Support independent journalism.
Education news. In context.
Building Better Schools
From the Statehouse
Beyond High School
Funding & Finance
In the Classroom
Politics & Policy
Sorting the Students
Rise & Shine
Building Better Teachers
Support independent journalism.
March 20, 2017
Tennessee lawmakers want to roll back A-F school grades before they’ve been given
Just a year after deciding that every school should get a single letter grade, Tennessee lawmakers are poised to take it back.
Week In Review
March 17, 2017
A lawsuit, our exciting event, and 9 other things you should know about Detroit schools this week
Michigan’s letter grades for schools were thrown into question this week as policy makers picked sides about how the state evaluates schools.
March 8, 2017
How Colorado education officials have quietly helped struggling schools improve
The State Board of Education will begin a months-long process of determining what changes a dozen schools and five school districts should make to boost student learning.
March 8, 2017
What the heck is the Colorado school accountability clock? (And 14 other questions you might ask.)
State officials are about to intervene in the hopes of setting some schools on the right course.
March 7, 2017
The state tried to save one Colorado school before and failed. Now it is about to try again — with 12.
The ill-fated attempt to turn around Cole Middle School provides a cautionary tale as the state prepares to intervene in a bid to improve 12 schools and five districts.
January 20, 2017
Week in review: “Horrible outcomes” vs. “false news”
Today’s the day that struggling schools across the state have been dreading for months. At 11 a.m., the state education department…
January 11, 2017
Five takeaways from the NAACP’s charter school hearing in Memphis
Months after the NAACP called for a pause in charter school growth, an NAACP task force is seeking to learn the nuances of the education reform tool in American cities.
Making the grade
December 15, 2016
Tennessee schools soon will receive letter grades. But will poverty be considered?
Not everyone is in agreement about what should constitute an A under Tennessee's new system for evaluating schools.
To grade or not to grade?
November 28, 2016
Feds say Indiana can drop its A-F system. But does it want to?
Today federal officials made two announcements about ESSA.
metrics that matter
August 31, 2016
New York’s school accountability system puts little focus on high-achieving students, report says
The state’s current accountability system earned 0 out of 3 stars, signifying that New York could do more to judge schools based on whether all students progress.
August 31, 2016
Tennessee should ramp up focus on gifted students in accountability system, report says
For a state that’s done a lot to support low-achieving students, Tennessee scores low on accountability for its gifted ones, says a new national report.
More than scores
July 20, 2016
Beyond test scores, Tennessee looks at how to evaluate districts and schools under ESSA
With the switch to ESSA looming, state leaders consider which metrics to include in the state's accountability plan.
July 20, 2016
Meet the former teacher who helps steer Tennessee’s education policy
As executive director of the State Board of Education, Sara Heyburn talks with Chalkbeat about what the board does and Tennessee education policy priorities.
the long view
July 13, 2016
Why this year’s failed TNReady test leaves Tennessee with challenges for years to come
The decision to cancel standardized testing this year will impact the state's accountability system for at least three years.
List of principles
July 11, 2016
What makes a highly effective school? New York State takes its first crack at describing what will count
The state's new accountability system could be based on these 20 principles.
June 8, 2016
Colorado backs off controversial proposal to change schools rating system
Civil rights and education reform advocacy groups raised concern.
Past the post
May 9, 2016
Plan to reduce accountability paperwork clears the legislature
A bill that would reduce the number of improvement plans many districts and schools have to file has passed the Colorado legislature.
May 2, 2016
U.S. education chief: Without TNReady scores, Tennessee should look elsewhere for accountability
High school graduation rates and student absenteeism are among indicators suggested by U.S. Secretary of Education John King to fill the gap for TNReady.
April 4, 2016
State seeks to limit opt-out options as TNReady Part II approaches
The Tennessee Department of Education directs superintendents not to make it easier for students to refuse to take the state’s new standardized test.
Adjustments in Accountability
March 31, 2016
This year’s TNReady scores can’t put your school on the priority list. Here’s why.
In light of TNReady's bumpy rollout, the State Department of Education has new provisions in place for how student test scores will be used to evaluate low-performing schools.
Making the grade
March 28, 2016
Haslam signs bill to assign A-F letter grades to Tennessee schools
Beginning in mid-2017, Tennessee schools will receive letter grades on their state report cards — similar to what their students receive.
January 28, 2016
Union backers say bill could wreck Indiana's teacher pay system
The bill would let superintendents give more pay to current teachers as well as job applicants.
January 26, 2016
Only a small share of Indiana schools earned higher A-F grades in 2015 (updated)
Just 6 percent of schools improved from 2014, compared to 30 percent that improved from 2013 to 2014.
Friday Capitol Roundup
January 15, 2016
School districts get tiny bit of good budget news
Current per-pupil funding would increase very slightly and the K-12 funding shortfall would shrink under budget adjustments proposed by the Hickenlooper administration.
Legislative Preview 2016
January 10, 2016
Lawmakers face tricky choices on education funding, data privacy and more
Colorado’s 100 lawmakers return to the Capitol this week facing a budgetary squeeze and some important unfinished education business.
December 16, 2015
New federal education law gives states more flexibility — but will Tennessee use it?
Because Tennesssee only recently overhauled its education system, the replacement for No Child Left Behind likely will have a limited effect at the outset.
December 7, 2015
Rewrite of federal education law could spur changes to testing, accountability in Colorado
The rewrite of federal education law moving through Congress has generated intense interest in education circles but will likely have little immediate impact in Colorado.
November 17, 2015
Republican proposal would offer aspiring teachers free college tuition
A new bill would give Indiana college students a chance to get tuition fully paid for by the state if they agree to spend five years teaching after they graduate.
November 13, 2015
Under de Blasio, no measures of success or failure for schools serving the neediest kids
Together, the schools enroll as many students as the city of Buffalo. Yet they have not received public report cards in two years.
November 3, 2015
State board member calls for Indiana to keep a general diploma
Parents and educators have said new diplomas would create more challenges for students with special needs.
October 27, 2015
In an about-face, Pence joins Ritz in calling for relief from testing sanctions
In a letter to the Indiana State Board of Education today, Pence said lower projected ISTEP scores shouldn't hurt teacher evaluations or pay.
By the numbers
September 28, 2015
For charter schools serving overage or homeless students, typical metrics don’t add up
What happens when serving an important group of students makes it nearly impossible to meet normal benchmarks — and what does that mean for Broome Street Academy?
By the numbers
September 22, 2015
How much does homelessness affect school performance? New York City aims to find out
The city will award a $100,000 contract to a research group to measure every school’s population of high-needs students and how that affects their performance.
July 23, 2015
Waiver lets state focus more on school improvement than on punishment
The U.S. Department of Education announces that Tennessee will continue to receive flexibility from certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
July 23, 2015
Indiana earns 3 more years free from NCLB sanctions
The U.S. Department of Education told Indiana today that it would have its waiver from consequences of the federal No Child Left Behind Law extended for three years.
July 17, 2015
Indiana finalizes new A-to-F model for 2015-16
The new rules will equally weigh ISTEP passing rates and student test score improvement.
July 17, 2015
Test yourself: Do you know the basics of Indiana education?
It's a good time to brush up on your Indiana education knowledge. Try your hand at our quiz that includes questions on our four newest "basics" posts out this week.
July 15, 2015
The basics of Indiana’s NCLB waiver: An ongoing debate
In 2012, Indiana negotiated a waiver from sanctions of NCLB, making promises to the federal government in exchange. Ever since, managing it has been a bit messy.
Getting to yes
July 7, 2015
Experts handicap Colorado’s odds on assessment, accountability changes
Colorado should be cautiously optimistic about having key testing system changes approved by the federal government, say policy experts surveyed by Chalkbeat Colorado.
June 30, 2015
A-to-F grade 'pause' won't harm NCLB waiver renewal, Ritz's team says
Glenda Ritz will ask the state board Wednesday to mitigate the effects of this year's A-to-F grades on schools
May 28, 2015
State officials apologize to educators, citing miscommunication about recent TCAP results
State Education Department officials apologize for a miscommunication about TCAP quick score that prompted some educators to wonder if the results were inflated.
May 7, 2015
Colorado high schools honored for providing opportunity
Seven Colorado high schools have been designated as “schools of opportunity” by a program that seeks to rate schools on how well they help students succeed.
May 6, 2015
Schools could earn fewer A's next year under proposed state board rule changes
Schools could have a harder time earning A's beginning in 2016 if the Indiana State Board of Education approves new A-to-F grading rules Thursday.
April 23, 2015
Indiana kids learning English are getting less funding, more testing
More than 15 years of steep growth in the number of English language learners in Indiana schools might require a reconsideration of funding and accountability policies.
April 7, 2015
Legislature debates whether grading schools boosts transparency or stigmatizes poorly resourced schools
Tennessee schools might soon come under the same grading system as the students they serve.
February 4, 2015
State board stops short of guiding schools toward more test scores in teacher ratings
The Indiana State Board of Education today held off a decision to ask school districts to count test scores and other “objective” measures of…
December 4, 2014
Teachers aren’t the only only ones facing new evaluation system
The same landmark law that ushered in a new system for teacher evaluations this year extends to thousands of school employees who work outside the classroom. This group includes counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses and other licensed staff.
November 13, 2013
Progress reports show stability as mayor-elect plans changes
Officials released what could be the city's final round of school grades today, emphasizing stability even as major changes are likely imminent. The Department of Education and City Hall will soon be full of new officials, and last year was chaotic for different reasons—Superstorm Sandy and the first round of the state's new, tougher Common Core-aligned exams. That meant today's release was marked by little fanfare and lowered stakes. The A to F grades and accompanying school progress reports are based mostly on calculations of student test scores, and they have become a signature of Mayor Bloomberg's focus on school accountability since the city began giving them out in 2007. But they may not stick around at all, as mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has promised to eliminate those grades and pause the school-closure process. So the 45 schools that received Fs and 102 that received Ds this year will not be considered for closure this year, as has become the norm.
November 13, 2013
State releases redesigned school report card
The state released a new school report card today that includes a college and career readiness section. The Tennessee Department of Education said they…
September 10, 2013
Q&A: Klein disciple Nadelstern laments end of disruptive era
As Mayor Bloomberg’s term in office comes to an end in New York City, mayoral candidates have been quick to denounce many of his education policies. A recent poll found that a majority of residents disapprove of the outgoing mayor’s handling of public schools, and the current crop of candidates are unhappy with school closures and the school grading system currently in place. The Bloomberg administration can count Eric Nadelstern, former deputy chancellor for school support and instruction under Bloomberg and currently a professor of Practice in Educational Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University, as one of its staunchest defenders. Nadelstern spoke to The Hechinger Report about his thoughts on the future of public education in New York City and his recent book 10 Lessons From New York City Schools, about his 40 years of experience working in public education. Question: There’ll be a new mayor in the city soon. Any trepidation that some of the policies you talk favorably about in your book might end? Answer: Sad to say, but I think they’ve changed already under the old mayor. I see networks being redirected away from school support to more central office compliance matters which disturbs me. I see the core curriculum being mandated in a way that was reminiscent of the old days in the way superintendents mandate curriculum rather than rolled it out in a way that creates a lot of options for schools on how to creatively engage around it or not if they choose to. And those decisions and policies trouble me. Certainly under a new mayor I think two main areas in greatest jeopardy are the issues of school closings that also creates the opportunity to open new schools as well as whether the non-geographic network structure may return to the old-time district structure headed by superintendents. Politicians in particular favor the old structure because they could exploit it to their benefit more easily. Q: What changes are you talking about?
RISE & SHINE
You are now subscribed!