Michigan has raised standards for new teachers. Their teacher certification examination is more difficult. English, math and writing skills are set at the level expected for college bound high school students. Yet, the results of the first administration of the test are troubling.
Some of us believe in data. I usually do. They tell stories unless you read closely. Here is a story of two schools that seem to be the same, but one excelled in third grade reading and the other did not. None of the usual reasons apply.
It is time to read closely.
There is a bumble bee in the story that gives us hope. Hope matters.
Remember the post on Profit Trumps Public Interest? It was the one the National Council of State Legislatures put out on for-profit education management companies. We discovered that National Heritage Academies had some serious problems. Propublica published a follow-up article on the for-profit National Heritage Academies.
The Michigan State Board of Education has now asked the legislature to outlaw “sweep contracts” to for-profit companies, but the legislator did not listen. Continue reading
The National Council of State Legislatures should be commended for bringing together two people with very different views of charter school for-profit management. On the surface, the webinar: Charter School Networks: Does Profit Status Matter? seemed to be a reasonable, thoughtful discussion about management issues.
The discussion was polite. Responses to questions were forthcoming. The rationale for-profit status was discussed and management issues were raised. The fact that both for-profit and non-profit management companies have fiscal management problems was acknowledged. Yet, the meat of the topic was only alluded to.
If you want to really understand the issues, read on. Continue reading
After 15 years of school choice, have we learned how to help disadvantaged children? The achievement gap remains. A year of school produces a year’s worth of learning. Children who lack kindergarten readiness skills must somehow learn faster just to catch up. Yes, access to high quality preschool programs is needed, but for children already in school, is more school better? Continue reading
Charter Schools and High RentsContinue reading