Keep Reform Gears in Motion, Obama


  • CNN’s Ruben Navarette urges President Obama to “stick to his guns” on education reform.  “There’s no doubt that [President Obama’s] in a tough spot. He wants to fix our schools, and win an election. He can do both. He has to choose, and he shouldn’t play election year politics with education reform. He should stay loyal to his tough message and stick to his guns. We need to seek out “best practices” for what works in our schools and fix what doesn’t.”
  • EdWeek reports that nonprofit groups and school districts that overcame fierce competition for a slice of the $650 million federal Investing in Innovation Fund—including some of the largest and best-known players in education reform—are racing to meet Wednesday’s deadline for the matching private funds grantees must have in hand to receive the money.
  • The New York Times features a piece on the $330 million grant to improve student assessment announced yesterday, citing the large involvement by academics and testing experts to overhaul the current system.
  • Whiteboard Advisors reports that former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s group, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) just released a series of must reads around the first 100 days of Race to the Top implementation in Delaware and Tennessee.
  • Walt Gardner writes, in his Reality Check blog, that with all the emphasis on teacher accountability, we must also require a significant increase in parental involvement, since “education is a partnership between home and school,” he argues.
  • US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan answers questions from students on NPR’s (audio, transcript) Talk of the Nation.
  • District Administrator also interviews Secretary Duncan during his Northeast bus tour about his “quiet revolution” on education reform.
  • GOOD magazine reports on an interview with LA Times investigative reporter Jason Felch (of value-added fame) and his “pleasant surprise at responses from teachers, which demonstrated that many of them were actually clamoring for feedback on their performance.”
  • The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan compiles quotations and anecdotes from teachers across the country with varying perspectives on their profession.  Great read!
  • And from the other side of the pond, Parent Dish UK reports that a lack of male role models in the classroom, citing a 50% decline in male teachers in the country in a generation according to General Teaching Council statistics.

From the States

  • The Associated Press reports that the Los Angeles Unified School District board has endorsed the controversial system of using student scores on standardized tests as a way to measure teacher performance.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle reports that two Oakland middle schools, United for Success Academy and Elmhurst Community Preparatory School, have extended their school day to 9 hours, with nonprofit organization Citizen Schools running the extended program.

Chicago Public Radio reports that Chicago Public Schools chief Ron Huberman is considering a plan that would allow parents to see how teachers measure up, as the district prepares to retool its teacher performance evaluations.
New Jersey
The Star Ledger reports that Gov. Chris Christie is considering tapping former Thomas B. Fordham Institute analyst Andy Smarick to serve as the state’s next education commissioner.
New York

  • EdReformer interviews Bill Phillips, President of the New York Charter Schools Association on charter authorization in the state and how it could be used as a model for other states.
  • GothamSchools reports that On NY1 last night, Senator Bill Perkins and challenger Basil Smikle debated Perkins’ support for charter schools. Perkins accused Smikle of being too cozy with charter school supporters, and Smikle fought back, charging Perkins with intentionally pitting charter school parents against district school parents. EdReformer interviews Smikle here.

The Associated Press reports that Seattle’s teachers have approved a new three-year contract, which means classes will begin as scheduled Sept. 8. Shortly after the contract vote Thursday, however, members of the Seattle Education Association voted “no confidence” in Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson.

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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