Education Opportunity Network

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11/24/2015 – Teacher Evaluations Fall Off The Education ‘Reform’ Agenda

THIS WEEK: Opt Outs Hit Half Million … Teachers Need Affordable Housing … NCLB For Higher Ed … High School Student Activism … States Take Over Education


Teacher Evaluations Fall Off The Education ‘Reform’ Agenda

By Jeff Bryant

“Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently shook up the education policy world when she challenged one of the pillars of the education establishment for the last 10-15 years, that teachers’ job evaluations and pay should be linked to how students – even students they don’t teach – perform on standardized tests … The important story isn’t as much about what Clinton said as it is about the response it got from the establishment that’s been in charge of education policy for nearly three decades.”
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At Least 500,000 Students In 7 States Sat Out Standardized Tests This Past Spring

The Washington Post

“About 500,000 public school students in seven states ‘opted out’ and refused to take federally required standardized tests in math and reading in the spring … New York 240,000 students opted out, New Jersey 110,000, Colorado 100,000, Washington state 50,000, Oregon 20,000, Illinois 20,000 and New Mexico 10,000… A study released last month found that the number of standardized tests US public school students take has exploded in the past decade, with most schools requiring too many tests of dubious value.”
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Can Affordable Housing Help Retain Teachers?

American Prospect

“A great deal of evidence has shown how homelessness and housing insecurity can negatively impact a student’s behavior … Less attention has been paid to the relationship between educators and their housing … Efforts to attract, or retain, teachers through subsidized housing is growing more pronounced, and debates over how such projects impact their surrounding communities are likely to intensify in the coming years … Maybe subsidized housing that targets young professionals won’t be what it takes to help attract career educators, yet it’s clear that cities do want to help recruit and retain educators who actually live in the communities in which they serve – an effort that may require more than just a salary increase.”
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The University Of North Carolina’s New President Should Scare Anyone Who Cares About Higher Ed

The Nation

Zoë Carpenter writes, “After the board that governs the University of North Carolina unexpectedly fired system president Tom Ross … it chose someone outside the state’s conservative machinery: Margaret Spellings, former secretary of education under George W. Bush. Spellings is a seasoned political operative; Karl Rove introduced her to Bush … Spellings went on to work in the troubled for-profit [college] industry after leaving the White House – an experience, she told UNC’s board of governors, that taught her ‘a lot about how we can serve our students and think of them as customers in providing a product in convenient ways for them.'”
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The Other Student Activists

The Atlantic

“A surge of student activism has swept across academia in recent weeks as black students and their allies forcefully call attention to racist climates on American college campuses … High-school youth are flexing their collective muscles for equity: fighting budget cuts and out-of-school suspensions as they take on racial issues and academic offerings …. Many youth today are not content to be on the sidelines. Like several hundred Chicago teens who rallied against public-school cutbacks and potential teacher layoffs earlier this month … Similarly, Philadelphia students, rocked by a severe school-funding crisis, took to the streets this fall to protest cuts to neighborhood schools … At the root of student organizing is the demand for fair and equal treatment.”
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The Fight Over K-12 Education Appears Headed Back To The States

The Washington Post

“Congress is expected to take a final vote on a bill to replace No Child Left Behind, the current federal law, after Thanksgiving … The bill is expected to pass and the White House has indicated that President Obama will sign it … The greatest change in the proposed law is a dismantling of the federal accountability system that defined whether K-12 schools were successful, prescribed actions to improve struggling schools, and imposed penalties on states and schools that failed to make progress. It also prevents the federal government from requiring states to evaluate teachers and principals and adopt specific academic standards … Decisions about how to identify successful and struggling schools and teachers, how much weight to give to test scores, and how and when to intervene in struggling schools will be left to each state.”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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