Curtis Whatley is a past member of the 50CAN team. 

Here’s what educators, advocates, wonks and policymakers are talking about today:

News & analysis

States strengthening teacher evaluation standards
President Barack Obama’s recent use of executive authority to revise the No Child Left Behind education law is one of several factors driving a trend toward using student test scores, classroom observation and potentially even input from students, among other measures, to determine just how effective educators are. A growing number of states are using these evaluations to decide critical issues such as pay, tenure, firings and the awarding of teaching licenses. (Boston Globe)

Transparency watch: NCLB waiver judges identified
A couple of weeks ago, Politics K-12 made a strong case for why the U.S. Department of Education was wrong for not disclosing, up front, the names of the judges who would help decide which states earned waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act and which wouldn’t. Today, to its credit, the department reversed course and identified the 21 education-policy experts who will inform U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s waiver decisions. The waiver judges are an interesting mix of researchers, think tank and advocacy folks, and those with experience working for a state education agency or local district. In fact, the field of 21 is heavily stacked with people who have deep experience at state departments. Much of the group is in the pro-strong-accountability camp, with a lot of folks dedicated to improving the performance of student subgroups, whether they be minority or poor kids, or special education students and English-language learners. (Politics K-12)

South Korean students’ “year of hell” culminates with exam day
Most South Korean students consider their final year in high school “the year of hell.” It is when all students are put to the ultimate test. About 700,000 test applicants sat down in classrooms across the country Thursday to take their college entrance exams — also known as the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT). The stock markets opened an hour late, buses and subway services were increased and police cars offered rides for students, all to ensure they made it on time. (CNN)

Minnesota: 10 students suspended after shouting incident
Ten students at Coon Rapids High School have been suspended after comments made on Facebook escalated into a shouting match in a school stairwell. Anoka-Hennepin School District spokesman Brett Johnson said the students were suspended for either three, five or 10 days. He wouldn’t say exactly what was said online only that it would not have been acceptable in a classroom. “There were kids who were clearly targeted, but those same kids at different points were also targeting other kids,” Johnson said. “Kids were saying things back and forth, and it wasn’t a clear or classic bully-victim situation.” (MPR)

North Carolina: 2 more elected officials looking at NC schools run
At least two more elected officials are considering a run for North Carolina state schools superintendent next year, including a state lawmaker and a current member of the Wake County Board of Education. Rep. Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg County said Thursday she’d run for the job if current incumbent and fellow Democrat June Atkinson doesn’t seek re-election. Atkinson said last week she was undecided. Wake County board member John Tedesco also released a statement saying he would make a decision after the end-of-year holidays. Tedesco has been a key member of the Republican Party’s majority on the board the past two years as it changed the system’s student assignment plan. (Winston-Salem Journal)


Matt Yglesias: The studying gap
People, I believe, intuit that the STEM fields are good majors. But I think that’s not just, or even primarily, because of their intrinsic merits. The fact that these programs are hard and the people in them tend to spend a lot of time studying is an important part of the story. By contrast, majoring in “business” sounds very practical-minded to a lot of people. After all, how could a business degree not be more valuable than some nonsense like philosophy? That’s one of the reasons why it’s become the most popular major by far. But business majors aren’t actually doing anything! Not surprisingly, in exchange for doing less work than people in other majors, business majors also learn less. (Matt Yglesias)

Joe Nathan: Positive, practical practices increase school/family/community partnerships
As we move toward Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the almost 300 people who turned out 10 days ago to work with and learn from Dr. Joyce Epstein. A professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, she’s one of the nation’s leading experts about using school/family/community partnerships to help youngsters. People drove from as far as Red Lake, Duluth and Onamia to North High School in Minneapolis.  Recently I mentioned that Epstein was going to make a free presentation. Some people learned about the presentation via this newspaper. Others heard via announcements sent out by Growth and Justice, MinnCAN, the Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals or the Center where I work. These organizations, Cargill and the Minnesota Department of Education made a free evening presentation and a day –long workshop possible. As Epstein reminded us, we can accomplish much more together than any of us by ourselves. (Hometown Source)


Recent Posts

More posts from Today in Education

See All Posts