Lisa Gibes is 50CAN’s vice president of strategy and external relations. She lives in San Francisco, CA.

Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

News & analysis:
Teachers’ Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform

In my Morning Edition story today, I look at expectations — specifically, how teacher expectations can affect the performance of the children they teach. The first psychologist to systematically study this was a Harvard professor namedRobert Rosenthal, who in 1964, did a wonderful experiment at an elementary school south of San Francisco. The idea was to figure out what would happen if teachers were told that certain kids in their class were destined to succeed, and so Rosenthal took a normal I.Q. test and dressed it up as a different test. (NPR) 

A plea for patience as Emanuel vows to sue to end strike
Chicago teachers back on the picket line this morning pleaded with parents for patience, even as Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he has had enough and is going to court to force an end to the strike now in its second week. “Parents need to understand,” David Temkin, a social worker for Chicago Public Schools, said as he stood outside school headquarters. “We want better schools. Unfortunately, this is the only way we can fight.” (Chicago Tribune) 

Chicago Teachers Strike Continues Into New Week As Union, City Fail To Strike Deal
The Chicago Teachers Union delegates decided Sunday night not to accept a deal for a new contract from Chicago Public Schools and made plans to resume negotiations Tuesday, effectively prolonging the weeklong teachers strike and ensuring that school would not be in session for the city’s public school students for the next two days. CTU President Karen Lewis fielded questions during a press conference Sunday night as reporters attempted to make sense of discrepancies in the union and the school district’s interpretation of contract language. (Huffington Post) 

NAEP Shows Most Students Lack Writing Proficiency
After decades of paper-and-pencil tests, the new results from the“nation’s report card” in writing come from a computer-based assessment for the first time, but only about one-quarter of the 8th and 12th graders performed at the proficient level or higher. And the proficiency rates were far lower for black and Hispanic students. With the new National Assessment of Educational Progress in writing, students not only responded to questions and composed their essays on laptop computers, but also were evaluated on how frequently they used word-processing review tools like “spell check” and editing tools such as copying and cutting text. Some prompts also featured multimedia components. (Education Week) 

Two Versions of ‘Common’ Test Eyed by State Consortium
An unprecedented assessment project involving half the states is planning a significant shift: Instead of designing one test for all of them, it will offer a choice of a longer and a shorter version. The pivot came in response to some states’ resistance to spending more time and money on testing for the common standards. (Education Week) 

View Points:
In Search of Excellent Teaching

The Chicago teachers’ strike was prompted in part by a fierce disagreement over how much student test scores will weigh in a new teacher evaluation system mandated by state law. That teachers’ unions in much of the country now agree that student achievement should count in evaluations at all reflects a major change from the past, when it was often argued that teaching was an “art” that could not be rigorously evaluated or, even more outrageously, that teachers should not be held accountable for student progress. (New York Times) 


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