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The new Quality Counts education report has been released by Education Week, and the inevitable spin is on from the Kentucky Department of Education in their News Release 14-003. The first table in the department’s press release shows Kentucky’s ranking in the various areas Quality Counts examined between 2011 and 2014.
Also note that Quality Counts computed an overall state rank, somehow, across those six areas in 2012 and 2013.
In any event, over the past year we all heard ad nauseum about how wonderful it was that Quality Counts rated Kentucky’s education system as the 10th best in the nation.
Well, consider this: the bottom row in the table, titled “Average of Rankings,” which I separately computed, is the simple average of the six Quality Counts subarea rankings for each year, rounded to the nearest point. I don’t know what scoring scheme led to the inflated “Overall Score” ranking figures for Kentucky listed above, but it certainly wasn’t based on an equal averaging of the six subareas.
In fact, it looks like Quality Counts used some sort of weighting scheme to come up with its final rankings. Quality Counts makes significant use of the overall average student scores, or “all students” scores, for each state from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
The presence of this amount measurement error also makes it inappropriate for Quality Counts to conduct its rankings using NAEP proficiency rates carried out to the nearest tenth of a point.
A second, and probably more severe, error in Quality Counts is that it mostly relies on “all students” scores for its state rankings.
Again, if we ignore sampling error the way Quality Counts does, when we compare performance for the three dominant racial groups found in Kentucky, we find that New Mexico outscores Kentucky for every one of those racial groups – Every One. So, how does Kentucky wind up on top in the “all students” only ranking used by Quality Counts? In Kentucky, whites made up 83 percent of the eighth grade classroom in 2013 while in New Mexico whites only made up 25 percent of the eighth grade enrollment.
Simply because whites outscore the minorities by significant amounts in both states, by having a lot more whites, Kentucky winds up with a very unfair advantage when Quality Counts predominantly looks only at “all students” scores. New Mexico educators should be complaining loud and clear to the publishers of Quality Counts about such unfair treatment. By the way, the statistical surprise I just discussed is so well known that it even has a name, “Simpson’s Paradox.” Furthermore, I’ve talked about this issue with the Quality Counts people before. Consider this: Quality Counts’ specific report for Kentucky, “Kentucky State Highlights 2014,” lists a number of factors that go into its “Chance for Success” calculation. For example, one factor is “Family Income.” What schools are doing now does not have impact on that, at least in the sort term. The same is true for “Parent Education,” “Parent Employment,” “Adult Educational Attainment” (which seems to be mostly a double-counting of “Parent Education”), “Annual Income” (Again, largely double-counting “Family Income”) and “Steady Employment” (a double-count of “Parent Employment”). Most definitely, today’s schools have virtually no impact on “Linguistic Integration,” which is the proportion of school students whose parents are fluent in English. Throwing such schools-cannot-control-this data into what many think is a valid rating of school system performance is clearly out of line. Also, it does not matter if our state standards are aligned from early childhood to college if our kids still are not getting the education they need.
Finally, Quality Counts’ “Teaching Profession” element is loaded with more checklists of nice-sounding stuff but makes absolutely no judgment about the quality of that stuff. It does not mean very much if the state claims it has “Formal Evaluations” of teachers if those are mostly a rubber stamp.
Furthermore, I am not sure Quality Counts even reports on some of Kentucky’s “Teaching Profession” elements correctly.
In closing, I want to make it clear that Quality Counts certainly collects some interesting information.
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Our goal is to improve the quality of early care and education programs in Miami-Dade County. The kids who received cochlear implants but struggled to develop language often did so because their parents didn’t talk to them as much as their growing brains required.
The 30 million word gap comes from a very famous study that was done probably about 30 years ago by Betty Hart and Todd Risley, where they followed a group of children between 0 and 3 years old from all socioeconomic backgrounds. What was new to me and really alarming was the difference in tone — in the nature of the words that kids heard. The most stark findings of Hart and Risley were really the differences in affirmations versus prohibitions. What’s happening in the brain from ages 0 to 3 when parents really need to be talking to their kids? In the first three years of life, you’ll have no more rapid and robust brain growth than during that time.
Why is it that most of the money that federal, state and local governments spend to reduce the achievement gap is spent after kids leave this precious 0-to-3 period? We’re really trying to take on this idea that, if early language environments — basically how and how much parents and caregivers talk and interact with their children — is fundamental to brain growth, then we want to see really a population-level shift. What do you think it’s going to take to make this a household idea: that kids need to hear a lot of words and they need to hear them early? There’s one simple, little prescription that seems to be at the heart of your program. Typically, these young adults come from low-income families, struggle with school, and may have a criminal record. Experts say the plan to fire the staffs of eight schools and replace them with better qualified educators is somewhat of a gamble, one that will require an almost perfect alignment of stellar principals, committed teachers and re-invigorated curriculum and programs to succeed. As Chicago parents began to digest the proposal first reported in the Tribune on Thursday, many seemed willing to roll the dice -- in part, an acknowledgment that even partial success is better than what their children face now.
Fara Bell, a Morton Career Academy parent, said turning around both Orr High School and Morton, an elementary school that feeds into it, is the only way to guarantee wholesale change.
These same people frequently characterize my employer, the Los Angeles Unified School District, as an unmanageable failure. Still, despite its shortcomings, I feel a deep affinity with the district, in whose schools I was educated. At the same time, the number of students passing state reading and math tests has increased in every county.
Those increases have been significant even for minority and special-education students and particularly for students learning English for the first time. The 2002 legislation behind these increases, known in education circles as Thornton, increased state and local education funding by nearly 50 percent and was designed in part to even the playing field between wealthy and poor school systems.
MGT of America was hired through a $2 million, three-year Maryland State Department of Education contract to find out where all the new money was going and whether it was making a difference.
There is much evidence that teaching phonics really works, especially with kids with learning disabilities, a growing constituency. Jeremy Meyer: Teachers at a school in northeast Denver seeking freedom from union and district rules will move forward with their autonomy plan, despite failing to get wholesale approval from their union. Teachers and administrators at Bruce Randolph School want control over the school's budget, teacher time, incentives and hiring decisions and to be free from union and district red tape that they say is impeding student progress. Denver's school board last month agreed to the Bruce Randolph autonomy proposal, but the teachers union balked Tuesday at permitting much of the school's request a€” which sought waivers from 18 articles of the union contract and parts of six other articles.Joanne has more information. The Long Range Planning Committee also met and discussed the proposed west side boundary changes (video).
Stephanie Perrin: or years, we have watched arts classes give way to the seemingly more a€?practicala€? courses that politicians and policymakers assume have a direct link to professional and economic success. As the country contemplates reauthorization of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, political and policy leaders must recognize that an education in and through the arts, as a central part of a total school program, allows schools to better address these challenges than a curriculum that defines success as aptitude in literacy and math only. A recent study from the Center on Education Policy [3.1MB PDF] indicates that the No Child Left Behind law, with its limited focus on standardized-test scores, has led, over the last six years, to a 16 percent decline in the time devoted to art and music instruction in public schools.
Do unsupportive parents create pathetic schools or do pathetic schools create unsupportive parents?
What has worked, again and again, is the opposite: Bring an energetic and focused leader into the school, let that person recruit and train good teachers and find ways to get rid of those who resist making the necessary changes. Andy Hall: "Certainly I feel excitement about this possibility, but I also want you to know that this has not been an easy process for me, " Nerad told reporters Monday night at a Green Bay School Board meeting as he confirmed he was ending a 32-year career in the district where his two children grew up.
Nerad conditionally accepted the position Monday, pending a final background check, successful contract negotiations and a visit by a delegation from the Madison School Board, President Arlene Silveira said at a news conference in Madison. Susan Troller: Green Bay schools Superintendent Daniel Nerad has been chosen to succeed Art Rainwater as head of the Madison Metropolitan School District. School Board President Arlene Silveira said Monday night that Nerad, 56, was the board's unanimous top choice. Silveira said Nerad asked the board to delay announcing its choice until he was able to meet with members of the Green Bay School Board Monday at 6 p.m. Both the Green Bay and Madison school districts are members of the Minority Student Achievement Network, a nationwide coalition of schools dedicated to ensuring high academic achievement for students of color. Network membership is one way Nerad and Rainwater became acquainted, Rainwater said in an interview earlier this month.
Nerad said Monday he regrets that more progress hasn't been made in advancing the achievement of minority students during his tenure. The next head of the Green Bay schools also will inherit the aftermath of a failed 2007 referendum for a fifth district high school and other projects. A community-based task force charged with next steps has been working since summer, and its work will continue regardless of who's at the helm, School Board vice president and task force member Katie Maloney said Monday. I wish Dan well in what will certainly be an interesting, challenging and stimulating next few years. Valerie Strauss: To middle school teacher Chad Pavlekovich, most science textbooks are dull and lack the context students need to understand scientific principles. The "Story of Science" series by Joy Hakim tells the history of science with wit, narrative depth and research, all vetted by specialists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Janis Cooke Newman,Bonnie Wach: This week the Travel Section kicks off a monthly column dedicated to the idea that just because you've become a parent, it doesn't mean you have to become an armchair (or playground-bench) traveler. It occurred to me suddenly that I was anchored to a wailing little ball of carry-on luggage, and that my grand notions of not letting a child get in the way of my travel plans was absurd. We managed to weather that first bout of turbulence through the good graces of Ernest & Julio Gallo and my seat neighbor's mercifully defective hearing-aid battery, and when I got home, I considered my options: Obviously, I couldn't give up my child, but as a journalist who has dedicated a good part of her career to writing about travel, I was also not willing to give up my traveling. Josh McHugh: Sometime in the 1990s, the concept of better living through chemistry turned a corner, thanks to drug companies' efforts to synthesize antidotes for every possible mood swing. The Madison School Board drew up four possible plans that would affect students attending Falk, Stephens and Crestwood elementary schools, and all possibilities drew a lot of criticism.
The school board said their "plan A" would divide 151 students living in the Valley Ridge neighborhood between Crestwood and Falk elementary schools. Their "plan B" would call for Valley Ridge students to stay at Stephens Elementary and move students from other neighborhoods, including Spring Harbor and Junction Road. Their "plan C" calls for the pairing of Stephens and Crestwood schools and "plan D" would call for Crestwood and Falk pairing up. School board officials said if any of the schools were paired, students would attend one school from kindergarten through second grade, and then move to the other school for grades three through five.Much more, here. The Madison Metropolitan School District's Board of Education announced on Monday night that it unanimously selected Nerad as the new superintendent.
Nerad will replace current Superintendent Art Rainwater, who turned 65 on New Year's Day, and is scheduled to retire on June 30. District spokesman Ken Syke said Nerad has conditionally accepted the position, pending a background check, contract negotiations and a site visit to Green Bay by a delegation from the school board. School Board members had identified Nerad, Miami-Dade Public Schools administrator Steve Gallon, and Boston Public Schools Budget Director James McIntyre as the three finalists for the position. Madison School Board president Arlene Silveira made the announcement tonight during a 7 p.m.
Nerad, 56, who has almost 33 years experience with the Green Bay district, would replace retiring Madison superintendent Art Rainwater. Andy Hall, via a reader's email: high-ranking Miami-Dade Public Schools official says he withdrew his candidacy to become superintendent of the Madison School District, leaving just two educators from Green Bay and Boston in the running to head Wisconsin's second-largest school district.
Gallon said he believes the School Board was notified of his decision before it began its deliberations Saturday to name its top pick to succeed Superintendent Art Rainwater, who is retiring on June 30. WKOW-TV: Two sources close to the process of selecting a new Madison Schools Superintendent tell 27 News the position has been offered to Green Bay School District Superintendent Daniel Nerad. Green Bay School District spokesperson Amanda Brooker told 27 News Nerad, 56, would not comment Monday on the selection process. I just received an e-mail from a parent stating the Middle School report cards are converting to the elementary format of 1 - 4 and they are dropping the A - F grading system. The School Age Parent Program or SAPAR was founded almost four decades ago to help teen moms stay in school.
The full-day program allows teen moms to successfully juggle class, doctor's appointments and motherhood.
Terrance Stutz: Protests from this small school district nestled in the Texas Hill Country are reverberating across the state's school finance landscape.
School board members a€“ backed by parents and local business owners a€“ have decided to say "no" when their payment comes due next month under the state's "Robin Hood" school funding law.
Wimberley is one of more than 160 high-wealth school districts a€“ including several in the Dallas area a€“ that are required to share their property tax revenue with other districts.
One of the many ironies in our school finance system is that there is an incentive to grow the tax base, or the annual assessment increases. Finally, those who strongly advocate for changes in Wisconsin's school finance system must be ready for unintended consequences, such as reduced funding for "rich" districts, like Madison. Common Threads is a place where children can learn to overcome some of the communications challenges of autism. It also provides support and services for families who aren't able to get it anywhere else. On Sunday, the school held a fundraiser hoping to raise the $250,000 needed for the school's operational costs.
Wisconsin State Journal: Nuestro Mundo Principal Gary Zehrbach, who has headed the Madison School District's only English-Spanish charter school since its opening in 2004, is leaving his post at the end of this school year. TedTalks: With subtle accompaniment by longtime friend Herbie Hancock, and a slide show that has opened the minds (and pocketbooks) of CEOs across the country, Bill Strickland tells a quiet and astonishing tale of redemption through arts, music and unlikely partnerships.
Bill Strickland's journey from at-risk youth to 1996 MacArthur 'genius' grant recipient would be remarkable in itself, if it were not overshadowed by the staggering breadth of his vision.
With job placement rates that rival most universities, Manchester Bidwell's success has attracted the attention of everyone from George Bush, Sr. News of the February 2006 stabbing at the unsupervised party held by an Albany High School student at her parents' home in the Berkeley Hills arrived on Saturday, a day after the stabbing. They were not interested in discussing the event in any length, and I had little information. Last week, The Plain Dealer wrote a story about the sorry state of gifted education in Ohio. 31 states require school districts to provide special services for children identified as gifted. Three-fourths of the state's gifted students receive no special services, according to the Ohio Department of Education.
As the opening of a new school is coming close, I was surprised to some extent that the plans were changed with such a short amount of time left before the new year. I think one thing many of us felt on the Long Range Planning Committee was even with the new school and addition to Leopold we did not devise a Long Term Plan. I hope the district is prepared to lend Jefferson an enormous amount of resources if the pair go to Jefferson.
Experts aren't surprised that the job is drawing interest despite Perry's abrupt exit after more than six years.
Looking ahead, William Campbell, a PTA president and a member of the superintendent advisory search committee, said he wants a superintendent who did not rise through the traditional school ranks, perhaps a chief executive of a business.
Houston said some school systems have recruited such candidates recently with mixed results.
Finding a superintendent these days isn't easy, despite the hefty salary the position commands, experts say.



Goldman said many educators now view the top job in a school district as "an impossible, can't-win position.
Wisconsin State Journal Editorial: The Legislature may actually complete an important assignment quickly and on time, earning high marks from voters.
Yes, we are talking about the Wisconsin Legislature, the same group of truants who logged one of the longest and latest budget stalemates in state history last year. Key lawmakers announced a compromise bill Thursday that will keep open a dozen online schools in Wisconsin.
So Curtisa€™s history teacher, armed with Exeter funds, took him shopping for a new wardrobe.
As a result, like the best universities to which most of its students aspire, Exeter is relying more and more on its lush endowment to fill the gap. Despite Exetera€™s expanding commitments, which include a new promise to pay the full cost for any student whose family income is less than $75,000, the schoola€™s endowment keeps growing. Andy Hall: The Madison School Board will meet behind closed doors this morning to begin determining which of the three finalists it'd like to hire to replace Superintendent Art Rainwater, who retires June 30. Gerald Prante: Regardless of whether one supports a stimulus package, the agreed-upon package by the House leadership and the White House could almost rival AMT in terms of the amount of complexity it adds to the 2008 tax system. We have the regular child tax credit, which gives everyone $1,000 per child with a floor at zero income tax liability (which is phased-out at $110,000).
Jo Egelhoff: Congratulations to virtual school students, virtual school families, forward-thinking school districts around the state**, and to all Wisconsinites dedicated to high quality education for all.
Thank you and congratulations to the Coalition of Virtual School Families, who issued this press release of thanks (and relief) yesterday. Andy Hall: The new elementary school being built on Madison's Far West Side, already mired in controversy over its name, now is part of a second emotional debate: Which students should be uprooted from their current schools when school attendance boundaries are redrawn this year to accommodate the new school and recent population changes? A well-organized group of dozens of Stephens Elementary parents is fighting the Madison School District's proposal to move 83 students from Stephens to Falk Elementary. Parents in the Valley Ridge neighborhood contend their children, most of whom are from middle-class backgrounds, would receive an inferior education at Falk because the school already has an extraordinarily high number of low-income and other students who need extra attention.
Fifty-three percent of Falk's students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, compared to an average of 36 percent at elementary schools in the Memorial High School attendance area.More here.
Jennifer Medina: New York City has embarked on an ambitious experiment, yet to be announced, in which some 2,500 teachers are being measured on how much their students improve on annual standardized tests.
The move is so contentious that principals in some of the 140 schools participating have not told their teachers that they are being scrutinized based on student performance and improvement. While officials say it is too early to determine how they will use the data, which is already being collected, they say it could eventually be used to help make decisions on teacher tenure or as a significant element in performance evaluations and bonuses.
The Future of Things: Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany have found a genetic factor that affects our ability to learn from our errors. Watch a 28 minute question and answer session at Monona Terrace yesterday, download the .mp4 video file (168mb, CTRL-Click this link) or listen to this 11MB mp3 audio file. I spoke briefly with Dan Nerad yesterday and asked if Green Bay had gone to referendum recently. Nerad, 56, is superintendent of the Green Bay public school system, which has just more than 20,000 students.
At a third and final public meet-and-greet session for the candidates for Madison school superintendent on Thursday at the Monona Terrace Convention Center, Nerad spoke of his passion for helping students and his philosophies of educational leadership. Nerad talked about his efforts to create an entire district of leaders, and the importance of a healthy, collaborative culture in the schools. AP: Wisconsin lawmakers announced a compromise Thursday that would allow virtual schools to remain open and receive the same amount of state aid. The breakthrough potentially resolves an emotional debate over online education that has been watched closely in national education circles. The compromise rejects a Democratic plan that would have cut the schools' funding in half, after an outcry from school superintendents and other advocates. The plan announced by Democratic and Republican lawmakers at an afternoon news conference also would add new regulations to ensure quality education at the schools. Amy Rolph: Forget those uncomfortable, plastic classroom chairs and their 12-inch, fold-down, wannabe-desk extensions. Millions of college students around the country attend class from living-room sofas, kitchen tables, home offices and even park benches -- part of an ever-escalating trend of attending school online. The trend is being set largely by community colleges, with their propensity for nontraditional students who need an easier, more flexible way to earn degrees.
In Seattle, North Seattle Community College is leading the way with a course catalog that lists an increasing number of online options. Sabrina Hutchinson, a busy staffing account manager and recruiter who works as an event planner on the side, enrolled at North Seattle this quarter to see whether she could juggle two jobs and college classes.
Ian Shapira: A group of Prince William County parents is mounting a campaign to repeal a new elementary school math curriculum, using an Internet discussion group and an online petition to gather support and fuel criticism.
The group, whose members include parents from such elementary schools as Westridge, Ashland and Springwoods as well as teachers from various schools, plans to present the Prince William County School Board in February with its petition, which has about 500 names. The group's formation comes right after the school system presented a year-long study of the curriculum that showed 80 percent of second-graders and 70 percent of first-graders are proficient on all 10 subtests of the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test. The Investigations program has been undergoing a phased-in implementation since the School Board adopted its materials in 2006. In 2006 PWCS directed mandatory implementation of the elementary school mathematics curriculum TERC - "Investigations in Number, Data, and Space" in all PWCS elementary schools. Join the thousands of parents and supporters of Missouri's public schools to learn what you can do to help! Quality Counts — the nation’s most comprehensive ongoing assessment of the state of American education — published its 19th annual Education Week’s Quality Counts report.
School finance is an ongoing battle in Missouri, where the state’s Foundation Formula goes under-funded year after year. The report looks at how much money each state actually spent on public education, but it also looked at funding-related poverty-based achievement gaps. The study aims to measure educational progress — in this case educational funding progress — over time and across all states.
While the School Finance report shouldn’t be viewed as a standalone piece from the other two indices in Preparing to Launch: Early Childhood’s Academic Countdown, its findings are still intriguing. Come back to the Missouri Parent Blog throughout the legislative session to learn more about education funding policies being debated right now in Missouri, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates. Download the “National Highlights Report” of Preparing to Launch: Early Childhood’s Academic Countdown here. Read Education Week’s press release on Preparing to Launch: Early Childhood’s Academic Countdown here. The quality of our public schools has been measured in innumerable ways, and stakeholders may draw on any number of sources for rankings to support a particular agenda.
The Quality Counts rankings are eagerly anticipated, thoroughly perused, and widely quoted.
The Chance-for-Success Index captures the critical role that education plays at all stages of an individual’s life, with a particular focus on state-to-state differences in opportunities. The CFSI’s stated aim is to show the role that education plays as a student moves from childhood through the formal K–12 system and into the workforce, but then the rest of the description is fairly ambiguous.
Consider the parental employment indicator and its role in an index that is updated annually or even every other year.
Removing family background characteristics from the index changes states’ rankings substantially. Second, the indicators that are employed should have direct and proven association with the outcome being measured.
The editors of Quality Counts gather and report a variety of measures that reflect current education and policy performance across all 50 states and the District of Columbia and, through comparison, encourage states to take actions that would lead to improvements in their ratings. CREDO at Stanford University supports education organizations and policymakers in using research and program evaluation to assess the performance of education initiatives. The table below extracts the three most recent years of those state rankings (I don’t show 2011 because Quality Counts didn’t consider all of the listed areas that year). This is the data I show in the row with the red typeface as listed by the Kentucky Department of Education in their row titled “Overall Score” (Which isn’t a correct title.
Notice that those averages look quite different from, and lower than, the overall state rankings Quality Counts somehow developed for Kentucky.
And, that weighting apparently gave undue credit to the “Transitions and Alignment” and “Teaching Profession” subareas over other areas like “K-12 Achievement,” which to me are more important indicators of current school performance.
Click the “Read more” link to learn about things such as how New Mexico got unfairly treated compared to Kentucky by the Quality Counts analysis. NAEP scores show up in calculations under the “Chance for Success” area and in multiple portions of the “K-12 Achievement” calculations. There are plus or minus sampling errors in all of the results, including the proficiency rates used by Education Week. Kentucky’s “all students” proficiency rate reported by Quality Counts is 30.0 percent, and a little work with the online NAEP Data Explorer tool shows that is generally correct. As every NAEP report card from 2005 onward cautions, that can lead to serious misconceptions. The next table summarizes results for Kentucky and New Mexico from the 2013 NAEP Grade 8 Math Assessment. If you look at the “all students” scores for Kentucky and New Mexico, which agree with the “State Highlights 2014” reports from Quality Counts, you are told that Kentucky ranked well ahead of New Mexico, 39th place vs.
The answer involves something public school systems cannot control – the overall racial makeup of their classrooms.
In New Mexico, the dominant racial group is Hispanic (60 percent), but Hispanics only comprised four percent of Kentucky’s eighth grade class during 2013 NAEP testing.
It is very unfortunate that the statistical folks who create Quality Counts apparently refuse to make adjustments for these real world facts of statistical life. Far too many of these data points really have no bearing on how well the state’s school system is currently operating. By the way, with its predominantly white, US-born population, Kentucky gets an unfair advantage from this dubiously included item. In fact, some schools, including some high performing charter schools, show effective schools can overcome issues of parent financial limitations and low education levels. However, and rather ironically for a report whose title talks about “Quality,” there is no evaluation of the quality of those programs. The NAEP says only 36 percent of our fourth graders were proficient for NAEP reading in 2014 and, as previously mentioned, only 30 percent of our eighth graders made the NAEP cut in math.
It is administered in collaboration with Florida International University, Family Central Inc., Devereux Florida, The Children's Forum, and the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education. Any kind of talk with young children — especially if they’re too young to talk back — will do. The implant is a remarkable marriage of medicine and technology that can help even profoundly deaf children hear.
And basically what they found, by the end of age 3, children from low-socioeconomic backgrounds will have heard 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers. So that every parent, every caregiver, every educator, every policymaker understands how powerful language is in allowing every child to reach their genetic, intellectual potential. We not only translate the science so they can understand it and work with their children, but they become — I don’t want to say evangelists, but agents of change. Although they rarely say so explicitly, they regard my work -- the students -- as difficult and cannot imagine themselves in my shoes, just as I can't imagine rushing into burning buildings as a firefighter.
There's some truth in that, but our schools' mission is far more difficult than critics understand.
I feel far less connection to United Teachers Los Angeles, which represented my father before me and to which I pay nearly $700 a year in dues. But because phonics is associated with behaviorism and with conservatives, and because the Current Occupant has spoken on the subject, my fellow liberals are opposed.
But in an increasingly globalized economy, one in which an ability to innovate and to imagine new possibilities is critical to Americaa€™s ability to compete, we still train our young people very narrowly to work in an industrialized society. Great teaching makes great schools, and once you have a good school, parents become engaged and active. She said they offered him the job on Saturday, following board interviews with finalists last week and deliberations on Saturday morning. That's why he is exposing students in the town of Salisbury on Maryland's Eastern Shore to three new textbooks that are unorthodox in concept, appearance and substance. The first book is "Aristotle Leads the Way," the second is "Newton at the Center" and the third is "Einstein Adds a New Dimension." The series, which has drawn acclaim, chronicles not only great discoveries but also the scientists who made them. Especially the part of everything that involved me thinking that kids under 2 in their parents' laps for six hours constitutes a "free" ride.
So writes Yale lecturer Charles Barber in his new book, Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation. That plan, released in December, garnered strong opposition, leading the board to propose three new plans.
Nerad has conditionally accepted, pending a final background check, contract negotiations and a site visit by a board delegation, according to a district news release.
He said it would be "presumptuous" of him to discuss his reasons for stepping aside, and Board President Arlene Silveira "would be a better position to share" the details. But residents here insist that their students will suffer if they turn the money over to the state. Pigg and the rest of the Wimberley school board voted last fall to withhold the payment of an estimated $3.1 million in local property taxes a€“ one-sixth of the district's total revenue a€“ that was supposed to be sent to the state under the share-the-wealth school finance law passed in 1993. While moonlighting as an airline pilot, Strickland founded Manchester Bidwell, a world-class institute in his native Pittsburgh devoted to vocational instruction in partnership with big business- and, almost incidentally, home to a Grammy winning record label and a world class jazz performance series.
The wide toothy smile and copper-colored skin less defined, the baseball cap diminishing into the background of the poster-sized photograph. Ron Rosenbaum, then principal of Albany High School, sent an e-mail to the AHS e-tree that described in very general terms what had happened. But I reminded them that if they were ever to find themselves in a similar situation that they had an obligation to call 911, whether or not they were implicated in any wrongdoing. But less than 1 percent of that amount - roughly $47 million - goes toward gifted education. They credit the attractiveness of Alexandria and the surrounding region as a place to work and live.
For the Alexandria job, the board is advertising an annual salary of about $230,000 and a "comprehensive and competitive" benefits package.
The proposal also seeks to improve the quality of learning delivered via computer to educate more than 3,000 students in their homes. The District 2 Court in Waukesha ruled that the Wisconsin Virtual Academy, based in suburban Milwaukee, violates state laws controlling teacher certification, charter schools and open enrollment. Rose, La., arrived here two years ago to attend Phillips Exeter Academy, he brought little more than a pair of jeans and two shirts. With its small classes, computers for students receiving financial aid, lavish sports facilities and more, Exeter devotes an average of $63,500 annually to house and educate each of its 1,000 students.
Last year a€” fueled by gifts from wealthy alumni and its own successful investments a€” it crossed the $1 billion mark, up from just over $500 million in 2002.
Not only do we have the government sending out checks to those who have no income tax liability (thereby requiring some method to reduce their tax liability), the proposal calls for yet another child tax credit. Then we have the additional child tax credit for those who are hit by that floor, thereby making the child tax credit refundable. In all seriousness, though, what is the difference between these child tax credits and the government establishing a program called "Paying You to Have Kids" whereby HHS would write out checks to every family, paying each one $2,000 per child? As reported in several news outlets yesterday, legislators have agreed to a compromise that guarantees the survival of virtual schools in Wisconsin. Brett Davis and Senator John Lehman, who were able to reach across the aisle (political pressure didna€™t hurt a€“ see above) and find a solution. The students would be among 524 at seven elementary and middle schools affected by the proposal, which is known as Plan A.
And they hold out the possibility that the ratings for individual teachers could be made public.


The scientists demonstrated that men carrying the A1 mutation, which reduces the amount of dopamine D2 receptors in the brain, are less successful at learning to avoid mistakes than men who do not carry this genetic mutation.
Several times during his remarks, he emphasized that education is an investment in work force development, in the community and in the future. He said he saw diversity as "a strong, strong asset" because it allows kids to learn in an atmosphere that reflects the world they are likely to live in. A court ruling and a stalemate in the Legislature had threatened to close a dozen Wisconsin schools starting as early as next year.
The number of students taking online classes in Washington has jumped 75 percent in just four years. Jim Doyle, in his State of the State address this week, said he wants to see the overall pay structure of teachers in Wisconsin improved and he will make proposals in that direction when the next round of the state budget process starts a year from now. The school system wants to continue studying the program and incorporate data from student performance on the state Standards of Learning exams.
Lucas (Neabsco) said in an interview that she wants to examine the program inside a classroom to assess its effectiveness. For instance, a student may not need to learn how to add 37 and 23 by stacking the figures on top of each other, and carrying the numbers. That’s why the Quality Counts report caught our attention: We were curious to see how Missouri’s school finance stacks up against the rest of the nation. It’s important to understand that the report didn’t just look at the state’s overall education spending though; it looked at the districts within each state. In this case, 0.0 would be a perfect score because it would indicate that there was no disparity in spending from one district to the next. Missouri’s spending difference was lower than the national average ($4,559), but the discrepancy in spending is substantial when you consider that our State Adequacy Target (SAT) for PPE in the same year was just $6,717.17. The national average (adjusted for cost of living, etc.) was $11,735, so Missouri didn’t fall too far behind. Nationally, 43.4% of students attend school in a district that meets or exceeds national average per-pupil funding.
While this measurement (called the “Spending Index”) uses a complicated mathematic formula (see the report), the important takeaways are that 100 is a perfect score, and that the national average was 89.4. Missouri Parent won’t always have the answers to these polarizing questions, but we’ll continue to report on funding and legislative issues that affect your child’s K-12 public education in the state. Each winter, Education Week issues Quality Counts as a magazine supplement to its weekly newspaper.
After the 2009 rankings were released, the Maryland State Department of Education issued a press release touting the state’s place at “the top of the list in Education Week’s tally, just ahead of Massachusetts.” Florida governor Charlie Crist celebrated the news that Education Week’s Quality Counts rated Florida’s schools 10th in the nation, based on its average rating across the six categories that comprise the analysis. Among the most widely cited of the Quality Counts ranking schemes is the Chance-for-Success Index (CFSI), which attempts to measure a state’s capacity for helping young people succeed. While early foundations and the returns in the labor market from a quality education are important elements of success, we find that the school years consistently trump those factors. Short-run trends in parental employment may not have any impact on the overall quality of a state’s education system; even the direction of possible influence is unclear.
Only Maryland (5th) and Arizona (43rd) retained their rankings, although four of the top five stayed within that band. The states that drop the most in the revised rankings are Hawaii, Rhode Island, Indiana, Alaska, Nebraska, and North Dakota. We looked at where the states would fall if we ranked them by individual family background variables. The CFSI’s current approach mixes inputs such as demographics with outcomes like academic results to arrive at a single score. Nowhere do the Quality Counts editors show how or why the Chance-for-Success Index is a good predictor of success.
The team is led by Margaret Raymond and includes Kenneth Surratt, Devora Davis, Edward Cremata, Emily Peltason, Meghan Cotter Mazzola, Kathleen Dickey, and Rosemary Brock. Unfortunately, the Quality Counts rankings ignore important statistical limitations in this NAEP data.
In many cases, NAEP proficiency rates for states that appear different, and which Quality Counts treats as if they are different, in fact are only statistical ties. The NAEP report cards say you need to look beyond only the “all students” NAEP scores to get a fair idea of relative state-to-state education performance. The table lists both the reported proficiency rates (carried out to the nearest tenth of a point to match Quality Counts’ format, not because it is suitable to list these scores in such detail) along with simplistic state rankings for those rates such as Quality Counts also reports. An evaluation system such as Quality Counts that penalizes a school system for things the school cannot control is clearly invalid. It is misleading to Kentucky to tell its citizens our education system ranks 10th in the whole country when correctly analyzed data from things like the NAEP and the ACT make it painfully clear that isn’t the case. But Suskind noticed that her young patients went on to develop language skills at wildly different rates. And this number itself was correlated not just with differences in vocabulary but also differences in IQ and test scores in the third grade.
In some families it’s prized to be seen and not heard, especially in some low-income families. We’re all born with 100 billion neurons, but those neurons are meaningless without those connections. Cynics say UTLA is the union that the LAUSD deserves -- ineffective and one-dimensional -- and they're not wrong. But the loss of the arts, and all that is learned through participation in the arts, severely limits the kinds of skills and capacities children develop in school.
An OCD sufferer himself, Barber spent a decade working in places like New York City's Bellevue Hospital. Yet its emphasis on the arts is no accident, as it embodies Strickland's conviction that an atmosphere of high culture and respect will enervate even the most troubled students. And though cumbersome slide trays have been replaced by PowerPoint, the inspirational power of his speeches and slide shows are the stuff of lecture circuit legend.
Dead for more than a year, Juan Carlos Ramos greets everyone from the window at the corner of Portland and Masonic streets in Albany. I imagined that students would be talking about the party, and I warned my sons against participating in gossip.
That would hardly do at a 227-year-old prep school where ties are still required for boys in class.
That is far more than the Thomas family could ever afford and well above even the $36,500 in tuition, room and board Exeter charges those paying full price. But now we have a new child tax credit for $300 per child available to all, which is subject to different phase-out ranges than the current child tax credit. This finding has the potential to improve our understanding of the causes of addictive and compulsive behaviors.
Brett Davis, R-Oregon, said the state's dozen virtual schools would be allowed to continue operating with few changes. She decided on the high-tech option: an online course examining how the study of dinosaurs overlaps with a number of scientific fields. She added that she has been hearing positive reviews from at least one principal in her district but that she wants to withhold making public comments until she visits schools. Louis inspired Jim McIntyre when he was their teacher and continue to inspire him today as an administrator in the Boston public school system. The School Finance index “examined educational expenditure patterns and the distribution of those funds” (source).
Eight states scored a perfect 100, meaning that every single district in their state fund their pupils at or above the national average. In every state, indicators associated with participation and performance in formal schooling constitute the largest source of points awarded in this category, and help explain much of the disparity between the highest- and lowest-ranked states. Most of its components, described as “key facets of education spanning stages from childhood to adulthood,” are a grab bag of demographic characteristics. Parents who see how difficult it is to get and retain employment without education may stress the value of school completion, but it is also conceivable that underemployed parents may seek to accelerate their children’s entry into the labor force, even at the expense of their education. Looking down the list, however, 34 states moved 3 or more places, 21 shifted by 5 or more places, and 13 states moved by 8 or more places. The states that gain the most are Florida, Texas, Maine, Idaho, Arkansas, and Mississippi, mostly poor, rural states.
The variable that by itself provides a ranking with the closest fit to the CFSI is percentage of children with at least one parent with a postsecondary degree (parent education). None of the descriptions provided by the CFSI editors accomplish this—they never reveal exactly what they take the “chance for success” to be, asserting only that some states provide better opportunities than others. Instead, they provide statistics that divert attention away from the things that actually do matter, such as high-quality teaching, a good range of school options, and success in early elementary schools. Here is an example from the 2013 NAEP Grade 8 Math Assessment to drive that interesting fact home. I show breakouts for “all students” and for the three predominant racial groups found in Kentucky (other racial groups are reported by NAEP, but either Kentucky or New Mexico has only trace numbers of students from those groups, making comparisons impossible). Until we produce much better results than that, I am not going to be impressed by any claims made about our education standards.
And, as the child gets older, the brain begins to prune away connections that are not used as much.
That being said, unless we truly understand the science and address this 0-to-3 issue, we will never be able to truly start moving the needle on this achievement gap.
We’re working on a maternity ward intervention where new mothers and fathers learn about the power of language.
And I tell you there is nothing more powerful than for a parent to understand how powerful they are. In a word, students are learning less, and what they are learning is only part of what is needed to build a strong workforce and a vibrant citizenry. They are wrong, but in such a convoluted way that it is difficult for us parents to get a good grasp on what role we play in making our schools bad or good. He knew something was wrong when he discovered that his colleagues' perfectly functional, $300-an-hour Upper West Side clients were taking the same potent pills as his own schizoid, homeless, crackhead patients.
As August rolled around and parents began buying new backpacks and school supplies, readying their children for the 2007 school year, the family of Juan Carlos Ramos looked for a new picture to replace the one from which he had begun to fade. He was on a camping trip with the Student Conservation Association, a group he volunteers with. What I did not anticipate was that on Monday morning, the grassy median in front of Albany High School would be covered with local news vans and reporters, no doubt because the murder had happened in the Berkeley Hills and not in Richmond or Oakland, where similar events rarely attract such attention.
More possible candidates have been identified from a pool of 141 people who expressed interest. Furthermore, this is in addition to the personal exemption that a tax return gets for each child (which for someone in the 15 percent bracket is worth $525 for 2008) and other credits that are linked to children such as education credits, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Our interpretation is that Missouri could do more to close the gap for students in districts where funding falls below the state median. Report cards throughout school equate a student’s academic performance with a grading standard. For example, the grade for transitions and alignment is based on 14 indicators related to “early-childhood education, college readiness, and economy and workforce,”  while the school finance indicators measure spending patterns and resource distribution. The Maryland schools’ press release cited above reported that the state “ranked among the nation’s leaders in ‘Chance for Success,’ which looks at how well graduates achieve beyond high school.” Of course, some states choose not to emphasize their CFSI score.
The index combines indicators related to family background, wealth, education levels, and employment with schooling measures, including kindergarten enrollment and selected National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test scores.
A similar problem exists with annual income: many factors outside of education quality influence the vitality of a state economy. First, we selected a clear standard for our index: we defined “success” as the percentage of young adults, aged 18 to 24, who are productively engaged in postsecondary endeavors (pursuing a college degree, active military service, or full-time employment).
Ranked by that measure alone, only 8 states would move by 8 or more places from their positions in the CFSI.
If this is the product of the 10th best state performance in the country, the United States is in very serious trouble. If you have unstable jobs or child care or home life, certainly that’s going to impact your bandwidth for talking.
And what happens is, if it hasn’t heard sound, it starts pruning away those important connections. We have to reconcile the fact that we’re going to have to rethink how we approach education in order to get the results that we want. No one has yet found a way to revive those schools in any significant way by training the students' parents to be more engaged with their children's educations. In September mylar balloons floated from the railing in front of the window and a colorful Feliz CumpleaA±os banner hung across the window celebrating the birth of a young man who will never grow older, who will always be 19. When he returned on Sunday, I talked with both of my sons, the youngest a ninth-grader, telling them what had happened, asking them if they knew either Juan Carlos Ramos or the Oppelt children who had held the party. These were just a view of the complaints, concerns I can remember, or I took from my notes. Professional athletes, corporations, and communities all have rating systems designed to reveal their quality. By November of 2009, two lawsuits had been filed in Florida claiming the state was failing to provide high-quality education to its students. For example, the New Mexico education department’s January 2009 press release led with its number-two rank and A grade for transition and alignment policies and buried in the middle its 51st-place CFSI grade of D+.
Even if strong gains in public education are realized, it will be years before the effects are reflected in adults’ annual income. We limited the indicators to only those factors for which a reasonable empirical base of evidence shows an association between the indicator and our definition of success and that are plausibly under the control of education policymakers. Indicators of family income and adult education levels also produce rankings similar to the CFSI.
States may view the results as motivators to improvement, and ineffective indicators may lead to ineffective attention and investment. Our program is about getting this message and these science-based programs to parents — to really, hopefully, get it into the groundwater. It is too hard to do and too unlikely to have much impact on the chaotic school district leadership.
The plaintiffs claimed the state has low graduation rates, frequent school violence, and low levels of education spending and teacher pay compared to other states. Not all of these have a clear relationship to postsecondary success, and several are beyond the control of state policymakers. Income trends over the next few years will have little or nothing to do with current levels of education quality. Five indicators have a clear bearing on education outcomes: preschool enrollment, kindergarten enrollment, 4th-grade reading, 8th-grade mathematics, and high school graduation.
The ideal index would be one that measured how well states and schools did, given their demography. Ranking states by either the percentage of children in families with incomes at least 200 percent of poverty level (the family income indicator) or the percentage of adults (25–64) with a 2- or 4-year postsecondary degree (adult educational attainment), only 15 states would move 8 or more places. Narrowing the scope of the Chance-for-Success Index to factors both causally related to school achievement and under the control of state education officials or school districts would improve its value and deliver the right signals to states. It's like "a highly selective carpentry of the soul," Barber writes a€” therapy as self-engineering. Using the same source data as the 2009 CFSI and giving each factor equal weight, we computed new averages for each state and compared the new rankings to the originals.
Either way it is different than the Johnny walk to school and then takes a bus to the "other" school, and it seems like it would increase the transportation cost.



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