Tag: Reform-Minded Money


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Read: Monday Morning Edition


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What’s happening inside the dropout nation: The Detroit News takes Michigan’s public education leadership to task for subjecting kids to woeful standardized tests that don’t meet the National Assessment of…

What’s happening inside the dropout nation:

  1. The Detroit News takes Michigan’s public education leadership to task for subjecting kids to woeful standardized tests that don’t meet the National Assessment of Educational Progress’ much higher standards — and damning the children to low expectations. Declares the paper: “e standards for passing the exam — called the cut scores — have been lowered so much, a student who tests well on the Michigan assessment would not score nearly as well on the NAEP or even the national ACT test.” As Dropout Nation readers already know, this, unfortunately, isn’t an isolated occurrence.
  2. Clarence Fanto argues in The Boston Globe that charter schools are a problem in school reform. Why? He uses the long-refuted position that charters take money from traditional public school districts. Actually, the fact that states don’t divert funding from traditional districts — and, in fact, offset enrollment losses with additional funding — is the very reason why there isn’t true competition within education. If traditional public schools truly had to compete with charters for funding — and in the suburbs, compete for students in the first place — school reform wouldn’t be such a hot topic in the first place.
  3. On Red State, Vladimir asks why can’t Republicans make the expansion of charter schools a winning platform in their 2010 election campaigns. My response: Republicans first have to embrace school reform; and save for centrists and conservative elements in the party, many in the GOP are either uncomfortable with a form of school choice that still involves government funding, or represent suburban areas, whose school districts are aggressively opposed to charter schools.
  4. The Washington Post details efforts by the U.S. Department of Education to focus states on turning around laggard public schools. Whether it will work or not? Andy Smarick doubts it, as everyone already knows.
  5. Venture capitalist Fred Wilson thinks schools should add computer science and programming to their curricula. Meanwhile, programs are sprouting up encouraging more children and teens to take up computer science. This is fine, but schools need to focus mostly on the things they are struggling to do. Like teaching reading and math.
  6. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation streams a video of New York City school czar Joel Klein discussing his own background growing up in the projects and his efforts in education reform. Interesting and worth watching. By the way, you may also read my Foundation Watch report on the Gates Foundation’s efforts in the education reform arena.
  7. And speaking of Klein, Dropout Nation thoughts: In the comments of Thursday’s edition of Read, Kathy offers a rebuttal to his decision to close Jamaica High School.

Finally, subscribe to the Dropout Nation Podcast. This week, the focus is on giving parents power in school reform. Enjoy.

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