Rethinking Public Education
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Rethinking Public Education
Resources for those who see a different future for public education and the students counting on us.
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“Closing the gap” should NOT be the (only) goal

“Closing the gap” should NOT be the (only) goal | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

Today, the State of Michigan released a new list of “focus” schools meant to punish those schools whose top 30% of students greatly outperform their lowest 30% of students on the offici...  Lots of energy on this issue. 

 

Like most things, there are pros and cons.  Indeed, the new designation in Michigan will cause many schools to put limited resources into spots where the majority of the kids do not sit.  They will need to analyze their system to understand what is going on with the lower achievers.  The downside is the energy drain.  The upside is that the low achievers will be attended to in a focused way.  Where is the happy medium?

 

Can you imagine being the bottom 30% in a high achieving school? I cannot.  The problem in dealing with large numbers is that the focus is rarely on the minority. How can it be, realistically?  I hope that we will find balance for everyone involved and that the gap between the high and the low is closed without dispiriting the people involved. 

 

 

 

 

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What is the Purpose of K-12 ...

What is the Purpose of K-12 ... | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

The goal of our public system is to allow every child to develop his/her talent, and bring each one of them into full membership in our economic, cultural, and social national community. This includes music, the arts, sports, physical and mental play, communication and expression. We prepare children to become active contributors to our culture and full participants in our democratic institutions.

 

For this reason, I admire the steps the Common Core is taking to include more of the kids who have been left behind with more traditional, archaic  standards that rather explicitly exclude music and the arts. Focusing on the thinking means the artists and musicians can participate in school in more engaging and creative ways, still meeting course objectives. 


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How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better

How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

We compiled what we believe is the most comprehensive analysis of global school system reform ever assembled. This report identifies the reform elements that are replicable for school systems everywhere as well as what it really takes to achieve significant, sustained, and widespread gains in student outcomes.


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3 keys to successful professional development

3 keys to successful professional development | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it
Providing professional development is a fun but challenging job in the world of education. First of all, professional development has been done poorly for so long that it has a bad connotation.

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U.S. Education Reform and National Security

U.S. Education Reform and National Security | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

This Independent Task Force report asserts that fixing the nation's underperforming K-12 public schools is critical for strengthening the country's security and increasing its economic competitiveness. "Educational failure puts the United States' future economic prosperity, global position, and physical safety at risk," the report says. 

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States Rated On Teacher Effectiveness Policies

States Rated On Teacher Effectiveness Policies | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it
Since 1993, the leading voice and advocate for lasting, substantive and structural education reform in the U.S.. About · Purpose · We're Different · Impact · Services · People · Meet the Team · Board of Directors · Our Advisors · CER Supporters ...
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Losing Focus with Focus Schools?

Podcast by Dr. Vickie Markavitch, Superintendent of Oakland Schools in Michigan.  The attack on public education we are currently facing is unprecedented, and we all need to take an active role in fighting back. 

 

Michigan's new classification system of evaluating district compares the testing scores (MEAP and MME) of the top 30% and the lowest 30% within a building.  Those with large gaps are identified as a Focus School.  They will be required to spend enormous time and energy to address this issue.  Time and energy that is robbed of the students; that dispirits the teachers working hard as educators. 

 

The method of analyzing schools, using the 30-30 method is a fatal flaw.  We should be about celebrating proficiency using benchmarks and instead providing assistance to the schools with large numbers of students not meeting proficiency. Distracting schools with large numbers of students who are proficient on our state assessments robs staff of precious energy at a time when resources are most limited. 

 

 

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Massive student march for education reform held in Santiago

Massive student march for education reform held in Santiago | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it
Thousands of Chilean students, supported by teachers and social organizations, demonstrated in Santiago demanding the government reform the education system. Riot police dispersed a number of radical protesters with teargas after rocks were thrown.
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Philly Teacher on reform: show us the money

Philly Teacher on reform:  show us the money | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

What Mastery has (and I’m sure many of the other turnaround school charter companies have as well) is the funding to do what the Philadelphia School District can’t: repair buildings, offer extensive coaching and support as well as provide highly-trained and indoctrinated administrative teams.

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MDE: Dispelling_the_Myths_About_Focus_Schools. What do you think?

What do you think?

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War on common core highlights the discrepancy between the teacher and learner.

War on common core highlights the discrepancy between the teacher and learner. | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

I completely agree with so much here.  To be honest, the future is going to require the type to teacher that mirrors the learners we have in front of us. And that learner does not mirror the typical educator on a given day in September (sorry!).   I really believe this dichotomy is at the crux of SOME of the kick back re: the common core . 

 

Being flexible, spontaneous and able to catch stray balls will be admired traits in the future.  You must know your content.  Know the outcomes you want for students.  The rest will follow-  while the student leads...,.


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5 Ways Rapid Technology Change Impacts Education

5 Ways Rapid Technology Change Impacts Education | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

Rapid technology change is here to stay.  I suspect it will require a scrappy, snappy response from those wanting to stay afloat! 


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The Three New Pillars of 21st Century Learning

The Three New Pillars of 21st Century Learning | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

The article proposes Three new "pillars" of 21st Century Learning. 

This might be the hardest shift of all – changing our assessments to recognize that a person’s knowledge is no longer limited to their brain, but is extended by their network. One of the core skills we need to measure is a student’s ability to retrieve information quickly and efficiently by leveraging their personal network of people and information. In fact, schools may need to envision a culminating assessment, wherein graduating students need to demonstrate a personalized, mature, and diversified global network.

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Another Superintendent Takes a Stand

Another Superintendent Takes a Stand | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

Diane Ravitch's blog:  Here is another brave superintendent.  Dr. Vickie Markavitch, the superintendent of the Oakland, Michigan, schools created a video to protest the state’s designation of so-called “focus...

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School Ditches Factory “Assembly Line”

School Ditches Factory “Assembly Line” | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it
 Erik Good of New Haven and his team of innovators are behind a project called High School in the Community, or HSC. Thier ambition is to completely reimagine the school—run entirely by teacher's union— to challenge assumptions on how schools should be working in our digital age. Read more in this article from the New Haven Independent by Melissa Bailey.
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EdReform Daily-All the relevant news in K12 public ed reform - and none of the noise

EdReform Daily-All the relevant news in K12 public ed reform - and none of the noise | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

A newspaper by Harvin Moore - updated daily with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and photos.  In this issue: 

Voices of the Dropout Nation: Matt Barnum on Faulty Education Traditionalist Thinking About Testing;

What We’re Watching: Vouchers and Social Justice : Education Next;

Weak Accountability: Another Consequence of the Obama No Child Waiver Gambit | Dropout Nation: Coverage of the Reform of American Public Education Edited by RiShawn Biddle

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Professional Learning in the 21st Century: Will this be the year?

Professional Learning in the 21st Century: Will this be the year? | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it
As another school year begins across the country, here are questions we, as educators, need to ask ourselves.Will this be the year? Will this be the year we utilize 21st century tools like Twitter, blogs, wikis and Google.
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Obama vs. Romney: 5 Ways They Differ On Education - Care2.com (blog)

Obama vs. Romney: 5 Ways They Differ On Education - Care2.com (blog) | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it
The GuardianObama vs. Romney: 5 Ways They Differ On EducationCare2.com (blog)Obama's policies haven't been uniformly praised by the teachers' unions, but he knows he needs to work with them to forward education reform.
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11 Big Myths About American Public Schools |

11 Big Myths About American Public Schools | | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

"We won’t claim to know everything about the education system, but we can provide a few resources to look over and understand some of the misconceptions regarding how the public school system works."


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School rankings don't always show the whole picture. We must look more closely while judging

School rankings don't always show the whole picture.  We must look more closely while judging | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it
Addressing New Milford High School's Drop in RankingsPatch.comAs previously reported by Patch, the New Milford school district is extremely dedicated to 21st century learning provided by the Partnership for 21St Century Skills that emphasizes student...
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In defense of public education

In defense of public education | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it
Socialist Worker OnlineIn defense of public educationSocialist Worker OnlineBut Duncan himself--backed by his boss, Barack Obama--has unleashed another destructive storm of corporate-driven "education reform," and it's bearing down on Chicago,...
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Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform. Many, many resources here!

Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform.  Many, many resources here! | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it
Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform, a report by by Alexandra Usher and Nancy Kober at the Center on Education Policy in Washington, DC, USA (Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform
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Megan Cross's comment, October 3, 2012 3:02 AM
I looked into the paper on motivation, and I think I just might use a piece of this for my discussion tomorrow. We are overlooking motivation and along with this: student autonomy, competence, and interest. The very things that tell us that we are human.
Lissa Ledbetter's comment, October 24, 2012 7:29 PM
I have been hearing more and more from parents of upper elementary and middle schoolers who have children that are incredibly motivated by technology use. I know we've talked about this before, but I continue to be intrigued by parents insisting their kids enjoy reading from a Kindle or iPad so much more than a paper book. They describe their children, who typically have showed little interest in reading, as "unable to put the Kindle down until the book is done". I wonder if the affect wears off after awhile? Is it the novelty, or because the younger generation relates to these tech tools?
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SES deserves greater emphasis when looking at school reform policies

SES deserves greater emphasis when looking at school reform policies | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

Socioeconomic Status Socioeconomic status (SES) is often measured as a combination of education, income, and occupation. It is commonly conceptualized as the social standing or class of an individual or group. When viewed through a social class lens, privilege, power, and control are emphasized. Furthermore, an examination of SES as a gradient or continuous variable reveals inequities in access to and distribution of resources.

 

School reform needs to get at HOW to engage and motivate these kids to get them actively involved in their education.  The system itself is part of the problem.  And, there are issues that the schools may not be able to solve, fully. 

 

I have very mixed opinions about the current attempts at reform in Michigan. One positive outcome, however,  is that being placed on one of the lists will get the school deeper into self-assessment.  This can cause change from within if done WELL. 

 

I just returned from work with a "focus" school and was delighted to facilitate grade-level groups through conversations about classroom management, organization and discipline.  They are forming a cohesive plan; asking tough questions and pushing one another to "do it better".  Now the hard part:  execution with fidelity! :  )


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If we adjust for poverty, we aren't doing so badly! But then there's the poverty?

If we adjust for poverty, we aren't doing so badly!  But then there's the poverty? | Rethinking Public Education | Scoop.it

This article looks closely at the data and interprets it a various levels.  No matter how you shake it up, socioeconomic factors make a difference.  There are folks who think we can transcend that in education without fixing the core issue (or WHILE we TRY to fix it).   I tend to want to hit it hard from every angle.  The more kids we bust out of poverty, the better. 

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The Dawn of Learning: Let it happen INSIDE our schools. Powerful video

 "The US Department of Commerce ranked 55 industry sectors by their level of IT intensiveness.  Education was ranked # 55:  The Lowest.  Below coal mining". 

 

Phenom video urging us to the next level of teaching and learning.  I was struck by some of the comments. One of my children, while in the 11th grade, would say daily (after coming home from school)  "Now my REAL learning begins" as he made his way to his room where he wrote/performed and recorded music into the wee hours of the night. 

 

It is my hope that we can take the next steps, nationally, as a group.  Wiggle  out of all of our "plans" and allow students to lead our follow ..........via PBL, flipping, and the wide array of other innovative ideas that go so well with the Common Core.  Each kid should leave us "hungry" and "wanting more". 

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