Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Senator Leach: Public Ed in Jeopardy/ End Keystone Exams?/ NCEE on US Reform Agenda

State Senator: Public education in jeopardy
By LOIS PUGLIONESI, Times Correspondent
HAVERFORD — State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, of Upper Merion, outlined his concerns about four pending pieces of legislation when he addressed the school board and parents at Haverford Middle School. 
Currently a member of the Senate Education Committee, Leach maintained that Senate Bill 1, Senate Bill 911, the budget Gov. Tom Corbett initially proposed, and another bill requiring a two-thirds vote on school boards to raise property taxes, "when taken in total present a serious threat to the concept of public education."



Some York County representatives want to end Keystone Exams

Updated: 05/26/2011 11:06:40 AM EDT
Here's a test question. The Keystone Exams, a series of tests to prove a student's readiness for graduation, have:
A) Been rolled out in a pilot mode in the past year as an eventual replacement for the 11th-grade PSSAs;
B) A price tag of at least $160 million over the course of seven years;
C) Possibly met their demise, with House Republicans proposing to cut its $25 million funding in next year's budget;
D) All of the above.

Education Week Published Online: May 27, 2011

U.S. Reforms Out of Sync With High-Performing Nations, Report Finds

Premium article access courtesy of Edweek.org.
The United States' education system is neither coherent nor likely to see great improvements based on its current attempts at reform, a reportRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader released this week by the National Center on Education and the Economy concludes.
The NCEE report is the latest salvo in a flurry of national interest in what can be gleaned from education systems in top-performing or rapidly improving countries. It pushes further than other recent reports on the topic by laying out an ambitious agenda for the United States it says reflects the education practices in countries that are among the highest-performing on international assessments.

Testing Students to Grade Teachers

What do we know about using student achievement tests to judge teacher performance?

Too Much For Tests to Bear

New York Times May 30, 2011, 07:00 PM
You could almost hear a collective groan in the city's schools when the Department of Education announced it would require still more tests.
Parents, teachers and certainly the children are weary of the standardized tests that have sapped so much of the joy from the classroom and pushed so many teachers to replace creative, imaginative lessons with timid and defensive ones.
And to what purpose? Principals, parents and even the children know perfectly well who the good teachers in any school are: 

The Service of Democratic Education

The Nation, Linda Darling-Hammond   
At the commencement ceremony for Columbia University's Teachers College on May 18, Stanford education professor Linda Darling-Hammond—a nationally renowned leader in education reform and former education adviser to Barack Obama's presidential campaign—was awarded the Teachers College medal for distinguished service. Professor Darling-Hammond marked the occasion by delivering the following address.

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