September 18, 2012
The News Journal
Veteran school administrator to take state post
The state Department of Education named a veteran school administrator to become the next deputy secretary of education. David Blowman, the Brandywine School District’s chief financial officer for 10 years, will replace Dan Cruce, who recently accepted a leadership role at a Washington, D.C.-based education nonprofit.
More parental ‘posse’ like these please
MOT Charter School’s new ‘POSSE’ deserves an A+ for its innovative way to involve parents and community members in classrooms to improve the learning process. Unlike the well-meaning idea from a group of Wilmington clergy to patrol schools and sit in classroom as student advocates, POSSE is an appropriate backstop for a class of workers facing more and more scrutiny about their job performance, with fewer class resources.
Two versions of ‘common’ test eyed by state consortium
Instead of designing one test, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is planning to offer its states a choice of a longer and a shorter version. The pivot came in response to some states’ resistance to spending more time and money on common core standards testing. States are confronting what is politically and fiscally palatable and how that squares with an in-depth approach to testing students on the standards.
NAEP shows most students lack writing proficiency
The new results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress in writing come from a computer-based assessment for the first time, but only about one-quarter of the 8th and 12th graders performed at the proficient level or higher. And the proficiency rates were far lower for black and Hispanic students.
Des Moines Register
State may rank Iowa teacher colleges, graduates performance
Ranking Iowa’s teacher colleges and tracking the performance of their graduates are among ideas being considered by the state’s board of education. The potential changes are part of a larger effort to overhaul the accreditation process for teacher preparation programs, a reform that Governor Terry Branstad said would be crucial to improving the academic performance of the state’s children.
New York Times
How to fix the schools
An op-ed by Joe Nocera
Teacher education in America is vastly inferior to many other countries; we neither emphasize pedagogy — i.e., how to teach — nor demand mastery of the subject matter. Both are a given in the top-performing countries. Teachers should be paid more — though not exorbitantly. But making teacher education more rigorous — and imbuing the profession with more status — is just as important. Teachers who feel part of a collaborative effort are far more willing to be evaluated for their job performance — just like any other professional.