DCPCSA March 2015 Newsletter

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March 2015 Newsletter Employers Are Integral to Career-Tech Programs
By Caralee J. Adams
Education Week

Mar 25, 2015- The rapidly changing job market and the new wave of career programs taking hold in schools are offering up a new challenge for educators: how to form deeper, longer-term relationships with employers in their communities. Read more

U.S. Citizenship Test Gains Traction as Diploma Criterion
By Andrew Ujifusa
Education Week

Mar 24, 2015- Amid long-standing national angst over the amount of knowledge that American public school students have of civics, one organization's push to make the test administered to prospective U.S. citizens a high school graduation requirement is finding early momentum in many states. Read more

Decoding the Common Core: A Teacher's Perspective
By Ariel Sacks
Education Week

Mar 23, 2015- From my perspective as an experienced English teacher in New York City, the Common Core State Standards represent neither the problem nor the solution. They have brought both positive and negative elements to my classroom and my profession. Read more

Don’t Expect Math to Make Sense
By Manil Suri
New York Times

Mar 13, 2015- EACH year, March 14 is Pi Day, in honor of the mathematical constant. Saturday is the once-in-a-century event when the year, ’15, brings the full date in line with the first five digits of pi’s decimal expansion — 3.1415. Read more

Gender Gap in Education Cuts Both Ways
By Eduardo Porter
New York Times

Mar 10, 2015- Why do the best-educated girls do worse at math than top-educated boys? Concern about this deficit exploded into public consciousness 35 years ago, when researchers in the department of psychology at Johns Hopkins University published an article suggesting the gap might be caused by a “superior male mathematical ability.” Read more

What does "Chartering Schools" Represent?
By Joe Nathan
Education Week

Mar 26, 2015- Deb, we've agreed to discuss what I call "chartering" and the "charter public school movement" represents. Here's what I see, both good and bad. As Ted Kolderie, one of the founders of chartering explained, it's a "simple yet radical idea: allowing enterprising people -- including teachers and other educators -- to start innovative public schools." I'd add that chartering permits people to create new public schools within some limits. Read more

Segregation and concentrated poverty in the nation’s capital
By Stuart M. Butler and Jonathan Grabinsky
The Brookings Institution

Mar 24, 2015- The social mobility gap between black and white Americans has barely narrowed in the last decades, and sharp differences in access to opportunity persist. Read more

Skills in Flux
By David Brooks
New York Times

Mar 17, 2015- Several years ago, Doug Lemov began studying videos of excellent teachers. He focused not on their big strategies but on their micro gestures.. Read more

Videos replace essays and test scores for some kids’ college applications
By Nick Anderson
Washington Post

Mar 13, 2015- Mitchell Moran-Kaplan did the usual drill for most of his college applications. But for Goucher College, the 18-year-old grabbed a digital camera last fall and went for a drive, gathering footage for a two-minute video that aimed to explain what he’s all about. Read more

Educating the kids nobody wants
By Kevin P. Chavous
New Pittsburgh Courier

Mar 16, 2015- After giving a recent education reform speech in Georgia, a thirty-something man approached me to discuss my views on the increasing school expulsion rate for kids, particularly boys of color. He told me that his wife was a special education teacher; that she worked with troubled kids and she had developed a close relationship with a young boy who had been expelled several times from his school. Read more

Accountability and the Federal Role: A Third Way on ESEA
By Linda Darling-Hammond, Paul Hill

Mar 2015- Amid a highly polarized debate on reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), two different "camps" on school reform have found common ground on how to address the law's approach to educational accountability. Read more

2015 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are American Students Learning?
By Tom Loveless
The Brookings Institute

Mar 24, 2015- The 2015 Brown Center Report (BCR) represents the 14th edition of the series since the first issue was published in 2000. It includes three studies. Like all previous BCRs, the studies explore independent topics but share two characteristics: they are empirical and based on the best evidence available. Read more

Floretta McKenzie, who led D.C. schools in 1980s, dies at 79
By Adam Bernstein
Washington Post

Mar 23, 2015- Floretta D. McKenzie, a career educator who was superintendent of Washington public schools in the 1980s and presided over an era of relative administrative stability in the city’s beleaguered school system, died March 23 at a hospital in Silver Spring. She was 79. Read more

Ahead of other states, D.C. charters need equal funding, better fiscal oversight
By Moriah Costa

Mar 23, 2015-The charter school program here is ranked among the strongest in the country, but advocates and city officials say equitable funding and tighter fiscal controls are needed. Read more

Time for a new non-district charter authorizer in D.C.
By Andy Smarick
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Mar 30, 2015- D.C.’s charter school sector stands as a shining example of what urban chartering can accomplish for kids in need. It has outstanding results and serves a student population that mirrors the District’s. Read more

Applications up in D.C. School Enrollment Lottery
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Mar 27, 2015- More than 20,000 students applied in the first round of the citywide enrollment lottery for next school year, according to numbers released by the mayor’s office Friday afternoon. Read more

A struggle worth having for students
By Kyle Schwartz
Washington Post

Mar 24, 2015- When the Common Core State Standards were rolled out in Colorado in 2010, it was a challenge. At first, my colleagues and I at Doull Elementary in southwest Denver struggled to understand this monumental change. We read the documents, pored over the appendices and wrestled with the terminology. Read more

Here's a school-by-school look at DC's high school graduation rates
By Natalie Wexler
Greater Greater Washington

Mar 18, 2015- DC Public Schools had an overall four-year graduation rate of about 58% last year, up by only two percentage points from 2013. And the overall rate for the charter sector fell almost seven points, to 69%. Read more

Grading Teachers by the Test
By Eduardo Porter
New York Times

Mar 24, 2015- In 2004, the Chinese government decided there were too many accidental deaths. China’s safety record, it decreed, should be brought in line with those of other middle-income countries. The State Council set a target: a decline in accidental deaths of 2.5 percent per year. Read more

Northeast Comes Out on Top in Study of Best K-12 Schools
By Laura Kiesel
Main Street

Mar 26, 2015- The Northeast reigns and many Western states flounder in a study by the financial website SmartAsset ranking K-12 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Read more

D.C. Student's Freshman Year at Princeton a Baptism by Fire
By Daniel Spruill
Washington Informer

Mar 17, 2015- Daniel Spruill, a graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy in Southeast D.C., is in the middle of his freshman year at Princeton University in New Jersey. In this editorial, he compares life east of the Anacostia River with his time at Princeton and the culture shock of attending one of the nation's premier universities. Read more

Preschoolers should not be suspended or expelled
By Cassandra S. Pinkney
Washington Post

Mar 6, 2015- Over the past few decades, suspensions and expulsions have become the go-to punishment for disruptive behavior, regardless of age or infraction. As an educator with more than 30 years of experience, I think it is counterintuitive to deny students learning time when they need extra attention. Read more

D.C. auditor finds improvements in financial oversight of charter schools
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Mar 17, 2015- Financial oversight of public charter schools has significantly improved in recent years, but agencies monitoring the schools need to continue improving how they track contracts and enrollment verification, according to a D.C. auditor report released Tuesday. Read more

Prince Charles visits adult education school in D.C.
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Mar 19, 2015- When Adenike Adeliyi immigrated to the United States from Ni­ger­ia four years ago, she spoke only broken English and did not know how to read. But on Thursday, she welcomed His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to her school on behalf of her classmates. Read more

Getting the balance right
By Scott Pearson and John "Skip" McKoy
Washington Post

Mar 20, 2015-How many public charter schools should the District have? It’s a question that we hear often, in a city with one of the nation’s highest percentage of students attending public charter schools. Today, 44 percent of the city’s public school students attend one of the District’s 112 public charter schools. Read more

Honoring Our Contract: D.C.'s Effort to Ensure Equity in Public Education
By Naomi Rubin DeVeaux

Mar 16, 2015-When charter schools were first introduced as an alternative to the traditional school system, the promise was that high levels of autonomy and rigorous accountability would allow schools to produce exceptional results for the students they serve. Simply put: autonomy + accountability = results. Read more

Anxiety abounds as DC schools roll out new, harder tests
By Natalie Wexler
Greater Greater Washington

Mar 11, 2015-DC's public school students, like those around the country, are taking new, more rigorous standardized tests this month. And teachers are anxious about whether students are prepared to do the kind of reading and writing the tests require. Read more

An opportunity to serve children who need our help
By Mark Lerner
DC Charter Schools Examiner

Mar 4, 2015- When the District of Columbia’s Public Charter School Board held a hearing to discuss revoking the charter of Community Academy Public Charter School there was concern. Where would the more than 1,600 students go if the school closed? At a time when the District’s common lottery for public charter and traditional public schools had begun hitting its deadlines, parents of CAPCS students would be getting the news that their school was closing on short notice. Read more

New Charter Schools in Rosedale Spark Heated Discussion
By Ana Mulero
Capital Community News.

Mar 10, 2015- The statement by representatives of the new charter schools opening in the former Gibbs Elementary School that the community had an input in the decision for the schools to locate there, sparked tumult last Monday at a public forum. Gibbs, located at 500 19th St. NE, has been vacant since 2008. At least 30 residents attended what was supposed to be an informational session at the Rosedale Community Center. While charter school officials managed to share some of their plans, the session quickly turned fractious. Read more

D.C. bill looks to strengthen charter school transparency
By Moriah Costa

Mar 10, 2015- A member of the D.C. Council wants to ensure for-profit charter management companies are accountable to taxpayers. The move, by Council member David Grosso, is in response to two pending lawsuits that allege charter officials diverted millions in public money to private management companies for personal gain. Read more

NAEP doesn't need parent or student opt-out for testing
By Mark Lerner
DC Charter Schools Examiner

Mar 16, 2015- NAEP doesn't need parent or student opt-out for testing. The National Assessment for Educational Progress ("NAEP") initiated it's first Math and Reading assessments to random groups of students across the United States since 1969l. The test historically has revealed that white students outperformed Black and Latino students and that there may be a learning gap in schools across the United States and hence the need for No Child Left Behind. Read more

Unequal shelves in D.C. school libraries benefit wealthier students
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Mar 9, 2015- Lafayette Elementary School, in upper Northwest Washington, has one of the largest library collections in the District’s public school system, with more than 28,000 books filling stacks on two floors. Drew Elementary, 12 miles away and east of the Anacostia River, has one of the city’s smallest inventories: 300 catalogued books lining shelves along two of the library’s walls. Read more

‘Opting out’ of tests in Maryland, Virginia and D.C.
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Mar 9, 2015- A growing number of parents nationwide are choosing to pull their children out of standardized testing. But few states explicitly allow or prohibit test refusal, according to a recent analysis by the Education Commission of the States, an organization that tracks education trends. Read more

For D.C. charter schools, a new potential facility in Ward 7
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Mar 3, 2015- The District is requesting offers from charter schools to lease a vacant school building in Ward 7 as part of a larger development. The vision for the former Fletcher Johnson school is to become an adult education hub and neighborhood development. Read more

An immigrant student invited a Supreme Court justice to dinner. She took him up on it.
By Emily Heil
Washington Post

Mar 2, 2015- Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor dined with friends at Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights on Friday night. The power table sampled a menu of Latin-influenced dishes. But what’s even sweeter than the dessert of red-wine poached pear is the back story of how the meal came about. Read more

D.C. educational system to cut staff at central office, hire 200 at schools
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Mar 12, 2015- The D.C. public school system plans to cut central office spending by 25 percent and increase funding for the city’s schools to improve course offerings next school year, part of a new budget that includes $726 million in local money. Read more

George Washington U. hand-delivers good news — and full scholarships
By Moriah Balingit
Washington Post

Mar 18, 2015- For Lashae Hunter, it was just another day, and just another 8 a.m. school assembly at Cesar Chavez Public Charter School in Southeast Washington. Her little sister, who walked to school with her that morning, seemed unusually cheerful. Read more

Graduation rates up in D.C. public schools, down for charter schools
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Mar 17, 2015- D.C. Public Schools’ graduation rate increased last school year by two percentage points, to 58 percent, but the city’s public charter schools recorded a drop of nearly seven points, to 69 percent, according to new data. Read more

D.C. charter board receives six applications for new schools
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Mar 16, 2015- Six applicants have submitted proposals to the D.C. Public Charter School Board this spring to open new charter schools in the District, representing a variety of schools across all grade levels. Read more

High school graduation rates for minority students improve faster than rest of U.S.
By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post

Mar 16, 2015- The high school graduation rate for African Americans, Latinos, American Indians, students with disabilities and poor students increased between 2010 and 2013, narrowing the gap in rates between those groups and their white counterparts, according to new data released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education. Read more

Maryland, D.C., other states should be kinder, gentler to charter students
By Deborah Simmons
The Washington Times

Mar 16, 2015- Gov. Larry Hogan is stirring up the public education troth in the state of Maryland, and well he should. His predecessor and guitar-playing presidential aspirant, Martin O'Malley, used to brag about the state’s traditional public schools and how well the students who attended them fared on standards and testing. Mr. Hogan is taking a different approach. Read more

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