DCPCSA May 2015 Newsletter

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May 2015 Newsletter Planting Seeds in Baltimore
By Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times

June 3, 2015- On a warm Saturday in late May 2008, my wife, Ann, talked me into going to an auditorium in Baltimore to watch a lottery. It was no ordinary lottery. Read more

Charter Schools must play bigger role in U.S. education
By Kara Kerwin
The Reporter

May 12, 2015-Today in the U.S. there are approximately 3 million students being served by nearly 7,000 charter schools across 43 states and the District of Columbia. We’ve come a long way since the first charter school opened its doors in Minnesota back in 1991, but... Read more

5 reasons to invest in the social and emotional development of students
By Alison Burke
The Brookings Institute

May 6, 2015- As Congress struggles to re-write the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (now known as the No Child Left Behind law, or NCLB), Economic Studies Nonresident Senior Fellow Hugh B. Price says it’s time for policymakers to focus on what he calls a “crucial aspect of K-12 school improvement,”.. Read more

Some Schools Embrace Demands for Education Data
By Mokoto Rich
New York Times

May 11, 2015- In this small suburb outside Milwaukee, no one in the Menomonee Falls School District escapes the rigorous demands of data. Custodians monitor dirt under bathroom sinks, while the high school cafeteria supervisor tracks parent and student surveys of lunchroom food preferences. Read more

Black Girls Should Matter, Too
By Melinda D. Anderson
The Atlantic

May 11, 2015- As advocates and policymakers focus on changing the narrative for African American boys, their female counterparts become less of a priority. Read more

A Pathway out of Poverty for Students in Low-Income Communities: Learning to Ask Questions
By Luz Santana
Harvard Education Publishing Group

May 21, 2015- I know poverty. I’ve been on welfare. I’ve worked on the factory floor. I’ve been laid off. And I’ve had some breaks... Read more

Key Numbers from a report to Congress on US Education
By Kimberly Hefling
The Associated Press

May 28, 2015- The American education landscape is shifting. More U.S. school-age kids live in poverty and need English-language services, according to a report released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics. Read more

Is Public Boarding School the Way to Solve Educational Ills?
By Carolyn Thompson
Associated Press

May 12, 2015- Buffalo’s chronically struggling school system is considering an idea gaining momentum in other cities: public boarding schools... Read more

The 'readiness gap' that derails students out of high school
By Eric Schulzke
Deseret News

June 4, 2015- Being deemed "proficient" on a standardized state test may not mean what you think it means, according to a new study by an education reform advocacy group. Read more

Guilt is one of the biggest struggles first-generation college students face
By Linda Banks-Santilli
Washington Post

June 3, 2015- First-generation college students, or students whose parents have not earned a four-year degree, face unique psychological challenges... Read more

Board shortens Common Core-aligned tests known as PARCC
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

May 21, 2015- The Common Core-aligned tests that made their debut in 11 states and the District this spring will be approximately 90 minutes shorter next year, a change that comes after parents, teachers and school administrators expressed frustration with the amount of time devoted to the new exams. Read more

How one school created a healthy climate for students and teachers
By Valerie Strauss
Washington Post

May 20, 2015- Earlier this month I published a list of the 17 inaugural winners in the Schools of Opportunity project, a pilot initiative to identify and recognize public high schools that seek to close opportunity gaps through practices “that build on students’ strengths” — not by inundating them with tests. (You can see the list here.) Read more

New Read-Aloud Strategies Transform Story Time
By Catherine Gewertz
Education Week

May 11, 2015- Reading a picture book aloud from her armchair, 20 children gathered on the rug at her feet, kindergarten teacher Jamie Landahl is carrying on a practice that's been a cornerstone of early-literacy instruction for decades. But if you listen closely, you'll see that this is not the read-aloud of your childhood. Something new and very different is going on here. Read more

Frontiers of Digital Learning Probed by Researchers
By Benjamin Herold
Education Week

May 5, 2015- Academic researchers have begun formally examining the latest frontiers in educational technology use. Their focus: studying how emerging technologies that facilitate new types of hands-on student learning impact teaching, learning, and classroom engagement. Read more

New School Leaders' Standards Emphasize Instruction, Culture and Managing Talent
By Denisa R. Superville
Education Week

May 11, 2015- New professional standards for school leaders—released Monday by the Council of Chief State School Officers—emphasize instruction, culture, and supporting and grooming leaders in schools. Read more

More Rigorous GED Spurs Jitters, Competition
By Caralee J. Adams
Education Week

May 1, 2015- The transition last year to a newer, more rigorous General Educational Development exam was rocky at first for students of Kathryn Stoecker, a GED-prep coordinator in Lansing, Mich. Read more

Early-Education Teachers Need Better Training
By Katharine B. Stevens
Education Week

May 4, 2015- With the early-education field continuing to grow nationally, it's increasingly clear that the key to good programs is teacher quality. Read more

D.C. Council passes $13 billion budget focusing on schools, homelessness
By Aaron C. Davis and Abigail Hauslohner
Washington Post

May 27, 2015- The D.C. Council passed a $13 billion spending plan Wednesday that pours record tax revenue into school improvements and new police body cameras and directs the largest infusion of money ever to combat the city’s crisis of homelessness. Read more

D.C. student commutes to charters vary; some go more than five miles
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

May 10, 2015- Commuting distances vary widely at charter schools in the District, according to a new school-by-school analysis of enrollment patterns. The analysis, from the D.C. Public Charter School Board, shows that some schools attract students from across the city and that others serve mostly families from the surrounding neighborhoods. Read more

D.C. Association of Chartered Public Schools
By Capital Community News

June 2015- (page 145) The D.C. Association of Chartered Public Schools held its annual STARS Tribute, in which school leaders, parents, students, teachers, and others in the charter school community nominate outstanding students and leaders in each categories. The winners are listed here... Read more

One in five U.S. schoolchildren are living below federal poverty line
By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post

May 28, 2015- More than one out of every five school-age children in the U.S. were living below the federal poverty line in 2013, according to new federal statistics released Thursday. That amounted to 10.9 million children — or 21 percent of the total — a six percent increase in the childhood poverty rate since 2000. Read more

City-wide analysis shows that D.C. preschool quality varies
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

May 18, 2015- Most taxpayer-funded preschool programs in the District scored above targets for promoting social and emotional development and maximizing student learning time, and below targets for providing instructional supports to students, according to a new report released by the Office of the State Superintendent for Education. Read more

Real estate in D.C. remains a challenge for charter schools
By Moriah Costa

May 29, 2015- In this city, it’s not uncommon for charter school teachers to gather students in warehouses, or basements, or to combine small spaces for an art room, gymnasium and cafeteria. Some say it’s because funding differences for facilities means charters end up with less. Others say it’s a lack of access to unused school buildings. Read more

D.C. charter board approves three new schools to open in fall 2016
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

May 19, 2015- The D.C. Public Charter School Board has given the green light for three new operators to open schools by fall 2016. The board approved Breakthrough Montessori, an elementary school that will start with pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students and intends to open in Ward 1; Washington Leadership Academy, a high school that will emphasize service learning and blended learning and hopes to open in Ward 7 or 8; and Goodwill Excel Center, a competency-based alternative high school for students older than 16 that aims to find a location near a Metro station in Ward 4, 5, 6 or 7. Read more

Should teachers be evaluated on how ‘gritty’ their students are?
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

May 13, 2015- A growing number of education policymakers are interested in judging schools and teachers in part on whether they contribute to the growth of children’s character, pointing to research that shows a solid link between success and the strength of traits such as self-control and resilience. Read more

How D.C. shortchanges public charter school students
By Eric McKinley King
Washington Times

May 17, 2015- As a parent, I believe in the original rallying cry for public charter schools in the District of Columbia — “parental choice.” Charters are publicly funded, but run independently of the traditional public school system; they were intended to extend choice to every parent regardless of income because, like the school system, charters are tuition-free public schools. But despite the government’s responsibility to fund the education of all its public school students fairly, the choices and voices of the 45 percent of parents who have selected charters in the District are being disrespected. Read more

Maryland tops U.S. News high schools list. Did your school medal?
By Drew Hansen
Washington Business Journal

May 12, 2015-Maryland is the leading performer in U.S. News and World Report’s state-by-state breakdown of the Best High Schools for Sixty-seven high schools in Maryland earned gold or silver medals, given to reflect the schools that most successfully prepare students for college. Read more

Get ready for a serious drop in test scores
By Natalie Wexler
Greater Greater Washington

May 19, 2015- Students in DC have been far more likely to score in the proficient category on local standardized tests than on tougher national assessments. This year, as schools switch to a local test that's more like the one given nationwide, proficiency rates here will probably drop by 30 points or more. Read more

Revised budget includes more funding for charter facilities
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

May 14, 2015- A revised $2.4 billion budget approved by the D.C. Council Education Committee on Thursday includes new funding for early literacy initiatives, community schools that offer on-site wraparound services, and charter schools facilities. Read more

Academy for Construction and Design to uproot from its longtime home at Cardozo
By Daniel J. Sernovitz
Washington Business Journal

May 14, 2015- The Academy of Construction and Design is winding down its final academic year at the Cardozo Education Campus, but despite rumors that surfaced late last year that it was closing for good, the District-based pipeline for future construction workers is sticking around. Read more

How D.C. Underfunds Public Charter School Students
By Eric McKinley King

May 13, 2015- As a parent, I believe in the original rallying cry for public charter schools in the District of Columbia – “parental choice.” Charters are publicly funded, but run independently of the traditional public school system; they were intended to extend choice to every parent regardless of income because, like the school system, charters are tuition-free public schools. - Read more

Mayor Bowser increases charter schools per pupil facility fund
By Mark Lerner
DC Charter Schools Examiner

May 14, 2015- In a surprise move yesterday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that she had found money to increase the charter school per pupil facility fund. Even more astonishing is that additional funds would be added for this fiscal year and for 2016. The press release announcing the change states that there would be a jump of $62 per student now with an additional $85 per pupil included in next year's budget request. Read more

Collaboration between D.C. charters, traditional schools a contentious issue
By Moriah Costa

May 14, 2015- The D.C. Public Charter School Board says it wants to enhance school quality and increase choice for all students in the city, but some parents and activists are worried. Read more

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