Tag: Bolder Coalition


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The Read


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If it’s happening in the dropout nation, you can find it here. Updated continuously throughout the day (asterisks are next to new and updated items): Getting only half the story:…

Helpling with homework and attending the PTA is no longer the only part parents must play in their children's academic lives. They must also help in shaping their curricula -- and must have the tools and support to do so. (Photo courtesy of needsfoundation.org)

Helpling with homework and attending the PTA is no longer the only part parents must play in their children's academic lives. They must also help in shaping their curricula -- and must have the tools and support to do so. (Photo courtesy of needsfoundation.org)

If it’s happening in the dropout nation, you can find it here. Updated continuously throughout the day (asterisks are next to new and updated items):

  • Getting only half the story: Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is clearly no fan of the school voucher program being proposed by Georgia State Sen. Eric Johnson. Why? From his perspective… Actually, make that after talking to “teachers and administrators,” Bookman concludes that the single most important solution to student academic failure is parental involvement. And vouchers won’t, from his perspective, won’t help children with “uninvolved parents.” Bookman, however, should actually spend time with parents — both poor and middle-class — who are extraordinarily involved in shaping the academic careers of their students, who have found working with school bureaucrats and teachers to be, at times, rather unpleasant.
  • One of the issues not addressed by most education commentators is the reality that the school experience — that is, dealing with administrators and teachers who, due to gaining a number of graduate degrees  in education (whatever their value in terms of improving instructional training and subject-matter competency) can be, at best, intimidating. And from my own experiences with some teachers, there are a fair share of teachers out there who are just plain arrogant. If pu
  • This isn’t to say that there aren’t parents who just simply ignore their children’s educational — and ultimately, economic and social destiny. Nor is to say that civic society must play a strong role in helping poor parents (and even middle-class ones) make good school choices — a major issue in school choice that my fellow libertarians often fail to address — by creating advisory centers and parent education clinics. Nor can one say that private schools can, in the main, always do a better job of educating students than public schools; given that traditional public, public charter and private schools pull from the same schools of education — many of which are woefully inept in preparing teachers for real-world instruction – students in all three sectors may be getting shortchanged. But parents should have the right to shape their children’s academic destinies — and get the opportunities to do so. More than ever, this nation’s dropout crisis requires parents to play strong, active (and untraditional; no mere PTA participation and field trip malarkey) in guiding their children into productive adulthood.
  • An example of the struggles* faced by parents — especially poor ones — who want to improve the academic careers of their children can be found today in the AJC in a guest column by Lydia Glaize. Read on.
  • Perhaps you shouldn’t have gone to MIT — or Harvard: Charles Murray joins the ‘college doesn’t matter’ crowd in his latest piece in the Wall Street Journal. I can understand the argument Murray is making. But I would argue that all high school students need to attend some form of higher education — be it academic, technical or otherwise — immediately after they graduate high school (whether they need to finish is a different story). And given the demands of the knowledge-based economy, they will need to develop their own plans for lifetime learning once they get into the workforce. More importantly, as Kevin Carey might ask, can Murray — a renown author and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute — ever say he regrets going to college?
  • Two-thirds lost: Village Voice legend Nat Hentoff takes a thoughtful look at one of the most stubborn problems facing New York schools chief Joel Klein: Reversing one of the nation’s worst graduation rates for black males. And unlike another New York icon (yes, you, Sol Stern), he actually takes a more balanced view of Klein’s successes and challenges.
  • Meanwhile: The new graduation rate for the Big Apple is released, along with state numbers. If you believe the state numbers, 56 percent of the city’s graduating Class of 2007 garnered sheepskins.
  • And you can find another version of my piece on H-1B visas and school teachers at EducationNews.org.
  • Broader ain’t bolder. Or in Boulder*: Ken DeRosa and Jay Greene each give critique Broader, Bolder Coalition supporter (and UFT bigwig) Leo Casey’s defense of the anti-No Child Left Behind Act’s agenda. Your editor’s take: Although I will agree that there are numerous social issues that need to be dealt with, either through a civic society approach or a better attuning of the welfare state, schools really can’t fully address or mitigate those issues. They can, however, strengthen standards and curricula, improve their inadequate data systems, embrace more rigorous, information-driven instructional methods, recruit more effective teachers and spend more school time on instruction — none of which is done adequately now. Most importantly of all, they can elevate the expectations they have for all children, instead of the patronizing and shameful educational treatment of poor children embraced by Broader, Bolder. ‘We can’t educate these screwed-up children’ isn’t a mantra — or formula — for success.

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The Morning Read


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What’s happening inside — and outside — the dropout nation: When civil rights groups get it wrong on education: Is access to a high-quality education a civil right? Depends on…

What’s happening inside — and outside — the dropout nation:

Image courtesy of C'Ville Weekly

Image courtesy of C'Ville Weekly

    1. When civil rights groups get it wrong on education: Is access to a high-quality education a civil right? Depends on where you sit ideologically (personally, this libertarian thinks it isn’t necessarily so, but a public education system being funded with tax dollars should actually do the job and educate all students). But civil rights groups such as La Raza and the NAACP have long ago began bucking their ties to teachers’ unions and supporting the No Child Left Behind Act. Now, according to the New York Times, other groups are also doing the same, this time fighting with the NEA and AFT over a congressional bill aimed at weakening an accountability provision in the law.
    2. Diane Ravitch and James Heckmann should know better: Essentially, that’s what Ken DeRosa concludes in his latest sharp criticism of the Broader, Bolder Coalition, the strange bedfellows group of conservative and left-leaning education policy stars demanding that the the kind of standards-and-accountability embedded in the No Child Left Behind Act ought to be abandoned because it blames schools for academic failure. This isn’t the first time he has claimed that the group ignores data that may not support their position.
    3. Are teachers’ unions anti-teacher?: Larry Sands of the California Teachers Empowerment Network offers his own thoughts.
    4. Meanwhile in my birth-state: New York is once again reeling from unrestrained spending and prospects of a recession, notes the Economist. The chances for comprehensive education reform in the state — whose legislature and new governor overturned a successful effort to reform how new teachers attain tenure — is about as likely as the city handing over Liberty Island to New Jersey.

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