Education in America: Indianapolis Mayor Fights for More Charter Schools

After several years of not meeting adequate yearly progress (AYP) under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), several Indianapolis high schools and one middle school face a takeover by the state this summer. The district, Indianapolis Public Schools, has until the results from standardized achievement tests (ISTEP+ for grades 3-8 and end of course assessments (ECAs) for grade 10) arrive t0 know the fate of five high schools and one middle school. Continue reading

Education in America: NY Teachers Appeal to Board of Regents

Many New York teachers, including eight former teachers of the year, have appealed to the Board of Regents about the recent change in how heavily standardized test scores will figure into NY teacher evaluations.  After originally agreeing to determining up to 20% of a teacher’s total score from test scores, the BoR caved to pressure from political groups to raise the amount to 40%. Continue reading

Education in America: Unforeseen Costs of Vouchers and Charters

I’m back after taking last week off, and today we’re going to play with hypotheticals. The news has been dominated recently with stories of mass teacher layoffs and terminations, including pink-slipping 5000+ teachers in Detroit; 1,500 in Broward County, FL; thousands in Texas; thousands in California; and thousands in New York City. Continue reading

Education in America: L.A. Times Teacher Ratings

The Los Angeles Times has once again published “Value Added” ratings for all of its 3rd through 8th grade teachers, and the response is everything you might expect.  Teachers are angry for an assortment of reasons, teacher haters in comments sections are sharpening the points on their good pitchforks and once again, we’re trying to put out a forest fire by sending one guy out to piss on it. Continue reading

Education in America: The Biggest Challenges in Special Education

Today instead of tackling a myth, we’re going to dig into special education, and maybe shed a little light on an often misunderstand branch of public (and to a lesser extent, private and charter school) education.   Before we get into the challenges, let’s all get a working definition of what special education means. Continue reading

Education in America: Mythbusting Monday – Unions pt. 1

Two relatively small words in the English language can strike fear, rage, and passion like no others.  Those two words are teachers’ unions. As you can probably guess, there are more myths and legends regarding teachers’ unions than we can cover in one installment, so today we’re only going to look at one facet of this Rubik’s Snake. Continue reading

Education in America, pt 1: Mythbusting Monday

As we talked about last week, we’re going to be working on an on-going series about education in America.   It’s sure to be one of the hot-button topics this election, and there will be a lot of column inches devoted to our education policy.  Because this is America, and we love our soundbites and scapegoats, we’re not likely to hear about things like curriculum design, supportive administrations and the effects of poverty on a society.  No, we’re going to hear that teachers suck. Continue reading