A first look at today's most important education news:
"By the Company It Keeps: PARCC," by Andy Smarick, Common Core Watch
"To close the 'opportunity gap,' we need to close the vocabulary gap," by Michael J. Petrilli, Flypaper
"Trashing Success," by Terry Ryan, Ohio Gadfly Daily
Pearson is under fire, yet again, for errors in scoring NYC’s gifted-and-talented exams, this time for miscalculating students’ ages and affecting 300 students; the city is considering terminating its contract with the company. (Wall Street Journal and New York Times)
Opposition against required Algebra 2 has cropped up in Michigan. (Curriculum Matters)
With an eye towards the American university system, an increasing number of wealthy Chinese families are sending their children to private New York City high schools. (New York Times)
At a recent UFT-run panel, six of NYC’s mayoral candidates took turns praising the Mr. Mulgrew and blasting charter schools in an effort to win the union’s support. (Wall Street Journal and New York Times)
A first look at today's most important education news:
"By the company it keeps," by Andy Smarick, Flypaper
"For Pete’s sake, let’s try it," by Chester E. Finn, Jr., Flypaper
A new plan from President Obama would increase the number of borrowers eligible for income-based repayment of student loans, effectively forgiving billions of dollars in debt over the next decade; critics say it will promote irresponsible borrowing. (Wall Street Journal)
D.C. seeks to merge a struggling traditional public school with a high-performing charter school, which will serve the neighborhood. (Washington Post)
In poorer nations, like those in Africa and South Asia, families across the social strata send their kids to private school. (New York Times Opinionator)
Gov. Malloy’s plans for Connecticut’s schools face an obstacle, in the form of a funding shortfall. (Wall Street Journal)
In a recent study of teenagers’ schoolwork habits, researchers found that the teens spent just 65 percent of a fifteen-minute period of observation studying. (Digital)
New research finds that making charts more artistic, an approach intended to engage children
On Monday, we kick off By the Company It Keeps in what I think is an exciting and important way. (It’s also going to be out of the norm, but more on that below.)
Three very influential organizations working on one of our field’s most important topics participated in a revealing Q&A.
I’ve been writing about the Common Core–aligned testing consortia for some time now, occasionally raising concerns about how things were progressing and what that meant for the future of high-quality assessments and the standards themselves.
Then a couple weeks ago, I wrote a short piece raising the ante, in effect wondering if we had reached a serious turning point. Independently, Checker, reading the same tealeaves, wrote a longer, more detailed piece drawing the same conclusion.
In short, we both suggested that an exodus from the consortia might be on the horizon.
Whether you’re a CCSS supporter or opponent, this should matter to you. Assessments are an essential part of meaningful standards-and-accountability systems. Their results tell us a whole lot about our schools, districts, teachers, and kids. And they are expensive.
These assessments are particularly important. They are supposed to be aligned with new common standards. They are supposed to be “next generation.” They are supposed to generate data that can be compared across states. They are supposed to give us a true reading on our students’ college- and career-readiness. They are being created by consortia of states. And
Thanks for inviting me to join you on your blog. Even though we disagree on many issues, I have great respect for you and the work you've done in your career.
As I write this, I'm returning from the Education Writers Association annual conference, held this year at Stanford. I spoke on a panel about the "opportunity gap" with professors Sean Reardon and Prudence Carter. Reardon, as you know, recently published a fascinating but sobering study about the growing income achievement gap. (ASCD's Educational Leadership has an accessible version of the study available online.) And Carter co-edited the new volume, Closing the Opportunity Gap.
What Professor Reardon's research shows is that, over the last 60 years, the achievement gap between the nation's poorest and richest students has widened dramatically. That's true of both test scores and college attainment.
It's not that poor children are falling behind the middle class. It's that the richest students are breaking away from everybody else.
Photo by John-Morgan
This finding is not surprising for people who have been paying attention, but what is surprising is where the gap lies. It's not that poor children are falling behind the middle class—they're not. It's that the richest students are breaking away from everybody else.
About the Editor
Michael J. Petrilli
Executive Vice President
Mike Petrilli is one of the nation's foremost education analysts. As executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, he oversees the organization's research projects and publications and contributes to the Flypaper blog and weekly Education Gadfly newsletter.
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