11/5/2013 – Behind Chris Christie’s Rage At Teachers

THIS WEEK: Trouble Starting At Age 8 … The Excellence Gap … $1 Billion For Schools … Common Core Implementation Worse Than Obamacare … Will Bridgeport Reject Rhee Revolution


What Chris Christie Is Hiding Behind His Rage At School Teachers

By Jeff Bryant

“New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has a record for responding with rage when anyone, not just teachers, questions his education policies … Anyone expressing doubts about Christie’s leadership of the New Jersey schools is likely to have a really good point … The real ugly truth hiding behind Christie’s bluster is that schools throughout his state, especially in communities of low-income and minority schools, are descending into severely worse conditions.”
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Study: Many Young Children Lagging In Cognitive Skills At Age 8

Education Week

“Analysis of 13,000 young children tracked from kindergarten entry through middle school found that only about a third of them were on track with cognitive skills by 3rd grade, underlining the need for a comprehensive early-childhood education, particularly for low-income children … Digging into the numbers revealed disparities … 19% of 3rd graders in families with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty line … were hitting their cognitive development milestones. In comparison, 50% of children in families above that income level hit that mark. The analysis also showed that 14% of black children and 19% of Hispanic children were on track in cognitive development.”
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Talent On The Sidelines: The Widening Gap In Excellence

Scientific American

“The United States is relying on less than half of its talent, with large percentages of our brightest students not even getting a chance to enter the room … Out of the 44% of all students eligible for free and reduced meals (about 1.6 million), less than 40,000 would score at advanced levels, about 160,000 fewer students than if low-income students performed as well academically as more affluent students. This means that schools are losing about 160,000 high-performing eighth grade students every year.”
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Colorado Is Asking Taxpayers For $1 Billion To Help Schools

The New York Times

“For decades, schools like these have struggled to keep pace with their bigger and wealthier neighbors. On Tuesday, Colorado will try to address those problems with one of the most ambitious and sweeping education overhauls in the country, asking voters to approve a $1 billion tax increase … The referendum will ask voters to replace the current flat state income tax rate of 4.6% with a two-tier system. Residents with taxable incomes below $75,000 would pay 5%; taxable incomes above $75,000 would be taxed at 5.9% … New funding formulas would pump more money into poorer schools and those with more students at risk of dropping out … The prospect of more money for all has united two usually warring factions, teachers’ unions and the charter school movement … Most Republicans have lined up in opposition.”
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Weingarten: Common Core Implementation ‘Far Worse’ Than Obamacare Rollout

Capital New York

“American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten blasted New York’s and other states’ implementation of the rigorous Common Core standards … Weingarten, who has led calls for temporary moratoriums on attaching high stakes to Common Core-aligned exams, said New York’s rollout of the standards left little time for schools to develop local curricula … Weingarten said she supports shifting to the Common Core standards … but she said states implementing the Common Core are focusing so intensively on preparing students for testing that they ignore other important subjects and activities.”
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Michelle Rhee Revolution Faces Massive Threat – And New Accusations


“A school board election in Bridgeport, Conn. … will offer the latest referendum on the bipartisan, billionaire-backed mainstream education reform movement, and on a multi-year effort by local Democrats – aided by the likes of Michael Bloomberg and Michelle Rhee – to defeat or disempower labor-backed dissenters … ‘What’s at stake is the future direction of Bridgeport schools,’ said Connecticut Working Families Party executive director Lindsay Farrell, citing issues including testing and class size. ‘And I think, in a broader sense, the direction of public education in this country.’ … Critics of the Rhee-Bloomberg-Vallas approach ran in the September Democratic Primary and, in an upset, beat the mayor’s favored candidates. On Tuesday, they’ll face off against Republican candidates … Tuesday’s election comes as some of Michelle Rhee’s antagonists argue they’ve reached a turning point in a national education reform debate in which they’ve long been playing defense.”
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