October 8 2004 Edition

"Misled" on NCLB, Dismal VP Debate, and Jittery Funders (Picks of the Week):

Dismal VP Debate (Debate.org): Let's hope (despite all realistic expectation) that Bush and Kerry do a little better tonight talking about education than Cheney and Edwards did earlier this week. In the VP debate, Cheney predictably called Kerry/Edwards out for their flip-flop on NCLB and highlighted recent progress reducing the achievement gap, but then made the ridiculous claim that NCLB had "helped" 33 million schoolchildren. Edwards irresponsibly claimed that NCLB was the reason for teacher layoffs in Cleveland, talked about unfunded mandates and high dropout rates, and then resorted to bringing up Cheney's opposition to the US Department of Education. It wasn't exactly the most insightful or compelling moment. Check out the transcript here, or take a look at the recent Education Trust report on achievement gap trends: Recent Progress in Public Education.

Misled on NCLB (Rep. George Miller): It's not exactly a "Mission Accomplished" carrier deck flight suit moment, but, according to a press release this week from ranking education committee member Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the new GAO report on state implementation of NCLB suggests that the White House misled the public when President Bush declared in the summer of 2003 that every state had complied with NCLB. In fact, according to Miler, only 11 state plans were approved at that point, and the USDE has still not approved 24 plans as of this year. "It appears from this report that the President has misled the public about the progress of education reform and that his Administration has dragged its feet to get this important job done." Read the GAO report summary here or read more about it here: ''No Child' Act is a numbers game for states, school districts (GovExec.com).

Don't Leave School Law Behind (Chronicle of Philanthropy via the Pen Newsblast): In this provocative article, Linda Singer points out that many foundations have -- understandably, unfortunately, and perhaps predictably -- shied away from funding initiatives related to NCLB even though there are many areas of the law including parent engagement and school improvement that could be funded without controversy. There are of course a number of brave funder exceptions, but Singer's observations are a timely reminder of the need for even those opposed to or uncertain about NCLB to stay in the game. Thanks to Howie for scanning and posting this.

NCLB Coverage Ad Nauseam (Campaign 2004):
Maybe there's some fascinating new insight in here somewhere, but in general it seems like there's not much more to say. Educators and progressives generally seem to dislike NCLB, though I always wonder about which educators get interviewed: When chief of NEA says no child left behind -- he means it (Chicago Daily Southtown), Burt Cohen: America should leave No Child Left Behind behind (The Union Leader), School Officials, In Survey, Fault Education Law (Hartford Courant), Teachers say No Child Left Behind should study bigger picture (Providence Journal), Flunking Out (Commonwealth Magazine). Democrats want more federal money for education and Republicans point out that there's been a big increase: The Limits of Money (National Review Online), Opinion: Tough Talk, But Put the Money Where Your Mouth Is (Washington Post). Bush can't brag about NCLB because everyone seems to hate it so much (and because, thanks to Fahrenheit 911, he forever associates reading to little children with terrorism and his own panic), and Kerry can't say that much about NCLB has to worry about that flip-flop thing or looking like he's pandering to the teachers unions. Education Reforms Test the Candidates (Chicago Tribune), Kerry battles Bush on education reform (Detroit News), Education's role in the presidential campaign (Minnesota Public Radio News), and Mixed impact of Bush school plan (BBC News).

Testing, Teachers, Transfers, and Tutoring (NCLB Implementation):
The newest NCLB bogeyman is the annual testing requirement that's coming down the pike: Problems Seen for Expansion of Testing (New York Times). Meanwhile, tutoring continues to be a popular, though somewhat problematic, feature of the law: "North Carolina schools feel impact of tutoring requirement" (News & Observer), "Number of students seeking free tutoring soars in Colorado" (Denver Rocky Mountain News), and Religious Groups in Florida Balk at No-Child Tutoring (Palm Beach Post). School choice? Not so much. No Way Out: The Illusion of School Choice (Reason Foundation). NCLB school ratings results continue to shock and amaze: "Schools shaken by new Texas ratings" (Dallas Morning News), Ratings change at Houston schools (Houston Chronicle), and My School Didn't Make AYP -- So What Does That Mean? (Center on Education Policy). And then there are the giant holes in the "highly qualified teacher" requirement: Nearly All Of City School Staff Now Meet Federal Requirements (Greeneville Sun) , The qualified teacher charade (San Jose Mercury News)

Funding Gaps, Long Days, Small Schools, Appointed Boards, and Church Partnerships (Urban Education):
Wider Gap Found Between Wealthy and Poor Schools New York Times
Long days at Dream Schools SF Gate
11 charter schools proposed in Philadelphia Philadelphia Inquirer
L.A. District Approves Five-Year Plan for Smaller Schools Los Angeles Times
Philadelphia's Schools Chief Seeks School-church Partnerships Philadelphia Inquirer
Philly Schools Criticized For Religious Ties
New York students post math gains New York Times
Poorer Students Gaining On Tests Rocky Mountain News
Detroit voters face critical choice about district leadership Detroit News
PROPOSAL E Control at stake Detroit Free Press

Homegrown Teachers, Focus on Science, and Translation (New and Notable):
Broward Battles Teacher Loss By Recruiting Local High School Students Chicago Tribune
The Lessons Go Beyond Learning Spanish From Christian Science Monitor
Class and The Classroom American School Board Journal
The Echo Boomers CBS News
States Claim Federal Funds for Education - Seattle Post Intelligencer
Senators Take Issue with Delayed Internet Aid CNN.com
Maryland Schools Refocus on Science - The Baltimore Sun
District schools chief predicts long road to recovery Washington Post
Translation Efforts a Growing Effort Education Week
New York City Councilwoman critiques school report card system New York Times
New York City neglecting English learners, critics say NewYork Times

Chicago Illinois:
Education jobs go to loyalists, insiders Chicago Tribune
1st-Year Teachers Are Left Adrift In Chicago Schools Chicago Tribune
Renaissance 2010 TAC Tours LQE
Ren10 RFP Workshops CPS
Save Senn via Teach and Learn
Technology Ahead of the Curve Chicago Tribune
Cornell Notes are the new Word Wall Teach and Learn

Stun Guns, Hired Advocates, and Purple Pens (School Life):
Birmingham's City Police May Wield Stun Guns in Schools Birmingham News
For-Hire Advocates Help Parents Traverse the System Washington Post
Teachers starting to shun red pens San Diego Union-Tribune
New Generation Takes Up Art of Cursive Writing National Public Radio
Booklet That Upset Mrs. Cheney Is History LA Times
Online computer grading service offers relief to Kentucky teachers Cincinnati Enquirer
The Ten Toughest Schools to Get Into MSNBC
The Multiple Choices of Prepping for the SAT New York Times
Big Program on Campus BusinessWeek
Many schools find class rankings problematic Richmond Times-Dispatch (Va.)
Tackling childhood obesity in the schools US News and World Report
French schools' new bete noire: vending machines Christian Science Monitor
Political T-shirts Pit Teenagers Against School Administrators Newsweek/MSNBC.com


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