Virtual School Meanderings

May 7, 2017

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature…

Worth A Read

Can We Trust Policymakers to Make Good Decisions for Schools?

Posted: 03 May 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Nancy Flanagan shares her recent encounter with an inexperienced state legislator, who mistakenly thinks that school choice would benefit his rural Michigan constituents. “I wondered if hanging out with other legislators in his party, and being visited and feted by ‘choice’ lobbyists, endemic in Michigan, had anything to do with this change of heart. I wondered how many times he would tell that story — ‘I met a family…’ — completely unaware that he was elevating the needs of one child over the needs of an entire district filled with children whose parents were counting on the public school to meet their needs.”

A ‘Forgotten History’ Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America

Posted: 02 May 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Terry Gross, NPR’s Fresh Air, interviews Richard Rothstein, Economic Policy Institute, about his new book: ‘The Color of Law.’ Rothstein’s book examines federal and state housing policies that mandated segregation in the U.S. “Rothstein says these decades-old housing policies have had a lasting effect on American society. ‘The segregation of our metropolitan areas today leads … to stagnant inequality, because families are much less able to be upwardly mobile when they’re living in segregated neighborhoods where opportunity is absent.’”

Teacher Turnover in Alaska is Costing the State $20 Million Annually

Posted: 01 May 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Emmanuel Felton reports on a recent study by the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, which found that teacher turnover in Alaska costs the sate $20 million annually. “The study found that turnover rates in rural districts averaged about 20 percent between 2004 and 2014. While in about a dozen districts, annual turnover rates exceeded 30 percent.”

What teachers’ viral resignation letters reveal about the state of public education

Posted: 30 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Michigan Public Radio recently ran an audio story on a  report by Alyssa Hadley Dunn, Michigan State University, which investigated teacher resignation letters. “Listen to the conversation [above] to hear what teachers’ viral resignation letters can reveal about the state of public teaching.”

School Desegregation in Washington, D.C., in the 1950s

Posted: 30 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

“In an excerpt from his new memoir ‘This African-American Life,’ former president of the National Urban League Hugh B. Price describes his elementary and secondary education in Washington, D.C. Price focused on his studies and dreamed of playing major-league baseball—all while he and his schoolmates made history in some of the city’s first integrated classrooms after the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.”

Congress expected to reauthorize D.C. school vouchers in sweeping budget deal

Posted: 30 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Emma Brown and Peter Jamison explain how DC school vouchers could be extended, despite new data showing that vouchers had a negative effect on some students. “The legislation would re­authorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which helps 1,100 low-income students attend private schools, through fiscal 2019. The program is the only federally funded effort of its kind.”

Experimenting with Multiple Measures of Teacher Effectiveness

Posted: 23 Apr 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Stephen Lipscomb and Ann Li attempt to answer some important questions regarding using multiple measures of teacher effectiveness. “Our report showed that these measures capture complementary teaching skills, and each measure has the potential to identify meaningful differences between teachers. Combining multiple measures provides a broader view of teacher performance that reflects not only how teachers are doing, but also what they are doing in their practices.”

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