EON #12

May 7, 2013 Subscribe
THIS WEEK: Pre-K Better Investment Than Stocks… Billionaire-Backed Group Strong-Arming Parents … Computer Issues Thwart School Testing … School Turnaround Strategies No Sure Thing … Performance Of Online Schools Lags Other Public Schools … College Graduates Disillusioned, Underemployed


Why We Need A Moratorium On The High-Stakes Of Common Core Testing

By Jeff Bryant

“Our nation’s obsession over education standards and testing has gotten out of hand … In a moment of sanity last week, Randi Weingarten, leader of the American Federation of Teachers and a leading proponent of the new standards-aligned tests, defected from the run-up to implementation and called for a moratorium on the high-stakes associated with the Common Core and its new tests … Testing and standards have their place for sure, but current education policies have crossed a line and given standards and testing more emphasis than they deserve at the expense of other important initiatives.”
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Hey Congress: Pre-K Is A Better Investment Than The Stock Market

The Washington Post

“Early childhood education is a tremendously effective investment … Preschool programs help kids develop ‘non-cognitive skills … like patience, cooperation, planning and delaying gratification … There’s some dispute as to whether Head Start does any good, and it’s fair to question the benefit of high-quality preschool for privileged students who’ll do fine anyway. But the overwhelming bulk of the evidence suggests that there are few better investments for poor children.”
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Exposed: The Billionaire-Backed Group Strong-Arming Parents Into Destroying Their Kids’ Public Schools


“A Los Angeles-based group calling itself Parent Revolution organized a local campaign to harass and trick [parents] into signing petitions that they thought were meant for simple school improvements. In fact those petitions turned out to be part of a sophisticated campaign to convert their children’s public school into a privately-run charter — something a majority of parents opposed … Charter school advocates like Parent Revolution and so-called ‘school reformers’ like Michelle Rhee … front for some of the world’s biggest, most powerful corporate figures.”
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Computer Issues Ensnare Testing At Schools In 4 States, Raise Questions About Scores’ Validity

The Washington Post

“Thousands of students in Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota and Oklahoma have been kicked offline while taking tests in recent weeks, postponing the testing schools planned for months and raising concerns about whether the glitches will affect scores … Many frustrated students have been reduced to tears and administrators are boiling over, calling the problems ‘disastrous’ and ‘unacceptable’ at a time when test results count so heavily toward schools’ ratings under the federal No Child Left Behind law. In places such as Indiana, where former Gov. Mitch Daniels approved changes tying teachers’ merit pay to student test scores, the pressure is even greater.”
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New Report Examines School Improvement and Turnaround Strategies

National School Boards Association

“As states and the federal government push for more turnaround strategies for low-performing schools – and put billions of dollars into their efforts – a new report … finds that while there have been some successes there’s not much evidence yet that many of these strategies will work overall … The report concludes: Research is limited. There is some evidence of success, primarily for schools undertaking more dramatic turnaround reforms, but data collected over a longer period of time is needed.”
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Nation’s Online Elementary and Secondary Schools Expand Rapidly, But Academic Performance Lags Behind Other Public Schools, New Report Finds

National Education Policy Center

“A national study … finds serious and systemic problems with the nation’s full-time cyber schools … Despite virtual schools’ track record of students falling behind their peers academically or dropping out at higher rates, states and districts continue to expand virtual schools and online offerings to students … Publicly-funded virtual school expansion appears to be driven by lobbying and advertising dollars. It is not justified by the research evidence, nor is it governed by thoughtful policy.”
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Recent U.S. College Graduates Disillusioned, Underemployed


“More than 40% of recent U.S. college graduates are underemployed or need more training to get on a career track … 34% said they had student loans of $30,000 or less, while 17% owed between $30,000 to $50,000 … 42% of recent graduates expect they will need an advanced degree to further their career and almost a quarter are already planning to take graduate courses. More than half of graduates said it was difficult finding a job, but 39% were employed by the time they left college. 68% said they are working full time, while 16% are in part-time positions. The top industries that graduates wanted to work in were education, media and entertainment and healthcare.”
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