Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis
Arguably, the most important development in K–12 education over the past decade has been the emergence of a growing number of urban schools that have been convincingly shown to have dramatic positive effects on the achievement of disadvantaged students. Those with the strongest evidence of success are oversubscribed charter schools. These schools hold admissions lotteries, which enable researchers to compare the subsequent test-score performance of students who enroll to that of similar students not given the same opportunity. Through careful study of the most effective of these charter schools, researchers have identified common practices—a longer school day and year, regular coaching to improve teacher performance, routine use of data to inform instruction, a culture of high expectations—that have yielded promising results when replicated in district schools. (Education Next)
Teenagers need more sleep. They also need more time in school. A national push is now under way to address the first problem, which is encouraging — but the second one is no less important. (Bloomberg View)
Over the last four years, states implemented remarkable changes to their teacher evaluation systems. Rather than rating all educators as either “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory,” school districts use new multi-tiered evaluation systems to identify their best (and weakest) teachers. States now require districts to incorporate measurements of student academic growth and rubrics from higher-quality classroom observations into their ratings of teachers and principals. And teachers and principals are starting to receive financial incentives or face potential consequences based on these evaluation results. (Bellwether)
Voters across the country narrowed the number of candidates on the mid-term election campaign trail during Tuesday’s primary races. While most of the results were as predicted, including former Gov. Charlie Crist getting the vote of confidence from Florida Democrats to square off against Gov. Rick Scott in November, the races themselves put education issues on center stage and underscored the potentially politically potent issue of common-core standards. (Education Week)
New York
A group of alumni of eight prestigious public high schools in New York City issued a statement on Tuesday in support of keeping a test as the sole criterion for entry, inserting themselves in a long-running debate over the admissions process and its impact on the schools’ racial makeup. (New York Times)


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