Daily News Roundup, December 12, 2012

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

ABOUT K-12

GIVING TEACHERS MORE POWER HELPS IN SCHOOL TURNAROUND
Six low-performing Boston schools participating in a pilot program that gives teachers more training, support, and leadership roles are showing higher growth on state tests than other low-performing city schools according to a report released Monday by the non-profit Teach Plus. The T3 Initiative program, a collaboration between Boston Public Schools and Teach Plus, began training and placing groups of experienced teachers with track records of raising student test scores in a set of three failing schools in 2010, after a dozen city schools were deemed underperforming by the state in 2010 for chronically low test scores. The pilot expanded to three more schools the following year. The article is from the Hechinger Report.

IN INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS, CALIFORNIA EIGHTH GRADERS PERFORM IN MIDDLE IN SCIENCE AND MATH
In international comparisons among about 50 countries and states, California eighth-graders scored right in the middle in math and science but lower than the U.S. average. Despite their ranking, California's students tested just below the "high" level on both subjects, according to 2011 data analyzed by the National Center for Education Statistics from a sampling of students. California participated as a state only in the eighth-grade math and science tests, administered last year for the first time since 2007. The article is in the San Jose Mercury News.

IS A TEACHER, EMPLOYER SKILLS MISMATCH DRIVING UNEMPLOYMENT?
According to research conducted by McKinsey & Co, the real reason behind chronic underemployment could be the teachers – or as the McKinsey report calls them, education providers — who are chronically overestimating the skill level of their students, especially compared to how those skills are assessed by potential employers. The article is from EducationNews.org.

ABOUT HIGHER ED

NEW PLATFORM LETS PROFESSORS SET PRICES
Professors typically don't worry about what price point an online course will sell at, or what amenities might attract a student to pick one course over another. But a new online platform, Professor Direct, lets instructors determine not only how much to charge for such courses, but also how much time they want to devote to services like office hours, online tutorials, and responding to students' e-mails. The new service is run by StraighterLine, a company that offers online, self-paced introductory courses. Unlike massive open online courses, or MOOC's, StraighterLine's courses aren't free. But tuition is lower than what traditional colleges typically charge—the company calls its pricing "ultra-affordable." A handful of colleges accept StraighterLine courses for transfer credit. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
 

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