Virtual School Meanderings

April 2, 2017

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature.

Worth A Read

What’s Next for Newark?

Posted: 28 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Michael DeArmond and Patrick Denice discuss Newark’s public schools, which are about to return to local control in 2017. “But the key challenge for Newark when it regains local control—and the key challenge for all cities, regardless of the makeup of their school system—will be improving school quality across its diverse system of schools. There just aren’t enough good schools to go around, charter or district. And too often, good schools are clustered in some neighborhoods and not in others.”

Maryland Showdown on Testing, Charters, and the Direction of Public Schools

Posted: 28 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Rachel M. Cohen looks at school accountability and ESSA implementation in Maryland. “A heated battle over the future of Maryland’s plan—specifically, how much weight standardized test scores should be given in determining a school’s rating, and how much power the state should have over low-performing schools—has become a flashpoint in the polarized education reform wars, not only within Maryland but across the country. At the crux of the debate are questions about who gets to speak on behalf of racial minorities and low-income children, and what school accountability should look like in the age of Donald Trump.”

Is Test-Based Accountability Dead?

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Jay P. Greene, Kevin Huffman, and Morgan S. Polikoff tackle the topic of test-based accountability in the latest Education Next. They attempt to answer the following questions: “So: is accountability on the wane, or is it here to stay? If accountability is indeed dying, would its loss be good or bad for students?”

Shaping Teacher Preparation for the Future

Posted: 26 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Robert C. Pianta, dean and professor at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, writes about the ever changing regulations governing teacher preparation programs. “We cannot give up on either a federal role in accountability or the funding needed to support good work at the state and local level, but one thing is now clear: those of us who care about teacher preparation can’t wait any longer to take the lead ourselves.”

Liberals, Conservatives Agree: Big Mistake for White House to Push Private School Choice

Posted: 23 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Lauren Camera discusses the Trump administration’s push for school choice. Advocates on both sides of the aisle are cautioning against a federal private school choice program.

Challenging the Newspeak of School Quality Measurement

Posted: 23 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PDT

James M. Noonan, a researcher affiliated with the ‘Justice in Schools’ project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, writes about the challenges of education measurement. “In order to better measure school quality, then, we must first expand our imagination about what school quality means. One way to do so is to be deliberately more expansive in the way we talk about good schools. As shorthand, school quality is woefully non-specific, the Rorschach of education policy jargon. And unless or until students, teachers, and parents dare to be specific about what it means to them – to define it for ourselves – it will continue to be defined for them.”

Five Vital Roles for School Leaders in the Pursuit of Evidence of Evidence-informed Practice

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Chris Brown and Joel Malin write about the use of evidence by school leaders. “In this commentary, the authors set out thoughts on school leaders’ crucial roles in fostering evidence-informed and -engaged learning environments. They argue that school leaders must address both transformational and pedagogical aspects. Addressing both, they provide a definitive summary checklist for the role of school leaders in developing their schools in this manner.”

Vouchers in Indiana: A Cautionary Tale

Posted: 06 Mar 2017 09:00 PM PST

Phyllis W. Jordan takes a ‘deep dive’ into Indiana’s voucher programs. FutureEd compiled a report investigating school choice in Indiana. The report found: “Instead of increasing private school options, a substantial number of voucher schools are simply filling existing seats with students subsidized by the state. Fewer than one percent of voucher students now come from failing public schools, and more than half never attended public school at all.”

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