Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis
Around the country, 30 governors are proposing the expansion of preschool programs in their states. But what makes a pre-K program sufficiently educational? And how will the U.S. pay for these programs? Special correspondent John Tulenko of Learning Matters examines the debate over the value and the cost. (PBS Newshour)
In California, like many other states, public school teachers are granted tenure – essentially permanent employment – after 18 months on the job, or two school years. After you put in all that time, any attempts to fire you if you happen to, you know, suck at teaching, or burn out, are subject to a lengthy and often prohibitively costly process, which insures that it rarely happens. Additionally, the teachers unions have set up a “last hired, first fired” seniority system where newer teachers, regardless of merit, must be let go first when layoffs occur. So sorry, go-getter! We’ve got to keep that washed up drunk who shows the kids Glory instead of teaching the Civil War. (Real Time with Bill Maher)
New research out today from The Education Trust chronicles the performance of students who start high school as high achievers and finds that students of color and from disadvantaged backgrounds, on average, graduate with lower grades, pass fewer Advanced Placement exams, and don’t do as well on the ACT or SAT as their peers from wealthier, white families. (Education Week)
New York
Ruling from the left is never easy. It’s so hard, in fact, that many progressive politicians think it’s impossible—that’s one reason they tack to the center. In this club, you’ll find Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, and Andrew Cuomo. During the Clinton and Blair Administrations, I received practically identical briefings from senior officials on both sides of the Atlantic. The days of left-wing populism are over, I was told. Remember what happened to François Mitterrand and Gerhard Schröder, two European Socialists who were forced to reverse course. If you want to get anything done, you have to look responsible, reassure independents that you’re no dangerous radical, and cozy up to business and financial interests. I haven’t heard anybody in the current White House be so explicit. But President Obama, in insuring the passage of the Affordable Care Act and responding to the financial crisis of 2008-09, has largely followed the same script. (The New Yorker)
Rhode Island
Some of Rhode Island’s most influential leaders will stepp into classrooms across the state as a part of Education Awareness Week from March 31 to April 4.
The event, hosted by Junior Achievement (JA) and Teach for America, kicks off on Monday at the State House with a student-centered celebration where Governor Lincoln Chafee will officially announce Education Awareness Week. State legislators, including Lt. Gov.Elizabeth Roberts, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo will also be in attendance. (Go Local Prov)


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