March 8, 2013
School Reform Commission votes to close 23 Philadelphia schools, sparking anger and despair for students, parents, teachers
After an excruciating day of protests and pleas for mercy, Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission voted Thursday night to close 23 city schools and merge or relocate five others. Four schools – T.M. Peirce and Bayard Taylor elementary schools, Roosevelt Middle, and Paul Robeson High – were spared.
School climate: Missing link in principal training?
Improving a struggling school’s climate can be both the foundation of long-term school improvement and a source of immediate, visible progress for a new principal. The tricky part for many principals, experts say, is translating an idyllic vision into classroom reality. That’s why groups preparing so-called “turnaround leaders” increasingly say principals need more training—not just on data and academics—but also on how to build relationships and support for learning among staff and students. “We have found the training on culture and climate inadequate in most places,” said Bob Hughes, the executive director of the Washington-based National Institute of School Leadership. “Universities are trying to respond and change now. That is beginning to happen, but not fast enough.”
Tracing technology’s unintended K-12 effects
The face of K-12 education is in a constant state of change. Educators who have been in the field for several decades may notice that the pace at which changes in methodology and student demographics occur today is much faster than in the past. Many factors play into this phenomenon, but none as strongly as technological advancements. The Internet, wireless devices, and improvements in communication all heighten the immediacy for information both within and outside the classroom.
The New York Times
Advocacy group to monitor reform efforts in public schools
Diane Ravitch, the historian and former assistant education secretary who has become an outspoken critic of those who favor high-stakes testing, tenure reforms and other controversial measures aimed at the public schools, has joined with other education advocates to form a group that will grade and endorse political candidates.
The Denver Post
Colorado House gives initial approval to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants
Ten years after it was first introduced in the legislature, a bill allowing illegal immigrants in Colorado to attend public colleges at the in-state tuition rate appears to be just days away from passage. The House is expected to give final approval to S.B. 33 and send the measure to Gov. John Hickenlooper, who said he will sign it.
How can schools best educate Hispanic students?
Immigration reform and controversial efforts such as the DREAM Act have long been at the forefront of the nation’s political conversation. Today nearly one-quarter of K‒12 students in the United States hail from Spanish-speaking families or communities, and their needs have taken on a prominent place in our schools. In this forum, two experts argue that getting smarter about literacy and charter schooling offers big opportunities to address the challenges facing Hispanic youth.