10-6-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--PARCC Past, PARCC Present, and PARCC Future

Knowing where PARCC has been may help get a sense of where the online test is going

PARCC testing got off to a rocky rollout in New Jersey, being greeted by a surprisingly large and unsurprisingly vocal opt-out movement. Things have settled down somewhat, and scores look to be on the climb, but PARCC may not be long for the state.


NJ Spotlight Staff | October 6, 2017


Star Ledger--'No homework' movement: Why some N.J. teachers are dropping after-school assignments

If you're a parent of a child in grade school, you're likely familiar with the ordeal: You wrestle your child into a chair to finish his or her homework -- a bevy of assignments that are sometimes frustrating and occasionally incomprehensible. After an hour (or two, or three) of negotiation, occasional tears and shouting, everyone is exhausted.

And you're left wondering: Is all this homework really necessary?


Amy Kuperinsky| Updated on October 5, 2017 at 11:36 AM Posted on October 5, 2017 at 9:05 AM


Associated Press--Football’s decline has some high schools disbanding teams

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) — On a cool and rainy afternoon during the first week of classes at Centennial High School in this well-to-do Baltimore suburb, about 50 members of the boys’ cross-country team sauntered across the parking lot for their after-school run.

Meanwhile, about 30 kids in helmets and pads were going through drills on the pristine artificial turf field at the school’s hillside football stadium.

“It used to be the other way around,” said Al Dodds, Centennial’s cross-country coach, who has 64 boys on his team this year. “Now, there’s a small turnout in football and cross-country is huge.”

Across the athletic complex, a practice football field sat empty, even though it was recently mown and painted with yardage lines and hash marks. In years past, the junior-varsity team would have been relegated to that grass field. But on this day they had the stadium to themselves, as they will for every practice this fall. Centennial isn’t fielding a varsity football team because not enough kids signed up to play.

The situation at Centennial — where a long history of losing has dampened students’ enthusiasm for football — is unique to this part of central Maryland, but there are plenty of similar examples around the U.S. Participation in high school football is down 3.5 percent over the past five years, according to the annual survey by the National Association of State High School Federations, or NFHS.


BEN NUCKOLS| October 6, 2017


Washington Post--Teacher responds to DeVos: Schools aren’t like food trucks, and education is ‘not a side of fries’

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently spoke at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics and reprised one of her favorite themes: how choosing schools should be like choosing some commercial product or service.

In March, she compared it to choosing among Uber, Lyft, a regular taxi or some other ride-hailing service. This time, the billionaire secretary, a longtime advocate of school choice, moved on to food trucks. Choosing a school is, to DeVos, just like choosing among food trucks at lunch.


Valerie Strauss October 3


Education Week--No State Will Measure Social-Emotional Learning Under ESSA. Will That Slow Its Momentum?

When the Every Student Succeeds Act was enacted, speculation swirled that states might use it as a launching pad to use measures of students’ social and emotional competencies to determine whether their schools are successful.

Nearly two years later, not a single state’s plan to comply with the federal education law—and its broader vision for judging school performance—calls for inclusion of such measures in its school accountability system.

That raises some new questions: Did backers of social-emotional learning miss a chance to encourage wider adoption of its strategies? Or did they avoid the concerns and pitfalls that would have come with attaching it to high-stakes accountability?


Evie Blad| October 4, 2017