Virtual School Meanderings

January 20, 2013

Worth A Read

From Friday’s inbox…

Worth A Read

What Happens When Teachers Call The Shots

Posted: 15 Jan 2013 09:00 PM PST

Kim Farris-Berg, a Senior Associate with Education Evolving, writes this guest post for the Eduwonk Blog. Farris shares ideas from her new book, Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots. “Teachers could be the social entrepreneurs we need for K-12.  So why not open the opportunity for interested teachers to show us how they would run schools?”

The MET Study: Implications, Winners, and Losers

Posted: 14 Jan 2013 09:00 PM PST

Andy Smarick writes about the winners and losers in the Gates funded MET Project. This piece was originally posted on the Fordham Institute’s Flypaper blog. According to Smarick, “POTENTIAL BIGGEST WINNER: Whoever uses these findings to figure out how to identify potentially great teachers and how to train teachers to become superb.”

Gates Foundation Wastes More Money Pushing VAM

Posted: 14 Jan 2013 09:00 PM PST

Gene Glass writes about the Gates Foundation report from the MET Project. “Any attempt to evaluate teachers that is spoken of repeatedly as being ‘scientific’ is naturally going to provoke rebuttals that verge on technical geek-speak. The MET Project’s “Ensuring Fair and Reliable Measures of Effective Teaching” brief does just that.” Read more.

International tests show achievement gaps in all countries, with big gains for U.S. disadvantaged students

Posted: 14 Jan 2013 09:00 PM PST

In a new EPI report, What do international tests really show about U.S. student performance?, Martin Carnoy and Richard Rothstein disaggregate international student test scores by social class and show that “the commonplace condemnation of U.S. student performance on such tests is misleading, exaggerated, and in many cases, based on misinterpretation of the facts.” According to Carnoy and Rothstein, “ours is the first study of which we are aware to compare the performance of socioeconomically similar students across nations.”

Read more on the report by Ken Bernstein (@teacherken) over at DailyKos.

Gallup: Student Engagement Drops With Each Grade

Posted: 13 Jan 2013 09:00 PM PST

Francesca Duffy summarizes the recently released Gallup Student Poll. The poll showed: “A majority of elementary school students—almost eight in 10—qualify as engaged, the poll found. By middle school, however, that number drops to six in 10 students. And when students enter high school, it drops to four in 10.” The poll surveyed approximately 500,000 students from 37 states in over 1,700 public schools in 2012. Find the full results from the poll here.

How to keep talented teachers from leaving

Posted: 13 Jan 2013 09:00 PM PST

Eric Klinenberg and Caitlin Zaloom, both of New York University, write about the need to recruit, retain, and mentor America’s teachers. “New teachers face high-pressure demands, with little support, such that more than half leave the profession within the first five years. These teachers need to see opportunities for career advancement, better compensation, and meaningful evaluation and professional development.”

Kahlenberg on so-called ‘High-flying, high-poverty schools’

Posted: 10 Jan 2013 09:00 PM PST

Mike Klonsky summarizes Richard Kahlenberg’s “provacative” in American Educator (Winter 2013).  American Educator is a publication of the American Federation of Teachers. “Kahlenberg takes on those who exaggerate the effect of “high-flying, high-poverty schools” or those [like Michelle Rhee–m.k.], who consider poverty to be mainly an ‘excuse’ made by bad teachers who fail to produce high standardized test score results in poor, segregated schools.”

International Tests Are Not All the Same

Posted: 08 Jan 2013 09:00 PM PST

Tom Loveless attempts to break down the key differences between international tests. “The scores dispelled the myth that all international tests are the same. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) are quite different. TIMSS is curriculum-based, reflecting the skills and knowledge taught in schools. PISA assesses whether students can apply what they’ve learned to solve “real world” problems. PISA tests an age-based sample (15 year olds).”

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