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Why School Boards Fail to Perform School boards are more or less invisible partners in education reform. Nancy Walser correctly notes that the role that school boards can play in school improvement tends to get overlooked. On the other hand, many boards fail to perform in the high-functioning manner of those that she studied.
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Know What You’re Doing Great consternation has greeted Secretary Arne Duncan's stated goal of turning around 5,000 of the country's lowest-performing schools over the next five years.
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The Need for a Moratorium on High-stakes Testing There is a growing movement in the US to abandon high-stakes tests because they don't work as anticipated and are costly. I agree, but hope that we don't throw out the need for accountability along with the high-stakes bathwater.
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The Race to the Top The U.S. Department of Education's proposed guidelines for awarding Race to the Top grants communicate a powerful message. States barring the use of student data in decisions about teacher and principal evaluation will not be eligible for funds.
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“What Greater Investment Can We Make?” Special Education and the Stimulus "Of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that Congress approved in February, nearly $100 billion is targeted to education, including hefty one-time increases of $10 billion and $11.3 billion for IDEA (special education) and Title I (high-poverty), respectively."
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Opening Doors to Postsecondary Education for More Students "With education headlines about my home state of California reading along the lines of, "LA Unified School District Cancels Bulk of Summer School Programs," (Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2009), it is inspiring to read headlines coming out of Colorado such as, "Bill Helps High Schoolers Go to College" (INDenver Times, April 13, 2009). Given the budget crises in states across the country, it is exciting that Colorado's policymakers are taking a forward-thinking view that paying a little extra now could have large pay-offs down the road."
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Not by Salaries Alone The Equity Project, a new school in New York City, garnered front-page attention in The New York Times recently by hiring eight teachers at an annual salary of $125,000 each. This will be 'a test,' the journalist asserted, of whether high salaries will attract 'superb teachers' and whether superb teachers will solve the problems of failing public schools.
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Is Assessment Literacy the "Magic Bullet"? Today's educators are being called on, almost hourly, to make important decisions hinging on the results of educational assessments. Yet, in many instances the educators making those assessment-dependent decisions are doing so without a genuine understanding of educational assessment. Clearly, something is wrong with this picture.
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Creativity in Crisis: The “Brain Drain” in American Schools "One often hears from the business world: "Jobs are going overseas, but America will stay strong because of its intellectual capital--its creative spirit." This is a strange remark given that we so rarely ask our students to think creatively."
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Education and Violent Political Conflict "Over the last decade, scholars in the field of international and comparative education have been increasingly concerned with the study of education and violent conflict, as reflected in the mounting efforts to mobilize publication, conferences, and symposia such as Harvard Educational Review's spring 2009 collection on education and violent political conflict."
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