Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A State Moves Closer to Equity-Based Education Funding and Away from Corporate Model

At least one state get's it. Will Michigan ever?

"California's shift to a new weighted student funding model represents just the most recent example of how Democratic state policymakers here are charting a different course in education policy than the Obama administration and Congress.

"As I noted in a post last week, California and Washington have taken distinctly different approaches to achievement gaps that increasingly are most closely associated with economic inequality. Rather than focusing on firing "bad" teachers and closing schools, California has moved to direct more resources to low-income districts and increase local decision-making, with sanctions a last resort after support and technical assistance have failed.

Other examples of the divergence between California and Washington abound. "

California Moving Away From Washington's Corporate Education Reform | John Affeldt

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Poverty Growth in Greater Grand Rapids, 1980-2010

The following slides illustrate the 30-year growth of poverty from within the core city throughout the suburbs since 1980. Each dot represents twenty persons living below the federal poverty line and colors illustrate major race/ethnic groups.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Here we go again!

As schools slide into the red, could it be time for countywide school districts? | Detroit Free Press |
Flanagan predicted that countywide districts or his hybrid option could save millions — money he said could be used to teach students. But little, if any, research supports his position, a fact that’s drawing concern from educators and others.
Here's another good read: Consolidation debunked again

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mackinac Center's school rankings reminder of inequities

Nonetheless, the Mackinac Center analysis is an important recognition that — contrary to what most people believe — raw tests scores are a terrible way to evaluate educational effectiveness. 
That's because scores are dramatically skewed by sociodemographics. Not a little, but a lot. It's like comparing crop yields from the loamy fields of Iowa to the desert sands of Arizona, and chalking up the differences to farming skills.
The fact is, test scores are much more a reflection of students' lives outside of school versus an indicator of whether teachers are working hard or the quality of the curriculum.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bank Street - Educational Revolution

Bank Street - Educational Revolution

"It is no longer enough to list the mind-numbing effects of high stakes tests or reveal how teachers’ hard-won knowledge about kids, schools and curriculum has been replaced with a fanatical faith in the free market and the bottom line. Scholarly research, numerous studies, and reasoned argument have not prevailed over those who scream crisis, substitute test scores gaps for income gaps, and blame unions, teachers and non-charter public schools for the nation’s ills. Nor have we halted the transformation by exposing the profit motive behind so many of the educational reforms. And although we must persevere, it’s not enough to describe how these reforms have turned public education into a grim, wasteland littered with mediocre charter schools, a wasteland where teaching, at least in the hands of “innovators” like Doug Lemov, author of Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College, resembles dog training, and curriculum and learning are reduced to test prep. These strategies are not working. We need to be more ruthless in our resistance."