Renascence School Education News - private school

Monday, January 26, 2015

On Designing K-12 Education Savings Accounts

Education Next – Jason Bedrick and Lindsey M. Burke

“As we celebrate National School Choice Week, education-reform advocates would be wise to reflect on purpose of school choice as articulated by Milton Friedman, the father of the modern school choice movement. Friedman first proposed the concept of school vouchers in 1955, arguing that by introducing consumer choice into education, vouchers could help create a competitive marketplace. “Vouchers are not an end in themselves,” Friedman wrote in 1995; “they are a means to make a transition from a government to a market system.” Friedman was likely even more innovative than education-reform advocates realize, because he saw that a real education market would create its own path, pushed along by market forces. Noting in 2003 that “there’s no reason to expect that the future market will have the shape or form that our present market has,” Friedman wondered: “How do we know how education will develop? Why is it sensible for a child to get all his or her schooling in one brick building?” Instead, Friedman proposed granting students “partial vouchers”: “Why not let them spend part of a voucher for math in one place and English or science somewhere else?…Why can’t a student take some lessons at home, especially now, with the availability of the Internet?”.”(more)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Special ed, math, science teachers in high demand

The State – Sarah Ellis

“The hiring outlook is promising for teachers looking for jobs, local school districts say, especially those hoping to find their way into math, science, foreign language and special education classrooms. Spring months are when the majority of job openings will be posted and filled. As much as possible, school districts try to settle their personnel needs for the next school year by the end of the current school year. “There are jobs available. We do not have enough candidates in the state to meet the needs of our districts,” said Karen Lovett, director of human resources for the Richland 2 school district. “We never have enough applicants to share.” Lovett said that’s because fewer young people are going into teaching.”(more)

To improve education outcomes, advocates urge school choice for all students.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution – Maureen Downey

“This is the story of two young black students who attended challenging Georgia public schools not long after the civil rights movement. They both share ties to a small Georgia town. One attended a public school in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta. At length, his parents saved enough money to transfer the older boy to a parochial school and, eventually, to Atlanta’s Marist School. He spent a lot of time at his granddad’s house in Cuthbert in southwest Georgia, where his father grew up. The other young man attended public school in Cuthbert. His parents had few choices for his education other than the county’s one-and-only elementary, middle and high school. Instead, it was cradle-to-college mentoring by family members and a few dedicated teachers who set boundless expectations and devoted years of selfless service to help turn several rural geographical obstacles into our stepping-stones of success — graduating from a major four-year college or university.”(more)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Montgomery parents plead for later high school start times

The Washington Post – Donna St. George

“Parents in Montgomery County made impassioned pleas Thursday for later high school start times, telling personal stories of teenagers who barely function in the pre-dawn darkness, fall asleep during early classes and fight chronic exhaustion. In two public hearings, an overwhelming majority supported shifting the hours of the school day, some bringing handmade placards and others attending with pajama-clad children. Many cited research findings. Some called for political courage. Dozens of people testified, including students, educators and sleep experts…The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends middle and high school start times at 8:30 a.m. or later. Sleep experts say adolescents are biologically wired for later bedtimes and wake-ups and that lack of rest is linked to problems including an increased risk of depression, weight problems and car crashes. Teenagers need between 8 1/2 and 9 1/2 hours of sleep a night, according to the experts.”(more)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Boston Teachers Union Approves Extended School Day

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“The Boston Teachers Union has agreed to extend the school day by 40 minutes each day for all elementary and middle schools who do not already have extended day programs in place. About two-thirds of the schools in the Boston Public Schools district will be affected by the change, or around 60 schools and 23,000 students… A “school-by-school decision” will be made on how best to include the extra 40 minutes each day, depending on what each district believes it needs.”(more)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Teaching Character Versus Life Skills in Schools: What’s the Best Approach?

The Huffington Post – Ellen Galinsky

“Should schools teach personality or character? This is the question posed in a recent New York Times op-ed by Anna North. She spells out the crux of the debate: Self-control, curiosity, “grit” — these qualities may seem more personal than academic, but at some schools, they’re now part of the regular curriculum. Some researchers say personality could be even more important than intelligence when it comes to students’ success in school. But critics worry that the increasing focus on qualities like grit will distract policy makers from problems with schools. I would argue that there is a better way — promoting life skills, based on executive functions of the brain, as a complement to effective teaching and learning.”(more)

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)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Majority of U.S. public school students poor enough for lunch help: report

Reuters – Staff Writer

“(Reuters) – The share of public school students who qualify for free or reduced lunch in the United States has grown to 51 percent, in an indication of growing poverty, according to a report released on Friday. The problem is most acute in Mississippi where 71 percent of students were in that category, according to the report from the Southern Education Foundation.”(more)

Friday, January 16, 2015

New York City Education Department to Add or Expand 40 Dual-Language Programs

The New York Times – ELIZABETH A. HARRIS

“The New York City Education Department plans to expand dual­-language programs offered in public schools, using the orchestra of local languages to spread bilingual little symphonies across the five boroughs…Carmen Fariña, the city’s schools chancellor, announced the plan on Wednesday, saying that citywide, 40 dual­-language programs for elementary, middle and high school levels would be created or expanded for the 2015­-16 school year…In remarks made at a professional development session at the United Federation of Teachers offices in Brooklyn, an enthusiastic Ms. Fariña…emphasized the global advantages of speaking more than one language. “It’s one thing to go out with Japanese businessmen who all speak English; it’s another thing to be able to have some dinner conversation in their language,” Ms. Fariña said. “That means you’re coming to the table with a different form of respect, a different form of acknowledgment, and people accept and honor that.” Dual-­language programs have been growing around the country as school districts try to prepare children to compete for jobs in a globalized, polyglot world.”(more)