7/30/2014 – Truth About The New Orleans School Reform Model

THIS WEEK: Children’s Well-Being Suffers … Teacher Pay Stinks … Moms Winning Common Core War … School Library Cutbacks Hurt … Longer School Days No Solution


The Truth About The New Orleans School Reform Model

By Jeff Bryant

“Anyone who wants to have a genuinely honest discussion about education policy based on the real facts of the matter … needs to constantly question what policy leaders and their scribes in the press are foisting off as ‘information’ … An especially egregious example of dishonest conversation is the way school administration in New Orleans … is now being marketed to the entire country as a ‘solution’ for public education.”
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Children’s Well-Being Reflects a Sluggish Economic Recovery

New America Foundation

“The 25th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book … found that on the whole, children today appear better off in terms of education and health than children five or even 25 years ago … but this doesn’t necessarily translate to changes in welfare for America’s most at-risk children … So while children overall may be doing better today than their predecessors, far too many children still aren’t receiving the resources they need … Despite initiatives to expand access to early education … 54% percent (more than half!) of the nation’s 3- and 4-year-olds are still not enrolled in pre-k … 6 of the 8 KIDS COUNT indicators for economic and family well-being have yet to return to pre-recession levels. The official child poverty rate has increased to 23%.”
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Teacher Pay Starts Low, Grows Slowly, Is Generally Awful, Report Says

Education Week

“Teachers not only have bad starting pay in many states, but also that teachers are unlikely to see major salary gains even after several years of teaching … Growth in teacher salaries is especially bad when comparing the U.S. to other developed countries … In only four states – Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York – can teachers max out on the salary schedule above $80,000.”
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Moms Winning The Common Core War


“In a series of strategy sessions in recent months, top promoters of the Common Core standards have concluded they’re losing the broader public debate – and need to devise better PR … Standards supporters say they’re at a huge disadvantage in the PR fight because anytime a child brings home a confusing worksheet, gets a bad grade or stresses out about a test, parents can — and do — blame it on the Common Core … Analysts say the opposition also has an edge because it’s tapped into a populist anger that animates both left and right. The self-proclaimed ‘mommy platoons’ organized to take down the standards portray them as an inferior product forced on unsuspecting communities by a cabal of big business and big government elites. Every time supporters come out with sophisticated new promotional material, it only feeds their anger at the big money backing … National polling … found voters more skeptical of the Common Core than they were two years ago. A Pew Research Center report last month found solid opposition among all Republicans, not just tea party members, while support from liberals was fairly anemic, at around 55%. And a recent Siena College poll of likely voters in New York state found 49% want to drop the standards and only 39% want to keep them.”
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School Librarian Cutbacks Widen Digital Divide

District Administration

“About one-third of public schools do not have a full-time, state-certified librarian … In states that have already tried Common Core exams, as many as 70% of students failed, raising fears of mass retentions among teachers, parents and children … Though physical book collections are shrinking in many districts, the role of librarians or media specialists is expanding. Along with fostering a love of reading, librarians teach students media literacy, in part how to research, analyze information and evaluate sources to determine what is accurate … School libraries with more staff and larger collections lead to stronger academic performance … Students at schools with better funded media centers tend to achieve higher average reading scores, regardless of family income and parent education level.’”
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Lessons From A School That Scrapped A Longer Student Day And Made Time For Teachers

The Hechinger Report

“Prompted in part by federal incentives to expand learning time for students, districts serving high-poverty populations are leaping into longer school days, without always embracing what research has found: Simply adding time is not enough to raise student performance … A case in New Haven tells a cautionary tale of what can happen when a low-performing school rushes to add time to close that gap. It also reflects the latest focus of the expanded-time movement: making extra time for teachers to learn … Over half a million American students, predominantly in urban areas, now attend public schools with extended learning time, with on average more than 200 extra hours per year.”
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