Some of the News Fit to Print
TESTING CONSORTIUM CRAFTS COLLEGE-READINESS DEFINITION
Twenty-five states that are part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium have drafted an initial college-readiness definition and the descriptors of achievement on each level of the shared test connected to the Common Core standards. Smarter Balanced is soliciting public feedback on the documents with an eye toward final adoption in March. The article is in Education Week.
TEACHERS’ CONTRACT INCLUDES PEER REVIEW
A newly ratified teachers’ contract in Newark creates several firsts for New Jersey. Some teachers will have the opportunity to earn up to $12,500 extra for getting a superior performance rating on evaluations, teaching in a low-performing school, or teaching a high-need subject. Also for the first time, peer reviews will become a formal part of the evaluation process. Under the three-year contract, approved by the city’s teaching force this month, all new hires and teachers with bachelor’s degrees will be placed on a new “universal” salary schedule that replaces premiums for holding advanced degrees with the opportunity to win the bonuses. Other teachers can choose to stay on a more traditional schedule. The article is in Education Week.
ABOUT HIGHER ED
U.S. HIGHER EDUCATION MUST CHANGE TO REMAIN GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE
Nearly half of all Americans think the U.S. higher education is not only too expensive but also only a fair or poor return on their investment, according to a new survey. Most of those surveyed agree that U.S. higher education must change to remain globally competitive, though not everyone is convinced that increasingly popular online courses are as effective as conventional ones. The article is in the Hechinger Report.
APPRENTICESHIPS MAKE COMEBACK IN U.S.
Apprenticeships, those close connections between industry and academe, in which students simultaneously train and study, are gaining ground in the United States. Modeled after apprenticeship programs common in Northern Europe, most notably in Germany, they offer a possible solution to a problem that continues to vex the United States: a mismatch between what students are learning in the classroom and what employers say they need. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.