DCPCSA June 2016 Newsletter

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June 2016 Newsletter Schools Can't Accurately Measure Poor Students
By Lauren Camera
US News

June 30, 2016- It's becoming more difficult for schools to accurately gauge the number of poor students they enroll – an important metric that's used for everything from doling out federal aid to tracking academic performance and measuring achievement gaps. Read more

Black and Hispanic kids get lower quality pre-K
By Jonathan Rothwell

June 29, 2016- Early education lays the foundations for later success. But quality is critical, and quality varies considerably. In particular, there are stark race gaps in the quality of pre-K teaching. Read more

NACSA Statement on Secretary King’s Remarks at National Charter Conference
By Corrie Leech

June 28, 2016- In response to US Education Secretary John King’s speech today at the National Charter School Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Greg Richmond, president and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) issued the following statement: Read more

The effect of classroom environment on student success
By Andrew Scanlan
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

June 29, 2016- Paul Tough’s 2012 book How Children Succeed helped popularize the notion that non-cognitive skills like resilience, perseverance, and conscientiousness could be as important to student success as performance on math and reading exams. Tough viewed character strengths as a tool that low-income and minority children can use to overcome enormous adversity. Read more

Amazon Unveils Online Education Service for Teachers
By Natasha Singer
New York Times

June 27, 2016- Just ahead of the back-to-school season, Amazon plans to make a major foray into the education technology market for primary and secondary schools, a territory that Apple, Google and Microsoft have heavily staked out. Read more

How much does it benefit a child to delay kindergarten entry for a year?
By Michael Hansen

June 22, 2016- To the delight of many school kids, including my own, summer is finally upon us. The next couple of months for them will be filled with athletic camps, swimming parties, barbecues, and stays at Grandma’s house. And for my preschooler, he will be celebrating a late summer birthday. Read more

Teacher Tech Leaders: Nicholas Provenzano
By Madeline Will
Education Week

June 6, 2016- Step into Nicholas Provenzano's high school English classroom and you won't see a dusty chalkboard or students scribbling in notebooks. Instead, his classroom is mostly paperless. Read more

Repairing the charter marketplace
By Chester E. Finn, Jr. Brandon Wright
Thomas B. Fordham Institute

June 17, 2016- Last time around, we argued that America’s charter marketplace has done a mediocre job of matching supply with demand and ensuring solid school quality. We fingered three (of many) sources of these partial market failures: too few (and, in some locales, too many) charter schools; weak consumer information; and distracted suppliers. Read more

Peer advisors provide low-cost support for male undergraduates
By Jimmy R. Ellis and Seth Gershenson

June 17, 2016- College dropout rates are quite high, and at least partially offset the recent trend of increases in college enrollments in the U.S. First-generation students, those attending college for the first time in their families, experience particularly high dropout rates. This is troubling because college degrees facilitate upward socioeconomic mobility, yet these students who may benefit from college the most fail to obtain these rewards. Read more

D.C. Charter Schools Install Rooftop Solar
By SI Staff
Solar Industry

June 14, 2016- Urban Grid Holdings LLC, a developer and financier of solar projects throughout the U.S., has announced the completion of three projects totaling 511 kW of solar energy in Washington, D.C. These three rooftop projects represent the first phase of a 1,228 kW portfolio on seven charter schools for Friendship Public Charter Schools with the remaining installations to be completed in early summer. Read more

The Building Blocks of Learning
By David Brooks
New York Times

June 15, 2016- The ancient Greeks had different words for different kinds of love — like Ludus (playful love), Pragma (longstanding love) and Agape (universal love). Sixteen hundred years ago, Augustine argued that the essence of a good life is choosing the right things to love and loving them well. Read more

The Evolution of the 'Chartered School'
By Arianna Prothero
Education Week

June 13, 2016- Twenty-five years ago this month, tucked in a voluminous education funding bill headed to the Minnesota governor’s desk, was a quirky and contentious idea to allow teachers and parents to create a new kind of public school—chartered schools. Read more

Teaching the teachers
By The Economist

June 11, 2016- TO THE 11- and 12-year-olds in his maths class, Jimmy Cavanagh seems like a born teacher. He is warm but firm. His voice is strong. Correct answers make him smile. And yet it is not his pep that explains why his pupils at North Star Academy in Newark, New Jersey, can expect to go to university, despite 80% of their families needing help to pay for school meals. Read more

Fewer field trips mean some students miss more than a day at the museum
By Richard V. Reeves and Edward Rodrigue

June 8, 2016- As every good teacher knows, education is not just about academics. It is about broadening horizons and discovering passions. (The root of education is the Latin e ducere, meaning “to draw out.”) From this perspective, extra-curricular activities count for a great deal. Read more
With Kaya Henderson leaving, Bowser has a decision to make about the future of D.C. schools
By Perry Stein
Washington Post

June 30, 2016- With D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announcing that she plans to step down in the fall, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) has a tough decision to make: Does she select someone who has worked under Henderson to replace her, or does she go outside the city to find the school system’s next leader? Read more

Education Secretary calls on charters to rethink discipline, reduce suspensions
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

June 28, 2016- John King Jr. once founded a charter school that aimed to prepare low-income children for college, and it was known both for posting high test scores and for issuing a lot of suspensions. Read more

Dorothy ‘Doro’ Bush Koch: It’s time for new paths to education for adults
By Dorothy "Doro" Bush Koch
Fox News

June 8, 2016- Graduation is an inspirational time of year when proud families celebrate education milestones and the beginnings of productive lives.  Read more

Now is the time to experiment with inspections for school accountability
By Helen F. Ladd

May 26, 2016- Twenty years ago, I organized a research conference at Brookings and edited a book, Holding Schools Accountable: Performance-Based Reform in Education, that highlighted the newly emerging policy of holding schools accountable for the performance of their students, as typically measured by test scores in reading and math. Read more

Gates Teaching Partnerships Beginning to Show Progress, Study Finds
By Brookings

June 8, 2016- A Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiative to improve teacher effectiveness and ensure that low-income minority students have access to highly effective teachers is beginning to show signs of progress, a midterm evaluation by the RAND Corporation and  American Institutes for Research finds. Read more

The futility of PLC Lite
By Rick DuFour and Douglas Reeves
Phi Delta Kappan

Although many schools around the world have claimed to embrace the professional learning community (PLC) process, it would be more accurate to describe the current state of affairs in many schools as PLC Lite. Educators rename their traditional faculty or department meetings as PLC meetings, engage in book studies that result in no action, or devote collaborative time to topics that have no effect on student achievement — all in the name of the PLC process. Read more

Going beyond fun in STEM
By Todd L. Pittinsky and Nicole Diamante
Phi Delta Kappan

Science class doesn’t get much more fun — and the science teacher never seems more cool — than at that moment when she drops a Mento into a bottle and a huge geyser of Pepsi shoots up to the ceiling. But that geyser is no Old Faithful; it soon fizzles. And so do the trajectories of far too many K-12 students across the U.S. who might have become scientists, engineers, and programmers. Read more

Should supervisors intervene during classroom visits?
By Kim Marshall
Phi Delta Kappan

As more administrators shift from traditional, full-lesson teacher evaluations to short, frequent, unannounced classroom visits, an interesting question has come up: Should supervisors get involved during a lesson if they see an opportunity to improve or affirm teaching and learning Read more

7 findings that illustrate racial disparities in education
By Liz Sablich

June 6, 2016- On Wednesday, June 8, the Brown Center is hosting a public event about racial inequities in education. An esteemed group of community leaders and education experts will gather to discuss how race and income level factor into education opportunities in present-day America, and why, in an age when the national dialogue routinely does focus on issues of racial inequality, isn’t education a bigger part of that conversation? Read more

Reports: Homeless, foster kids face enormous hurdles in trying to get to college
By Joe Davidson
Washington Post

June 1, 2016- While the path from kindergarten through college can be tough for anyone, two government reports released this month outline the particular difficulties facing poor black and Hispanic students, as well as the higher education hurdles confronting homeless and foster youth. Read more

D.C. families willing to travel farther for charter schools
By Emily Leayman
Education Watchdog

June 30, 2016- In most Washington, D.C., neighborhoods, students typically do not have to travel far to attend a charter school. But a new study shows they will if they have to. Read more

The effects of D.C.’s citywide charter school lottery
By Jessica Poiner
Thomas B. Fordham Institute

June 29, 2016- School choice advocates have long agreed on the importance of understanding what parents value when selecting a school for their children. A new study from Mathematica seeks to add to that conversation and generally echoes the results of prior research. Read more

Court rules D.C. underserves and underidentifies preschoolers with disabilities
By Perry Stein
Washington Post

June 24, 2016- The D.C. government is appealing a federal court ruling that said the city is providing inadequate services to young children with special needs who have yet to enter the school system. Read more

D.C. charter board acts as school board
By Mark Lerner
Parents Have School Choice Kids Win

June 21, 2016- “The charter authorizer here in D.C. now perceives itself as the school board. They are involved in everything and all that we do is regulated. We have lost ourselves.” The above words were spoken by Friendship Public Charter School founder, chairman, and chief executive officer Donald Hense at an event last week sponsored by the Center for Education Reform. Read more

Discipline data shows some D.C. charter schools haven’t changed policies
By Emily Leayman
Education Watchdog

June 16, 2016- A Center on Reinventing Public Education report released Thursday shows that discipline rates in D.C. charter schools have declined since data became available to the public, but some schools have yet to make policy changes. Read more

Suspension and expulsion rates at D.C. schools continue to drop, report finds
By Perry Stein
Washington Post

June 16, 2016- There has been a steady drop in suspensions and expulsions at the District’s traditional public schools and public charter schools since the city started releasing detailed, school-level statistics on discipline beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year, according to a new study from the Center on Reinventing Public Education. Read more

Report: Despite Gains in Health and Education, D.C. Students Face Pervasive Economic Instability
By Andrew Giambrone
Washington City Paper

June 21, 2016- Although D.C.'s share of out-of-school three- and four-year-olds is the lowest in the U.S. at one in five, District children face some of the nation's harshest economic conditions—affecting their education and wellbeing—a new report finds. Read more

Can ‘early warning systems’ keep children from dropping out of school?
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

June 28, 2016- A half-dozen sixth-grade teachers sat in a circle inside an empty classroom, poring over sheets of data showing their students’ attendance, grades and discipline. They were looking for children who were sliding, whose records indicated they were in danger of falling off the track to high school graduation. Read more

D.C. Council set to discuss the state of interscholastic athletics at public hearing
By Mark Giannotto

June 14, 2016- In the wake of a tumultuous school year that saw the documented mismanagement of funds and controversial coach firings, the D.C. City Council’s education committee will hold a public hearing Wednesday as it prepares to consider a bill aimed at streamlining the organizational structure of interscholastic athletics. Read more

Help get our kids home safe
By Darren Woodruff and Marco Clark
Washington Post

June 3, 2016- When you send your kids off to school in the morning, you expect that they’ll return home safely. But for too many D.C. families, the expectation of safe passage isn’t guaranteed. Read more

Coalition picks top D.C. education issues for fall elections
By Emily Leayman
Education Watchdog

June 20, 2016- Classes ended for most D.C. schools on Friday, but students, parents, teachers and advocates were back in the classroom the next day to talk about what comes  next.  Read more
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