EEP & Signatory News
DC Public Schools has seen its first enrollment increase in 39 years, Mayor Adrian Fenty (EEP Signatory) and District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Michelle Rhee (EEP Board member) announced today at a press conference, according to the Washington Post. The Daily News reports that Mayor Bloomberg (EEP signatory) spoke at Cornerstone Baptist Church on Sunday, calling for new teacher tenure rules for public schools. “There are some (teachers) that just aren’t the best. We will make sure teachers show they’re the best.”
The Associated Press reports that President Barack Obama is turning the education spotlight on community colleges, enlisting career teacher and second lady Jill Biden to preside over the first-ever White House summit on the system of schools he’s counting on to help produce an additional 8 million graduates by 2020. To help accomplish this, the President announced The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, a $1,000,000 prize competition to recognize community colleges with outstanding academic and workforce outcome.
The Washington Post reports that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will announce a $34.8 million, five-year commitment to raise stagnant completion rates in the nation’s two-year public institutions. An editorial in the Wall Street Journal warns that the days of status quo opposition to education reform may soon be over. “The waiting list in Harlem to attend a charter is more than 11,000 and nationwide it is an estimated 420,000. The teachers unions continue to wield enough power to deny choices to these students, but their days as political supermen are numbered.” Gotham Schools reports on a panel that took place two weeks ago during which panelists were asked to envision schools in 2040. The panel featured KIPP co-founder David Levin; Joel Rose of the School of One; Becky Crowe Hill, formerly of Partners in School Innovation; and Alex Grodd, the founder of Better Lesson; it was also moderated by GothamSchools editor Elizabeth Green and Nick Ehrmann, the founder of the non-profit Blue Engine. Walt Gardner, on his Reality Check blog, wonders whether recruiting outside of the education field to improve education is a sound idea, citing the George W. Bush Institute’s recent initiative to recruit 50,000 new K-12 principals by 2020, from business, military and sports backgrounds. Robin Chait and Ulrich Boser from the Center for American Progress pen an op-ed in Aol News on the truth about merit pay for teachers. They believe that we need to think critically about how to “better channel teachers’ dedication though thoughtful and comprehensive reforms in order to boost achievement for all students.”