Renascence School Education News - private school

Friday, February 6, 2015

UK Conservative Policies Aim to Improve Basic Math, Grammar

Education News – Sherlynn Summers

“Conservatives in the United Kingdom have supported a new set of policies which embody part of a new drive to reduce illiteracy and innumeracy. The new set of rules is backed by education secretary Nicky Morgan and aim in promoting the development of mathematical skills, punctuation, spelling and grammar through a writing test taken by the pupils…The requirements also ask 11-year-olds to be able to read a novel, write a short story and be fluent in their times table up to 12 by the end of the primary schooling…Morgan’s comments follow a major educational speech by Prime Minister David Cameron, who is still in the process of making further announcements regarding the structural modifications of state schools.”(more)

Top senators agree to start over on bipartisan federal education law

The Washington Post – Lyndsey Layton

“As the Senate education panel attempts to rewrite the nation’s main federal education law, the panel’s top Democrat has convinced the Republican chairman to start over and craft what both sides say will be a bipartisan bill. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the panel’s chairman, had released a GOP draft bill and held two hearings and a roundtable discussion on various aspects of the complex legislation, which governs the way the federal government interacts with the nation’s 100,000 K-12 public schools…In this Congress, both Alexander and the ranking Democrat on the panel, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, say they are determined to find common ground and draft a new law that will get bipartisan support…But in recent days, aides to Murray have suggested that Alexander was “jamming” his GOP bill through the committee…That led to a lengthy conversation Thursday night between Alexander and Murray, aides on both sides said. The talk ended in agreement that the pair would ditch Alexander’s GOP proposal and start over to create a bipartisan bill that they would bring to the rest of the Senate committee.”(more)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Nation’s per-pupil K-12 funding fell for second consecutive year in 2012

The Washington Post – Emma Brown

“After more than a decade of increases in per-pupil funding for K-12 public schools, the nation’s per-pupil spending dropped in 2012 for the second year in a row, according to data released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics…The downturn has come as federal stimulus funds dried up, shrinking the federal government’s aid to schools by more than 20 percent between 2011 and 2012. At the same time, many local governments saw their property tax base evaporate in the housing collapse and states wrestled with balancing recession-battered budgets…Cuts to education budgets have meant bigger class sizes and fewer programs in many schools; advocates argue that tight budgets have hobbled efforts to adjust to the new Common Core State Standards, expand access to pre-kindergarten and serve an increasingly needy student population.”(more)

Survey Shows Broad Bipartisan Support for School Choice

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“According to a new poll from Beck Research, just about 70% of Americans approve of school choice, including 47% which strongly support it. Only 27% oppose the idea. The Democratic polling firm surveyed 1,800 likely November 2016 voters across the country, finding the results to be similar across party lines, with 60% of Democrats and 67% of Independents in support. An even higher 81% of Republicans agree with school choice. In addition, public charter schools were found to be highly supported…“The findings of this poll reflect what we saw in the 2014 midterms and what I am seeing in communities across the country – a demand from parents for more options in deciding how their children are educated,” said Kevin Chavous, AFC’s executive counsel. “Educational choice through opportunity scholarships and charter schools provide these options. As communities from New Orleans to Milwaukee to Miami have learned, educational choice is an immediate solution for parents’ who have children trapped in underperforming schools. Americans know that a zip code should not dictate a child’s future.””(more)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ten obvious truths about educating kids that keep getting ignored

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss

“There is no end to the debate about school reform, but there are certain things about education that seem like no-brainers. The problem is that they continue to be ignored by policymakers and in schools. Alfie Kohn lists 10 of them in the following post, which he first published in the American School Board Journal in 2011, but which holds as true today as it did then.”(more)

Deeper Learning Is a Global Concern

Education Week – Robert Rothman

“While schools and school systems in the United States have been retooling their curriculum and instruction to develop a broad set of knowledge and skills among students, other countries have been doing the same thing. That’s one conclusion from a newly released report issued by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The report analyzed some 450 policies adopted by industrialized countries over the past few years, and found that they generally fell in six categories: ensuring equity and quality in education; preparing students for the future; school improvement; evaluation and assessment to improve student outcomes; reforming governance; and reforming funding.”(more)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

From Student to Teacher: The Rise of Singapore Education

The Huffington Post – David Scott Clegg

“How did an island nation of five million people become one of the elite education systems on the planet? What is their secret, their special formula? What is the Singapore story? Singapore’s meteoric rise as an education power has been nothing less than remarkable. It has taken just over four decades — slightly more than one generation — to evolve from an essentially illiterate nation with virtually no natural resources to a world-class education system, and a rapidly expanding knowledge economy. There was no magic formula for their rise. In fact, it was not even a new formula…there was once a country that accomplished a similar meteoric rise as a society and economy…This country had great leadership, visionary stewardship. It established the best education system in the world, top to bottom. It revered — and supported — its teachers; developed its citizens’ capacity; and produced unparalleled creativity and innovation in modern times. It became the model for free market and a free society. It became the most powerful nation in the world…That was America. This is our heritage as a nation. What we will become, what we are perhaps destined to be, remains to be written — through the actions to be a taken.”(more)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Small K-12 Interventions Can Be Powerful

Education Week – Hunter Gehlbach

“The 2014-15 school year is shaping up to be a litmus test for many of the ambitious initiatives created to address a number of formidable K-12 challenges. As stakeholders in the education of our youths, we should be thrilled if these bold programs improve student outcomes. But do we really need any more comprehensive, costly initiatives to fix our most challenging problems? If history forecasts the future, these large educational investments will pay minute dividends…When we conceive of initiatives from a student-centered point of view, the odds of a positive response from children soar. A burgeoning number of studies are adopting this approach by addressing young people’s basic needs for social connectedness, motivation, and self-regulation. Although small in scope, these interventions yield disproportionately big outcomes.”(more)

Friday, January 2, 2015

It’s All About Education: Some of Education’s Best Ideas from 2014 – Lauri Lee

“As the year winds to an end, it seems like a good time to reflect on the past. Every newspaper and magazine seems to feature a list: what’s in, what’s out; the best movies of 2014; the most interesting people of 2014; the top viral videos of 2014; the most popular songs of 2014; it goes on and on. I decided to make a list of some of the most thought-provoking and innovative ideas in education that I’ve seen this year. Many of them I have written about in this column. These are a few that I didn’t write about, in no particular order:”(more)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why We Must Honor the Teaching Profession

The Huffington Post – Laura Wellington

“To begin righting the U.S. education system, our nation needs to reclaim the belief that the teaching profession is a highly regarded, extraordinarily valuable position in society…We also need to increase the compensation for teaching to levels that invite the best of the best…”(more)