Tag: Accountability

Personalized Diplomas Would Keep Education From Becoming An Effort Grade

In light of graduation scandals and state policy changes happening across the country, there’s a burning question right now among education circles: What does a high school diploma even mean anymore? Ideally, a high school diploma should suggest to universities, technical and community colleges, or employers that the graduate has been successfully prepared to transition to the next stage of…

Standards Can Help Fix Students’ Broken Moral Compass

A recent piece in The Atlantic, Students’ Broken Moral Compasses, describes a teacher’s attempt to help his students develop good character and learn morality and ethics. However, his arguments against the Common Core State Standards are unfounded. High academic standards free teachers and students from skill-and-drill sessions that deaden curiosity, and give students the opportunity to think independently, analyze reading…

Bring Student Voice Back To Kentucky

Although Kentucky has now dropped this practice, one informal factor of teacher evaluations used to come in the form of student voice surveys. The surveys were introduced back in 2013 as part of Kentucky’s new professional growth and evaluation system (PGES), designed to make sure that teachers are growing in their skills and being held to high standards. As the…

If You Want Great Schools, Build Great School Climates

Seeds don’t grow in bad soil. It doesn’t matter how much water or sunlight you give them or how much you drown them in Miracle-Gro. If you plant a seed in rocky soil, don’t expect much to happen. School climate — characterized by high expectations, positive relationships, student engagement, and more — is the soil that can make or break student performance.…

Kentucky’s ESSA Plan Was Just Approved. Here’s What That Means.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has just approved Kentucky’s new education plan under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). For Kentucky schools, that means new changes in accountability, school ratings, and student success are coming. Kentucky’s Interim Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis was optimistic about what the new plan means for Kentucky students. In a statement released May 7, Lewis said,…

This Is Why State Testing Matters

We’ve arrived at that point at the end of the school year where everyone and everything is moving at a frenetic pace, and if you didn’t know any better, you might think there was some sort of natural disaster about to nail your local public school. That’s right, it’s testing time. Thousands of Kentucky students are gearing up to take…

Minding The Gap: What ‘The Nation’s Report Card’ Says About Kentucky’s Schools And Ed Reform

The first time I had the opportunity to travel to London, I was taken aback by the speed and efficiency of the London Underground. Affectionately called the “Tube” by locals, London’s network of underground railways is actually the world’s oldest metro system. It may not be the cleanest form of transportation in the world, but it’s remarkably fast, punctual, and…

Illusion of ESSA Flexibility Fades as Federal Reviews Clarify Prescriptive Nature of New Education Law

In a recent speech she titled “Tough Love,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said states’ plans for holding schools accountable for progress in student achievement under the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) are not ambitious enough, lacking innovation, and not taking full advantage of the law’s flexibilities. While I am certain no state plan is perfect in…

We’re Kidding Ourselves If We Think 90 Percent of Teachers Are Effective

This post originally appeared with Education Post. Photo by US Dept. of Education, CC-Licensed. A while back I sat through a professional learning community (PLC) meeting where the other science teachers and I listened to a YouTube lecturer discussing strategies of “highly-effective teachers.” I was struck by that phrase, “highly effective.” What makes these teachers so effective? What does learning look like…

The US Is Falling Way Behind in STEM But Kentucky’s Powering the Comeback

Maybe you’re already aware, but the United States isn’t exactly globally competitive in science education. As of 2015, we ranked 24th out of 71 countries included in a major international study. If you’re only concerned with beating out countries like Kazakhstan and Albania, then I’ve got great news. If you want the U.S. to lead the world in science, a lot…

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