How Effective Is Your School District? A New Measure Shows Where Students Learn the Most

".....The data, based on some 300 million elementary-school test scores across more than 11,000 school districts, tweaks conventional wisdom in many ways. Some urban and Southern districts are doing better than data typically suggests. Some wealthy ones don’t look that effective. Many poor school systems do.....

 

But in this analysis, which measures how scores grow as student cohorts move through school, the Stanford researcher Sean Reardon argues that it’s possible to separate some of the advantages of socioeconomics from what’s actually happening in schools."- 

DeVos Rescinds Guidance Documents for Disabled Students: What Does It Mean?

What does rescinding these guidance documents mean for the future of IDEA? Should parents and families, and educators expect new policy changes now for students with disabilities?

Recently, the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rescinded 72 guidance documents from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). These guidance documents provide interpretation for the policies and regulations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act (IDEA). We talked to Professor Thomas Hehir about these changes and what they mean going forward for the administration, and for the parents and families of disabled students. Hehir, as former director of the OSEP from 1993 to 1999, was responsible for federal leadership in implementing IDEA, and wrote some of the guidelines that were rescinded by DeVos…..Continue Reading

Raising Kids

The War on Public Schools

The Atlantic

Public schools have always occupied prime space in the excitable American imagination. For decades, if not centuries, politicians have made hay of their supposed failures and extortions. In 2004, Rod Paige, then George W. Bush’s secretary of education, called the country’s leading teachers union a “terrorist organization.”

In his first education speech as president, in 2009, Barack Obama lamented the fact that “despite resources that are unmatched anywhere in the world, we’ve let our grades slip, our schools crumble, our teacher quality fall short, and other nations outpace us.” 

President Donald Trump used the occasion of his inaugural address to bemoan the way “beautiful” students had been “deprived of all knowledge” by our nation’s cash-guzzling schools. Educators have since recoiled at the Trump administration’s budget proposal detailing more than $9 billion in education cuts, including to after-school programs that serve mostly poor children......

Continue Reading,  ERIKA CHRISTAKIS The Atlantic 

Florida Education News

The Orange County School Board voted Tuesday to join a proposed lawsuit that will challenge the constitutionality of parts of a controversial education law the Florida Legislature passed this spring.

Orange’s board, which voted 8-0 to join the legal fight, is the 10th district to do so, deciding...Continue Reading

Two lawmakers have filed bills that could alter the way Florida's school boards operate in the future. One could potentially expand their powers. The other would likely decrease them. The first measure [SB 192] would codify in law that two or more members of a school board or other elected body may meet privately, and without any public notice, if no official acts or public business are to occur.  The second measure [SJR 194] would set term limits on elected school board members. Currently, board members can serve until ousted. The Tampa Bay reports  

Public Education Capital Outlay

Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO)

Late last week, superintendents learned exactly what their piece of the $50 million Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) allocation would be. For some of the larger districts, it might get them close to paying for a new classroom wing. In the smaller ones, it might not even pay for air conditioning repairs.- Jeffrey S. Solochek from The Tampa Bay reports

Be aware of the popular app Sarahah

Sarahah a new popular social media app that allows users to receive anonymous feedback and it’s already being compared to Ask.fm and Formspring. The anonymous messaging app Sarahah has become an easy instrument of abuse. One reviewer on the App store calls it:”Accessory to Cyberbullying”.

Sarahah helps you in discovering your strengths and areas of improvement by receiving honest feedback from your employees and your friends in a private manner — this is how the developers describe Sarahah, the messaging app guaranteeing anonymity for commenters; its popularity has spread like wildfire.

“A concept that seems like a great platform for receiving and sharing all the mutual admiration — or constructive criticism — has turned into a nightmare for some, no thanks to the trolls who are unforgiving and relentless when it comes to slinging the worst kind of mud in the guise of ‘honest feedback’.”- says Aditya Dogra

 

One Teacher, One Child

 by Nadine Osborne

I see him.

I hear the other children shouting “Madame, Madame he is throwing the puzzle pieces”.

I know he is throwing the puzzle pieces.

He often throws the puzzle pieces.

 

I am working so hard to understand why.

 

Other teachers say “He wants attention.”

or  “He needs to try harder to develop self-control.”

They try to be helpful.  “Have you tried a sticker chart?”

 

No, I think to myself, I haven’t tried a sticker chart because this behaviour is…Continue Reading

After months of bullying, a 12-year-old New Jersey girl killed herself.

After months of bullying, a 12-year-old New Jersey girl killed herself. Her parents blame the school.

For months, 12-year-old Mallory Grossman received the taunts in text messages, Instagram posts and Snapchats.

She was a loser and had no friends, they told her. At one point, according to an attorney for Mallory’s family, the girls even asked her, “Why don’t you kill yourself?”

In the classrooms and hallways of her middle school in Rockaway Township, N.J., a group of sixth grade girls continued to torment her. They would tease Mallory, give her dirty looks and snub her, shooing her away from their lunch table….Read the story in the Washington Post

 

Volusia School Board chair leading statewide fight for fairer funding

Flagler County school board members must join Melody Johnson, Volusia County School Board Chairwoman in the fight for fair funding for Flagler students. The status quo is no longer acceptable. It’s time to act.

“The DCD(District Cost Differential)  has also hurt Flagler County, which ranks 65th among the 67 county districts in the amount of funds received per student.

Johnson believes it’s time to do more than just complain.

“If I keep sitting here being an armchair opinion maker, it doesn’t effect any change,” she said. “So that’s why I’m out there. That’s why I’m giving up what limited time I have in my life.”

“I’m starting to try to light the fire, fan the flames,” she said, noting that she aims to present to the 10 districts that are most negatively impacted by the formula — some likely via video.

Watch Melody Johnson speak about the issue – News-JournalOnline.com reports  Follow Melody Johnson on Twitter @melody4thekids