Virtual School Meanderings

April 16, 2017

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature.

Worth A Read

The Tone-Deaf Politics of Denying Racism, Excusing Segregation

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

P.L. Thomas discusses ‘colorblind’ discussions in education policy today. He reviews a recent statement from Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), as well as an academic review of a report from AEI. “What is at play here, and linked by AEI, includes an ends-justify-the-means ideology paired with Social Darwinism (masked as ‘parental choice’) — all of which is bereft of any sort of ethical grounding, any acknowledgement that ‘some’ (the ellipsis of race, and thus, people of color) are making pleas for being heard to create a more just and equitable education system and country.”

Today’s Teaching Force Is Larger, Less Experienced, More Diverse Than Ever

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Brenda Iasevoli covers a report by Richard Ingersoll that uses the School and Staffing Survey (SASS) to analyze trends in the U.S. teaching force from 1987 to 2012. “In the end, the authors write that their job was to describe the teaching force trends and not to explain or evaluate their implications. Questions about the reasons behind teacher workforce growth, the increase in the number of inexperienced teachers and its impact on schools, or the reasons for the rising number of minority teachers in high-poverty public schools, warrant further investigation.”

Maryland General Assembly passes bill limiting hours of testing in schools

Posted: 09 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Ian Duncan writes about a recent vote by the Maryland legislature to cap testing at 2.2 percent of classroom time in a year – about 24 hours in elementary and middle school and 26 hours in high school. “The state teachers union argues that students are required to take too many tests, costing them hundreds of hours of time that could otherwise be spent learning over the course of their school careers. The Maryland State Education Association supported the bill.”

How Much Does the Public Understand About Effective Teaching and Learning?

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Tim Walker discusses a survey conducted by the Center for American Progress. The survey polled 3,000 people on their understanding of effective teaching and learning. According to the report, the results “reveal a general misunderstanding about what makes effective classrooms and educators.”

CT scraps using state test scores to compute teacher ratings

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Kyle Constable reports that the Connecticut Board of Education voted last week to no longer use state test scores in teacher performance evaluations. “State education board Chairman Allan B. Taylor and Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell both praised the board’s approval of the plan as an important clarification of the role state tests should play: a goal-setting tool for teachers, not part of a formula for rating an individual teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom.”

Subgroup-Specific Accountability, Teacher Job Assignments, And Teacher Attrition: Lessons For States

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Matthew Shirrell has blogged about his recently published study in the journal Education Finance and Policy. His study explored the effects of NCLB’s subgroup-specific accountability for teachers. “Specifically, I examine whether teaching in a school that was held accountable for a particular subgroup’s performance in the first year of NCLB affected teachers’ job assignments, turnover, and attrition.”

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