Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News & analysis:
Parents Seen Less Involved In Schools
New city statistics are showing a steep decline in parent involvement in New York public schools, giving potential ammunition to critics who say the Department of Education under Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been unresponsive to families. City officials attributed part of the plummet to a new data-collection system. But critics, including some possible mayoral contenders, said the numbers in the annual Mayor’s Management Report were hard evidence of long-held frustrations by public-school parents. (Wall Street Journal)
Rethinking the Classroom: Obama’s overhaul of public education
In 31 / 2 years in office, President Obama has set in motion a broad overhaul of public education from kindergarten through high school, largely bypassing Congress and inducing states to adopt landmark changes that none of his predecessors attempted. He awarded billions of dollars in stimulus funding to states that agreed to promote charter schools, use student test scores to evaluate teachers and embrace other administration-backed policies. And he has effectively rewritten No Child Left Behind, the federal law passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, byexcusing states from its requirements if they adopt his measures. (Washington Post)
Buyouts Idea for Teachers Is Stalled
A proposal to give buyouts to New York City public schoolteachers who don’t have permanent jobs at schools is “dead in the water,” teachers union President Michael Mulgrew said Thursday. Chancellor Dennis Walcott proposed the buyouts in May as a way to get rid of teachers who remain on the payroll but have struggled to find a new job after being let go, often because of budget cuts or school closures. (Wall Street Journal)
Your morning jolt: Charter school support holds steady at 58 percent
The forces behind Georgia’s charter school amendment to the state constitution are out with a new poll this morning that shows voters still comfortably in favor of the measure.
Fifty-eight percent of voters are prepared to vote in favor of the amendment – unchanged since the previous poll in July. See the polling note from John McLaughlin and Rob Schmidt here. The real purpose of the poll was to measure the effectiveness of arguments we’re likely to see put forward in coming weeks. Opponents have argued that giving a state agency the power to grant charter school licenses over the objections of local systems would sap education funding from traditional schools. (AJC)
Andy Rotherham: Should Teachers Be Allowed to Sell Their Lesson Plans?
You won’t get rich as a teacher, right? That’s no longer true for a small but growing number of educators who are making big bucks selling their lesson plans online. On a peer-to-peer site called TeachersPayTeachers (TPT), Georgia kindergarten teacher Deanna Jump has earned more than $1 million selling lesson plans — with names like “Colorful Cats Math, Science and Literacy Fun!” — for about $9 a pop. Since the site launched in 2006, 26 teachers have each made more than $100,000 on TPT, which takes a 15% commission on most sales. In August, Jump became the first on TPT to reach $1 million. Her success has been aided by the thousands of followers of her personal blog who get notified each time she retails a new lesson. Another reason she thinks her stuff sells so well: “I’ve used it in my classroom,” says Jump, who just kicked off her 16th year of teaching. “I know it works.” (Time)