Thursday, July 14, 2011

What Works: Krashen – More books, not more tests for kids in poverty.

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What Works: Krashen – More books, not more tests for kids in poverty.
To Improve Schools, Fight Poverty, Education Expert Says
Fordham University eNewsroom July 11, 2011
In a July 7 lecture at Fordham, Stephen Krashen, Ph.D. disputed the notion of "our failing schools" and said the real problem facing American schoolchildren is poverty.

See this link for more details on the PISA exam results and poverty:

Our Schools are Not Broken: The Problem is Poverty
Stephen Krashen, Commencement Speech, Graduate School of Education and Counseling, Lewis and Clark College, June 5, 2011
We have been told repeatedly that our schools are "broken," that our teachers are inadequate, that our schools of education are not doing their job, and that teachers unions are spending all their time protecting bad teachers. The evidence is the fact that American students do not score at the top of the world on international test scores. One observer claimed that American students are "taking a shellacking" on these tests.
Not so. Studies show that middle-class American students attending well-funded schools outscore students in nearly all other countries on these tests. Overall scores are unspectacular because over 20% of our students live in poverty, the highest percentage among all industrialized countries. High-scoring Finland, for example, first on the PISA science test in 2006, has less than 4% child poverty.

Posted on Thu, Jul. 14, 2011
Most Philadelphia-area school districts avoid drastic cutbacks
By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Despite a tough Pennsylvania budget season that saw state aid cut for the first time in more than a decade, most area school districts averted drastic classroom cuts for the coming school year.
In many, worse options were avoided because teachers made concessions that saved money.
An Inquirer survey showed that teachers in at least 15 of the 64 area districts had agreed to some form of giveback.

Education Week Living in Dialogue Blog July 13, 2011

Jonah Edelman Reveals Corporate Education "Reform" at Work in Illinois

When people like Diane Ravitch talk about the billionaires taking over education policy, they are sometimes dismissed as being alarmist, or even of promoting conspiracy theories. But a recent video details exactly how this has been happening, in the state of Illinois. The video released last week of Jonah Edelman describing how he and his group, Stand For Children, managed to maneuver education "reform" legislation is still reverberating through the education blog world. 

8 district school units flagged in bid to find cheating
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
By Jonathan D. Silver, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Eight school districts and one charter school in southwestern Pennsylvania were flagged multiple times in a 2009 "data forensics" analysis of standardized test scores that could indicate cheating.

Corbett blames teacher layoffs on school districts

Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 6:00 pm  Associated Press
LANCASTER (AP) — The blame for the thousands of teachers losing their jobs rests with Pennsylvania school districts, not the deep cuts in state aid in Pennsylvania's newly enacted budget, Gov. Tom Corbett suggested Tuesday.

Education Funding Flexibility Bill Clears Congressional House Committee

 Alyson Klein   
State and district officials would get broad leeway to shift federal dollars now aimed at particular populations—such as children in poverty—to other programs, under a measure approved today by the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

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