New York fails Common Core tests


The poor results for KIPP, Democracy Prep and other renowned charters suggest that “we have to be more careful about claims of miracle schools,” said Michael Petrilli, an education analyst at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Shock Doctrine: five reasons not to trust the results of the new state tests

NYC Public School Parents
By Leonie Haimson
The new Common Core exams and test scores are politically motivated, and are based neither on reason or evidence.  They were pre-ordained to fit the ideological goals of Commissioner King and the other educrats who are intent on imposing damaging policies on our schools.

Make bilingual education a priority

El Diario/La Prensa Editorial (scroll down for Spanish version)
Aug, 14, 2013
The mayoral candidates have participated in many debates and forums and campaigned all over New York City. But to date, most of them have not discussed or offered plans to improve bilingual education.
In New York City's public school system, there are 159,162 students who are known as English-language learners (ELL's). Of them, 100,933 are Latinos.
Among ELL high school students the four-year graduation rate is below 50%, well below the average rate of 62% for non ELL students.


NYC sheepskinned: First-in-decade drop in high-school grads

By Yoav Gonen
June 18, 2013

The city’s four-year high-school graduation rate slipped last year for the first time in a decade — dropping to 64.7 percent from 65.5 percent the year prior, education officials said yesterday.

With the small step back, it means the city’s on-time graduation rate has increased by just 2 percentage points since 2009 — the year the state began toughening standards for earning a high-school diploma.

Before that — particularly from 2005 to 2009 — the city’s graduation rate had risen significantly with almost each new graduating class.


It’s Not Just the Interest Rate: How Congress Can Help Students

The best way to puncture the student debt balloon would be to limit the use of student loans in the first place – in other words, to increase grants and scholarships, ensure they’re targeted at needy families, and boost their buying power, ultimately by controlling the cost of higher education. Here are three straightforward ways to help current and future borrowers: Strengthen income-based repayment programs … Lower barriers to refinancing … Reign in abusive collection practices.

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Districts Asking Parents to Pony Up for Bus Services

It’s become increasingly common for districts to contract their bus services to private providers … Many districts have begun turning to parents to foot the bill for transportation. Just this week, a private company announced it would be offering bus service for a fee to roughly 2,500 students who attend magnet and choice schools in Brevard County, FL … On the opposite coast, the 6,600-student Paso Robles district in central California … has virtually no free bus service. Most students must pay something for transportation … The 86,000-student Jefferson County, CO school system has also in recent years moved to a fee-based transportation system.

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China’s new education reform: Reducing importance of test scores

Washington Post

At the blogsite of Valerie Strauss, Yong Zhao writes, “The Chinese Ministry of Education has just launched another major reform effort to reduce the importance of testing in education … ‘The tendency to evaluate education quality based simply on student test scores and school admissions rate has not been fundamentally changed,” says the document. “These problems [of evaluation] severely hamper student development as a whole person, stunt their healthy growth, and limit opportunities to cultivate social responsibilities, creative spirit, and practical abilities in students’ … The new evaluation framework attempt to end the use of test scores and success rates of sending students to higher-level schools as the only measure of education quality. Instead, it drastically broadens the scope of indicators.

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Corbett to Philly: Fix your own schools

In Philadelphia’s local independent weekly, an op-ed by Daniel Denvir states, ” Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed public school ‘rescue package,’ currently making its way through the legislature, is a destructive joke … The $140 million … falls far short … The plan shifts the burden for funding city schools onto those who can least afford it.… The plan also requires a staggering $133 million in concessions from union workers … a nod to the folks who want to break Philadelphia’s teachers union … Corporate leaders have vigorously opposed business tax hikes to aid city schools … Education historian Diane Ravitch and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten sent a letter to US Education Secretary Arne Duncan, urging that he intervene.

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Education System Stifles Creativity, Say Teachers, Parents

Testing and government mandates are stifling creativity in the classroom, according to parents and educators … More than 85% of parents and educators feel that to ‘foster creativity’ in schools will force changes in how schools work … US parents worry the most about testing, followed by US teachers … Educators in Germany, the UK and Australia put the blame on ‘the current education curriculum’ … Educators, especially in the US, also feel that they can do more to teach creativity – particularly with more resources.

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