1/14/2014 – An End To Sanction-Driven Education?

THIS WEEK: What Could Close The Achievement Gap … Will States Give Up On Education … Politicians Face Tough Choices On Common Core … Vouchers Aren’t Popular … Colleges Fail Student Athletes


The Beginning Of An End To Sanction-Driven Education?

By Jeff Bryant

“Last week, the Obama administration took an important step for the well being of the nation’s youth – especially those who are of racial minorities – by issuing new guidelines that many hope will shut down what has come to be known as ‘the school-to-prison pipeline.’ This action – welcome, for sure – constitutes a beginning to what should be a major shift in education policies across the board … in addition to discipline reform, the next policy shift needs to be for assessment reform.”
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This Is What Could Close The Achievement Gap Among Young Kids, Study Says

The Huffington Post

“A few years of high-quality early childhood education could close the academic achievement gap between low-income and affluent students, a new study suggests … Researchers found that after providing low-income children with quality preschool early in life, the kids had the same IQs as their wealthier peers by age 3 … Although students analyzed in the study were not offered preschool past the age of 3, by age 5 and 8, they still had IQs that were more similar to their wealthier peers than is typical … The study concludes that if all low-income children were offered free, high-quality preschool, it ‘could make a large, persistent positive impacts on low-income children’s cognitive skill and academic achievement and reduce, if not eliminate, the early skills gap between America’s children from low and higher-income families.'”
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What’s The Matter With Kansas’ Schools?

The New York Times

“Kansas has become the epicenter of a new battle over the states’ obligation to adequately fund public education … Gov. Sam Brownback and the Republican-led Legislature have made draconian cuts in school spending, leading to a lawsuit … The outcome of that decision could resonate nationwide. Forty-five states have had lawsuits challenging the failure of governors and legislators to provide essential resources for a constitutional education. Litigation is pending against 11 states … If the Kansas Supreme Court orders restoration of the funding, legislators are threatening to amend the state’s Constitution by removing the requirement for ‘suitable’ school funding and to strip Kansas courts of jurisdiction to hear school finance cases altogether. And if the amendment fails, they have vowed to defy any court order for increased funding or, at the very least, take the money from higher education … As Kansas goes, so may go the nation.”
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State Lawmakers Face Tough Choices on Common Core

Education Week

“For many states, this year will be a key juncture for decisions about the standards—and related exams—before their full weight is felt in classrooms … But the large slate of elections this year … Of the 270 standards-related bills last year, 107 dealt with assessments … Lawmakers … could also be feeling pressure about how teacher evaluations will be affected by the common core: This school year alone, 17 states are asking schools to fully implement new teacher evaluations … The common core’s short-term impact on school ratings and student scores also could cause many lawmakers to try to hedge, at least for now, on some policies intended to protect the standards’ purported long-term benefits.'”
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Poll: Americans Prefer Smaller Classes, More Technology, Before Vouchers

Education Week

A poll by the pro-voucher Friedman Foundation found, “Americans favor smaller class sizes and technology over education reforms such as vouchers and merit pay for teachers … The fact that school choice (in the form of vouchers) was ranked fourth most preferable in the list of school reforms suggests strong support for public education in its current form.”
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Some College Athletes Play Like Adults, Read Like 5th-Graders


“A CNN investigation found public universities across the country where many students in the basketball and football programs could read only up to an eighth-grade level … Most schools have between 7% and 18% of revenue sport athletes who are reading at an elementary school level. Some had even higher percentages of below-threshold athletes … Some of the universities from which CNN sought data didn’t even have remedial classes for student-athletes to attend … The Drake Group, which pushes for academic integrity in collegiate sports, organized a lobbying trip to Washington to push for an amendment to the College Education Act of 1965. Director Allen Sack said he wants to see a College Athlete Protection Act — legislation that would keep athletes on the bench as freshmen if they are academically more than one standard deviation lower than the average student admitted to the university.'”
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