4/23/2014 – Parental Advice To Education Policy Makers

THIS WEEK: English Learning Neglected … Bullying Effects Last … Most Teachers Not “Engaged” … TFA Takes Teachers’ Jobs … Public Schools Out-Perform Voucher Schools


Parental Advice To Education Policy Makers

By Jeff Bryant

“A recent spate of new research studies have revealed current education policies … as being dangerously misaligned with parenting and the multiple roles it plays not only in child development and achievement but also in school governance. Alternative approaches more in tune with the parental role in education attainment are being tried and used successfully in schools. But too little attention and resources are being focused on these potentially more positive policy directions.”
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ELL Students Neglected In School Turnaround Efforts

THE Journal

“A new evaluation of School Improvement Grant (SIG) recipients shows that even in schools with high percentages of English language learners, ELL students were poorly represented in strategic reform efforts … Only moderate attention was paid to the unique needs of ELLs. For the most part, only limited attention was given. No schools achieved the highest category, ‘strategic attention’ … Schools in the study focused most of their early efforts under SIG to the broader student population, such as efforts to curb behavior problems, revamping math and reading curricula and focusing on general teacher development.”
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Forty Years On, Bullying Takes Its Toll On Health And Wealth


“The negative social, physical and mental health effects of childhood bullying are still evident nearly 40 years later… People who were frequently bullied in childhood were at an increased risk of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and experiencing suicidal thoughts. Victims of bullying were also more likely to have lower educational levels, less likely to be in a relationship and more likely to report lower quality of life. Men who had been bullied were also more likely to be unemployed and earn less.”
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Gallup Poll Finds Majority Of Teachers “Not Engaged”

Education Week

Veteran teacher John Thompson reports, “Gallup’s latest study found that 56% of teachers polled are ‘not engaged.’ They may be satisfied with their jobs, but they are not emotionally connected to their schools. Another 13% are ‘actively disengaged’ … Teachers are dead last among occupational groups in terms of their opinions being heard at work … Gallup concludes that the ‘increased use of high-stakes testing at the state and district levels may be exacerbating this problem’ … The first step in improving schools, Gallup finds, is asking teachers about curriculum, pedagogy, and other issues, and then incorporating their feedback into the decision-making … Gallup emphasizes the need to improve working conditions, grant teachers greater (not less) autonomy, and professional development.”
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Teachers Are Losing Their Jobs, But Teach For America’s Expanding. What’s Wrong With That?

The Hechinger Report

“Since the recession, with education funding across the country drying up, teacher layoffs have become more of an issue than teacher shortages … With Teach for America’s expansion outpacing needs, it has been forced to find new places for its recruits … where teaching jobs – not teachers – are scarce … TFA’s growth also increasingly hinges on fueling the country’s thriving charter movement … [According to] TFA founder Wendy Kopp … people often misunderstand the function of TFA. “We’re a leadership development organization, not a teaching organization” … The organization’s lobbying data indicate that it has spent nearly as much on lobbying since 2010 as it did in the previous decade.”
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Once Again, WI Public Schools Outperform Taxpayer-Funded Voucher Schools

National Education Association

“The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has just released new test results that show public school students in Milwaukee and Racine are outperforming those kids who attend voucher schools in both locations. Test results show the same is true even for those students who are categorized as ‘economically disadvantaged’ … Given the research on voucher schools, why would Gov. Scott Walker and the state legislature expand vouchers over the last two budget cycles? Walker and state legislative leaders are taking their cues from outside groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – which is pro-privatization and one of the biggest adversaries of public education.”
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