Daily News Roundup, March 28, 2012

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

ABOUT K-12

ACCESS TO TEACHER EVALUATIONS DIVIDES ADVOCATES
As the movement to overhaul teacher evaluation marches onward, an emerging question is splitting the swath of advocates who support the new tools used to gauge teacher performance: Who should get access to the resulting information? As evidenced in recently published opinion pieces, the contours of the debate are rapidly being drawn. Some proponents of using student-achievement data as a component of teacher evaluations, including the philanthropist Bill Gates and Teach For America founder Wendy Kopp, nevertheless believe that such information should not be made widely public. Other figures, like New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, champion the broad dissemination of such data. The article is in Education Week.

CUOMO BACKS RELEASE OF TEACHER EVALUATIONS
ALBANY —  Weighing in on the fight over releasing teachers’ evaluations to the public, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday he’s inclined to preserve open access for parents but willing to explore of shielding the records in some way. “I believe in the case of teachers, the parents’ right to know outweighs the teachers’ right to privacy,” the governor said. “After that, it’s less clear to me. And that’s why I think it warrants conversation.” The article is in the Wall Street Journal.

ABOUT HIGHER ED

WHAT’S MORE EXPENSIVE THAN GOING TO COLLEGE? NOT GOING TO COLLEGE
There are 1.2 billion people between 15 and 24 in the world, according to the International  Youth Foundation’s new Opportunity for Action paper. Although many of their prospects are rising, they are emerging from conditions of widespread poverty and lack of access to the most important means of economic mobility: education. In the Middle East and North Africa, youth unemployment has been stuck above 20 percent for the last two decades. And in the parts of the world where youth unemployment has been low, such as south and east Asia, young people are overwhelmingly employed in the agriculture sector, which leaves them vulnerable to poverty. The article is in The Atlantic.

ENROLLMENTS GROW, BUT MORE SLOWLY
As the recession took hold of the U.S. economy in late 2008, Americans did what they often do in bad economic times: went back for more schooling. That's why the last report from the federal government about college and university enrollments showed a sharp increase (of 7.1 percent) in the number of students in postsecondary institutions in fall 2009. The upturn -- and the accompanying tuition dollars -- helped soften the economic downturn's impact for many colleges. On Tuesday, the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics reported initial data on the number of students who enrolled the following fall, in 2010. The data show enrollments growing yet again, but at a somewhat slower pace, with about 21.6 million students enrolled in fall 2010, up 2.8 percent from a shade under 21 million in 2009. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.

A SURGE IN LEARNING THE LANGUAGE OF THE INTERNET
Parlez-vous Python? What about Rails or JavaScript? Foreign languages tend to wax and wane in popularity, but the language du jour is computer code. The market for night classes and online instruction in programming and Web construction, as well as for iPhone apps that teach, is booming. Those jumping on board say they are preparing for a future in which the Internet is the foundation for entertainment, education and nearly everything else. Knowing how the digital pieces fit together, they say, will be crucial to ensuring that they are not left in the dark ages.  The article is in The New York Times.

 

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