Saturday, December 26, 2015

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 12/26/15



CORPORATE ED REFORM






In ever-important third grade, most Sacramento-area students miss reading standard on new test | The Sacramento Bee
In ever-important third grade, most Sacramento-area students miss reading standard on new test | The Sacramento Bee: In ever-important third grade, most Sacramento-area students miss reading standard on new test Jennifer Sandfort devotes nearly two hours each morning to English instruction in her third-grade class at Empire Oaks Elementary School, ranging from interactive lessons to free reading t
California school scores tied to attendance, not proficiency - ContraCostaTimes.com
California school scores tied to attendance, not proficiency - ContraCostaTimes.com:California school scores tied to attendance, not proficiencyFor more than a decade, the release of federal scores indicating California public school students' progress -- or lack of it -- has incited alarm, anxiety and anguish among educators.But when those marks were ever so quietly posted this month, barely anyo
A Holiday Letter to Peter Cunningham and Education Post - Mitchell Robinson: Reforming Reform
A Holiday Letter to Peter Cunningham and Education Post - Mitchell Robinson: Reforming Reform: A Holiday Letter to Peter Cunningham and Education PostI had an interesting "discussion" on Twitter recently with Peter Cunningham, the Executive Director of Education Post--the investment banker, hedge fund manager-bankrolled communications mouthpiece of the corporate education reform industry
Alabama Teacher of the Year Resigns– The Backstory, Part V | deutsch29
Alabama Teacher of the Year Resigns– The Backstory, Part V | deutsch29: Alabama Teacher of the Year Resigns– The Backstory, Part VOn November 20, 2015, I traveled to Alabama to extensively interview 2014-15 Alabama Teacher of the Year, Ann Marie Corgill, who had resigned from her fifth grade teaching position with Birmingham City Schools on October 30, 2015.  Ann Marie CorgillIt is not as though C
Videos 2015 Teaching, Testing, and Acountability: Poverty and Charters | Live Long and Prosper
Videos 2015 | Live Long and Prosper: Videos 2015Teaching, Testing, and Acountability: Poverty and ChartersEvery now and then I’ll embed a video in my blog. Here I have chosen six – informative and inspiring – from 2015, comprising about 2 hours of video. I’ve added emphasis with boldface and italics.February 1What would happen if state and federal legislators actually listened to educators? Notice
As Graduation Rates Rise, Experts Fear Diplomas Come Up Short - The New York Times
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Florida Illustrates the Problem with Charter-School Capital Funding | Nonprofit Quarterly
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Legislature lets tragic failure in Detroit schools go on: Legislature lets tragic failure in Detroit schools go onIt is outrageous that our state Legislature  could deliver year-end  partisan holiday goodies like ending straight-ticket voting, and finding new ways for money to win elections while failing to deliver  what is most needed in Detroit — a real plan to help Detroit school children learn
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Legislation to support schools may help reduce health barriers to learning | TheHill: ESSA to support schools may help reduce health barriers to learningAmidst the intense media coverage of terrorism, mass shootings and presidential primary hoopla, a glimmer of domestic good news emerged earlier this month when President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act – or, ESSA. This is worth

YESTERDAY

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 12/25/15
CORPORATE ED REFORMHappy Holidays from the Big Education Ape 2015From My Family to YoursEight education predictions (and some wishful thinking) for 2016 — a teacher’s list - The Washington PostEight education predictions (and some wishful thinking) for 2016 — a teacher’s list - The Washington Post: Eight education predictions (and some wishful thinking) for 2016 — a teacher’s list Here is veteran








In ever-important third grade, most Sacramento-area students miss reading standard on new test | The Sacramento Bee

In ever-important third grade, most Sacramento-area students miss reading standard on new test | The Sacramento Bee:

In ever-important third grade, most Sacramento-area students miss reading standard on new test

Students’ writing assignments are displayed on a classroom wall at Empire Oaks Elementary in September in Folsom. Only 2 percent of students at Empire Oaks are eligible for subsidized meals based on family income. More than three-quarters of the school’s third-graders read at or above grade level.
 Jennifer Sandfort devotes nearly two hours each morning to English instruction in her third-grade class at Empire Oaks Elementary School, ranging from interactive lessons to free reading time.

She moves swiftly through lessons and assignments in an orderly manner at the Folsom school, but sometimes feels like she can’t get to everything she wants each day.
“We have so much to cover and so much to teach the kids,” she said.
While students focus on reading and writing the minute they set foot in kindergarten, the stakes are particularly high in third grade. Three decades of research have shown that students who can’t read at grade level by that point are more likely to drop out of high school than their reading-proficient peers. In impoverished communities, students have an even slimmer chance of catching up.
Local teachers are redoubling their efforts after a new statewide test administered last year showed that 60 percent of third-graders in the Sacramento region performed below the state standard in English. The region includes Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties.
The state’s new Smarter Balanced Assessment System incorporates new Common Core standards that emphasize analytical thinking, problem solving and communications skills. Students often must combine several skills to correctly answer questions, and memorization is less valuable. Students, regardless of income level, fared worse than under the previous testing system, but low-income schools suffered the steepest performance declines.
“The new level of expectation far exceeds what we were expecting 15 years ago,” said Anne Zeman, executive director of elementary education for Twin Rivers Unified School District, which serves the North Sacramento area. “By the end of kindergarten 15 years ago we were thrilled if a child could read ‘The cat sat on a mat.’ Now it is much more sophisticated.”
Third grade is a predictor of future academic success because it is typically when students begin reading more complex texts, said Susan Neuman, an education professor at the University of Michigan and former assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education at the U.S. Department of Education.
“They are now reading books on science, social studies and math,” she said. “All that content-related reading is dependent on their ability to read fluently.”
A Bee review of state data shows the majority of Sacramento area schools that performed well on Smarter Balanced third-grade reading tests are located in wealthier areas – mostly in Placer and El Dorado counties – while the lowest performing schools were in poorest neighborhoods in Sacramento.
Seventy-six percent of the region’s poorest kids could not meet standards on the English test, compared to 42 percent of wealthier kids.
At Empire Oaks Elementary School in Folsom, only 2 percent of students are eligible for subsidized meals based on family income. More than three-quarters of the school’s third-graders read at or above grade level.
Despite advantages at home and having a teacher with a doctorate in education, a few students in Sandfort’s class still struggle with reading. A bin of books reflects the range of abilities in the room, with titles suited for readers at first- to seventh-grade levels.
Sandfort tries to address the needs of students at different levels by incorporating individual and small-group instruction into class time while other students read with a partner or listen to stories on a laptop. Sandfort also tries to read to her students every day, but sometimes runs out of time.
As research indicated that third-grade reading ability was an important determinant in future academic success, states began requiring more tests in early grades, as well as more intervention when young students struggle. Some states require that schools hold back third-In ever-important third grade, most Sacramento-area students miss reading standard on new test | The Sacramento Bee:

California school scores tied to attendance, not proficiency - ContraCostaTimes.com

California school scores tied to attendance, not proficiency - ContraCostaTimes.com:

California school scores tied to attendance, not proficiency



For more than a decade, the release of federal scores indicating California public school students' progress -- or lack of it -- has incited alarm, anxiety and anguish among educators.
But when those marks were ever so quietly posted this month, barely anyone noticed. And it seemed few cared. For the first time in years, California schools met federal standards -- but only because the yardstick had been replaced with an easier-to-meet measurement.



It's the sign that the federal No Child Left Behind law, an effort to hold schools accountable for students' failure to learn, has lost its muscle a year before it expires. That retreat enrages reformers like former state Sen. Gloria Romero of Los Angeles. "There is an effort to minimize, whitewash and scrub the file so that parents don't have information," she said. "If you can kill the data, you can't have the reform."



Since 2002, No Child Left Behind tied schools' federal grades to students' proficiency in math and English. But now, under a waiver granted in June, California bases those grades solely on attendance, test participation and graduation rate -- which itself has been inflated with the demise of the state high school exit exam.



Those are much easier bars to hurdle -- and achieved by most California schools.



On Dec. 15, the state posted schools' federal grades, known as "Adequate Yearly Progress." Those that didn't meet expectations could be labeled failing schools, branded with a California school scores tied to attendance, not proficiency - ContraCostaTimes.com:



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