Daily News Roundup, December 10, 2012

Perspectives: News You Can Use
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Some of the News Fit to Print

ABOUT K-12

TEACHING TRENDS
Over the past 20 years, the teaching force has become larger, grayer, greener, more female, more diverse and less stable, according to a study published by Richard Ingersoll and Lisa Merrill of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education. The report identifies seven major trends and changes shaping the teaching profession in the United States. Their “exploratory research project” relied on data from six cycles of the Schools and Staffing Survey and the Teacher Follow-Up Survey, which were both collected by the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education between 1987 and 2008. In each cycle, NCES administers questionnaires to a nationally representative sample of about 50,000 teachers, 11,000 school-level administrators and 5,000 district-level officials. The article is in the Huffington Post.

MORE TEACHERS FLIPPING THE SCHOOL DAY
Welcome to the 21st century classroom: a world where students watch lectures at home — and do homework at school. It's called classroom flipping, and it's slowly catching on in schools around the country. The piece was on NPR’s All Things Considered.

CLASSES A LA CARTE: STATES TEST A NEW SCHOOL MODEL
Some states -- including Louisiana, Michigan, Arizona, and Utah -- have adopted or are considering a new education model that allows students to build a custom curriculum by selecting from hundreds of classes offered by public institutions and private vendors. Backers of the concept acknowledge there will be challenges but say the one-size-fits-all "factory model" of public school is woefully outdated. The article is from Reuters.

ALASKA TEACHERS TO BE EVALUATED ON SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT
The Alaska State Board of Education on Friday approved a controversial rule change that adds, for the first time, "student learning data" to teachers' job evaluations. The action moves forward a plan to base 20 percent of a teacher's assessment on their students' growth and performance using criteria that includes at least one standardized test, starting in the 2015-2016 school year. By the 2018-2019 school year student learning will make up 50 percent of the evaluation, a move state officials say is in direct response to a public request by Gov. Sean Parnell. The article is in the Anchorage Daily News.

RACE TO THE TOP FINALISTS INCLUDE NEW HOPEFULS
The list of 61 finalists for the latest Race to the Top competition shows that the U.S. Department of Education was successful in enticing high-scoring applications from districts in rural America and in states that had not shared in the Race to the Top bounty before. The article is in Education Week.

ABOUT HIGHER ED

HOW POLICY AFFECTS ACCESS
Brian L. Durham, with the Illinois Community College Board writes: Policymakers, higher education leaders, foundations, and others, including President Obama, have touted the completion agenda as a requirement to maintaining the nation’s economic and intellectual dominance across the world (see, for example, Lumina Foundation, 2010). Indeed, President Obama and his administration have advanced completion as the primary measure of community college performance (Obama, 2009).  Though well meaning, this environment creates a danger of institutions increasing student completions by limiting access, particularly for those who lack readiness for postsecondary education.  If community colleges sacrifice access in lieu of completion, greater inequity is certain to emerge. If policy leaders fail to recognize the link between access and completion, the community college is potentially jeopardized in the public dialogue (Goldrick-Rab, 2010).  This is particularly troubling because of the role community colleges play as the primary entry point for diverse learners and the traditionally underserved (Bailey & Morest, 2006). The piece is from the Community College Review.

POLL: MAJORITY WANT EDUCATION FUNDS PROTECTED FROM CUTS
A majority of Americans want education programs protected from the possible deep, mandatory spending cuts that will go into effect at the end of this year if Congress does not reach a budget deal, according to a poll released Friday by the Committee for Education Funding and the Foundation for Education Investments. The poll, conducted by YouGov, found 55 percent of Americans thought education spending should be protected from the cuts. The Pell Grant was considered among the most important education programs: 53 percent of respondents said it should be protected. (In fact, the Pell Grant program is not immediately threatened by sequestration, as the mandatory budget cuts are called.) Scientific research, another priority for many colleges and universities in the federal budget crunch, fared less well. Only 34 percent of respondents said they believed research should be protected from cuts. When asked about specific education programs, only 30 percent said it was very important to protect scientific and biomedical research at universities. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.

 

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