August 24, 2012
Collaboration is seen as one way to help schools improve
To understand how to improve a situation, you have to face the “brutal facts of reality.” That’s what Seaford School District superintendent Shawn Joseph told the 50 people who gathered at the first of what Joseph hopes becomes a series of meetings aimed at improving the six schools in the district.
Poll: Americans’ views on public education
The PDK/Gallup Poll on how Americans view public education shows divisions on vouchers, charter schools, evaluating teachers by standardized test scores of students, and whether President Obama or Mitt Romney would be better for public education. Yet Americans largely agree that they trust teachers but want them prepared more rigorously.
American schools spending less on minority students through federal loophole
Schools that enroll 90% or more non-white students spend $733 less per pupil per year than schools that enroll 90% or more white students, according to a Center for American Progress report. These “racially isolated” schools make up one-third of the country’s schools. Funding variations within districts can be largely attributed to policies that fail to take into account teacher salaries.
Big city districts bail on teacher-incentive grants
Three big-city districts—Chicago, Milwaukee, and New York—have terminated federal grants aimed at promoting performance-based compensation plans and professional development for teachers and principals. Overall, the 2010 Teacher Incentive Fund grants to the three districts would have provided an $88 million payout over five years—nearly 20 percent of the federal program’s five-year budget of $442 million. All three districts aimed to secure union support while meeting grant requirements during the yearlong planning period permitted by the grant, but none was ultimately able to accomplish that task.