Sunday, August 23, 2015

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Good Edureads from the Week

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Good Edureads from the Week:

ICYMI: Good Edureads from the Week






I really thought I was going to fumble the ball this week. A combination of working the second weekend of our production of The Fantasticks, beginning-of-year in-service days, ninth grade orientation, organizing a 5K race, etc etc etc-- well, I got a bit behind on my own reading. But yesterday and today I stumbled over several must-reads for the week. I know it's a little late in the day (matinee and set strike), but here's some Sunday evening reading for you--

The Blackout

Jose Luis Vilsongives some articulate clarity to the questions raised by supporters of public schools who really think that black folks should stop pestering Presidential candidates and start getting with the right team.

Left Behind

Here's your if-you-only-read-one-thing selection for the week. This fully-researched series of articles looks at exactly how school choice plays out, and how it leaves the most challenged students behind in a half-empty school stripped of the resources they desperately need. The journalists here take a close-up look at North Charleston High in South Carolina, and the story is thorough, from individual student stories to some very handy interactive graphics that help the reader understand exactly what is happening. A well-told, fully-supported story of the worst side-effects of choice.

The Reality Television Paradigm of All Charter Systems 

Sarah Tepper Blaine takes a look at the implications of a system like New Orleans means to our system of public education, and for students on the losing end of a two tier system.

The Myth of the New Orleans Makeover 

Well, lookee here! The New York Times runs yet another criticism of the New Orleans sort-of-a-miracle.

Finally, google Dyett High Hunger Strike

and read whatever you can find that's the most current account of what's going on in the struggle for Dyett High parents to make their voices heard. If nothing else, check this link for the newest updates there. Spread the word.








As a bonus this week, I suggest that you read all five of the suggestions, because taken together, they suggest the outlines of the larger picture that's showing its iceberg head above the education waters.





Raising graduation bar poses challenges for school districts | EdSource

Raising graduation bar poses challenges for school districts | EdSource:

Raising graduation bar poses challenges for school districts




Parents from Familias Unidas rally outside LAUSD headquarters in 2010 to promote college readiness.
Graduating more college-ready students ranks as one of most important education initiatives in California, leading Los Angeles Unified School District to implement a sweeping plan requiring all students to complete a college-prep curriculum before they earn a diploma.
In 2005 the nation’s second-largest district joined a growing number in the state that began aligning their graduation requirements with the A-G sequence, the minimum standards needed for admission into the University of California and California State University systems and other four-year colleges and universities.
But like many of the other districts, Los Angeles Unified struggled to implement the new requirement. Officials said they miscalculated the large number of students who would have trouble with the college-prep coursework. The loss in state funding caused by the recession hampered other districts’ efforts to add intervention programs, making them reluctant to punish students who could not meet the tougher targets.
Los Angeles Unified eventually adjusted its ambitious plan after officials realized that far too many students were at risk of not graduating. More than 65,000 students were funneled into summer school this year because they were behind on credits.
Other districts that require the A-G sequence have also eased their standards. They include allowing Ds in college-prep courses to count toward graduation credits, even as UC and CSU accept only Cs or higher. Some districts allow students to opt out of the A-G curriculum altogether if they decide college might not be their ultimate path, creating a two-tiered system.
These loopholes essentially render districts’ college-prep curriculum meaningless if many students still can’t qualify for four-year colleges after graduation, some critics said. Also, asking more of students academically and then failing to provide them with the needed resources sets up many for failure, they said.
But supporters of the A-G graduation requirements said the best way to ensure more students from diverse backgrounds attend college is to increase what’s asked of them. And the progress made so far has led to more college-ready students. Statewide, the number of UC/CSU-eligible graduates has grown by 24 percent over the past decade, with districts adopting the A-G curriculum seeing some of the largest increases, according to state Department of Education figures.

‘LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD’ WITH A-G

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO SEE A LARGER IMAGE: California's minimum graduation requirements and how they compare with a-g coursework.
(Click on the picture to see a larger image) California’s minimum graduation requirements and how they compare with A-G coursework.
California’s minimum graduation requirements have largely remained unchanged since 2003 even as business leaders, politicians and activists have called for high schools to produce more college-ready graduates.
In response, at least a dozen districts across the state increased the requirements for diplomas. Some districts adopted the A-G sequence – a series of 15 college-prep courses in English, math, science, foreign language and other core electives – created by the UC system and used by CSU to give students and schools a clear understanding of the coursework needed for college admission.
In 1998, San Jose Unified became the first district to align graduation requirements with A-G coursework, starting with its graduating class of 2002. District leaders said that too few Latinos where graduating eligible to apply for four-year schools. In 1998, about 20 percent of Latino students graduated eligible for UC and CSU admission, compared to the districtwide rate of 38 percent. The policy change allowed the district to “level the playing field” while increasing the overall number of college-ready students, officials said.
The district saw modest gains by 2002, with the number of Latinos graduating UC/CSU-eligible increasing to about 25 percent, while the districtwide rate rose to 40 percent. (The district initially reported that for 2002 the Latino UC/CSU-eligible rate increased to 44 percent and the districtwide rate grew to 65 percent. But officials later said they mistakenly included in those figures students who earned Ds in A-G coursework.) The district’s UC/CSU-eligible rates continued to climb gradually in subsequent years.
After San Jose Unified made A-G coursework the default graduation requirement, at least a dozen other districts followed. They include some of California’s largest: Los Angeles Unified, San Diego UnifiedSanta Ana UnifiedSan Francisco Unified and Oakland Unified. Others includeRaising graduation bar poses challenges for school districts | EdSource:

USDOE Wants Most Special Ed Students to Take Common Core Assessments | deutsch29

USDOE Wants Most Special Ed Students to Take Common Core Assessments | deutsch29:

USDOE Wants Most Special Ed Students to Take Common Core Assessments



lit match


Effective September 21, 2015, a number of special education students nationwide will be required to learn the same “college and career ready standards” and to take the same assessments as students in regular education.
In 2007, the US Department of Education (USDOE) modified Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (the latest version of which is No Child Left Behind–NCLB) to allow states to instruct students receiving special education services using modified academic achievement standards and administer special education students alternate assessments based on those modified academic achievement standards.
In August 2013, the USDOE published in the Federal Register its intention to require most students receiving special education services to be required to be taught using the same “college and career ready standards” and associated assessments effective September 2015.
In August thru November 2013, the USDOE opened public comments regarding the shift of most special education students to being held to the same standards and assessments as regular education students. In other words, USDOE wants special educaiton students held to what are effectively the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and CCSS-aligned assessments.
USDOE compiled a number of general comments and USDOE responses; those can be accessed here.
The USDOE maintains that students receiving special education services for the most severe cognitive disabilities are not included in this September 2015 mandate. However, it is also clear that USDOE continues to hold a view of CCSS as automatically “high,” and it believes that CCSS assessments actually deliver useful, timely information to teachers and parents. Here is the USDOE’s opening statement on the matter:
High standards and high expectations for all students and an accountability system that provides teachers, parents, students, and the public with information about students’ academic progress are essential to ensure that students graduate from high school prepared for college and careers in the 21st century.
The now-common CCSS spiel.
The USDOE also demonstrates unquestioning faith in what amounts to CCSS-aligned assessments:
Nearly all States have developed and are administering new high-quality general assessments that are valid and reliable and measure students with disabilities’ knowledge and skills against college- and career-ready standards.
USDOE notes that as part of the NCLB “waivers,” states agreed to transition most USDOE Wants Most Special Ed Students to Take Common Core Assessments | deutsch29:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 8/23/15 #SaveDyett


SPECIAL NITE CAP 

CORPORATE ED REFORM



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YESTERDAY

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