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June 1, 2018
What the F? Here are the surprising ways failing grades helped New York City schools
The results provide new evidence that the now defunct A–F grading scale sparked improvements at underperforming schools.
Updated May 15, 2018
It’s official! Results from Tennessee’s ugly testing year won’t count for much of anything
Tennessee teachers and school districts can decide how to use this year’s standardized test results and won’t suffer consequences if the scores aren't good.
Taking a hit
May 14, 2018
By getting testing wrong again, Tennessee could undo what it may be getting right
Many stakeholders worry that public outcry over this year’s sloppy TNReady testing will unravel years of carefully crafted accountability systems.
May 9, 2018
Tennessee’s messy testing season is finished, but how much the scores will matter is up in the air
Students turned in their last standardized exams on Wednesday, capping more than three weeks of on-again, off-again computerized testing for TNReady.
May 4, 2018
Does Tennessee’s emergency response to testing problems conflict with federal ed law? Stay tuned.
While legislation to address TNReady woes has eased concerns in school communities, it's raised a flurry of new questions about Tennessee’s plan under ESSA.
Updated April 30, 2018
Tennessee online testing problems persist for third straight week
Issues included difficulties logging in, screens going blank, students getting booted off the online system, and trouble submitting their exams.
April 19, 2018
Tennessee lawmakers take matters into their own hands on TNReady testing problems
After more testing problems, the legislature votes to pull TNReady scores from this year’s accountability systems for students, teachers, schools, districts.
April 7, 2018
What’s next for Colorado schools ‘on the clock’? This bill would show the way
Colorado's school accountability law is silent about what should happen if students still aren’t learning in the years following state intervention.
good news in golden state
February 8, 2018
How new evidence bolsters the case for California’s education policy rebellion
In recent years, California has gone its own way on education policy, and recent evidence suggests it might be working.
January 22, 2018
Tennesseans are about to get their first good look at candidates for governor on education
Voters will get to hear from all but one of the major candidates Tuesday evening during the first gubernatorial forum televised statewide.
November 8, 2017
Colorado’s education commissioner signed off on 2017 school district quality ratings. Find yours here
The quality ratings help Colorado officials target federal dollars to help low performing school districts.
September 20, 2017
Indiana has a curious plan to sidestep federal rules — give schools two A-F grades next year.
Grades based on 2017 ISTEP tests that are set to come out next month, which schools have already seen, are not part of this change.
a failure of accountability
July 14, 2017
High-stakes testing may push struggling teachers to younger grades, hurting students
it’s a big problem when schools encourage their least effective teachers to work with their youngest students. And a new study says that the pressure of school accountability systems may be encouraging exactly that.
June 27, 2017
Tennessee’s ESSA plan gets solid marks in independent review
The state's proposed plan for school accountability rates strong on measuring academic progress, but weak on counting all kids, reviewers say.
April 5, 2017
Tennessee voucher bill stalls as lawmakers strip TNReady testing requirement
After sailing through several legislative panels, a school voucher bill stalls in a House committee for a second straight week.
March 30, 2017
For the first time, Tennessee school voucher advocates are pushing for TNReady in private schools. Here’s why.
If Tennessee private schools want to take advantage of public money that could soon be flowing their way, they might have to become…
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.
Updated 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.
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