Education Opportunity Network

Education Opportunity Network -

6/4/2014 – School Discipline Reform

THIS WEEK: Retention Harms Third Graders … Accountability Without Tests … Trafficking Teachers … Teachers Burn Their Evaluations … Place-Based Higher Ed Exclusion

TOP STORY

School Discipline Reform: A Model For Bottom-Up Improvement

By Jeff Bryant

The new report School Discipline Consensus Report “is a massive catalog of promising strategies for reforming school discipline policies … Praising the report is worthy for sure, but it may be even more important to recognize how the new direction in policy came about … Nowhere in any of these efforts do you see the usual suspects in what is normally referred to as the ‘education reform movement.'”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Holding Kids Back Doesn’t Help Them

Education Week

“In 2012, 13 states adopted laws targeting early reading achievement, many of which require schools to hold back elementary school students based on reading assessments. At least 10 other states have considered or are considering similar laws … A majority of peer-reviewed studies over the past 30 years have demonstrated that holding students back yields little or no long-term academic benefits and can actually be harmful to students. When improvements in achievement are linked to retention, they are not usually sustained beyond a few years, and there is some evidence for negative effects on self-esteem and emotional well-being … Retention does not help most children who have fallen behind, primarily because they are exposed to the same material in the same way that didn’t work for them the first time around. When a strategy fails to work, the solution is not to do it again; it is to change the strategy. Happily, there are more effective and less expensive alternatives.”
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In Kentucky, Moving Beyond Dependence On Tests

NPR

“Kentucky was the first state in the nation to adopt the Common Core and the tests that align with it. This spring, the 1,700-student Danville district thinks it’s found a better way … The entire curriculum at this school has been redesigned around interdisciplinary projects, which take several weeks to complete … Performance assessment has had a small, passionate group of supporters going back decades, especially among self-described progressive educators … These approaches allow students to follow their own interests and lean into their strengths … They address skills like presentation, communication, and teamwork that are common in the workplace but not part of most traditional schooling – or state-mandated testing … Supporters see it as an antidote that can be rigorous and address 21st century skills while also engaging students.”
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Trafficked Teachers: Neoliberalism’s Latest Labor Source

In These Times

“Researchers estimate that anywhere from 14,000 to 20,000 teachers, imported on temporary guest worker visas, teach in American public schools nationwide … School districts frequently justify hiring lower-paid immigrants by pointing to teacher shortages … an inevitable result of the austerity measures pushed through on a federal, state, and local level … Newly laid-off instructors are left to languish while their former employers employ underpaid replacements to fill the gaps … The idea that new teachers should be imported from halfway around the world for yearlong stints, knowing no background about the communities they are entering and the content relevant to them, is only justified if the teacher is reduced to an instrument of standardized information transmission … The phenomenon of teacher trafficking, then, doesn’t rest entirely on recruiters’ mercenary tendencies or districts’ drive to cheapen their labor. It also rests on the larger neoliberal conception of workers. In this case, teachers become moveable parts.”
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Taos Teachers Burn Their Evaluations

KRQE News 13

“Some Taos teachers say their profession is being stomped on, citing a laundry list of issues surrounding teacher evaluations. They argue the scores should factor in growth, they say they’re not even testing students on the curriculum they’re teaching and the test scores they’re basing much of the evaluations on are from last year. It’s why they decided to take a stand. After sending students off for summer break, a group of elementary school teachers in Taos received their evaluations. Then they burned them. ‘It was very freeing. It was a way for us to show that we’re not going to stand for this anymore … Our students are much more than a once-a-year pencil and bubble test sheet.'”
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Redlining Education: How Universities Exclude Students Based On Where They Live

Alternet

“Selective schools begin excluding achievers in lower-opportunity places through their recruitment process … A school with an SAT-only lens would miss more than half of the highest-ability students in Alabama and Michigan. Geographic bias continues with outreach … They focus on parts of the country with small numbers of low-income achievers and neglect regions with a lot more of them … They look for low-income students where the college is located rather than where these students can be found in large numbers … Admissions officers spend much time reaching out to … high schools that have already been cherry-picked by their competitors, contributing to the perception that the pool of disadvantaged achievers is miniscule while doing little to increase the college-attending behavior of strivers who live elsewhere … If a selective school is sincere about achieving socioeconomic diversity, then it must recruit differently to find the many poor achievers that do exist.”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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