04 October 2011

Education News

Five education articles recently in the news.  I'm guessing most readers won't read most of them, but I think they are worthwhile and too good to let pass by.

The letter from DMPS superintendant Nancy Sebring ran in the DM Register this week.  And although she cites the Washington Post rankings that I've said before I'm not a fan of, I still think it is well-written piece and necessary to help the average person understand the changing student population and how the metrics in NCLB work.  The Register never misses a chance to publish anything negative about DMPS so it's nice to get some positive words in there too.

Gov. Branstand has unveiled a new education plan, "One Unshakeable Vision: World-class Schools for Iowa".  Although the costs that go along with it have not been detailed yet, you can check out the 18 page outline here.  I like the items regarding teacher prep.  A centralized, state-wide teacher recruiting site, raising the minimum entrance GPA to 3.0, creating a teacher scholarship program, etc. And the proposed changes to pay, contract-length, tiered system with more time alotted for coaching/mentoring by high-quality teachers.  increased pay for working in high-poverty and high-need subjects, all sound promising.  I did see that "locally determined performance-based elements" was snuck in there, so we'll have to see what that means exactly.

Tagging on to that teacher scholarship theme, this article about the end of the North Carolina Teacher Fellow Program, where exemplary applicants receive full-tuition scholarship in return for a four year commitment to teaching in a public school.  Two stats jump off the page in that article.  73% retention of teachers from that program after five years.  (Compared to 7% for Teach for America)  And amazingly, 60% of the fellows that started 20 years ago are still in public education.

Jose Vilson, a math-teacher from NY, shares four lessons that educators can imitate from Jay-Z's career

This Nicholas Kristof article was passed on to me from my brother and its tale of education, love, and hope in the Kibera slum of Nairobi (the same area as in the "On the Way to War" book I just read) is truly inspiring.

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