8/13/2015 – Don’t Let John Kasich Near The U.S. Department Of Education

THIS WEEK: Teacher Shortages … Revolt Against Testing … Increased Scrutiny Of Special Ed … Why Reading To Kids Is Good … Jeb Bush’s Education Legacy


John Kasich Doesn’t Belong Anywhere Near The U.S. Department Of Education

By Jeff Bryant

“Some Very Serious People have decided Governor John Kasich of Ohio is the latest personality to emerge from the field of presidential candidates in the Republican Party as a genuine bona fide consideration … On the economic policy front, Kasich has very little to brag about … But one policy area in particular that every state governor owns lock stock and barrel is education … The effect Governor Kasich has had on public education policy in Ohio is especially atrocious.”
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Districts Facing Teacher Shortages Look For Lifelines

Education Week

” With a new school year approaching, districts around the country are issuing urgent pleas for teachers to come work for them. The words on many people’s lips are ‘teacher shortage,’ and in some places, they have the ring of crisis to them … Districts in California, Arizona, and Indiana, among many other states, are also facing high-profile recruitment challenges … Significant drops in teacher-education enrollment in many states … many experts chalk up to the Great Recession and ensuing cutbacks … Others have charged that poor teacher working conditions, such as low salaries and test-driven school cultures, are nudging existing and potential educators toward other professions … Teaching licenses are not always easily portable, due to differing state requirements and procedures.”
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20% of New York Students Opted Out Of Standardized Tests, Officials Say

The New York Times

“Twenty percent of New York State’s third through eighth graders sat out at least one of New York’s standardized tests this year … a sign of increasing resistance to testing as more states make them harder to pass … Just 31% passed reading tests and 38% passed math. Both results were slight improvements from last year, and far below the passing rates under the easier, pre-2013 tests … The large increase in students opting out coincided with a push by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to make teacher ratings more dependent on test scores, a move unpopular with teachers’ unions and many parents.”
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U.S. Probe Into Georgia Special Ed Program Could Have National Impact

The Washington Post

“The Justice Department has accused Georgia of segregating thousands of students with behavior-related disabilities, shunting them into a program that denies them access to their non-disabled peers and to extracurricular activities and other basic amenities, including gymnasiums, libraries and appropriately certified teachers … The department’s legal tack in the Georgia case is a sign that it is expanding an important civil rights approach into the education arena, a move that is likely to have implications nationwide … The department focused on the state’s failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a much more powerful civil rights tool … The ADA, which just turned 25, requires schools to provide people with disabilities with an education and with educational opportunities that are equal to that of their non-disabled peers. It also prohibits the unjustified segregation of people with disabilities.”
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Brain Scans Show Why Reading To Kids Is Good for Them

Health Day

“Brain scans reveal that preschoolers whose parents read to them regularly show more activity in key areas of their brains … Experts already urge parents to have a regular story time with their kids, starting at birth … But the new findings … offer hard evidence of that theory … The more often children had story time at home, the more brain activity they showed while listening to stories … The difference was seen in a brain region involved in so-called semantic processing – the ability to extract meaning from words. There was ‘particularly robust’ activity, the researchers said, in areas where mental images are formed from what is heard.”
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The Big Jeb Bush Charter School Lie: Why His Florida Education ‘Miracle’ Is Hogwash


Jeff Bryant writes, “As the ranks of Florida charter schools have swollen, the pathway out of poverty these schools were supposed to provide now looks more like a detour to exploitation and profit-making. In fact, the big change Jeb Bush promised is not so much a model for other states to adopt as it is a glaring warning sign for them to heed … A combination of corrupt leadership and lack of regulation … inevitably led to numerous scandals that local media sources soon began reporting around the state … No doubt there are examples of good charter schools and students who have benefitted from attending them. But any argument that Florida’s whole education system been improved by introducing more charter schools is tenuous at best … On the issue of verifiable ‘good’ coming from Bush and his education agenda as whole, there are plenty of education scholars who continue to question his effectiveness.”
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