Daily News Roundup, June 19, 2012

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


Katy Farber, a sixth grade teacher in Vermont, writes in CNN’s Schools of Thought blog: A big part of the national conversation about education is how to attract the best and brightest teachers to the profession. It is a favorite line of many a politician. While that is well and good, it seems that many policy makers and education experts are missing the point: how to keep good teachers in our nation’s classrooms once they are actually there. With about one-third of our teachers leaving the profession in their first three years, and even higher turnover rates in some urban areas, this is a pressing issue in American education that isn’t getting much attention.

Discussing education reform at Stanford University last year, the leader of one of the nation's largest teacher unions decided to turn the tables and ask a question of the audience. "You're all technology people," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. "Could you actually help us?" Weingarten said she received one call — from Louise Rogers, chief executive of TSL Education, a United Kingdom-based company that operates an online network that lets teachers around the globe access, review and discuss lesson plans and other learning materials. The result of that call, to be unveiled Tuesday, is Share My Lesson, an online portal that teachers will be able to access free of charge. It is expected to contain more than 100,000 user-generated materials. The article is from CBS News.

The headlines say it all. Last week, California’s Department of Education released its annual public school rankings based on the 2011 Base Academic Performance Index (API) scores. For over a decade, California’s schools have been evaluated on the API’s 200-1,000 point scale, each striving to meet the magic number – 800 – where their performance is deemed sufficient enough to escape sanctions and school improvement. While these kinds of rankings provide fodder for education journalists, concerned parents, and savvy real estate agents, they actually provide very little information about what matters most: once students graduate the K-12 system, will they be ready to succeed in college and the workforce? The article is in the Quick and the Ed.


Complete College America is on a crusade to improve remedial education, which it says is hopelessly broken and failing students. The group has had big successes in a campaign that is gathering steam, but some community college leaders say its rhetoric and proposed fixes go too far. That dissent is usually voiced privately. The two-year-old Complete College America is a savvy political operator, having persuaded lawmakers in 30 states to sign on to its completion goals. And the group receives support, both fiscal and, sometimes, on policy, from both the Lumina and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.

Hunter R. Boylan and Alexandros Goudas write in Inside Higher Ed: If we look at all the major studies of remediation, we find conflicting findings and inconclusive results. Given these findings, it is difficult to understand how any credible scholar familiar with the available evidence can decisively conclude that remediation has failed. Nevertheless, there are those who misinterpret or ignore the available evidence to make this claim and are then widely quoted by others. It does not take long for the press and policymakers to echo these quotes. In fact, there is little data to justify this assertion and the studies on which the assertion is based do not support it.

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