Over the last decade poverty levels in American
suburbs have increased by more than 50 percent.
As two-thirds of this dramatic increase came recently during 2007-2010,
suburban communities have had to re-evaluate their community identities
including how they fund local schools particularly in areas surrounding Cleveland.
Recent data on 8th grade achievement
in math and reading compares the United States and the states individually to
other countries around the world who also participate in the Program for
International Student Assessment (PISA). Results
show that the United States as a whole lags behind in reading achievement (17th)
but much more so in math achievement (32nd). Meanwhile, Ohio is doing better compared to
other states, ranking above the U.S. average for both reading and math.
However, 25 other nations and 16 states are ranked ahead of Ohio in math while
10 countries and 10 states rank ahead of Ohio in reading.
While challenging traditional models and
expanding student options, public charter schools are changing the national
landscape of education. However, charter schools are constantly facing funding
and political challenges. In this report,
the Center for American Progress identifies methods and solutions as to how the
federal government can best support public charter schools.
In Washington D.C. the new IMPACT program
for measuring teacher effectiveness is making great strides in properly
rewarding effective teachers while also working to improve struggling teachers. In the last year, 58 percent of teachers that
were considered “minimally effective” improved displaying the program’s ability
to provide valuable feedback to motivate teacher improvement. IMPACT uses multiple measures to evaluate
teacher effectiveness including: student achievement, three administrator
observations, two third-party observations, collaboration with other teachers,
and community involvement. For more on
the success of IMPACT, watch teacher interviews here!
Teachers and school officials in Cleveland City
Schools are beginning to discuss the transition to teacher
merit pay in order to help combat budget restraints that have forced over
$13 million in cuts this year.