Some of the News Fit to Print
DEFINING 'HIGH QUALITY'
The main battleground over the federal role in teaching elementary and secondary students is unfolding in Congress, where attempts to renew the law known as No Child Left Behind have proceeded haltingly. But an important sideshow began unfolding Wednesday in a nondescript federal office building, where a group of school and college officials, teachers' union leaders and school reform advocates are charged with the task of deciding how to judge the quality and success of the academic programs that prepare the nation's teachers. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
INCHING CLOSER TO AGREEMENT ON EVALUATIONS FOR TEACHERS
In the long-simmering debate over how to judge the quality of New York State school employees, there is one thing all sides agree on: a system should be in place. The sticking point has been agreeing about how to do it. There is the fight between New York City and its teachers’ union over the parameters of an evaluation system that must be put in place in 33 struggling schools. And there is the fight waged in court by the state teachers’ union, which sued the Board of Regents last year over its interpretation of a law on teacher evaluations. The article is in The New York Times.
HOW WOULD YOU CHANGE TEACHER PREP?
In this month’s Teaching Ahead roundtable on the Education Week website, teacher panelists respond to the following questions: Looking back, what do you wish you'd learned or experienced during your preservice preparation? In what areas do you think teachers tend to have deficits when they first take on classrooms of their own? What aspects of your teacher preparation have you found particularly helpful in your own teaching practice? In your opinion, how will teacher prep programs need to change over the next few decades to meet evolving student and school needs?
GOV. JERRY BROWN CALLS FOR LESS TESTING
California’s Jerry Brown, who has gone further than any other governor in blasting modern test-based school reform, said Wednesday that he wants to reduce the number of standardized tests students take, give more authority to local school boards and design a system to measure education performance that is less test-centric than the one now in use. Brown, in his State of the State 2012 address Wednesday, expanded on sentiments he expressed last October in a message explaining that he was vetoing an education bill because it relied too heavily on standardized tests for high-stakes accountability purposes. The article is in The Washington Post’s The Answer Sheet blog.
ABOUT HIGHER ED
ILLINOIS COMMUNITY COLLEGES MUST IMPROVE
With four out of five students in Illinois community colleges failing to get a degree on time, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is calling for better math education in high schools and tying colleges' funding to student success rates. In a report to be released Thursday, Simon argues Illinois isn't getting enough out of its community colleges. Instead of degrees or valuable job training, too many students end up with little besides debt. The article is in the Chicago Tribune.
APPLE'S IBOOKS UPDATE, NEW APPS POWER TEXTBOOK REINVENTION
At its New York event today, Apple's Phil Schiller just revealed that the tech giant has big plans to reinvent the educational textbook market and the technology that underpins their use in lessons. The article is in Fast Company.