Virtual School Meanderings

July 16, 2017

Worth A Read

And a regular Sunday feature on a slow blogging day…

Worth A Read

Charter Schools: Who Is Working Together to Improve Them?

Posted: 09 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Julian Vasquez Heilig writes about his participation in NEA’s charter school task force. At its Representative Assembly, the NEA adopted a new policy statement. “The new policy lays out three criteria charter schools must meet to provide students with the support and learning environments they deserve. The first is that charter schools should only be authorized by a local and democratically accountable authorizing entity – i.e. a local school district – so that local school officials can closely monitor charter performance, and spread any potential innovations to local public schools. The statement also calls for an empirical assessment of how a new charter school will serve to improve the local public system before any charter enters a community.”

How Can Schools Make a Firebreak for Teacher Burnout?

Posted: 09 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Sarah D. Sparks writes about a new study on teacher burnout and school environments. “The findings suggest that improving schoolwide climate and resources may be more helpful than focusing primarily on teacher-induction programs to retain new teachers. That may also buffer students against teacher stress, which prior research suggests can hurt student learning and behavior and create another burnout cycle for teachers.”

Performance lagging at Michigan’s virtual schools, study finds

Posted: 07 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Brian McVicar discusses new research from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute on the lackluster performance of virtual schools. “The study lays out a series of other recommendations for virtual schools, including why they ‘perform poorly under a college- and career-ready accountability system and how their performance can be improved prior to expansion.’ Policymakers also should ‘define certification training and relative teacher licensure requirements specific to teaching in virtual schools’ and ‘require research-based professional development to promote effective online teaching models.’”

ESSA: An Opportunity For Research-Practice Partnerships To Support Districts And States

Posted: 04 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Bill Penuel and Caitlin Farrell discuss the role of research-practice partnerships under ESSA. “Our book chapter in ‘Teaching in Context: The Social Side of Reform’ presents a number of scenarios where long-term research-practice partnerships (RPPs) have helped districts select, adapt, and design evidence-based programs. RPPs are long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between practitioners and researchers around problems of practice. This promising strategy has been growing in popularity in recent years, and there is now even a network of RPPs to support exchange among them.”

‘A Failed and Damaging Experiment:’ NEA Takes on Unaccountable Charter Schools

Posted: 04 Jul 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Tim Walker writes about the NEA’s new policy statement on charter schools. “At its annual meeting on Tuesday, the educators of the National Education Association drew a sharp new line between charter schools that have a positive effect on public education and those unaccountable, privately managed charter schools that hurt public schools and students. A new policy statement adopted by the assembly denounces unaccountable charters as a ‘failed and damaging experiment,’ and calls for a stop to the proliferation of such schools by supporting state and local efforts to hold charters accountable, to preserve funding for public schools, and to organize charter educators.”

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