|6-6-17 Education in the News|
NY Times--The Silicon Valley Billionaires Remaking America’s Schools
In San Francisco’s public schools, Marc Benioff, the chief executive of Salesforce, is giving middle school principals $100,000 “innovation grants” and encouraging them to behave more like start-up founders and less like bureaucrats.
In Maryland, Texas, Virginia and other states, Netflix’s chief, Reed Hastings, is championing a popular math-teaching program where Netflix-like algorithms determine which lessons students see.
And in more than 100 schools nationwide, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief, is testing one of his latest big ideas: software that puts children in charge of their own learning, recasting their teachers as facilitators and mentors.
NATASHA SINGERJUNE 6, 2017
Washington Post-- Why should the federal government support high-quality early education?
Every year the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, releases a report on state-funded prekindergarten programs in the United States. It is the only national report with detailed information on preschool enrollment, funding, teacher qualifications and other policies related to quality, such as the presence of a qualified teacher and assistant, small class size and low teacher-to-student ratio.
The newest edition, the 2016 yearbook, was recently released, with profiles on preschool programs in 43 states plus Guam and the District of Columbia and some information on early-education efforts in states and the U.S. territories that do not provide state-funded preschool. There was both good news and bad from the 2015-2016 school year, as the report noted:
Valerie Strauss June 5 at 2:36 PM
Associated Press (via Press of Atlantic City)--Lawmakers tout plan to ensure safe drinking water in schools
HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) — Two federal lawmakers from New Jersey are touting legislation that would help schools test water for lead and replace outdated water infrastructure.
Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Josh Gottheimer were at Hackensack High School on Monday to discuss the proposed "Get the Lead Out of Schools Act."
It would establish a grant program to reimburse educational agencies that voluntarily test water for lead and provide funding to help replace outdated pipes that leach lead with new lead-free plumbing. States that conduct testing and remediation would also eligible to apply for grants.
Associated Press| June 5, 2017
Education Week--States Struggle to Define 'Ineffective Teachers' Under ESSA
Teacher evaluations—both their role and the mechanics of carrying them out—are a politically fraught subject, and the Every Student Succeeds Act has kicked the dust up once again as states wrestle with how to comply with teacher-quality sections of the new law.
ESSA, which goes into effect this fall, does away with the "highly qualified teacher" mandates under its predecessor, the No Child Left Behind Act. It also bans the U.S. secretary of education from dictating the ways in which states grade their teachers, a sore spot under the NCLB law.
At the same time, ESSA requires states to provide a single definition of "ineffective teachers" in the plans they submit to the federal government and then describe how they will ensure that poor and minority students aren't being taught by a disproportionate number of them.
Daarel Burnette II| May 30, 2017
Garden State Coalition of Schools