October 16, 2017

Newark, Pension Funds, Scouts And Gender, Gender And Tech, Personalized, More!

By Bellwether

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Teens and anxiety, important.

So the idea is out there that teachers unions and hedge funds and private equity are mortal enemies. That’s understandable if all you pay attention to is social media and the rhetoric. In fact, they are more like frenemies, because teachers’ union controlled pension funds are one key source of funds for private equity and hedge fund deals. That’s what makes this financial story sort of interesting. Blackstone is seeking investors with $1-$5m in investable assets for direct investments:

The private-equity firm is pushing aggressively into products for retail investors, betting it can raise as much from them over the long term as it does from the pension funds and other institutions that form the main source of its $371 billion of assets, Blackstone executives say.

This won’t change the landscape immediately but it’s one factor among many worth watching, especially as pension funds face political pressure and policymakers begin to innovate with alternatives.

More data on Newark that points to some progress and the hard choices it took to get there:

“Whether you look at PARCC scores, student growth percentile, value-added scores, or graduation rates, student outcomes are trending in a positive direction in Newark,” [Newark superintendent] Cerf said. “The data shows us that the seeds planted in earlier years are now yielding rewards for students. Today, thousands more Newark students are reading and doing math on grade level than just a few years ago and as a result, these students have a better chance at attending college or pursuing a meaningful career when they leave our schools.”

Quick history: It was Cami Anderson planting some of those seeds.

In Virginia fewer than one in five low-income or black students are on track for college by 8th-grade according to NAEP. And yet this is the state of play about what to do about it.

Here’s a new podcast on women and education technology.

And The 74’s Kate Stringer on scouts and gender.  Here’s a fun take on the scouts’ decision.

Sandy Kress on Eli Broad.

ExcelinEd continues to track personalized learning lessons in Idaho, Utah, and Florida.

Fish story.

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