Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Commentary: Those Greedy Teachers
Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1000 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators and members of the press via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.
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The Bridgeport Education Reform Fund in all likelihood will mean nothing to most people. But ignoring the fund is a mistake because it is a model that figures to play an increasingly prominent role in the funding of schools in the years ahead in this country. Although the present venue is the largest city in
whose schools were taken over by the state in July after the superintendent was
fired, the strategy has the potential to spread to other underperforming school
What is troubling is that the $400,000 in the fund has come from wealthy donors who remain anonymous. According to The Wall Street Journal, the probable benefactors are officials from the ZOOM Foundation, which is backed by hedge fund manager Steve Mandel ("Schools Look to Donors," Dec. 23). Because no one knows for certain at this date who the principals are, their agenda remains hidden. In business, opaqueness is common, but it is anathema in education - at least in public schools - because there are almost always strings attached.
By Fred Grimm -
Compared to modern school kids, I was a downright worthless student. I don’t mean worthless as a pejorative. (My father would have used a more colorful term to characterize my scholarly pursuits.) But worthless as a commodity. Us kids at
weren’t making anyone rich. Not like
today’s pupils, particularly those in Montrose Elementary School ,
who’ve become valuable cogs in a burgeoning industry. Florida
Despite one party's grip on the reins of power in
When districts first started adopting response-to-intervention, the approach quickly became the target of criticism from parents who believed school districts were trying to put off more costly special education services. RTI, an approach that involves using an escalating set of techniques to address skills a student is struggling with, got a boost in 2004, when the federal law changed to require states to let districts use it if they chose.
The hope was that its use would help distinguish between children who truly have specific learning disabilities and students whose learning difficulties could be resolved with general education interventions. Sure enough, in the last few years, the number of students identified as having learning disabilities has dropped.