Headlines for School Leaders
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Teacher evaluations: Is there really enough time for reliable classroom observations?

Building a better teacher evaluation system won’t help anyone if it depends on time and resources that aren’t realistic.
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, May 4, 2013 12:29 PM

No, but there are several reasons why. Two that stand are: time to get to know the teacher and what they teach like. Second, do we know what is really innovative? What works for some does not work for others in learning

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Do Cops in Schools Know How To Police Kids?

Do Cops in Schools Know How To Police Kids? | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
There's still no national standards or training for officers who walk school hallways.
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America's high school seniors' reading and math scores have hit a wall

America's high school seniors' reading and math scores have hit a wall | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
America's high school seniors are stuck in reading and math, according to the results of a national standardized test released Wednesday.
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Can More Money Fix America's Schools?

Can More Money Fix America's Schools? | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
It's one of the loudest debates in education: whether spending more money adds up to better test scores and graduation rates.
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Cries about national teacher shortages might be overblown

Cries about national teacher shortages might be overblown | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
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Bob Farrace's insight:
The vaunted national teachers shortage seems to exist only in pockets, and among certain demographic groups and in certain subjects. But Penn Prof Richard Ingersoll's research still rings true nearly 20 years after the first conclusions: The shortage would disappear if we could figure out a way to retain seasoned teachers.
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Keeping misbehaving students off the streets, but not off the hook

Keeping misbehaving students off the streets, but not off the hook | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Philadelphia area schools are recognizing that zero-tolerance policies--that require a removal from instruction for days at a time--are having the wrong effect. Suspensions and expulsions disengage from school the very kids we want to engage most.

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Opt-out movement aims to lure more African-American, Latino parents

Opt-out movement aims to lure more African-American, Latino parents | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The movement “can’t be successful without the urban” parents’ involvement, one mother said.
Bob Farrace's insight:
Yes, public ed relies on standardized test scores far too heavily. But swinging to the opposite extreme is no solution. As with most endeavors, the best solution lies somewhere in the middle--in an area where we reduce both the number and weight of tests, and incorporate its data into a larger, multi-metric program that clarifies how students and schools are really doing. Here's hoping ESSA will fulfill its promise.
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Punishment shouldn’t keep students from learning

Taking kids out of school with suspension and expulsion does not-so-surprisingly little to keep kids in school. This realization has sparked a growth in restorative discipline policies.

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Wallace Foundation to invest $47 million in redesigning principal preparation

Wallace Foundation to invest $47 million in redesigning principal preparation | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
School leaders are key ingredients in school success.
Bob Farrace's insight:
NASSP is proud to partner with the Wallace Foundation on their Principal Pipeline Initiative. Their research has revealed some crucial lessons, and thy will contribute mightily--both in dollars and intellectual capital--to efforts to improve university principal-prep programs.
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As protests rise over high-stakes tests, more students likely to opt out

Last year, a small, angry band of parents and teachers in the Lower Merion School District took on a big challenge: convincing their neighbors that the intensifying emphasis on high-stakes standardized tests was harming their children's education. - Kathy Boccella, Philadelphia Inquirer
Bob Farrace's insight:

Last week, the National Association of Secondary School Principals came out against state and district policies that allow parents to opt children out of testing. "Just a few opt-outs would be enough to skew test results," and lead to incorrect assumptions about schools and staffs, warned the group's executive director, JoAnn Bartoletti.

"We certainly recognize that students spend far too much time in testing and test prep, and that scores are often misused and misapplied," she added. "But we prefer to address those issues directly instead of encouraging families to abandon the tests completely."

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Acting Ed. Secretary: Educators 'unfairly blamed' for schools' challenges

In his first major speech last month, John King apologized to the nation’s teachers.
Bob Farrace's insight:

For his part, King said he is trying hard to pierce the “false dichotomy” that says schools alone can overcome factors such as poverty or, on the other, that schools are powerless in the face of such factors.

 

“I think both of those are wrong,” he said. “I’m very clear that schools can’t do everything, but the fact that we can’t do everything doesn’t mean we don’t have a responsibility to kids’ academic experiences. You want to make school as good as possible for kids, and as powerful an experience in their lives as it can be.”

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Ed dept. gives states ways to cut standardized testing

The Obama administration is offering states and local school districts guidance to cut the amount of time that students spend on those fill-in-the-bubble and other standardized tests.

Bob Farrace's insight:

Glad to see the pendulum settling back toward the center on this topic.

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Does Money Matter in Education?

This report presents a comprehensive review of the high-quality empirical evidence on whether and how money matters in education, written by Rutgers Professor Bruce Baker. This is the second edition of the report originally released in 2012. It has been updated by the author.

Baker concludes that, despite recent rhetoric, “on average, aggregate measures of per-pupil spending are positively associated with improved or higher student outcomes,” while “schooling resources which cost money … are positively associated with student outcomes.” Finally, reviewing the high-quality evidence on the effect of school finance reforms, he asserts: “Sustained improvements to the level and distribution of funding across local public school districts can lead to improvements in the level and distribution of student outcomes.

Bob Farrace's insight:

I'm grateful to the Al Shanker Institute and Bruce Baker for this report, but it's hard not to feel some frustration. Is this even a question in any other human enterprise?

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Class Composition Can Bias English Teachers' Observation Scores, Study Finds

English teachers with higher-achieving students tended to get better scores on part of a popular teacher-evaluation framework.
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How can we teach students to be productive members of a community by removing them from it?

As public school educators, we cannot allow for our frustrations with the sloppy rollout of restorative practices in New York City to justify a call for punitive discipline.
Bob Farrace's insight:
As the authors note: The process of transforming school culture from punitive to restorative takes time, real administrative commitment, and requires students and adults alike to change their outlook on school relationships and discipline structures. The natural challenges of the transition to restorative practices are not a signal to return to more punitive practices.
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At schools with sub-par Internet, kids face a poor connection with modern life

At schools with sub-par Internet, kids face a poor connection with modern life | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The financial decisions of telecom companies have put rural students at a disadvantage.
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Researchers explain how stereotypes keep girls out of computer science classes

Researchers explain how stereotypes keep girls out of computer science classes | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Two pervasive stereotypes--that STEM is for geeky boys and that girls just don't have the ability--conspire to keep girls out of computer science classes. Now that we have identified the challenge, we need intentional efforts to overcome it.

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In some places, Common Core means a new kind of report card

In some places, Common Core means a new kind of report card | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Shauna Settle knew she had a problem.Some of her freshman English students made A's in her class but didn't do well on the Florida Standards Assessments. Others fared poorly in class but aced the annual test.
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Black and Latino parents want better teachers and harder classes for their kids

Black and Latino parents want better teachers and harder classes for their kids | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it

An umbrella organization of civil rights groups contends that there is a huge population of people whose voices are missing when talking about the needs of schools. In a nationally representative survey of black and Latino parents in the U.S., the Leadership Conference Education Fund found that these parents care about having good teachers, more money for their schools and a more challenging curriculum for their students. 

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Testing time at schools: Is there a better way?

The debate over mandatory standardized tests continues, but there's a growing focus on alternatives to measure student progress.
Bob Farrace's insight:
Keep an eye on the Redefining Ready campaign, started in Arlington, IL. We know the metrics that correlate with college and career success, and test scores are just a small part of it.
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How The Language Of Special Education Is Evolving

How The Language Of Special Education Is Evolving | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The "r" word is gone, but the ways we refer to people with disabilities shape our perceptions and behavior.
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What exactly is a good school? California is trying to find out.

What exactly is a good school? California is trying to find out. | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
George Green V, a 19-year-old student, wants you to know what it means to have a black teacher with
Bob Farrace's insight:
By limiting the impact of test scores in accountability, ESSA is requiring states to include the other factors that describe a school's success. And it's prompting some important conversations in states that pursue the process honestly.
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Feds Eye Disparities in Supports for SAT, ACT

Feds Eye Disparities in Supports for SAT, ACT | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
As more states requiring the ACT or SAT, a gulf is opening between students with disabilities and those without, and it's caught the Justice Department's eye.
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New York City Schools Take Historic Step Forward For Gay Kids

New York City Schools Take Historic Step Forward For Gay Kids | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
The largest school district in the country now has an LGBT community liaison.
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Students will not face time limits on this year’s state tests, Elia says

Students will not face time limits on this year’s state tests, Elia says | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it

Students will be given as much time as they need to complete the state exams this spring, NY State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia told lawmakers Wednesday, one of several “major changes” she said are coming to the annual tests.

Bob Farrace's insight:

Glad to see NY is being responsive to the recommendations from the task force. 

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Spending in nation’s schools falls again, with wide variation across states

Spending in nation’s schools falls again, with wide variation across states | Headlines for School Leaders | Scoop.it
Outlays in 2013 ranged from $6,432 per child in Utah to more than $20,000 in D.C., federal data say.
Bob Farrace's insight:

We Americans have a funny way of showing our commitment to K-12 education.

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