Sir Albert Sloman (1921-2012) / Lord James of Rusholme (1909--1992)是兩位我敬佩的英國教育家. 我在2013年的書《珍重集：師友僑生‧譯藝獎‧留英追憶》(臺北:華人戴明學院，2013)中會介紹他們.
VALUE-ADDED RATINGS FOR SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS EXPLAINED IN VIDEO
Public radio's StateImpact Ohio, which collaborated with The Plain Dealer this summer on a three-day series about teacher ratings in Ohio, has posted a new video explaining the value-added measure as an addition to that series.
The video, which explains the basics of how the controversial measure of students' academic growth works, can be seen here.
FOR EDUCATION REFORM, TEACH TEACHERS DIFFERENTLY
Bill Maxwell writes this commentary in the Tampa Bay Times: During the next few weeks, America's public schools will reopen after summer vacation, and the debate about the quality of our teachers will resume. Negative headlines will hit front pages, and state lawmakers who disdain public school teachers will hatch new, ideologically driven quick fixes. It will be the same nasty debate in which teachers are portrayed as incompetent union-backed slackers and enemies of the children they are paid to instruct. I agree with earnest critics of the teaching profession that the way we educate and train our teachers should change and that we need to produce a better teacher corps. Many of our theories and practices are inherited from the 19th century, an industrial age, and should be scrapped. The encouraging news is that a serious movement to do just that is growing nationwide. Supported by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and many leading educators, the movement's goal is to change the traditional four-year bachelor's to a three-year degree specifically designed to produce effective public school teachers. More colleges of education are responding to decades of research showing that practice-based preparation dedicated to student achievement and led by expert educators is the key to turning out top-quality teachers.
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IN FOUR BOOKS, FOUR DIFFERENT VISIONS FOR FIXING HIGHER EDUCATION
Michael Lindgren writes this commentary in The Washington Post: In a famous episode of “The Sopranos,” Tony takes his teenage daughter on a college trip to an idyllic New England hamlet, only to run across a long-lost informant in hiding, whom he ends up garrotting in the mud while his daughter tours the picturesque ivy-and-brick campus. Those of us who have recently been on college visits may feel that Tony drew the easier assignment. Give me a choice between comparing financial aid proposals and fighting a bad guy to the death, and I’ll be asking you to pass me the wire. In my youth, the whole process was pretty laid-back. Where you went to college was an important decision, sure, but it didn’t inspire existential gloom, nor did it call into play financial and structural resources exceeding those of some European nations. If you didn’t get into one small, moderately prestigious liberal arts college, then another down the road would be sure to take you, and in 20 years it wouldn’t really matter which one, anyway. Of course, as I’m reminded — over and over and over again — it’s a different world today.
MASS. TIES COMMUNITY COLLEGE FUNDING TO RESULTS
Massachusetts has launched a new way of funding community colleges, for the first time tying a large portion of each college’s budget to its ability to improve graduation rates, meet the state’s workforce needs, and help more minority students thrive. The state’s move to so-called performance funding is one of the most ambitious in the nation; about half of each school’s allocation will hinge on such factors when it is fully phased in within a couple years. Every community college president endorsed the plan, a turnaround from less than two years ago when reform proposals from Governor Deval Patrick and others met with outrage among community college leaders. A $20 million boost in funding from the Legislature, after years of budget cuts, helped make the idea palatable, and no campus is losing money this year, so they have time to adjust to the new standards. The article is in The Boston Globe.
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NEW FIGURES SUGGEST COMMUNITY COLLEGE GRADUATION RATES HIGHER THAN THOUGHT
Community college administrators have long complained that their very, very low graduation rates unfairly fail to take into account students who transfer and continue on to earn degrees somewhere else. Now there are new figures backing them up. Of the estimated one in four students who start at community colleges and then move on to four-year institutions, more than 60 percent ultimately graduate, the National Student Clearinghouse reports. And another 8 percent who haven’t finished haven’t dropped out, the study says; they’re still enrolled. The article is in the Hechinger Report.
COMPETENCY BASED TRANSCRIPTS
Students who enroll in a new competency-based program at Northern Arizona University will earn a second transcript, which will describe their proficiency in the online bachelor degree’s required concepts. The university will also teach students how to share their “competency report” transcripts with potential employers. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
OBAMA NEEDS PUSH TO SHAKE UP HIGHER EDUCATION
Richard Vedder with the American Enterprise Institute offers a plan for higher education reform in a post from Bloomberg News. Vedder writes; “As students get ready to go to college this month, let me suggest ways to “shake up the system” and “tackle rising costs.” In doing so, I would point out that two things lead to higher prices: rising demand and falling supply. Any efficient solution to the explosion in college tuition and fees must either damp demand or increase supply.
MANY TEACHERS NEED COMMON CORE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Many teachers in states that have adopted the common standards have not had any professional development to help them adjust to the new expectations, a new study shows. The findings, based on a survey by the Center on Education Policy, which has been tracking common-core implementation, highlight the difficulty states face in reaching all their teachers to prepare them for the Common Core State Standards. The post is from the Curriculum Matters blog in Education Week.
DOES BLENDED LEARNING BOOST ALGEBRA SCORES?
As the field of ed-tech has grown, research around the efficacy of technology has been hard to come by. Part of the difficulty is finding accurate comparisons because schools, administrations, districts and student populations across the country have their own individual sets of criteria and challenges. A recent report by the RAND Corporation, in partnership with the Department of Education, tries to provide an objective overview of blended learning. RAND conducted a national two-year randomized trial to determine whether a blended learning curriculum developed by Carnegie Learning, Inc. had a positive effect on middle and high school algebra students. The report found that the curriculum, which included both instruction time on computers and in-person, improved high school performance by 8 percentile points. The post is from KQED.
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ALOOF IN ESEA RENEWAL PUSH
Not since passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 has Congress been so outwardly engaged in K-12 policy, yet most advocates remain pessimistic that there will be a new version of the flagship federal education law anytime soon. A big part of the reason: The Obama administration has little incentive to see a bill to revise the Elementary and Secondary Education Act advance in the current legislative climate, in which lawmakers seem more likely to erode, rather than support, the president’s policy priorities. Congress has been working on two highly partisan ESEA bills—one of which, the GOP-backed House measure, President Barack Obama has threatened to veto. The article is in Education Week.
ARE RACE-BASED GOALS IN EDUCATION HELPFUL?
While civil rights groups are critical of Florida's race-based education goals, the policy's defenders argue that it sets ambitious - but realistic - achievement targets. NPR’S Tell Me More host Michel Martin talks with Krista Kafer, chief of the policy group Colorado's Future Project.
NEW YORK FAILS COMMON CORE TESTS
The political fight over the Common Core academic standards rolling out in schools nationwide this fall is sure to intensify after New York reported Wednesday that students across the state failed miserably on new reading and math tests meant to reflect the more rigorous standards. Fewer than a third of students in public schools passed the new tests, officials reported. And, in a twist that could roil education policy, some highly touted charter schools flopped particularly badly. Other states are expected to face similar reckonings next year and in 2015, as they roll out new tests aligned to Common Core. Already, Kentucky has reported high failure rates on its Common Core tests. The article is in Politico.
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FAST ENOUGH ON TRANSFER IN CALIFORNIA?
For nearly three years California’s community colleges have been working with the California State University System to comply with a state law requiring guaranteed transfer pathways for graduates of the two-year institutions. Now some state lawmakers want to nudge the process along. Community colleges so far have created more than 800 new “associate degree for transfer” programs in 25 popular majors. While progress varies among the 112 colleges, over all the system is roughly halfway done developing the 1,654 degrees required by the ambitious legislation. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
MOOC REVOLUTION MIGHT NOT BE SO DISRUPTIVE AFTER ALL
"A medium where only self-motivated, Web-savvy people sign up, and the success rate is 10 percent, doesn't strike me quite yet as a solution to the problems of higher education," says Sebastian Thrun, of Udacity. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
INTEGRATING CTE, HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM DIDN’T HURT OR HELP MATH ACHIEVEMENT
Federal legislation has attempted to move career and technical education (CTE) from a segregated component of the high school curriculum to an integrated element that jointly improves both academic and career readiness. While this study found integrating CTE and the high school curriculum didn't hurt math achievement, the federal Perkins III act was an investment that emphasized academic "upscaling" of CTE courses with the hope that this would enhance rigor and bolster academic achievement. These expectations, at least at the time of the ELS:2002 study, did not materialize. This information can be found in the Education Commission of the States Research Studies Database.
SIX CALIFORNIA CITIES GET NCLB DELAY
School districts in San Francisco, Oakland and six other California cities were granted at least a one-year reprieve from the stringent requirements and severe sanctions of the federal No Child Left Behind law Tuesday, a waiver otherwise given only to states. The waiver, granted by the Obama administration, means the districts will no longer be required to label low-performing schools as failures and require that they make staffing or other changes in hopes of boosting test scores. The article is in the San Francisco Chronicle.
STATES’ COMMON CORE ‘TO DO’ LISTS
On the heels of its latest survey taking states' temperatures about the political environment surrounding the common core, the Center on Education Policy has released a report detailing how far along state education officials think they are in implementing the new English/language arts and math standards, and what they see as the biggest remaining challenges. Officials in 30 states told CEP that at least some of their schools and districts are already using curricula aligned to the Common Core State Standards. And those in 36 of the 39 states surveyed either "agreed" or "strongly agreed" with the idea that the new math standards require "substantially revised" curricula. (Officials in two states disagreed with that idea, and one wasn't sure.) In addition, 37 of the 40 responding agreed or strongly agreed that the ELA standard would require significantly different curricula than in the past. The post is from Education Week’s State Ed Watch blog.
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REGULATORY RECIPROCITY GETS BOOST FROM LUMINA
The Lumina Foundation has awarded a $2.3-million grant to a partnership of organizations hoping to create a single set of standards that states can use to regulate colleges—and especially their online offerings. The effort, led by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, is intended to establish “a quality-assurance process that’s unbound by state lines” and that will help students and institutions trust degrees and online programs from colleges in other states, according to the commission’s president, David A. Longanecker, who is a former assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
NO MORE DOUBLE SPENDING
College students likely spend hundreds of thousands of dollars extra per year on buying rights for digital versions of readings to which they have free access. Some college and university libraries have been attempting to rein in the duplicative charges, which stem from journal articles and other assigned readings that students are told to buy for class even though the material is freely available to them through library holdings. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
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STUDENTS WITH CREDENTIALS FARE BETTER AS TRANSFERS FROM COMMUNITY COLLEGES
Students who transfer from community colleges to four-year institutions having already earned either a certificate or an associate degree are more likely to make it to the finish line, especially if they plow straight through rather than take time off, according to a report released on Tuesday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The report is based on a study of the six-year outcomes of students who started at two-year colleges and transferred to four-year institutions during the 2005-6 academic year. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
NEW NGA CHAIR TO FOCUS ON EDUCATION, WORKFORCE TRAINING
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin announced Sunday that improving education and workforce training systems will be her focus during her one-year term as chairman of the National Governors Association. Fallin, the first governor from Oklahoma to head the nonpartisan group, unveiled her initiative after formally being named chairman during the association's meeting in Milwaukee. Fallin's initiative is called “America Works: Education and Training for Tomorrow's Jobs.” “Improving our workforce and ensuring it remains internationally competitive is an issue that calls for national attention and demands gubernatorial leadership,” said Fallin, only the third woman to serve as chairman of the governors' group. “Our future economic security will require significant improvements to our education system and workforce training programs. It also will require closer relationships among our high schools, colleges, workforce training providers and employers. The article is in the Oklahoman.
GETTING OUT OF A RUT
In more than four decades researching and writing about higher education policy, finance and management, University of Pennsylvania professor Robert Zemsky has touched on just about every corner of the higher education world.In his most recent book, A Checklist for Change: Making American Higher Education a Sustainable Enterprise (Rutgers University Press), Zemsky writes:“Those of us in higher education really are living in an Ecclesiastes moment – change may be happening all around us, but for the nation’s colleges and universities, there really is precious little that is new under the sun. For 30 years, the very thing that each wave of reformers has declared needed to be changed has remained constant.” The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
WASHINGTON POST CO. SELLS NEWSPAPER, KEEPS KAPLAN
Kaplan Inc., now makes up a larger portion of the Washington Post Company, which Monday announced the sale of The Washington Post for $250 million to Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com. Kaplan -- which includes Kaplan University, a test preparation division and other affiliates -- brought in $548 million of the Washington Post Company's $1 billion in revenue for the second quarter of this year, according to a corporate filing. While Kaplan's revenue was down slightly compared to last year, its operating revenue improved. Revenue for the newspaper division, which has been battered by circulation declines, was $138 million for the quarter. Its operating loss for the first six months of 2013 was $49 million. The information is from Inside Higher Ed's Quick Takes.
NASBE CONTINUES ASSISTANCE ON COMMON CORE
Arlington, VA — Even as most states work hard to implement the Common Core State Standards in math and English language arts, much remains to be done in the way of aligned assessments, educator support, and continued evaluation of the standards’ broader impact on other policies. The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) will continue to assist state boards as they deal with these and other issues linked to the Common Core under a two-year, $800,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
IPAD TRAINING FOR L.A. TEACHERS BEGINS THIS WEEK
Two months after the Los Angeles Unified School District's Board of education voted to spend $30 million to buy iPads for every teacher and student at 47 schools, the district began training those teachers on how to use them. "It’s so exciting for the students," said Jennifer Chang, an elementary school teacher. With the internet in their hands, there's no limit to what the students can research, she added. "The world is coming to them. It's going to make everything, I think, more efficient and faster." The piece ran on KPCC and its blog.
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EDUCATION BLOOMS, POST-RECESSION
Major innovations — forged by the struggles of the Great Recession and fostered by technology — are coming to higher education. Investment dollars are flooding in — a record-smashing 168 venture capital deals in the U.S. last year, according to the springtime conference’s host, GSV Advisors. The computing power of “the cloud” and “big data” are unleashing new software. Public officials, desperate to cut costs and measure results, are open to change. And everyone, it seems, is talking about MOOCs, the “Massive Open Online Courses” offered by elite universities and enrolling millions worldwide. The article is from the Associated Press. And appeared in the Standard Times.
OUR COMMUNITIES NEED MORE THAN ‘NARROWLY TAILORED’ SOLUTIONS
Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor blogs for The Huffington Post: "As we survey the environment following this summer's affirmative action ruling by the Supreme Court in Fisher v. Texas, we must not lose sight of the fact that as important as legal theorizing and statistical projections may be to navigating the societal landscape, there are real lives at stake every day -- in communities large and small all across our nation. So, at the risk of distracting us from devising appropriately "narrowly tailored" means for increasing diversity in higher education guided by the Fisher decision, I'd like to suggest we step back from our law books, databases, and spreadsheets and focus a moment."
OPEN ACCESS GAINS MAJOR SUPPORT IN CALIFORNIA
After years of discussion, the University of California's Academic Senate has adopted an open-access policy that will make research articles freely available to the public through eScholarship, California's open digital repository. The new policy, to be phased in over the next few months, applies to all 10 of the system's campuses and more than 8,000 tenured and tenure-track faculty members. It will affect as many as 40,000 research papers a year, the university said in a statement announcing the news. Faculty members can opt out or ask that their work be embargoed for a period of time, as many journal publishers require.vThe article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
TESTS LINKED TO COMMON CORE IN CRITICS' CROSS HAIRS
Having failed to persuade lawmakers in any state to repeal the Common Core State Standards outright, opponents are training their fire on the assessments being developed to go with the standards and due to be rolled out for the 2014-15 school year. They’re using as ammunition concerns about costs and the technology required for those tests, in addition to general political opposition to the common core. The article is in Education Week.
DUNCAN: WE HAVE TO GET BETTER, FASTER
“One generation ago we were first in college completion rates, and today we are 12th, and we have had many countries pass us by,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told Public Radio’s Here & Now. “Obviously in a world that’s shrinking and getting flatter, and with a globally competitive economy, jobs are going to go — high-wage, high-skill jobs, good middle-class jobs — are going to go to where the knowledge workers are. And I desperately want that to be in the United States. And so we have to stop being so complacent, we have to get better faster, and I would argue we have to get better at every level on the education continuum, from cradle to career.”
GROWTH OF TEACHER EVALUATION-SYSTEMS FUELS TECH COMPANY’S RISE
Teachscape, a privately owned company that provides online, video-based tools to help conduct classroom observations of teachers, continues to ride the wave of states and school districts seeking to implement and improve new teacher evaluation systems. The company, which already works in roughly 2,000 districts in 47 states, announced Thursday that it has been selected as an approved vendor on behalf of The Cooperative Purchasing Network, a national procurement co-op serving roughly 35,000 public agencies and nonprofits. The announcement means that it will now be easier and less expensive for many states, school districts, and charter schools to contract with Teachscape while meeting the requirements of competitive public procurement processes. The post is from Education Week’s Digital Education blog.