In statehouses around the country, lawmakers are taking bold steps to improve the effectiveness of our classroom teachers. Ohio, Indiana and Illinois are three of the most recent states to pass legislation that could raise teacher quality. The Ohio and Indiana bills improve systems for evaluating teachers and link teacher pay directly to performance. The Illinois bill ends teacher layoffs based solely on seniority and connects tenure for teachers to their evaluation ratings.
However, all of this legislation is missing a crucial piece: ensuring that performance management, compensation, and staffing systems give all students fair access to effective teachers.
“Stuck Schools Revisited,” a new report from The Education Trust, takes readers beneath the averages to examine the performance of minority and low-income students in schools that, on the surface, often look just fine. The analysis reveals what many educators and parents already know: “high performing” schools aren’t always high performing for all groups of students. Although some schools that started out behind for a particular subgroup make substantial gains for these students, others don’t improve at all.
Brooke Layton is a living testament to the power of the Pell Grant Program. Now a research assistant/coordinator working on artificial intelligence with a Florida research institute, Layton grew up in rural Alabama, the daughter of an iron worker and a daycare provider.
“Without Pell Grants, I would not be where I am today, working in a cutting-edge robotics lab with the best engineers in the world,” she said in comments e-mailed to a petition drive to protect Pell funding. The petition is part of an online campaign, led by The Education Trust, to prevent devastating Pell cuts passed in the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the FY 2012 budget from also winning in the Senate.
The Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success Act (A-PLUS Act), just introduced in the US Senate, claims to help close achievement gaps by increasing spending flexibility and reducing regulations. In reality, it could unravel Title I, and is part of a larger, deeply troubling legislative strategy that would rip federal resources away from the populations who most need that support.
Although the U.S. Congress failed to pass a federal version of the DREAM Act last year, some states are stepping up to offer undocumented immigrant students a chance at a college education. Last week, Maryland joined 10 other states that have passed some version of the DREAM Act.
After months of debate, Congress passed a budget deal for fiscal year 2011, and that deal did not bargain away the U.S. Department of Education's rules on gainful employment. The Kline-Foxx amendment to the original House budget bill was excluded from the final legislation, which will ensure that the Department can release and enforce gainful employment regulations in the coming months.
Los colegios y universidades con fines de lucro (for-profit colleges) vuelven a la carga. El protagonista más reciente en su campaña multimillonaria contra las reglas de “gainful employment” que propone el Departamento de Educación es...un pez. Como lo oye. Un pez. Un “salmón luchador”.
A recent survey by the Brookings Institution shows that parents want more—not less—news about education. Parents recognize that to be full partners in their children’s education they need more and better information on key issues.