Virtual School Meanderings

October 16, 2016

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature…

Worth A Read

Listening to and Learning from Teachers: A Summary of Focus Groups on the Common Core and Assessments

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 09:00 PM PDT

The Center on Education Policy at the George Washington University issued a report summarizing teacher focus group discussions around the Common Core State Standards and aligned state math and English language arts assessments. “This report summarizes discussions from five elementary teacher focus groups conducted in Delaware, Illinois, Utah, and Wisconsin in spring and summer of 2016. Topics addressed include the Common Core State Standards, curricula, instructional materials, CCSS-aligned state assessments, student achievement data from those assessments, and accountability.”

A Closer Look At The Debate Over Charter Schools

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 09:00 PM PDT

Jeremy Hobson investigates charter schools with guests Kevin Welner and Michelle Rhee. “As controversy continues over charter schools in the United States, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson dives into the debate with Michelle Rhee, who ran Washington’s public schools from 2007 to 2010, and Kevin Welner, director of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder.”

Cozy charter-school tie-ups bring risk of fraud, federal audit finds

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 09:00 PM PDT

Lori Higgins writes about the findings of a new federal audit on charter schools: “The audit, conducted from 2011 to 2013, states that a lack of separation between the schools and their management companies can lead to internal control weaknesses that open the door to waste, fraud and abuse; a lack of accountability over federal funds and little assurance that charter schools are following federal guidelines while implementing federal programs.”

Are charter schools truly innovative? The answer can depend on your definition

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 09:00 PM PDT

James Vaznis investigates charter schools in Massachusetts: “For decades, charter schools have been billed as “laboratories of innovation,” conjuring up images of teachers and administrators brainstorming and testing cutting-edge instruction that – if proven successful – could deliver salvation to urban education. But the track record of Massachusetts charter schools on innovation is mixed. While some charters are innovative, others simply strive to build high-quality schools using existing methods and do not necessarily invent new practices.”

New Report Examines the Sources of Newly Hired Teachers in the U.S.

Posted: 10 Oct 2016 09:00 PM PDT

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released ‘Sources of Newly Hired Teachers in the United States: Results from the Schools and Staffing Survey, 1987–88 to 2011–12.’ The report examines the sources of newly hired public and private primary and secondary school teachers in the U.S. The study uses data spanning 25 years from four administrations of the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), a sample survey of U.S. elementary and secondary schools.

Why Do Some Students Perform Better Than Others In School?

Posted: 10 Oct 2016 09:00 PM PDT

Jeremy Hobson talks with Dan Losen, director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA. “Today, we’re talking about inequality and the achievement gap that persists between white, middle class students and poor, minority students in this country — and what might help to narrow it.”

Charter cap debate clouds original intent

Posted: 09 Oct 2016 09:00 PM PDT

Jack Schneider discusses the original purpose of charter schools: “Charter schools were supposed to be places of innovation-something we have not seen in practice. This vision, however, can still be rescued. Charters can play a critical role in the strengthening of all public schools. But not if Question 2 passes and we eliminate the cap. However ironic it may seem, then, a vote against charter expansion may be the only way to save the original promise of charter schools—as places for innovation.”

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