1/8/2015 – An Education New Year’s Resolution

THIS WEEK: Crucial Year For Common Core … Teacher Diversity Problem … Preschool For Low Income Kids … Worst Way To Address STEM … Students Stuck Funding Colleges


An Education New Year’s Resolution We Can All Believe In

By Jeff Bryant

“Let’s resolve to make 2015 the year we work on the most important education issue of all … Recognition of the blatant inequity in our nation’s education system is growing … Maybe 2015 can be the year that education equity gets the emphasis it deserves.”
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Why 2015 Is A Crucial Year For Common Core


“This spring, hundreds of thousands of students will be tested against the standards for the first time… In New York and Kentucky, two states that adopted Common Core tests early, the percentage of students considered proficient in reading and math plummeted … This year, 39 more states will join them … Many states haven’t been preparing parents for lower test scores this year. And in most states, teacher evaluations will eventually be based on students’ test scores. That means the stakes are higher … 2015 could be the year that political controversy over Common Core is revived, and with a different coalition of opponents this time.”
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Our Teacher Diversity Problem Is Not Just About Recruitment. It’s About Retention.


“For the first time in our country’s history, a majority of public school students are children of color. But most teachers – 82% in the 2011-2012 school year – are white … The number of teachers of color who left their schools or the profession altogether jumped 28% between 1980 and 2009 … Minority teachers are more likely to work in high-poverty, low-performing schools where turnover rates are higher among teachers of all races and backgrounds … A significant body of research suggests the benefits of a racially diverse teaching force are considerable … There are countless programs designed at drawing more minority teachers into public schools, but comparatively few focus on supporting them once they get there. A few promising new initiatives aim to counter this trend, however.”
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Study Endorses Preschool For Low Income Kids

Associated Press via Komo News

“A new study shows low income kids from Washington state who go to a state supported preschool are likely to do better academically than their peers at least through fifth grade … Kids who attended state funded preschool when they were 3- and 4-years old, had a 7% higher passing rate on the fifth-grade reading test and a 6% higher passing rate on the fifth-grade math test … Department of Early Learning Director Bette Hyde said … ‘This appears to dispel the myth of fade-out, or diminishing impact of early learning’ … The study does not reach the gold standard of academic research, since children were not assigned randomly to a preschool or control group. But researchers believe they got close to that standard by looking only at children who were eligible for the program and comparing those who attended with those who did not.”
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The Worst Possible Way To Push Kids Into Studying Science, Math And Engineering

The Washington Post

“President Obama has perennially championed science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as key fields for the economic success and competitiveness of the economy … The tech industry, of course, is a huge booster of STEM education … A new study from Stanford looks at what happened in Italy, when a 1961 law doubled the number of students in STEM majors graduating from the country’s universities … The first surprise: College seemed to provide no financial benefit to the students from the technical schools, who typically came from less-educated families … Italy’s experience is in part a cautionary tale … A huge increase in the number of STEM graduates sounds great, but the workers themselves didn’t seem to benefit that much financially. It’s anyone’s guess what the optimal number of science and technology workers is in an economy, but industry will always lobby for more job candidates who will compete with each other and drive down wages.”
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Student Tuition Now Officially Pays More Than States For Public College Funding

The Huffington Post

“Students now pay more of the cost of attending public universities than state governments … Tuition officially surpassed state funding in fiscal year 2012, the GAO found, accounting for 25% … State sources dipped from 32% in 2003 to 23% in 2012 … State budget cuts drive up tuition at public colleges … Many young Americans typically blame colleges – public and private – for rising student debt … The federal government’s Pell grant now covers smallest portion of the cost of college in the program’s history.”
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