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December 2016 Newsletter Discrimination in Gifted Education Must End
By Harold O. Levy
Education Week

Jan 4, 2017- It is understandable that school administrators and teachers focus their attention on the students who face the greatest academic struggles in the classroom. I did this myself when I was the chancellor of the New York City schools more than a decade ago, with an emphasis on reducing the dropout rate and enabling more students to graduate. Read more

Six Unifying Education Policy Ideas for 2017
By Robin Lake

Jan 4, 2017- Polarization was the theme of 2016, and we’d be kidding ourselves to think that will be much different in 2017. Still, there has rarely been more need for new ideas that people can begin to come together around, especially in education. Here are six to start us off. What are yours? Read more

What is Curriculum? From Managed Instruction to Personalized Learning
By Tom Vander Ark
Education Week

Jan. 2, 2017- In the post-NCLB age when schools have (to some extent) made the shift to digital and personalized learning is the new meme, what in the world is curriculum? Thirty years ago, a school board adopted textbook was the core curriculum. Twenty years ago, most states introduced learning standards, and those also became part of the definition of curriculum. Read more

Helping English-Learners Break Through Language Plateaus
By Wendi Pillars
Education Week

Dec. 19, 2016- Moses is a charmer. He wears a perma-smile to match his unflappable sense of humor, is a smooth talker, and a great sport with adults. He speaks English colloquially with absolute savviness, much to the chagrin of many of his teachers, since much of his conversational energy is directed at friends, girls, and racking up cool points as he aims for social capital. Read more

Deeper Learning Has a Race Problem—And It May Have the Solution
By Sam Seidel
Education Week

Dec. 20, 2016- Two years ago, Jal Mehta wrote a post on this blog declaring: "Deeper Learning Has a Race Problem." As I participated in the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's annual Deeper Learning grantee meeting, which took place last week in New Orleans, I reflected on Mehta's piece and the discussions we had about it at last year's meeting. Read more

Charters and Vouchers: Who Will Lead Their Development?
By Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers
Education Week

Dec 18, 2016- With the appointment of Betsy DeVos for education secretary, many are understandably predicting a proliferation of vouchers and charter schools. It is her espoused solution for guaranteeing a fair and equitable education for all students, no matter their zip code. Since that is also the goal of public education... equal access to success... and zip codes may be one of the problems that prevents success for all, why can't we get behind the voucher and charter solution? Read more

Memo: Improving the teacher workforce
By Pam Grossman and Susanna Loeb

Dec 9, 2016- Teachers are among our most valuable school resources for improving student learning. They are the adults who interact most with students, and we rely on teachers to deliver curriculum and instruction. The research evidence is clear that teachers have long-term effects on students’ later well-being, including on their academic achievement, how far they go in school, and their wages once working. Read more

New report shows innovation is key in education reform, not spending
By Daniel Huizinga
New Boston Post

Dec 13, 2016- The results are in for one of the most important global rankings in education — and the scores for the United States aren’t good. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a test completed by more than 500,000 15-year-old students in 72 countries every three years in order to measure how each country’s education system is stacking up globally. Read more

A Call for Research, Training, and Standards for Early-Childhood STEM
By Jackie Zubrzycki
Education Week

Jan 4, 2017- Children have an inclination toward exploring their environments, as anyone who has ever spent time with a preschooler and some bubbles can attest. But just how to cultivate the youngest students' interest and abilities in science, technology, engineering, and math has been of increasing interest to U.S. educators, policymakers, and businesses, who argue that more students need to learn about those subjects to be prepared for the workforce. Read more

Elite Colleges Announce New Push to Recruit Lower-Income Students
By Catherine Gewertz
Education Week

Dec 13, 2016- Thirty of the nation's most selective colleges and universities on Tuesday announced a new initiative to find talented students from lower-income families and enroll them in institutions with high graduation rates. The founders of the American Talent Initiative represent many of the country's most elite colleges and universities Read more
Antwan Wilson confirmed as chancellor of D.C. Public Schools
By Alejandra Matos
Washington Post

Dec 20, 2016- The D.C. Council on Tuesday unanimously confirmed Antwan Wilson as the chancellor of D.C. Public Schools. Council members approved Wilson’s appointment without any discussion, and the only council member who spoke was David Grosso, who leads the education committee. Grosso highlighted Wilson’s experience in other major school systems and praised Wilson’s commitment to improving D.C. schools. Read more

7 Keys to Building a Successful Learning Environment for Students
By Peter DeWitt
Washington Post

Dec 13, 2016- In a recent blog post on this site Peter DeWitt talked about school climate as a key element in promoting success in today's schools. He suggests ...we cannot get students to think critically, be creative, work in collaboration, and communicate if we have a school climate that doesn't address the tough situations that happen in schools for our minoritized populations Read more

Students Engage With Scientists at 'Teen Science Cafes'
By Marva Hinton
Education Week

Dec 13, 2016- Nearly 40 teenagers came together at a public library late on a Wednesday afternoon here last month to listen to a marine biologist talk about phytoplankton. These microscopic marine plants live suspended in water and can grow out of control, causing harmful algal blooms that form what is known as a red tide. The setting was informal: Read more

It Turns Out Spending More Probably Does Improve Education
By Kevin Carey and Elizabeth A. Harris
New York Times

Dec 12, 2016- If you spend more on education, will students do better? Educators, politicians and unions have battled in court over that crucial question for decades, most recently in a sweeping decision this fall in Connecticut, where a judge ordered the state to revamp nearly every facet of its education policies, from graduation requirements to special education, along with its school funding. Read more

Teacher observations have been a waste of time and money
By Mark Dynarski
Education Week

Dec 8, 2016- Fundamental information that is the basis for evaluating the performance of our K-12 education system is sending different signals. Measures of student achievement point to low levels and meager improvement. Measures of teaching indicate nearly every teacher is effective. But teachers are the most important input to learning—something’s amiss. Read more

Ed. Dept. Releases Resources for Young People Exiting the Juvenile-Justice System
By Andrew Ujifusa
Education Week

Dec. 6, 2016- In an effort to help young people transition from juvenile-justice back to their original schools or other educational settings, the U.S. Department of Education released various resources last week to help them, educators, and other navigate the process. Read more

Nominee to lead D.C. schools says he is ready to tackle the system’s biggest problems
By Alejandra Matos
Washington Post

Dec 8, 2016- D.C. Council members on Thursday asked Antwan Wilson, the nominee to lead D.C. Public Schools, to provide details on how he plans to close achievement gaps between white and minority students, increase enrollment, and boost teacher and principal satisfaction in the city’s schools. Read more

A vision for charter schools that helps, not hurts, non-charters
By Jared Bernstein and Ben Spielberg
Washington Post

Dec 22, 2016- Views on charter schools exist on a continuum anchored by two extremes: 1) Don’t go there, full stop. Charters are a stalking horse for privatizing education. They also erode support and resources for traditional public schools, so it’s a zero-sum game: Anything we do to help charters hurts the overwhelming majority of children in the rest of the system. Read more

Another Voice: Charters are raising U.S. educational standards
By Ramona Edelin
Buffalo News

Dec 29, 2016- Those of us reading this column won’t be here to witness the dawn of the next century, but some of the children in our public schools today will. We have aspirations how we want our cities – especially their urban cores – and nation and world to change, so our children will be better off. Read more

D.C. high school students build life-long skills with tiny homes
By Michelle Goldchain
Curbed DC

Dec 15, 2016- The tiny home craze has not only taken over the nation, but high schools as well. Recently, students at the Academy of Construction and Design (ACAD) at IDEA Public Charter School in Northeast Washington, D.C. constructed their first micro house. The student-built tiny home is also now on the market for $55,000 with proceeds to be reinvested in the academy's skilled trades classes and training programs. Read more

D.C. Education Briefs: Mayoral Praise
By Dorothy Rowley
Washington Informer

Dec 14, 2016- “/Over the past two years, my administration has worked to expand learning opportunities for students throughout Washington, D.C. Since coming into office, we launched an extended school year at 11 public schools, opened DC’s only all-boys public high school, Ron Brown College Preparatory High School, fully funded a travel abroad program for DCPS students, increased access to libraries and books and, through internship programs, expanded access to hands-on learning opportunities. Read more

Number of home-schooled students has doubled since 1999, new data shows
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Nov 1, 2016- Approximately 1.8 million U.S. children were home-schooled in 2012, more than double the number that were home-schooled in 1999, when the federal government began gathering data on national home-schooling trends, according to estimates released Tuesday. The estimated number of home-schooled children represents 3.4 percent of the U.S. student population between the ages of 5 and 17. Read more

Choice Without Accountability Puts Children at Risk
By Peter Cunningham & Shavar Jeffries
Real Clear Education

Nov 30, 2016- Can the bipartisan alliance on public school choice hang together in the age of President Donald Trump? That’s a pressing question following last week’s nomination of Michigan school choice advocate Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Read more

Hey, John Oliver: Here's The Winner Of The Charter School Contest
By Maureen Sullivan

Nov 30, 2016- Natomas Charter School of Sacramento, Calif., has won the $100,000 prize offered by the Center for Education Reform to tell comedian John Oliver to back off the abusive rhetoric about charter schools. Back in August, Oliver went on a rant about charter schools around the country on his HBO show, “Last Week Tonight.” Read more
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