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June 7, 2018
Fact checking the Colorado governor’s race: The truth behind 5 claims dividing Democratic contenders
As the Colorado Democratic primary nears, candidates for governor are using old education positions to highlight small policy differences.
'It's a new day'
May 25, 2018
In Newark, will homegrown change replace outsider-led reform?
After controversial reforms enacted by outsiders, Newark has chosen a homegrown leader. Can he create a new model of change?
All in a Name
April 14, 2018
Colorado Democrats overwhelmingly reject Democrats for Education Reform at state assembly
After booing down the head of the education reform organization, delegates voted overwhelmingly to call for the organization to no longer use “Democrats” in its name.
April 10, 2018
A decade of stagnation: Little progress on closely watched federal test, as big disparities persist
Scores on the exams known as the “nation’s report card” have barely budged over the last two years, new data show.
November 27, 2017
Jeb Bush, Betsy DeVos to rally education reformers this week at Nashville summit
The gathering of some 1,100 reform-minded players comes as efforts to reengineer education as a consumer choice have buoyed under the Trump administration.
September 11, 2017
I covered Tennessee’s ed beat for Chalkbeat. Here’s what I learned.
Reporter Grace Tatter shares six things about public education that she learned on the job at the Statehouse — and now takes with her to graduate school.
August 1, 2017
Tennessee voters want an education-minded governor in 2018, says new survey
The results come a year before the 2018 gubernatorial primaries, and the next leader will follow several governors who have sought to overhaul Tennessee's K-12 schools.
January 19, 2017
I’m an education reformer, and Betsy DeVos is going to kill our coalition. Here’s a game plan.
Our country’s Republican leadership is about to leave behind a technocratic agenda in favor of an ideological one. That really matters.
How many is too many?
November 2, 2016
Not all schools want the state telling them how to assess whether kids are ready for kindergarten. Here’s why.
The State Board of Education has granted scores of kindergarten readiness assessment waivers, worrying early childhood advocates and some board members too.
A different perspective
December 16, 2015
International education leader: Let U.S. teachers collaborate, learn from one another
Montserrat Gomendio of the OECD, the organization behind the international exams known as PISA, has a few tips for the U.S. education system.
April 23, 2015
As Tennessee lawmakers end session, did legislature ‘get education right?’
A recap of education legislation from the 109th Tennessee General Assembly
January 4, 2012
In annual address, Cuomo appoints himself students' lobbyist
Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivering the State of the State address in Albany today Students have a new representative in Albany: Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Right now, Cuomo is delivering his second State of the State address, titled "Building a New New York ... with you." Education issues account for one and a half of the speech's 33 pages of prepared remarks. As expected, the governor is calling for an education commission to propose reforms to the state's education system. That commission will look for ways to boost "teacher accountability and student achievement" and "management efficiency" — both topics Cuomo targeted during his first address a year ago — and will work with the legislature. He's also appointing himself chief lobbyist for students, calling them the only group in schools that don't employ lobbyists of their own. "This year, I will take a second job — consider me the lobbyist for the students," he says in the prepared remarks, which he has been known to depart from. "I will wage a campaign to put students first, and to remind us that the purpose of public education is to help children grow, not to grow the public education bureaucracy." Some educators are already taking umbrage at the idea that students' interests aren't being represented.
January 3, 2012
Fans of tougher evals urge Cuomo to press forward anyway
After the collapse of teacher evaluation negotiations in New York City and across the state, education reform groups are asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to install a "shot clock" on future talks. When the clock expires, a teacher evaluation system devised by the State Education Department would go into effect, according to the plan outlined in a letter signed by 13 reform organizations from across the state and country. The groups — which include Democrats for Education Reform and and StudentsFirst, Michelle Rhee's new lobbying outfit — argue both that more stringent evaluations are needed and that the state cannot afford to leave funding on the table during tough budget times. The state's teacher evaluation law, passed in 2010in order to secure Race to the Top funding, requires districts to adopt tougher evaluations when they renegotiate teachers contracts. But if they want to draw on several pools of federal funds, they have to finalize the new evaluations sooner. Dec. 31 was the deadline for one set of funds, School Improvement Grants. Another deadline, for Race to the Top funds, is coming on June 30. Now the reform groups want the state to set another deadline — Aug. 31 — and they want it to apply to all districts, not just ones seeking federal funding. The groups are suggesting to Cuomo that districts that haven't negotiated a plan by then would have to adopt a "default" plan and put it in place by the following year.
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” —…
March 15, 2010
The case for putting curriculum on a reform pedestal
While city education officials have made reforming teacher quality their first priority, others argue that by improving curriculum they could do more with less. In…
May 13, 2009
Mayoral control supporter says effects hard to quantify
A vocal supporter of mayoral control says that though he’s an economist, it’s tough for him to base his belief in the school governance structure on numbers. Marcus Winters, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research who has touted Mayor Bloomberg's school reforms in newspaper op/eds and academic papers, says mayoral control is the best way to govern schools because it provides more accountability for education reforms — but he can't prove that using test scores. “It makes me a little queasy to talk about researching positive effects of mayoral control,” Winters said today in a meeting with reporters about the governance structure. He said it’s “inappropriate” to draw a correlation between student performance and mayoral control because mayoral control is a broad governance structure, not a specific reform. “It’s really difficult to study because there’s a period before mayoral control and a period after, but other things have changed in the world besides mayoral control in that time,” he said.
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