins

December 31, 2014- HARDLY anyone knows it, but since its earliest days the Obama administration has been pursuing the most important initiative in the history of federal attempts to use evidence to improve social programs. Read more

Ed. School Deans Join Forces to Bolster Teacher Preparation
By Stephen Sawchuk

Jan 26, 2015- More than a dozen education school deans are banding together, aiming to design a coherent set of teacher-preparation experiences, validate them, and shore up support for them within their own colleges and the field at large. Read more

Differentiation Does, in Fact, Work
By Carol Ann Tomlinson

Jan 27, 2015- It will not surprise educators who know my work to learn that my experiences and beliefs regarding academic diversity in classrooms differ from those of James R. Delisle, who recently made the case in an Education Week Commentary that differentiated Read more

Why Do Some Schools Feel Like Prisons?
By Samina Hadi-Tabassum

Jan 27, 2015- Watching the protests and listening to the chants of "Hands up, don't shoot" following last summer's fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., fueled an argument that I have been making for some time with my graduate students and colleagues. Read more

Change Education Attitudes, Not Just Management
By Garrison Walters

Jan 27, 2015- It's been more than three decades since 1983's A Nation at Risk report warned Americans about losing their educational advantage in the world. To prevent disaster, the authors said, the United States needed to fix its schools. Read more

Cradle to Ivory Tower
By Frank Bruni

Jan 20, 2015- Leaving aside all of the other good arguments both for and against it, I have one big problem with the proposal for free community college that President Obama recently outlined and described anew in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Read more
Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty
By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post

Jan 16, 2015- For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation. Read more

Improving American education is not optional
By Arne Duncan
Washington Post

Jan 16, 2015- On consecutive days this week, the United States was introduced to two very different visions for its most important education law. Quite soon, Congress will choose between them, and while the legislation could move fast enough to escape wide public notice, its consequences will be profound. Read more

Should GED lead to a diploma? District considers changing policy to help outcomes
By Michael Alison Chandler

Jan 31, 2015- The graduates wore royal blue and white robes. The principal talked about “closing one chapter and beginning another.” Students got awards. Parents cried. Read more

Exclusive Interview with Justin Rydstrom, IDEA PCS head of school
By Mark Lerner

Feb 2, 2015- I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down recently with Justin Rydstrom, the newly appointed head of school of Integrated Design Electronics Academy or IDEA PCS. IDEA was recognized last December by then D.C. Mayor Gray, Deputy Mayor for Education Abigail Smith, and executive director of the DC Public Charter School Board Scott Pearson for their remarkable turnaround and extraordinary growth in student academic standardized test scores. Read more

Teacher Evaluation Plan Draws New Support
By Caroline Porter

Feb 2, 2015- A coalition of teacher-preparation groups came out at the last minute to support a controversial federal plan to track how well new teachers fare as they start teaching in the classroom. Read more

Teacher: I see the difference in educational privilege every day. I live it. I am disgusted by it.
By Valerie Strauss
Washington Post

Jan 29, 2015- Here is a post by a Colorado teacher who vividly explains the difference in the lives of fortunate students and the less fortunate students whom she teaches. Her last post on this blog was a nuanced look into the psyche of some students of color who live in poverty, which you can read here. Read more

Charter school funding lawsuit could threaten D.C.’s self-governance
By Moriah Costa

Jan 27, 2015- A D.C. charter school funding lawsuit that claims the city is in violation of federal law could challenge how the nation’s capital governs itself. Read more

A book-of-the-month club for infants and toddlers aims to narrow the achievement gap
By Natalie Wexler
Greater Greater Washington

Jan 26, 2015- A new proposal to send a book a month to every DC child under five could help narrow the yawning literacy gap between poor and higher-income kids, which has its roots well before kindergarten. But ultimately, disadvantaged kids will need a lot more assistance than a book a month to catch up to their more affluent peers. Read more

As U.S. test scores lag, study shows violence, poverty, teen pregnancy are high
By Emma Brown

Jan 21, 2015- U.S. student performance on international exams has fallen compared to other industrial nations in recent years, a fact policymakers and others often cite in arguing that U.S. public schools need rapid reform in order to maintain their global competitiveness. Read more

D.C.’s autonomy may be tested by suit over charter school funding
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Jan 20, 2015- A lawsuit that seeks to equalize funding between charter schools and traditional public schools could be an important test of the District’s authority to govern its own budget and affairs. Read more

D.C. schools to invest $20 million in efforts to help black and Latino male students
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Jan 21, 2015- D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced a plan Wednesday to invest $20 million in new support programs for black and Latino male students in the District, including opening an all-boys college preparatory high school east of the Anacostia River. Read more

U-Md. president takes helm of local charter school linked to university
By Arelis R. Hernández
Washington Post

Jan 20, 2015- University of Maryland President Wallace Loh will become the new chair of a Prince George’s County charter school with ties to the institution after a state senator stepped down from leadership. Read more

The decline of neighborhood schools causes discomfort. Should it?
By Jay Mathews
Washington Post

Jan 25, 2015- I try to impress my grandsons with tales of my difficult childhood. Unlike them, I say, I walked to school every day.They find this amusing because they often stay at the little house in San Mateo, Calif., where I grew up. Read more

What happens when the Common Core becomes less ... common?
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Jan 25, 2015- The Common Core State Standards were envisioned as a way to measure most of the nation’s students against a shared benchmark, but education experts say political upheaval and the messy reality of on-the-ground implementation is threatening that original goal. Read more

Richard Wright Public Charter School Creates Powerful PSA To Highlight National “Save Our Sons” Night
By Robert Cane
The Northwest Current

December 31, 2014- On Friday, February 6, 2015, the first annual NATIONAL SAVE OUR SONS NIGHT (NSOSN) will take place. Across the country, various local, national and international partners will be organizing to encourage fathers to find ways to spend quality time with their sons and to model healthy behaviors for them. Read more

Run A Nonprofit Like A Startup To Move Fast And Help Things
By Ryan Seashore

Jan 6, 2015-The nonprofit model is broken. Unless you’re part of a unicorn nonprofit like Charity: Water then your organization likely has too much overhead, too much bureaucracy, and a lack of focus on impact. Everything feels slow. Read more

What We Can Gain From Obama’s Push of Community Colleges
By Richard V. Reeves

Jan 9, 2015- First universal pre-K, now universal post-secondary: President Barack Obama wants to stretch the nation’s education system at both ends. On his meet-the-folks tours of Arizona and Tennessee this week, the president unveiled America’s College Promise, a plan for free community college. Read more

The moral imperative of No Child Left Behind
By Editorial Board
Washington Post

Jan 14, 2015- EDUCATION SECRETARY Arne Duncan tells a story that was distressingly familiar for children of color before the implementation of the No Child Left Behind law. Read more

Senators set stage for debate about federal education law
By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post

Jan 13, 2015- Top Republican and Democratic negotiators over federal education law each took to the Senate floor Tuesday to lay out their sometimes conflicting visions for rewriting No Child Left Behind. Read more

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