The "fun" begins soon

A lot of changes have been legislated in education in recent years, and many of those changes due dates are almost upon us. Here is jus a sample of what we can expect and when, from Common Core and report cards to teacher evaluations.

click for large version

Next week we will begin to take a look at each of these and asses their merits and readiness.

"Education Reform" process must change

William Phillis, Via the mailbag

The recently adopted "education reform" process seems to follow these steps:

· State officials assume that any deficiencies in student test scores, behavior, work force readiness, college readiness, etc. are due to the lack of competence and dedication of boards of education, administrators, educators and staff in the public common school. (Of course, some of them believe poverty and home environment do not influence test scores, behaviors, etc.)

· State officials are provided model reform legislation by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and seek advice from corporate leaders and others not working in the public common school system. A token representation of public education personnel may also be consulted.

· "Reforms" such as the parent trigger, vouchers, charter schools, mayoral control of schools, appointed commissions to assume part of the functions of boards of education, tuition tax credits, third grade guarantee, high stakes testing, replacement of teachers and administrators in "failing schools", A-F report cards, etc. are enacted with the expectation that these quick fixes will work wonders.

· In all cases the local education community typically attempts to comply with the state's reforms.

· When local educators and administrators don't fully embrace these untested "reforms", they are considered to be stuck in their old ways, resistant to change and not fit for the position they hold.

· Some state officials attempt to intimidate those who don't "buy-in" to the ever changing "reform" ideas. Then local education personnel are told that they would buy-in if they really would take the time to understand the "reform." · When the "reform" measures don't produce extraordinary results, the local education personnel are to blame and thus the system should be farmed out to the private sector.

We'd just add that by the time corporate reform ideas are proven to be failures (such as NCLB) the politiciand responsible for them are long gone and educators are left to pick up the pieces.

Education News for 11-21-2012

State Education News

  • Graduation test to be subbed out (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Ohio will dump its high-school graduation test and replace it with a tougher college-readiness exam and a series of end-of-course tests…Read more…

  • State Educators To Replace Ohio Graduation Test With Course-Specific Exams (WBNS)
  • The Ohio Board of Regents, the State Board of Education and the Ohio Department of Education have agreed on a plan to replace the Ohio Graduation Test with college and career readiness tests.…Read more…

  • Ohio high school testing standards to be raised (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • Education leaders in Ohio have reached an agreement that will transform the current high-school testing system from minimal standards to a system of higher expectations that will clearly define college and career readiness for graduates.…Read more…

Local Education News

  • Cleveland schools set goal of topping other big-city districts by 2017 (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland school district aims to have state test scores by 2017 that would top those that all other big-city districts in Ohio have now.…Read more…

  • Community leaders launch effort to prepare students for high-skilled jobs (Dayton Daily News)
  • Hundreds of community leaders gathered Tuesday for Learn to Earn Dayton’s formal launch of a cradle-to-career educational initiative that aims to better prepare students for high-skilled jobs.…Read more…

  • Chardon School District to begin search for new superintendent (Willoughby News Herald)
  • The Chardon School District is moving ahead with its search for a new superintendent to take over for the 2013-14 school year.…Read more…

College Readiness

Much of the reasons given for policy changes to down grade schools has been as a consequence of a push to make students more "college ready" when they graduate. This, it is argued, means we have to have higher standards.

State leaders say it’s time to face the truth: Graduating from high school in Ohio doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready for college or a career.

That won’t do anymore, Gov. John Kasich and education officials say. So they’re overhauling the guidelines of what students should know, writing more challenging tests to assess what they’ve learned, forcing schools to revamp curriculum and grading schools on a tougher scale.

“The current system is letting kids down,” state Superintendent Stan Heffner said. Instead of focusing on getting students ready for college, it asks them to meet a minimum standard, a low bar, he said. “Let’s make sure they have a diploma worth owning.”

The entire Dispatch article is worth reading to get an idea of the scope of the changes expected to happen over the next year or two. Also worth reading is this new report from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, titled "College Readiness: A Guide to the Field".

In recent years, the education spotlight in the United States has shifted from focusing on high school graduation to postsecondary success. Acknowledging that to thrive in today’s economy requires more than just a high school diploma, policy-makers and practitioners at the local, state, and federal level, along with their community partners, have turned their attention to equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to enroll and succeed – without remediation – in a postsecondary program that leads to a degree (Conley 2007, 2011; Gates Foundation 2009). This shift in attention has been accompanied by a wealth of policies and initiatives aimed at preparing students to enter and succeed in college, including federal competitive grants programs, schoolwide reform initiatives, community-based education support structures, and many more. Over the past few years, the emergent field of college readiness has blossomed into an expansive effort involving multiple actors and spanning multiple sectors.

Considering the rapid emergence and growth of the field, as well as the numerous players involved, keeping abreast of relevant policies and initiatives is both a challenge and a necessity. A scan of the college readiness field can highlight successful strategies for increasing readiness, as well as gaps in research, policy, and practice, and can point to important roles for community, business, and phil- anthropic partners to play in developing a coordinated approach to college readiness.

Researchers at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University (AISR) have under- taken to develop a brief guide to this burgeoning field, as part of the College Readiness Indicator System (CRIS) initiative

Here's the report. It is quite brief and worth the time to read it, if college readiness is a subject area you are interested or involved with.

College Readiness: A Guide to the Field