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November 4, 2016
Why the new changes to the color ratings for Denver schools have me red in the face
The district's newfound concern for schools that will see their ratings fall underscore the real consequences of that system — one that has hurt schools I've worked at.
August 1, 2016
Longtime advocate Anna Jo Haynes: Parents need to become advocates for their children
Chalkbeat sat down with Anna Jo Haynes to talk about an esteemed roundtable and her thoughts on how early education has changed over the years.
'A wondrous time to learn'
July 26, 2016
How a free Denver Public Schools camp seeks to stop the summer slide
Schoolchildren in Denver can spent part of their summer at a free camp where they'll have fun and learn while preparing for the coming school year.
June 30, 2016
We asked five Colorado teachers how they use technology in the classroom. This is what they said.
We spoke with teachers about how they are using technology in the classroom. The opinions varied, but the consensus was a good one.
January 13, 2015
How teachers are like opera singers: everything depends on a clear voice
Teacher voice problems not only contribute to teacher absenteeism but can affect student learning. However, a little awareness and training goes a long way toward a healthy voice.
Shelby County Schools
June 12, 2014
Memphis educators look to build rating system to help parents better navigate schools
Before the start of the 2015-16 school year, Shelby County Schools plans to create a "school performance framework," aimed at helping parents and students understand how their schools are doing and navigate the increasing number of choices in the district.
September 20, 2013
NYC sitting out national move to tie charter, district admissions
Superintendent Seth Andrew at a 2012 Democracy Prep admissions lottery event. When the city announced last week that a kindergarten admissions website would link to the charter school application, it took a small first step toward unifying charter and district school applications. But there appears to be little local enthusiasm for a fully unified enrollment process—something that many of the nation's other large school districts are working toward with urgency. In Denver, parents can apply to every charter and district school through one form and a single process. In New Orleans, the same is possible, with the exception of some of the city's highest-performing charter schools. Newark is well on its way, as is Chicago, and similar discussions are taking place in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. But while there hasn't been any significant movement on that front yet in New York, city officials have indicated it's a long term goal. "Eventually, we plan to streamline the application process to allow parents to apply to many types of public school programs in one place – be they district, charter, gifted and talented, or otherwise," department spokesman Devon Puglia said. Pushing for an integrated enrollment system could help cement charter schools' place in the city's school system at a time of political uncertainty for the charter sector. But city charter school advocates have indicated that they are focused on other issues.
May 26, 2011
Outside New York, different turnaround methods, same tensions
The Obama administration’s $3.5 billion effort to turn around the country’s lowest-performing schools has had a bumpy start in New York City. The first schools…
September 13, 2010
Diane Ravitch addresses a "reform" unbeliever, KIPP and TFA
Last week, a Teach for America alumnus, one-time KIPP teacher, and Harlem charter school founder declared that he does not believe in education “reform” —…
September 11, 2008
Should teachers trade tenure for extra pay?
Merit pay, also known as performance pay, keeps turning up on the ed blogs and in the news. How do merit pay plans work? And, coming soon, how does the merit pay debate affect New York City schools? The gist of performance pay is that districts offer teachers increased pay on the basis of student achievement and other measures of success, often in return for weakened job security. Plans vary: some reward individual teachers, others reward schools, some are based largely on test scores, some include peer and administrator evaluations, and some offer pay increases for taking on extra responsibilities such as mentoring new teachers, or for teaching in a high-needs school or subject area. A 2007 New York Times article noted teachers' increasing openness to merit pay programs, especially those involving teacher input and collaboration with their unions. Still, the Times pointed out, many teachers in Texas and Florida rejected merit pay plans, citing concerns about divisiveness, unfairness to teachers of high-needs students, and simplistic evaluations. Educators often say they are insulted by the idea that a little extra cash will increase their motivation to help struggling students. Paul Tough has written extensively about teacher pay-for-performance plans on his Schoolhouse Rock blog at Slate. He launched last week with a look at political pressure on Barack Obama to push increased teacher pay but decreased job security, then spent the rest of the week examining existing performance pay programs. Tough summarized Michelle Rhee's proposed salary plan for DC teachers, which would increase salaries across the board, do away with tenure rights, and create an opt-in performance pay program while phasing out the traditional pay scale. Rhee has warned that if teachers reject her plan, she will turn, instead, to tougher evaluations and licensing requirements, making it easier to fire teachers.
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