Renascence School Education News - private school

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Report Shows School Suspensions Amount to 18 Million Days

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“New research from the University of California at Los Angeles has found that despite suspension rates dropping in school districts across the country, US students still lost around 18 million school days due to out-of-school punishments in the 2011-12 school year. The report, “Are We Closing the School Discipline Gap,” looked at data for every school district across the country, finding school systems in Missouri, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania that have an “alarming” suspension rate of 20% or higher among their elementary school students…Despite a number of improvements, there have not been many meaningful changes to the national suspension rate, causing racial gaps to continue to persist. Including all grade levels, 16% of black students were suspended in 2011-12 in comparison with 7% of Hispanic students and 5% of white students. Researchers suggest the current concern pertaining to out-of-school suspensions comes from a greater risk of academic failure, dropping out of high school, and involvement within the juvenile justice system…“We conclude that our nation cannot close the achievement gap if we ignore the discipline gap,” the UCLA report said.”(more)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Well designed school classrooms ‘boost academic success’

BBC News – Patrick Howse

“Well designed classrooms boost the academic performance of primary school children, a study suggests. Researchers from Salford University said the layout, construction and decoration of classes had a significant impact on reading, writing and maths. Natural light, temperature, air quality and individualised classroom design were especially important, they said.”(more)

Despite Benefits, Parents Split on Later School Start Times

Education News – Grace Smith

“About half of parents who participated in a recent survey think it is a good idea to push back school start times because of the benefits to teen health…At the same time, the logistics of such a change could become a nightmare for transportation and after-school activities…Dr. Matthew Davis…believes that teens have chronic sleep deprivation. Research has found several possible causes for this, from hormonal changes that shift teens’ body clocks about two hours wreak havoc with sleep cycles to social interactions and homework causing teens to go to sleep too late to achieve the recommended 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep. If an alignment of adolescent sleep patterns and the start of the school day could be established, physical and mental health could improve.”(more)

Family Influence on Education

Inside Higher Ed – Kaitlin Mulhere

“Spending your teenage years in a single-parent family puts you at a larger educational disadvantage today than it did 40 years ago, claims a new study. In 2009, young adults who spent time living in single-parent families had completed 1.32 fewer years of schooling than their peers from two-parent families, according to a paper published last week…The college completion rate also was 26 percentage points lower for 24-year-olds who lived in single parent homes as teens. Both gaps have more than doubled since 1978, when there was a 0.63-year difference in schooling completed and a 12 percentage point difference in college completion rates.”(more)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Too much or too little school discipline? Data often at odds with teacher, parent experiences

The Atlanta Journal Constitution – Maureen Downey

“Nothing brings out the blog skeptics as reports on disparities in how schools dole out student discipline, the focus a new report released this morning. The disparity in school discipline is an important issue and one that needs to be better understood. It’s also a complex issue because many parents and teachers contend they are seeing increased discipline problems in their schools and feel little is being done about it. My own teens complain of time lost to kids acting up in their classes. The conflicting views of student discipline – too much or too little — explain why a five-member Senate study committee led by Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur, could not come to consensus on recommended policy changes. Among the research discussed by the committee at its fall hearings: Georgia third-graders and eighth-graders who’ve been suspended for 10 days or more are less likely to earn a high school diploma. An AJC investigation a year ago found 57 percent of students expelled and 67 percent of students given out-of-school suspensions were black. Thirty-seven percent of Georgia public school students are black.”(more)

The New Orleans Case for All-Charter School Districts

Education Next – Neerav Kingsland

“Across the country, children in urban districts are being denied rich, rigorous educational opportunities. The causes of these poor opportunities are multifold: urban students suffer from high rates of poverty and violence; additionally, as a country, we do not develop enough teachers who can succeed in these difficult conditions. But, contrary to many leading reform voices, progress on the important issues of poverty and talent will not be enough to reverse the dysfunction of urban school districts. Poor educational opportunities will remain the norm unless we tackle one remaining issue: the structure of urban school districts. The structure of urban school systems has made a mess of the relationships between family, educator, and government. Families have little power. Educators are trapped in a Kafkaesque maze of contracts, rubrics, and rubber rooms. And government is tasked with the overbroad mandate of both regulating and operating schools. How do we right these relationships? My hypothesis is that we should transition our public education systems into charter districts, systems with the following structure:.”(more)

D.C. Students Benefit from Mix of Charter and Traditional Schools

Education Next – Scott Pearson and John H. “Skip” McKoy

“Charter schools are revolutionizing public schooling in Washington, D.C. In just 18 years, charter schools have grown from an initial 5 to 112 schools today, managed by 61 nonprofit organizations. This school year, charters will serve nearly 38,000 students—44 percent of all public-school students in D.C. And these schools, which consistently outperform D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) overall and across all subgroups, offer students a tremendous variety of quality educational opportunities. As the executive director and the board chairman of the District of Columbia’s independent chartering body, we are often asked whether we favor a “New Orleans” future for D.C., where charter schools eventually serve virtually all public-school students. Our response may surprise some, but we do not. Rather, we see students and families in the District of Columbia better served with two thriving and successful sectors: charter and traditional public. Here’s why. When Congress passed charter school legislation for Washington, D.C., in 1995, our public schools were a national disgrace, characterized by decrepit buildings, a meddling school board, patronage-based employment, sky-high truancy, and some of the nation’s lowest graduation rates and test scores. Enrollment in DCPS had fallen by nearly half from the mid-sixties, from 150,000 to just over 75,000 students.”(more)

Rule reversal allows schools to bill Medicaid for services

Reuters – Daniel Gaitan

“Due to an unexpected federal policy reversal sought by advocates for nearly 10 years, schools could start billing Medicaid for health services such as asthma screenings, vaccinations and care for chronic diseases provided to some low-income students. “Clearing away the obstacle was a first step, but the next step is educating the public about it,” said Ed Walz, vice president of communications with the First Focus Campaign for Children, a nonprofit children’s advocacy organization. According to a 1997 rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), known as the “free care rule,” if schools provided a service to the public for free, the schools couldn’t ask Medicaid to pay for that service when provided to a Medicaid-eligible student – even if Medicaid would pay for the service if provided in a medical setting. Exceptions were allowed for some children with disabilities. For example, if a school provided free asthma screenings to all students, the school couldn’t ask Medicaid to reimburse for screening Medicaid-eligible students, even though screenings would be covered in a hospital, said Mary-Beth Malcarney, assistant research professor with George Washington University’s Department of Health Policy.”(more)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Practice of Restraining, Secluding Students Faces Growing Opposition

Education News – Grace Smith

“A state report released last week found that public schools are restraining or isolating children against their will at a surprising rate, and hundreds of students have been left with injuries and unmet educational needs. Children with emotional or intellectual disabilities in particular have been targeted, according to Annie Waldman of ProPublica. Over 90,000 instances of restraint and seclusion have been recorded in the past three years generating more than 1,300 injuries, with at least two dozen of them doing serious damage. One child was restrained more than 700 times during one school year.”(more)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Arts and creativity ‘squeezed out of schools’

BBC News – Staff Writer

“Creativity and the arts are being squeezed out of schools, a major report has said. Cultural experiences and opportunities were being closed off to youngsters, especially those from poor backgrounds…”There is a general agreement within the cultural and creative industries, and industry more broadly, that the government’s focus on science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) should include the arts (Steam)…”We need creative scientists as much as we need artists who understand the property of materials and the affordances of new technology,” it said.”(more)