September 16, 2015

DREAMERS, Teachers, Insiders, Pensions, Parents, Coders, And New Social Media!

By Bellwether

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On this date in 1620 the Mayflower set sail (Little known fact: it was one of the first efforts to get a jump on legacy admissions at northeastern schools).

There is new data from the Whiteboard Advisors Education Insider survey (pdf) including new questions about opt-outs, higher ed on the campaign trail, higher ed policy more generally, ESEA prospects, and more.

Teacher pensions, as they’re set up today, don’t work very well for early-career teachers (pdf) or for teachers who stay for a while (pdf). They do, however, work pretty well for people who manage teacher pensions.

Please read this before you run around touting neighborhood schools as one of our great democratic institutions. They have their pluses, sure, but egalitarianism ain’t one of them.

Charter parents in Washington State are pissed off. But this seems pretty alarmist, the Washington State decision applies to Washington State and won’t travel well.

The demographics of the teacher force are an issue. This is one of those things that makes this sector at once fascinating and exasperating because of how it’s discussed. As long as a focus on standardized tests as a gateway to teaching continues these issues will keep coming up.  Yet when efforts come along to move away from that toward a broader set of attributes and skills they get politicized. For instance the new more practice-based teacher test ran into a political buzz saw because it was developed in part by Valdemort Pearson. Can’t have that! Meanwhile, know where the most diverse cohort of teachers comes from? Teach For America. [But wait! That’s not what they taught me at ed school?] And Teach For America focuses on more than scores in how they recruit but they also recruit and screen in a robust way that, literally, no school district in the country does right now. Content mastery is key but it’s possible to do effective teacher hiring differently than it’s mostly done now.

A few years ago I wrote about Quinn Cummings and her adventures in homeschooling. Check out what her daughter is up to now (and a good Kickstarter if you’re into that).

Another day, another messy education state supreme court decision. And again messiness around elected judges.

High schools, once more unto the breach! And too many ed tech bells and whistles? So bad or good timing for coding for all?

At RealClearEducation, in advance of the debate tonight former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa challenges Republican presidential candidates on the DREAM Act to allow undocumented immigrants to attend college with financial aid.

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