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On the Agenda
May 12, 2017
Four things to watch for at New Schools Venture Fund Summit, this week’s big education reform confab
Last year's conference sparked a heated debate about the role of race and politics in education reform.
The Fine Print
March 27, 2017
Why charter operators exiting Tennessee’s turnaround district can walk away
Even after signing contracts, two charter operators are preparing to exit three Memphis schools in the Achievement School District.
Achievement School District
February 28, 2017
The enrollment problems that plagued ASD schools in turmoil? They’re not unique.
A Chalkbeat analysis finds that half of the state-run district's 33 schools have faced deep enrollment challenges.
February 23, 2017
Hundreds of education leaders from charter schools, nonprofits denounce Trump’s travel ban
Education leaders are increasingly open to weighing in on political matters that they think connect to their mission.
February 13, 2017
It’s official. Achievement School District will close a second school in Memphis
Tennessee's school turnaround district won't seek a successor to operate KIPP Memphis University Middle School, an ASD official confirms.
books vs. food
February 9, 2017
Skipping meals to afford books: College students’ financial woes go beyond tuition payments, survey shows
More than forty percent of surveyed students missed meals so they could pay for books or other school expenses. About one-quarter of students are supporting families.
January 25, 2017
Tennessee already has one state-run school district. It’s about to get another.
The Tennessee State Board of Education is about to become one of only two state boards in the nation to double as a local school district.
January 19, 2017
UFT files labor complaint against KIPP charter school
"The UFT has never been involved in our school or raised any issues or concerns before now."
January 17, 2017
The ASD once said it could save these two Memphis schools. Why is its own operator now walking away?
New developments in the Achievement School District's efforts to turn around schools point to deeper challenges in improving Memphis schools.
Achievement School District
December 20, 2016
KIPP to pull out of school under Tennessee’s turnaround district
KIPP Memphis Collegiate Schools will exit its south Memphis middle school due to under-enrollment and its remote location.
Movers and shakers
December 6, 2016
Rebecca Holmes named president and CEO of Colorado Education Initiative
Holmes is a former associate state education commissioner.
November 1, 2016
KIPP charter network partners with MTSU to give under-represented students a shot at college
The national charter network forges one of its first partnerships with a Tennessee university as part of KIPP's focus on college prep.
October 21, 2016
First Person: What the shift to restorative justice looked like in my KIPP school
When a student defaced our school with angry graffiti, we asked him direct questions in more than a dozen conferences. "Soft"? We ask to be judged by results.
September 21, 2016
Terence Crutcher was a KIPP parent, and the charter school network urges action
“This is beyond a tragedy. It is an outrage,” KIPP CEO Richard Barth wrote.
September 12, 2016
How KIPP learned the truth about its students’ college completion and inspired others to do the same
Author and charter-school fan Richard Whitmire explains what happened at KIPP in an excerpt of his new book, "The Founders."
Let's be friends
September 8, 2016
After blistering charter critique, de Blasio visits KIPP middle school
“I think it’s really exciting the way you’re leading this classroom,” de Blasio said.
July 27, 2016
Detroit’s vicious cycle: Why national education groups aren’t coming to help some of the country’s most troubled schools
With some of the nation’s most devastated schools, Detroit is in desperate need of new ideas, new energy — and lots of money.
asking the voters
June 16, 2016
Denver school board approves $628 million bond and mill package, new charter schools
“There’s a lot of good things in this proposal for schools, especially the hottest schools,” said board member Rosemary Rodriguez.
up for approval
May 19, 2016
Meet the 9 schools vying to open or expand in Denver
The Denver school board is expected to vote Thursday night on the expansion of one school before turning its attention next month to eight other proposals.
May 9, 2016
Charter operators clamor for clearer rules after rapid school closure vote
The recent rush to close six more Memphis charter schools causes confusion for the sector, while also elevating pleas to establish clear criteria for such actions.
April 14, 2016
State Board of Education members tour Nashville KIPP schools in their new role as charter authorizer
Tennessee's State Board takes a step forward in its unprecedented relationship with a national charter network.
February 9, 2016
Memphis school scrambles to replace stolen laptops for new online state test, only to revert to paper tests
Leaders of KIPP Memphis University Middle School model flexibility for their students during a chaotic week that started with the theft of 23 laptop computers.
What's your education story?
December 23, 2015
One small but diverse school prepared him well for all that came after
Andrew Pillow is a fifth grade social studies teacher at KIPP Indianapolis, a charter school where he has taught since 2011.
December 3, 2015
An app to track behavior is one tool schools are using to promote fairer discipline
Two Teach Plus groups work to find strategies to reduce high discipline rates for black and Hispanic students.
November 10, 2015
Two KIPP Schools poised to be first run by State Board of Education
Two KIPP schools might be the first charters run by State Board of Education after the Metro Nashville school board passed on them a third time.
October 23, 2015
State Board of Education overrules Nashville district board on KIPP charter expansion
The State Board of Education approves an appeal from national charter operator KIPP to open two new schools in Nashville, overruling the local district board.
October 19, 2015
Public education advocacy group asks state board to vote down charter school appeals
A Nashville-based public education advocacy group urges the Tennessee Board of Education to reject appeals from charter organizations seeking to expand in Nashville.
September 30, 2015
State Board of Education rejects Omni’s appeal for Memphis expansion, considers Nashville appeals from Rocketship, KIPP
Omni Schools may not open a new high school in Memphis, while proposed expansions in Nashville by Rocketship and KIPP are still being reviewed.
clashes in the space wars
September 21, 2015
Charter leaders continue to battle de Blasio over space in public school buildings
At the heart of their criticism is the battle for limited space in city-owned buildings, which the de Blasio administration has been reluctant to offer to charters.
September 9, 2015
Half of Indianapolis charter schools scored lower than IPS on ISTEP in 2014
Of the 18 charter schools operating in the city that took ISTEP last year, about half fell below the IPS districtwide average of 51.6 percent passing.
August 7, 2015
Achievement School District announces KIPP, Knowledge Academies to open Nashville schools
Completing its latest round of authorizations, the state-run school turnaround district approves two new operators in Nashville but none in Memphis.
July 22, 2015
New law encourages use of grants, data to improve discipline
House Bill 1635 requires city schools disaggregate discipline data by factors such as race and gender. It also offers grants for those that adopt new discipline models.
June 24, 2015
Idea of one enrollment system for IPS, charters gaining traction
School and community leaders from IPS, KIPP, and La Plaza discussed the pros and cons of an open enrollment system at a Teach Plus-sponsored event.
August 11, 2014
Private schools top Marion County on ISTEP, charters best IPS
Half of the 230 schools in Marion County — public, private and charter — ranked in the bottom quarter of all schools in Indiana that took the state ISTEP test last spring. Just 20 percent of of the county’s schools were even in the top half of the state for ISTEP scores, with 13 percent in the top quarter. Charter schools in Marion County outperform Indianapolis Public Schools, but not by a large margin, when it comes to where they rank statewide.
August 4, 2014
Middle schools at center of IPS testing woes
For IPS, the annual release of ISTEP scores coincided with the first day of school, and the results prompted something of a reckoning of the state of the district’s offerings, both good and bad.
June 23, 2014
TeachPlus names 30 new fellows to study teaching policy
The Indianapolis chapter of TeachPlus, a national organization that aims to get teachers involved in education policy making, has named 30 new “teaching policy…
shantay you stay
June 12, 2014
Denver board green lights 14 schools to open in 2015
Some southwest Denver parents feel the district misled them on a final decision for the future of the Kepner Middle School campus.
Not Done Yet
June 2, 2014
Years after Common Core's arrival, reading overhauls continue at top charter networks
The city's top charter school networks are continuing to overhaul their reading materials and methods to meet the Common Core standards years after they were adopted. The networks have moved with new urgency since pass rates plunged on the first-ever Common Core state tests.
May 28, 2014
Survey shows divide in opinion about IPS
Students, parents and staff of Indianapolis Public Schools expressed strong confidence on a survey that the district has a solid expectations and instruction but less than a majority were certain students come out ready for college and careers. But community and business leaders, who have perhaps a less direct connections to the schools, were more skeptical the district was doing a good job.
May 14, 2014
KIPP could be first charter school partner for IPS
Indianapolis Public Schools is working on a deal to bring the KIPP Indianapolis College Preparatory charter school back into one of its buildings starting next fall. After leasing the space for a year, KIPP Executive Director Emily Pelino said she would explore forging a deeper partnership with IPS by becoming an “innovation school.”
March 26, 2014
Fariña and KIPP co-founder to join working group on co-locations
As the mayor tries to reset relations with the charter-school sector, he announced a working group Wednesday devoted to addressing the contentious…
October 24, 2013
The basics of charter schools in Indiana: A mayor’s big role
Charter schools are expanding quickly in Indiana.
August 19, 2013
Among eight teachers honored by USDOE, two from KIPP NYC
Jonathan McIntosh, Of the eight teachers that the U.S. Department of Education picked from across the country this year to bridge the gap between policy and practice, two come from New York City schools. In fact, the department selected both a Washington Fellow and a Classroom Fellow from KIPP charter schools in the city, giving the network the only city schools and the only charter schools to be represented in Washington, D.C., this year. The fellows began their term this month and will spend the year advising Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, telling policy makers about their classroom experiences, and brokering conversations among teachers about how the Obama administration is advancing its education priorities. Joiselle Cunningham will take the year off from teaching reading at KIPP Infinity Middle School to work full-time in Washington, focusing on teacher quality issues. Jonathan McIntosh, who coordinates special education and coaches debate at KIPP AMP Charter School in Brooklyn, will continue working at his school part-time but will also spend about 20 hours a week at the U.S. Department of Education's New York City office.
April 12, 2013
Full video: GothamSchools' event on the Common Core in math
On Tuesday, GothamSchools and New America NYC presented “Adding it Up,” an event that brought together New York City educators to talk…
March 9, 2012
Charter sector set to release pool of data about its schools
The city's charter schools are preparing to release reams of data about themselves — some of which could make them uncomfortable. The data, prepared for release on Monday by the New York City Charter School Center, will include measures that are often used to promote the schools, such as student test scores, as well as data points often used to criticize them, such as student demographic information and student and teacher attrition rates. The new report, a 40-page document called "State of the Sector," will be followed by individual dashboards for all 136 city charter schools published on the center's website. The project was modeled after an effort by the national KIPP charter school network to hold schools accountable for more than the most-often-used metric, how their students perform on tests, by tracking other measures deemed important for what the network calls "healthy schools." These include the percentage of students and teachers who stay in the schools year after year. In advance of Monday's release, KIPP C.E.O. Richard Barth was invited to the charter center to brief a room full of charter school leaders and share his insights from KIPP's initiative.
January 25, 2012
Event unites charter, district teachers under instructional focus
Courtesy: KIPP A few months ago, teachers from KIPP charter schools approached the network's co-founder Dave Levin to say that they were restless with the training they were getting. Despite weekly observations and extensive support, the teachers wanted to talk to educators from outside the KIPP organization to find out what they considered best practices for classroom teaching. Levin took that idea and developed it into the "What's Works in Urban Schools," a conference that took place Saturday at New York University. The purpose of the event, Levin said, was to forge better working relationships between district and charter school teachers. "Too often the broader structural debate has nothing to do with the great things that are happening in classrooms across New York City," Levin said. "Whether you teach in a charter school or a district school, good teachers have the same goals." On Saturday, hundreds of teachers braved inclement weather, an early morning wake-up, and a $35 entry fee to attend the event, which was sponsored by KIPP, Google, TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project), Teaching Matters, and Scholastic.
May 23, 2011
In Washington Heights, a basic education on charter schools
Last December, Community Board 12’s executive committee was discussing charter schools when committee members realized something: There were almost as many different perceptions of charter schools as there were people in the room. This epiphany, recalled board chair Pamela Palanque-North, was the inspiration for a forum the board held Saturday to give Washington Heights residents the basic facts about charter schools. “This is an opportunity for us to have something called an educational intervention,” Palanque-North said in her opening remarks at the forum, titled “Our Children, Our Choices: An Informative Discussion on Public and Charter School Options." About 35 neighborhood residents attended the event, which was organized by the board's youth and education committee and translated live into Spanish. The panel included charter school advocates and also critics, such as sociologist Pedro Noguera and the public school teacher who directed a new movie that takes aim at the idea that charter schools can fix all educational ills. But perhaps as notable as who sat on the panel was who did not: a representative from the city Department of Education. Community Board 12 had advertised that Chancellor Dennis Walcott would speak on the morning's first panel, although DOE officials said Walcott had never agreed to appear.
February 14, 2011
A new graduate school of education, Relay, to open next fall
The logo of Teacher U, whose founders will create a stand-alone graduate school of education called Relay. The founders of Teacher U, the nonprofit organization that developed a novel way of preparing teachers for low-income schools, will create their own graduate school of education, following a vote by the Board of Regents last week. The new Relay School of Education will be the first stand-alone graduate school of education to open in New York since 1916, when Bank Street College of Education was founded, and the first in memory to prepare teachers while they are serving full-time in classrooms. The new institution will open its doors next fall; current Teacher U students will remain enrolled at their partner school of education, the City University of New York's Hunter College. The Regents' decision inserts a new model for preparing K-12 teachers into New York's education landscape. Unlike alternative certification programs such as Teach for America and the New York City Teaching Fellows, Relay will not rely on existing colleges to provide its teachers with coursework required for certification; the new graduate school of education will design and deliver all of those courses itself. And Relay will likely take teachers who come into the school system through alternative programs like TFA. Meanwhile, unlike most traditional schools of education, Relay will make training teachers its sole priority and will make proven student learning gains a requirement of receiving a Master's degree. The new school has already generated opposition from several existing schools of education, including from a top official at CUNY. In formal responses to the Teacher U group's proposal, leaders of existing schools cited concerns about quality and the fact that, as officials at Fordham University put it, a new graduate school of education would be "duplicative in a market with sufficient program offerings," according to a summary of concerns(PDF) made public by the Regents. The Board of Regents approved the proposal with a unanimous vote and one abstention last week nevertheless, said Tom Dunn, a spokesman for the state education department. He added that State Education Commissioner David Steiner, who helped form Teacher U in his last job as dean of the school of education at Hunter College, recused himself from discussions about the application. During recent visits to Teacher U's current program, instruction topics ranged from how to tailor reading discussions to the racial and class backgrounds of students to how to write on a white board without covering your face with your writing arm. Much of Teacher U's curriculum is devoted to passing on lessons learned by teachers at the charter schools that founded Teacher U, such as those collected by Uncommon Schools managing director Doug Lemov in his book Teach Like a Champion.
September 30, 2010
At NBC's education week, select teachers taught "live" lessons
Joseph Almeida, a sixth grade math teacher at KIPP Infinity, taught a lesson to adults at Rockefeller Center. Among the mix of pages, chancellors, and mayors at NBC's "Education Nation" outdoor museum at Rockefeller Center this week were a cadre of teachers from around the country who taught live "lessons" to the general public. The exercise was remarkable for its lack of actual students. The lessons occurred inside one of several mini-tents on the plaza, starting at irregular hours, and the only officially invited guests were teachers, not children. But the one teacher whose lesson I saw — Joseph Almeida, who teaches sixth grade math at KIPP Academy in the Bronx — did not let that deter him. He tailored his lesson, about place value, to the collection of adult tourists and passersby who gathered around him. The principal training nonprofit New Leaders for New Schools gathered Almeida and the other roughly 50 teachers who taught public lessons through what New Leaders founder Jon Schnur described as a rigorous process. After recruiting nominations of teachers from around the country, New Leaders reviewed information ranging from the teachers' students' performance results to videotapes of their teaching.
September 13, 2010
Diane Ravitch addresses a "reform" unbeliever, KIPP and TFA
Last week, a Teach for America alumnus, one-time KIPP teacher, and Harlem charter school founder declared that he does not believe in education “reform”…
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