12/3/2015 – Pass Every Student Succeeds Act, But Don’t Celebrate It

THIS WEEK: US Falling Behind … College Attendance Rates Fall … Diversity Works … California’s Alternative To Testing … Teacher-Powered Schools Grow


Go Ahead, Pass Every Student Succeeds Act, But Don’t Celebrate It

By Jeff Bryant

“On Wednesday afternoon, the House overwhelmingly passed the proposed Every Student Succeeds Act. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure this month, and the White House has signaled President Obama’s willingness to sign it … For sure, there are things to like and dislike about the bill, but while lawmakers and policy wonks are back-slapping and glad-handing each other, this is also an opportune time to reflect on where we are in the evolution of education policy compared to where we should be.”
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US Falls Behind Other Nations In The Global Knowledge Economy, Says 46-Country Report

The Hechinger Report

“The United States continues to fall behind internationally in producing a college-educated workforce … In the very early years, many countries are now sending a much higher percentage of their kids to preschool than the United States … In several countries, nearly 60% of 25- to 34-year-olds have a college education … In the United States, by contrast, only 46% of the younger generation has a college education … On the early childhood front, the United States has one of the lowest enrollment rates among OECD countries, where, on average, more than 70% of young children attend preschool … In the United States, only 41% of 3-year-olds and 66% of 4-year-olds are enrolled in preschools.”
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College Enrollment Rates Are Dropping, Especially Among Low-Income Students

The Washington Post

“Low-income high school graduates were far less likely to enroll in higher education in 2013 than in 2008, a downward trend that came at the same time the Obama administration was pushing to boost college access and completion … College enrollment rates have fallen for all students since 2008 … But the enrollment rates among the poorest students has fallen much faster … Enrollment was dropping at the same time as federal and private grant aid was increasing and high school graduation rates were rising – two trends that higher education advocates hoped would boost college access for poor youth.”
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Study Finds Diversity Plan Lessened Wake County School Segregation

The News & Observer

“Wake County’s efforts to balance schools by income kept it more diverse than other large North Carolina school systems and also helped to reduce the achievement gap between white and black students … Wake switched in 2000 to trying to balance the percentages of students receiving subsidized lunches in its schools while the other districts moved to neighborhood schools and choice … Wake County’s math and reading scores rose slightly and the achievement gap between black and white students narrowed after the switch.”
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California Leads Drive To Reverse Focus On Standardized Tests

Ed Source

“California is … in the middle of devising a new accountability system, a massive and complex undertaking in a state as large and diverse as California, that is intended to go far beyond a narrow preoccupation with test scores … Gov. Jerry Brown has been consistent in challenging the role of testing – and has clashed repeatedly with the Obama administration on this issue … The state is moving toward establishing a much broader accountability system, of which tests – improved ones, according to proponents – will comprise just one part. In California, the new accountability system will be based on ‘multiple measures’ rooted in eight “priority areas” established by the state in the 2013 Local Control Funding Formula law championed by Brown … All this is taking place as Congress, after years of gridlock on the issue, appears to be moving to replace the No Child Left Behind law with one that will move the nation distinctly in the direction California is already going.”
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Why Teacher-Powered Schools Are Picking Up Momentum

Center for Teaching Quality

Barnett Berry, the executive director of the Center for Teaching Quality writes, “In teacher-powered schools, students are at the center of every decision. Teachers secure autonomy to make the big choices about a wide array of factors, such as the learning program, school-community partnerships, and budgeting … The teacher-powered model isn’t new, but it’s definitely picking up momentum. More than 80 public teacher-powered schools currently operate in at least 15 states … New research reveals not only the positive effects of teacher collaboration on student achievement, but also the specific factors that contribute most to teachers’ professional growth and leadership … Polling data reveal that the vast majority of parents have trust and confidence in teachers, and while they want more school choices, they are most interested in teachers leading.”
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