Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Closing the achievement gaps: Will California’s reforms make a difference? | EdSource

Closing the achievement gaps: Will California’s reforms make a difference? | EdSource:

Closing the achievement gaps: Will California’s reforms make a difference?


Student scores on the Smarter Balanced assessments, the centerpiece of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, were released in September 2015. They underscored the continuing achievement gaps that decades of education reforms have failed to close. EdSource conducted a series of interviews with leading educators and scholars about the persistence of these achievement gaps and the prospects for the current set of reforms in California to help close them.
Just click on each of the boxes below to read the Q&A – and let us know your reactions as well.

Louis Freedberg

Executive Director, EdSource


Christopher Edley, Jr.

Professor and Former Dean, UC Berkeley School of Law


Sean Reardon

Professor of Poverty and Inequality, Stanford Graduate School of Education


Michael Fullan

Professor Emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto


Linda Darling-Hammond

Professor, Stanford University and President and CEO, Learning Policy Institute


Marshall 'Mike' Smith

Former Undersecretary of Education, Clinton administration


Hillary Clinton: Vowing to Close Schools Not “Above Average” | deutsch29

Hillary Clinton: Vowing to Close Schools Not “Above Average” | deutsch29:

Hillary Clinton: Vowing to Close Schools Not “Above Average” 


A numeric average is a relative statistic. If I have a set of numeric values and I calculate an average using the set, by definition, some individual values will fall below average, and likely, some will be right on the average. If I remove these below-average and average values, the original average does not remain fixed– and if I average the remaining originally-above-average values, some will newly be below average, and likely, some exactly average.
The truth about the relative nature of averages is apparently lost on Democratic presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton. On December 22, 2015, Clinton spoke at a high school in Keota, Iowa, where she said, “I wouldn’t keep any school open that wasn’t Hillary Clinton: Vowing to Close Schools Not “Above Average” | deutsch29:

New Fafsa Rules to Eliminate Frustrating Financial Aid Problem - The New York Times

New Fafsa Rules to Eliminate Frustrating Financial Aid Problem - The New York Times:

New Fafsa Rules to Eliminate Frustrating Financial Aid Problem

After holiday celebrations are over, students who plan on attending college next fall should begin preparing for a looming financial chore: completing the document that is crucial for financial aid.
Known as Fafsa, which is short for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the form is used to calculate how much students and their families are expected to contribute to the cost of attending college, and what sort of financial aid they will receive. “The Fafsa,” said Lauren Asher, president of The Institute for College Access & Success, “is the gateway to government aid and federal loans.”
The form for the 2016-17 school year becomes available online on Jan. 1, and filling it out as soon as possible helps families maximize the odds of qualifying for grants, scholarships and federal loans. Students seeking financial aid must file the form each year.
Applying early is important because some states have early grant deadlines, and some distribute aid on a first-come, first-served basis, Ms. Asher said. So waiting may mean students will miss out.
Although filing the form in early January is ideal, not all families are ready to do so. The form requires filers to use information from their federal income tax return from the calendar year that just ended — so, January filers would use information from 2015. But most people will not receive their W-2 forms and other information necessary to file a 2015 tax return until later in January, at the earliest.
This is the last year filers will face this situation. Starting in 2016, changesNew Fafsa Rules to Eliminate Frustrating Financial Aid Problem - The New York Times: 

CURMUDGUCATION: Clinton's Math Problem

CURMUDGUCATION: Clinton's Math Problem:
Clinton's Math Problem


In Iowa, Clinton displayed a lack of-- well, something. Math comprehension? Education reform understanding? Thinking things through? 






She wouldn't keep any school open that wasn't doing above average. So... close half the schools? Of course, once you close half the schools, then the average will have to be recalculated, and then you'll have to close half of those schools. And so on until there is only one school left. Or maybe we close parts of that school. I am suddenly remembering the many hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and imagining a Seussian school at which a sky-reaching stack of students are seated at a single desk.

But maybe what she means is closer half the schools and replace them with charters, which means we'll close a new half of the schools every year. Will we allow students to move around? Will low-scoring students become educational hot potatoes, thrown off by schools who don't want to fall in the bottom half.

It will be frustrating of course-- half of the schools (a few more, actually) will always be average or lower, so every year we will close half the schools and every year we will have to farm out the students and putCURMUDGUCATION: Clinton's Math Problem:

Jersey Jazzman: Democracy, Markets, & Charter Schools: Part I

Jersey Jazzman: Democracy, Markets, & Charter Schools: Part I:

Democracy, Markets, & Charter Schools: Part I


I promise I'll get back to Teachers Village in a bit and wrap up that series. But recent events have got me thinking more about the intersection of democratically elected school boards, local control, race, class, and charter schools.

Because the argument I often hear from the "reform" industry is that people like me have no business expressing our skepticism about charter schools (nor should we ever dare to call out the incoherence of those who make poor cases for chartering) because charters represent a "choice" that urban families of color -- who are often at economic disadvantage -- make, and no one has the right to take away that "choice" if the only alternative is a "failing" school.

As I've said many times: I'll never blame a parent for enrolling their child in a school that they believe best meets their child's needs. But the idea that the "choice" an urban parent makes when enrolling their child in an urban charter is somehow equivalent to the "choice" a suburban parent makes for their child's schooling is just wrong:


Charter "choice" is not suburban "choice." Shuffling children around within the borders of their district into schools that have unequal access to resources and unequal commitments to educating all students is not the "choice" offered in the suburbs. Offering families either underfundedcrumblingfilthy public schools or charters that are not state actors and do not afford students and
- See more at: http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2015/12/democracy-markets-charter-schools-part-i.html#sthash.lBdZKqP1.dpuf



Clinton: 'I Will Close All Schools that Fail to Meet The Lake Wobegon Standard

Clinton: 'I Wouldn't Keep Any School Open That Wasn't Doing A Better Than Average Job' | The Weekly Standard:


Clinton: 'I Wouldn't Keep Any School Open That Wasn't Doing A Better Than Average Job'






Hillary Clinton may be planning to close a lot of schools. At a town hall event today in Keota, Iowa, Clinton said she would keep open "better than average" schools:


"This school district and these schools throughout Iowa are doing a better than average job," Clinton told the crowd. "Now, I wouldn't keep any school open that wasn't doing a better than average job. If a school's not doing a good job, then you know it may not be good for the kids.
"But when you have a district that's doing a good job it seems kind of counterproductive to impose financial burdens on it."
Clinton: 'I Wouldn't Keep Any School Open That Wasn't Doing A Better Than Average Job' | The Weekly Standard:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 12/22/15



CORPORATE ED REFORM





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YESTERDAY

After-school program funding remains separate under new education law | EdSource
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Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 12/21/15
CORPORATE ED REFORMCURMUDGUCATION: Free Market Bad for Students with DisabilitiesCURMUDGUCATION: Free Market Bad for Students with Disabilities: Free Market Bad for Students with Disabilities Disabilities Studies Quarterly, a peer-reviewed quarterly journal, published a paper back in 2012 that makes some sobering points about how a free market approach to schools works out (or not) for students wi












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