Tag: Student Achievement

Charter School Successes Well Documented

By Jay P. Greene According to the Global Report Card, more than a third of the 30 school districts with the highest math achievement in the United States are actually charter schools. This is particularly impressive considering that charters constitute about 5 percent of all schools and about 3 percent of all public school students. And it is even more amazing considering that some of the highest performing charter schools, like Roxbury Prep in Boston or KIPP Infinity in New York City, serve very disadvantaged students. As impressive and amazing as these results by charter schools may be, it would be wrong to conclude from this that charter schools improve student achievement. The only way to know… View Article
By Eric Wearne The New Teacher Project (TNTP) is a national organization that “works with schools, districts and states to provide excellent teachers to the students who need them most and advance policies and practices that ensure effective teaching in every classroom.” TNTP recently published a report called “The Irreplaceables,” which discusses the “real retention crisis in America’s urban schools.”*  For the purposes of this report, TNTP defines “Irreplaceables” by looking at the value-added test data provided by four large urban school systems. Those whose students gained 5-6 more months of learning each year compared to lower-performing teachers were deemed “Irreplaceable” – about 20 percent of the teachers in each of the school systems TNTP examined. TNTP also… View Article
By Eric Wearne Each year the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announce results for tests that make up the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).  This week, results of 2009 school year science tests in grades four, eight, and 12 were announced in a report titled “Science in Action.”  This announcement was different because for the first time results include assessments of interactive computer tasks (ICTs). The results include both hands-on and interactive computer tasks.  Students have been doing hands-on activities on NAEP science tests since the 1990s. A video describing the hands-on tasks is here.  In these tasks, students receive a kit with materials and lab equipment, and,… View Article

The Parent Trigger, Online Education and Charter Schools

While students in many developed nations have been learning more and more over time, American 15-year-olds are stuck in the middle of the pack in many fundamental areas, including reading and math. Yet the United States is near the top in education spending. In her essay "Losing the Brains Race," Veronique de Rugy clearly shows the failure of throwing money at our education system. Instead, she proposes more choice and innovation: "In long-suffering California, a bipartisan coalition is supporting a new response to such irrational practices: the “parent trigger,” which allows fed-up parents whose children are in a consistently underperforming school to quickly change the school’s leadership. By signing a petition, parents can force reorganization of a school’s… View Article

Full Speed Ahead: Widening the Pathway to College and Career Success

Commentary: Full Speed Ahead: Widening the Pathway to College and Career Success By Dean Alford Our "flat" world is a global economy in which other nations race to surpass American dominance in every area, including higher education. The competition is rapidly intensifying, the stakes are enormous and the implications are sobering. Countries including India and China (which just surpassed Japan as the world’s second-largest economy) are measuring their economic futures by the scope of their investment in education. Today's measure of power is no longer a simple matter of military might but is rooted in a country’s ambition and plan to educate its youth. Today's children are tomorrow’s highly skilled 21st-century workforce that will steer a nation’s fortunes. Yet Americans… View Article

Mark your calendar: Jay Greene talks school choice on March 5 in Atlanta

School choice champion Jay Greene's highest priority is expanding the number and quality of education choices that parents have for their children. Greene was among the group of education policy leaders from across the nation interviewed by Reason.TV to highlight National School Choice Week. Watch the video here: Jay Greene on Making Schools Better . Then mark your calendar and watch for details of a March 5 breakfast event hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation with Greene, author of the widely acclaimed book, "Education Myths" (2005). About Jay Greene: Greene is department head and 21st Century Chair in Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. Greene conducts research and writes about education policy, including topics such as school choice, high school graduation rates,… View Article

Excellent article by Walter Russell Mead

Please take a couple of minutes and read this outstanding article on the political and economic impact of charter schools (much less their impact on actual education!) by Walter Russell Mead. It is perhaps the best written article I have read about the multiple ways charters can and will change our country. Let me know what you think!… View Article

Florida Keeps Raising the Bar

Florida Governor Rick Scott took office last week and appears ready to stand behind the kind of reforms that made Florida a national leader in education reform and positive results for students under former Governor Jeb Bush. His education transition team proposed several bold reforms including: Parents could receive 85 percent of their child's per-pupil grant to use for private school tuition, virtual schooling or private tutoring. Since those options typically cost less per pupil than public education, the state would conceivably save 15 percent. Students would be allowed to take online classes full-time, part-time or by individual courses. A new classification of charters – High Performing Charter Schools – would receive greater operational flexibility, equitable funding, expedited approval processes… View Article

Joel Klein on Education Lessons Learned

Joel Klein had some interested comments in this weekend's Wall Street Journal: First, it is wrong to assert that students' poverty and family circumstances severely limit their educational potential. It's now proven that a child who does poorly with one teacher could have done very well with another.  … Second, traditional proposals for improving education—more money, better curriculum, smaller classes, etc.—aren't going to get the job done. Public education is a service-delivery challenge, and it must be operated as such.  … Our embrace of charter schools was especially controversial. But why should any student have to settle for a neighborhood school if it's awful? The debate shouldn't be about whether a school is a traditional or charter public school.… View Article

Value-Added in NYC

Last week NYC Chancellor Joel Klein proposed publishing individual teachers' value-added data, L.A. Times-style. Current teacher evaluation systems do not take student achievement into account. That's a given.  Value-added models (VAM), which attempt to measure how much of an effect individual teachers have on students' test scores are potentially very useful as part of a re-worked teacher evaluation system. These data could be useful for promotion, dismissal and other reward decisions. But there are some items that should be discussed more often up front: First, to calculate a VAM score, a teacher has to teach a class to which a standardized test is attached. In Georgia, as in many states, that means that a VAM could only touch somewhere… View Article

I wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  For those of you that will be entering the Legislature or are relatively new you may not quite yet appreciate how much we rely on Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s research and work.  As you know we’re a citizen’s legislature.  We have very little staff. They have been an invaluable, invaluable resource to us.  To put this [Forum] on and the regular programs that they do throughout the year make us better at what we do. (At the 2012 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.)

Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones more quotes