Mendota and Falk elementary schools have the highest rates of students transferring to other schools, according to a Madison School District report released Monday, while Lindbergh and Glendale elementary schools saw the highest rate of students transferring in.
About 34.4 percent of Mendota’s students, or 137, transferred to a school outside of that attendance area this school year — a designation the school has received in previous years. About 76 percent of the school’s students are economically disadvantaged, under federal guidelines.
About 30.8 percent of Falk students, or 104, transferred out, and it has a similar poverty rate. At Mendota 31 students transferred in, while 34 transferred to Falk.
Elementary schools that had the highest rates of students transferring in were Lindbergh and Glendale — both of which have poverty rates that match Mendota and Falk. About 32.6 percent of students at Lindbergh, or 71 , and 24.1 percent, or 105, of Glendale’s students transferred in this school year.
Nearly 30 percent of the students at the Nuestro Mundo dual-language immersion charter school transferred in.
Related: Madison’s 2009 and 2014 Enrollment Projections, dramatic demographic variation persists.
Madison Teachers, Inc.:
Shortly after 2:00 pm today, the WERC posted the recertification results on their webpage. All MTI bargaining units have successfully recertified in BIG NUMBERS! Over 85% of all eligible voters cast ballots in the recertification election. Of those who voted, over 98% voted to recertify.
In order to recertify, each union needed 51% of all eligible voters to cast a ballot in favor of recertification. Each MTI bargaining unit beat that requirement by over 20 percentage points, with the MTI Teacher unit leading the way with 88% of all eligible voters casting a ballot to recertify.
11.24.2014 Solidarity newsletter (PDF).
Massive open online courses, first envisioned as a way to democratize higher education, have made their way into high schools, but Washington is powerless to stop the flood of personal data about teenage students from flowing to private companies, thanks to loopholes in federal privacy laws.
Universities and private companies this fall unveiled a slew of free, open-access online courses to high school students, marketing them as a way for kids to supplement their Advanced Placement coursework or earn a certificate of completion for a college-level class.
But when middle and high school students participate in classes with names like “Mars: The Next Frontier” or “The Road to Selective College Admissions,” they may be unwittingly transmitting into private hands a torrent of data about their academic strengths and weaknesses, their learning styles and thought processes — even the way they approach challenges. They may also be handing over birth dates, addresses and even drivers license information. Their IP addresses, attendance and participation in public forums are all logged as well by the providers of the courses, commonly called MOOCs.
Google’s education privacy practices are worth a look.
Barry Garelick, via a kind email:
There are a variety of methods one can use to discipline students: detentions, referrals, sending the student outside of class, contacting the parents. I was confused about most of them and resisted using them. Lunch-time detentions were especially tricky because of a dual lunch schedule at my school. Because of the limited space for lunch there were two lunch periods for the two grades. This meant that during the eighth grade lunch period, I was teaching my fourth period class (pre-algebra).
The first person I ever referred was Peter in my fifth period algebra 1 class. He showed disrespect in a number of ways. He would sometimes say in a sarcastic Eddie-Haskell-like tone: “I think you made a mistake—oh but I know you’re a great teacher,” which would elicit knowing giggles from others. One time when he was particularly disruptive, I sent him outside which in this school meant outdoors. The school was a collection of modules—all classrooms opened to the outdoors. Sandra, another disrupter, waved to him on his way out and called “We love you, Peter.” He has a fan club, I thought—just what I need.
Her seat was next to the wall on the other side of which Peter now stood. She pounded on the wall to get his attention. I heard the pounding, and saw Peter’s head appear in the window as he jumped up to see what was going on. Not knowing the details of the event, I assumed wrongly that Peter had been doing the pounding. I got him back inside and gave him a referral. As I filled out the form, Peter protested and Sandra quickly confessed. “It was me who was pounding on the wall,” she said. I knew Sandra was telling the truth but I decided I had no time for details; the die had been cast. I needed an example. Plus, if the class thought I was acting irrationally or in error, then it was a signal that they better be quiet and not risk my irrational actions.
But Jeanne Williams, past president of the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and chair of the educational studies department at Ripon College, said the state is already preparing to release educator preparation program report cards, in accordance with a state law passed in recent years to strengthen teacher training.
Those will report graduates’ pass rates on required licensure exams and provide data about where graduates get employed.
Williams did not agree with using test scores of students taught by the new teachers to review their programs that trained them.
She said several studies had shown that using student test data to evaluate teacher preparation programs is “not valid or reliable because of the numerous intervening variables that can affect student performance,” such as poverty, school climate and rates of teacher turnover in a school.
National Council on Teacher Quality reviews and ranks teacher preparation programs.
When A stands for average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education receive sky high grades. How smart is that?
Viktor Mayer-Schönberger & Kenneth Cukier:
A decade ago, as a 22-year-old grad student, von Ahn helped create something called CAPTCHAs—squiggly text that people have to type into websites in order to sign up for things like free email. Doing so proves that they are humans and not spambots. An upgraded version (called reCAPTCHA) that von Ahn sold to Google had people type distorted text that wasn’t just invented for the purpose, but came from Google’s book-scanning project, which a computer couldn’t decipher. It was a beautiful way to serve two goals with a single piece of data: register for things online, and decrypt words at the same time. Since then, von Ahn, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has looked for other “twofers”—ways to get people to supply bits of data that can serve two purposes. He devised it in a startup that he launched in 2012 called Duolingo. The site and smartphone app help people learn foreign languages—something he can empathize with, having learned English as a young child in Guatemala. But the instruction happens in a very clever way.
The company has people translate texts in small phrases at a time, or evaluate and fix other people’s translations. Instead of presenting invented phrases, as is typical for translation software, Duolingo presents real sentences from documents that need translation, for which the company gets paid. After enough students have independently translated or verified a particular phrase, the system accepts it—and compiles all the discrete sentences into a complete document. Among its customers are media companies such as CNN and BuzzFeed, which use it to translate their content in foreign markets. Like reCAPTCHA, Duolingo is a delightful “twin-win”: students get free foreign language instruction while producing something of economic value in return.
When a national search attracted only a few new candidates, Casa Grande administrators hired a consulting agency to search for teachers overseas.
Avenida International Consultants gave administrators videos of candidates from the Philippines teaching in classrooms. Administrators then conducted interviews with the candidates via Skype to assess their skills and English-language abilities. Goodsell hired 11 math and science teachers, who relocated and started work this fall.
“We’re very pleased in regard to who we’ve been able to attract to our small district,” Goodsell says. “The teachers have done a great service for our kids and community.” All of the Filipino teachers have bachelor’s degrees, and many have master’s degrees and are working on doctorates in the subject they are teaching, he adds.
Math and science
U.S. schools have hired teachers from abroad for decades. But as baby boomers retire and school enrollment steadily increases, more districts are searching internationally to find candidates for difficult-to-fill math and science positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that districts will need to hire nearly half a million teachers by the end of the decade.
Teacher education: easy 80s.
2009 AFT Report.
Nelson Schwartz & Patricia Cohen:
For nearly 20 years, Darrell Eberhardt worked in an Ohio factory putting together wheelchairs, earning $18.50 an hour, enough to gain a toehold in the middle class and feel respected at work.
He is still working with his hands, assembling seats for Chevrolet Cruze cars at the Camaco auto parts factory in Lorain, Ohio, but now he makes $10.50 an hour and is barely hanging on. “I’d like to earn more,” said Mr. Eberhardt, who is 49 and went back to school a few years ago to earn an associate’s degree. “But the chances of finding something like I used to have are slim to none.”
Related: Ongoing Madison Property Tax Increases: “delinquencies 30% higher than we expect”.
Having previously agreed with Governor Brown not to raise tuition for three years ending in spring 2016, the UC Regents have now unilaterally broken the agreement. Give UC more funds, the Regents say, or we’ll raise tuition 5% in 2015–and another 5% a year for at least four years after that. While the Regents claim to negotiate on behalf of those who use the university–students, staff and faculty–their new gambit instead shows the difference between the Regents and higher Administration, on one hand, and “those who use” the university on the other. For organizations like the unions and faculty associations would of course like more funds from the legislature, too. But those groups aren’t demanding that students pay up if the legislature doesn’t. To them, it’s obvious that another tuition increase wouldn’t help California students, and that it’s counterproductive to threaten to do something counterproductive. Contrary to UCOP’s PR campaigns in favor of a “return to aid funding model” (high tuition, high aid), student debt has been rising during this period of “high aid.” It’s been shown that when working class students have to use up their Pell grants on high tuition, they wind up working longer hours and going into tens of thousands of dollars of debt for housing and living expenses. Yet this is what the Regents are willing to bring about. And Mary Gilly, the chair of the Faculty Senate, lines the Senate up behind the administration more plainly than ever by calling the tuition increase an “unfortunate” but “good option.”
In many ways the tuition increase proposal looks more like an intent than a coercion tactic. More state funding “is probably not likely,” Gilly notes (ibid.). UCOP has already developed a strategy for justifying the increases regardless of their pressure-value: (1) they could be worse, being “not . . . more than 5%” a year; (2) they would feed the “return to aid funding model” (according to an email sent to staff on Friday by Michelle Whittingham, Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management at UCSC); and (3) they would offer “predictability.” UCOP’s press release euphemizes the raise by calling it a “stability plan.” But stability, predictability and not-being-more than 27% (at the end of the period, tuition would be 27% over its current base) are all empty qualities that drain the increase of its positive content, which is, obviously, revenue on the backs of students. A 5% increase will pay more than 4% a year from the legislature, even after return-to-aid. If that wasn’t so the increase could not be proposed at all. At the same time, as Michael Meranze observes, “UCOP’s proposal actually leaves open the possibility of up to a 9% tuition increase” if Governor Brown is uncooperative–and that would have the most point of all. Technically, no ceiling for this scenario is mentioned in UCOP’s announcement. Its language is: “tuition would not increase by more than 5 percent annually for five years, provided the state maintains its current investment commitment” (my italics). And so finally, even “predictability” is erased, since UCOP’s statement merely says that it will be there unless it’s not.
UCOP’s Failed Funding Model
The first thing to say about the UC’s five-year plan to raise tuition 5% each year is that it is neither predictable nor logical. President Napolitano has said on several occasions that students need this plan so they can predict and plan for tuition increases, but she has also said that the 5% tuition increase is contingent on the state increasing UC’s funding by 4% each year. I have asked several UCOP officials, what happens if Governor Brown keeps his promise of only giving 4% if the UC freezes tuition? The only coherent response I have gotten to this question is that UC will be forced to increase the number of non-resident students and decrease the number of students from California.
Before we get to the question of non-resident tuition, we have to realize that several things may happen that make UCOP’s tuition plan anything but predictable: 1) the state eliminates its 4% increase and UC raises tuition by 5%, and thus gets a 1% gain for all of its efforts; 2) the state eliminates its 4%, and UC raises tuition 9%; 3) the state keeps the 4% increase and UC raises tuition 5%; 4) the states decides to increase its contribution beyond 4% and UC decreases its tuition increase by the same amount. So tuition may go up in the next five years, anywhere from 0% to 53% or even higher if there is another fiscal crisis. Making matters more complicated is that this negotiation has to happen every year for five years, and no one has asked what happens if there is another budget crisis, and the state cuts UC funding? So the first problem with the sustainable five-year plan is that it is neither logical, nor predictable, nor long-term.
In the decades after the Industrial Revolution, educational reformers led the effort to modernise schools and classroom spaces, and the ubiquitous one-room schoolhouse gradually gave way to bigger and more sophisticated designs. Scholars such as Lindsay Baker at the University of California, Berkeley have traced the subsequent history of these school designs, and have noted the surprising ebb and flow of attention to details such as indoor air quality and access to daylight.
This article explores some school designs from across these decades in the USA and Europe.
Related: Frederick Taylor.
Education Should be Free:
The UC administration wraps its tentacles around all of our lives. And it has established many nodes from which to strangle us; Kerr Hall is only one hub of a much larger amorphous beast. Given this fact, students had a lot of options when we began considering an occupation. How, then, did we choose this particular administrative base of operations, Humanities 2, for our action?
In fact, it is not a difficult question, and everyone here is clear on the answer: this building houses the office of a particularly smarmy figure, one Dean Sheldon Kamieniecki—a perversely enthusiastic agent of austerity. This person was responsible for slashing whole departments as soon as he got the chance, Community Studies being one notable example. Most recently, he tried to sack five or six Social Science staffers last year, most of whom make roughly $40,000, and who, as any student can tell you, are absolutely indispensable to the day-to-day functioning of the university and central to the academic lives of students. Kamieniecki himself made $206,000 last year, and nobody knows what he does.
Smarick said Catholic leaders have a choice: “Keep doing the things we’ve been doing that have led to our slow demise consistently for half a century. Or open your minds and do thing differently. We’re starting to see on the horizon sunlight for the very first time.”
He said some church leaders are too resistant to change. “It was time for the milkman to go away. It was time for trains to get replaced by airplanes. Progress sometimes is progress,” he said. “And that means breaking eggs sometimes to make omelets. So I’m bullish about the possibility of young entrepreneurs and related laity in these systems saying we have to try things differently, and that means replacing yesterday’s Catholic schools with a new breed of Catholic schools.”
Smarick offered three areas that need to change: ”Straight up transparency and accountability” that makes very clear how a school is doing when it comes to outcomes for students; an understanding of the changing landscape of educational options for parents so that Catholic schools are ones more parents choose for their children; and unleashing more “entrepreneurialism” among those who want to run or work in Catholic schools.
Smarick and Porter-Magee both said that many talented young Catholic educators are going to work in charter schools rather than Catholic schools because their freedom to pursue fresh ways to get better results was much greater. Smarick said he was encouraged by what is unfolding in cities around the country where an “analog” to charter schools is arising for Catholic education.
From the “Conference on the future of Catholic K-12 education“.
The Madison School District recently published a brief K-12 enrollment history (2010- PDF) along with a look at school capacities (PDF).
Happily, a similar 2009 document is available here (PDF). This document includes 18 years of history, to 1990.
Yet, the District and community have long tolerated wide variation in demographics across the schools.
Tap for a larger version.
I found it interesting that a number of schools are well below capacity. Cherokee middle school is at 74% of capacity while nearby Hamilton is at 106%. Hamilton’s free and reduced lunch population is just 18% while Cherokee’s is 60% (!) Details.
The District is planning to raise property taxes via a spring, 2015 referendum. Said referendum, if passed would expand Hamilton Middle School (“four additional classrooms”), among others. This is quite remarkable with available capacity at nearby Cherokee.
Richard Adams and Sally Weale:
The head teacher of the Church of England school in east London at the centre of a fresh controversy over alleged Islamic extremism, has expressed surprise at the Ofsted inspection findings that sent his school into special measures.
The Sir John Cass Foundation and Red Coat Church of England secondary, and a group of independent Muslim faith schools in Tower Hamlets, will be criticised by Ofsted over safeguarding concerns, following snap visits by the schools inspectorate in the wake of the “Trojan horse” affair in Birmingham.
The only maintained school involved, Sir John Cass, in Stepney, is to be downgraded from outstanding to Ofsted’s lowest rating of inadequate, primarily over Facebook activity by sixth formers linked to extremist material, and existing segregation between boys and girls in school areas.
Haydn Evans, the school’s headteacher since 1995, said: “We are surprised by the outcome of the Ofsted inspection, as we have always taken safeguarding very seriously. The teaching and results of this school remain good, which they have been since 1999, and my priority now is to address the issues that have been identified and work closely with the local authority and the diocese to return the school as quickly as possible to an outstanding school.”
The arrival of Thanksgiving means local homeowners will soon see their annual property tax bills. The chart below compares Madison area homes sold in 2012, ranging in price from $239,900 to $255,000
Tap to view a larger version. Excel. A Middleton home’s property tax burden is about 13% less than a similar property in Madison (based on 2012 sales and 2013 assessments and payments). The Madison home noted in this analysis was assessed $1100 higher than the Middleton property. Taxes, spending growth and academic achievement over time are surely worth a much deeper dive.
SIS notes and links on Madison area property taxes.
Property Taxes around the World. Madison’s 16% increase since 2007; Median Household Income down 7.6%; Middleton’s 16% Less.
Worth reading: Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance:
The property tax is Wisconsin’s largest, oldest, and most confusing tax. At least five governments use the tax, and two different methods of valuing property are used to distribute taxes among property owners. One source of confusion arises when tax rates and levies move in opposite directions, a common occurrence over the past 20 years. In addition, property owners are often unaware of how changing property values, both within a municipality and among municipalities, can cause individual property tax bills to rise, even when levies are “frozen.”
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin:”(Property Tax) Delinquencies 30% more than we expect“.
Spending and adult employment.
Property tax growth (along with other tax sources) is a manifestation of the challenges we see in our k-12 school districts.
New York State saw a significant drop in the number of candidates who passed teacher certification tests last year as tougher exams were introduced, state officials said on Wednesday, portraying the results as a long-needed move to raise the level of teaching and the performance of teacher preparation schools.
In the 2013-14 school year, 11,843 teachers earned their certification in New York, a drop of about 20 percent from the previous two years.
Candidates without certification cannot teach in public schools, and education schools with high failure rates may eventually lose their accreditation.
Related: a Wisconsin MTEL “toe dip”.
By Emanuella Grinberg, Jamie Gumbrecht and Thom Patterson:
Enter community colleges. They provide technical programs for emerging careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics that are comparable to — if not better than — some of their four-year counterparts, at a fraction of the cost. Often, they’re the launchpad to baccalaureate programs for people without the time, money or academic skills to jump into a four-year program straight out of high school.
And as part of the American Association of Community Colleges’ 21st Century Initiative, they’re updating their missions and nimbly shifting to serve the economy of the future.
Here are some of the ways they’re facing problems that weigh down all of higher education — and succeeding.
Madison Teachers, Inc. Newsletter, via a kind Jeannie Kamholtz email (PDF)::
Though federal and state governments are obligated to provide free public education, both fail to fully fund their financial mandates. While every child in America deserves a quality public education, the failure of federal and state governments, and the state usurping the authority of local school boards to adequately fund their schools, has placed American education in a very difficult situation over the last several decades. America must provide students with quality public schools so that the next generation can grow, prosper, and achieve. NEA’s American Education Week (www.nea.org/aew) presents all Americans with an opportunity to honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education for the nation’s 50 million students.
Aware of such research, Green circles back to the education schools, where a zealous coterie of scholars has been trying to identify and inculcate the “habits of mind” that define the disciplines. They tend to follow the work of Stanford University’s Lee Shulman, who coined the term “pedagogical content knowledge” to describe the intellectual apparatus that you need to teach a given subject. I am a full professor at a major research university, but I could not, without much preparation, teach high school chemistry. I could, of course, require my students to memorize the periodic table of elements. But I couldn’t teach the discipline, because I don’t understand its history or structure: how it developed over time, what it has discovered, what is left to know, and what counts as “knowledge” in the first place. These are hugely complicated questions, usually reserved for graduate study in the disciplines themselves. But unless you understand how a discipline actually works, you won’t be able to help anyone else understand it, either.
And that brings us to the saddest fact of all: most of our teachers don’t possess a deep working knowledge of any discipline, at least not in the way that good teaching demands. Perhaps the teachers of very small children do not need the same mastery of a discipline as their counterparts in middle and high schools. But surely they need a deep and theoretically sophisticated understanding of the ways that children learn. Even the teaching of so-called simple arithmetic turns out to be an immensely complicated endeavor, but most of our teachers do not treat it as such. Part of that failing has to do with the lack of constructive collaboration inside our schools, where teachers work almost entirely in isolation.
By contrast, many other advanced countries have institutionalized critical commentary by peers and also provide intellectual support to improve skills and learning as part of teachers’ professional practice. Japanese teachers even have a separate word for this process, jugyokenkyu, which is built into their weekly routines. All teachers have designated periods to observe each other’s classes, study curriculum, and otherwise hone their craft. But they also learn a great deal in their pre-service training, which is both more rigorous and more demanding concerning particular subject matter than anything American teacher-education students are likely to encounter.
When a stands for average.
Madison property owners will soon be able to pay their taxes in four installments, beginning with the 2014 tax bill coming in December.
The Mayor’s Office said on Tuesday the four-payment plan could help taxpayers avoid penalties by spreading out the taxes owed over a seven-month period.
“At the height of the recession, the city’s delinquency rate was over twice the historical average,” said Mayor Paul Soglin in a news release.
“Even today, delinquencies are 30 percent more than what we would expect,” Soglin said. “We hope offering the four installment option will help some of our property owners avoid the considerable penalties incurred when you go delinquent on their taxes.”
Taxpayers up to now had two options in Madison: Pay the full amount by Jan. 31, or in two installments, due Jan. 31 and July 31 (the two installment plan will no longer be used.)
Madison / Dane County property taxes among the highest in Wisconsin.
25% of the Madison School District’s 2014-2015 $402,464,374 budget spent on benefits.
Middleton’s property taxes are 16% lower than Madison’s for a similar home.
With research showing language gaps between the children of affluent parents and those from low-income families emerging at an early age, educators have puzzled over how best to reach parents and guide them to do things like read to their children and talk to them regularly.
A new study shows that mobile technology may offer a cheap and effective solution. The research, released by the National Bureau of Economic Research this month, found that preschoolers whose parents received text messages with brief tips on reading to their children or helping them sound out letters and words performed better on literacy tests than children whose parents did not receive such messages.
Pediatricians are now advising parents to read daily to their children from birth. Some communities are developing academic curriculums for home visitors to share with parents of babies and toddlers, while other groups are mounting public information campaigns for parents on the importance of talking, reading and singing.
Related: Madison’s disastrous long term reading results.
Of course, public schools officials will never accept a rating system that includes a failing-grade option; some things are OK for students, but not for the people who educate them.
None of these initiatives is any older than 2011, when Republicans took over complete control of the state government, but parents have been voting against the Madison district — with their feet — since they were first allowed to in 1998.
The open enrollment program was included in the 1997 state budget bill and allows parents to enroll their children in any public school district that has the space.
In the years since, the Madison district has never seen more students coming in than going out. In the current school year, 1,203 children living within the district’s boundaries opted to go to other districts, according to a district report. Another 372 opted to come into Madison from other districts.
A 2009 survey of families who took advantage of the open enrollment program to leave Madison found that 61 percent of parents pointed to environmental problems with Madison schools as among the reasons they left. Overcrowded classrooms, bullying and poor communication were among the specific complaints.
Notes and links on Madison’s open enrollment history, here.
Dropout Nation, via a kind reader:
Yesterday’s revelation by Washington Free Beacon of documents detailing how secretive progressive outfit Democracy Alliance coordinated its unsuccessful efforts to elect Democratic candidates during this year’s election cycle have certainly stirred discussion. After all, for all the carping of progressive groups (especially education traditionalists) this year over the role of David and Charles Koch in financing political campaigns, the report by Lachlan Markey show that they are also far too willing to leverage money in their campaigning — and even go around campaign finance laws to do so. This includes the Democracy Alliance members working with Catalist LLC, the data hub for the Democratic National Committee, to use the party’s donor and voter data to quietly coordinate their efforts.
Yet school reformers should pay great heed to Markey’s report as well as to the documents revealed. Why? Because they also offer a guide on how the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers are co-opting progressive groups in order to defend their declining influence over education policy.
As Dropout Nation readers know by now, the NEA and AFT have long been key donors to progressive outfits willing to do their bidding. In 2013-2014 alone, the AFT gave $25,000 each to Progressive States Network, Progress Michigan, and Netroots Nation, while handing out another $60,000 to Center for Popular Democracy’s Action Fund, which has campaigned against the expansion of charter schools and so-called “privatization” of American public education. In 2012-2013, NEA contributed $332,000 to Progress Now; $100,000 to Progressive States Action, an affiliate of the Progressive States Network; and and $30,000 to the Leadership Center for the Common Good Action Fund, one of the now-defunct ACORN’s many spinoffs.
National Council on Teacher Quality:
Using evidence from more than 500 colleges and universities producing nearly half of the nation’s new teachers annually, this report answers two questions that go to the heart of whether the demands of teacher preparation are well matched to the demands of the classroom: Are teacher candidates graded too easily, misleading them about their readiness to teach? Are teacher preparation programs providing sufficiently rigorous training, or does the approach to training drive higher grades?
Complete report (PDF).
Related: When A Stands for Average. Students at the UW-Madison School of Education receive sky high grades. How smart is that?
NCTQ notes and links.
Exploring the effects of high grades (PDF):
In addition to their failure to signal learning, awarding consistently high grades may, in fact, impede learning. As a Princeton University committee on reducing grade inflation reported: “Grading done without careful calibration and discrimination is, if nothing else, uninformative and therefore not useful; at worst, it actively discourages students from rising to the challenge to do their best work.”3
Several studies find that expected high grades are associated with reduced student effort, likely leading to decreased student learning. One study found that students spend about 50 percent less time studying when they expect that the average grade in a course will be an A versus a C.4 Similarly, a study of students’ expectations (rather than behavior) found that students expected to study more (and for the class to generally earn lower grades) in more difficult courses.5 On the other hand, higher standards may not lead to greater academic perserverance: A longitudinal study that followed high school students for more than a decade found that higher standards for coursework were associated with higher test scores, although not with higher educational attainment.6
NCTQ compares the States on teacher preparation requirements.
There are 1,203 students living within the Madison School District’s boundaries who have enrolled in other school districts this school year — about 62 more than last year. The number of students from other districts who enrolled in Madison schools is 372, up by about 73.
The net effect is a loss of 831 students, which is down from 842 last school year.
Wisconsin is one of 22 states that allow open enrollment, under which students can enroll in other public school districts than the one in which they reside if the receiving district has room for them.
School districts gaining students receive a share of the students’ home district’s state aid to help pay for educating that student.
The Madison School District will lose about $5.7 million in state aid this school year because of open enrollment, the report said.
The report also noted that of the 1,203 students who are currently enrolled in another district, 356 are students who open enrolled in another district for the first time this school year — a 22 student decrease from a peak during the 2012-13 school year. The rest are students who were previously open enrolled in another district.
Much more on Open Enrollment, here and here.
Open enrollment leavers survey. More.
Madison Teachers, Inc. Newsletter, via a kind Jeannie Kamholtz email (PDF):
Among the many things MTI has accomplished for its members is the advancement of rights for females.
Early in the Union’s history was MTI’s achievement of equal pay. MTI negotiated a salary schedule which recognized that the value of the work of an elementary teacher, where almost all were female in the 1960s & 1970s, is as valuable as that of a high school teacher of advanced placement physics.
The salary schedule negotiated by MTI recognizes that the task each teacher faces is about the same and the economic reward should be as well. Given this, MTI’s negotiations did away with the School Board’s created “head of household” additive pay – which went to male teachers in those days; and MTI negotiated a salary schedule which treats all teachers equally. That salary schedule proposed by MTI in the late 1960s, while periodically improved, remains in the Collective Bargaining Agreement today. The right to equal pay for equal work was extended to those in all MTI bargaining units through negotiations.
Also, in the 1960’s and early 1970s, School Board policy stated that a female employee had to “immediately notify her supervisor upon becoming pregnant” and resign when the “pregnancy began showing.” This meant a loss of income until the individual was rehired – which did not always occur – as well as a reduction in Social Security and Wisconsin Retirement System benefits, due to the lost wages.
Josh Dawsey & Sharon Terlep:
Inside the Sayreville War Memorial High School locker room where prosecutors say younger football players were sexually abused as part of hazing rituals, older students ran the show. Adults rarely visited, according to former and current players.
At high schools across the country, adult-free locker rooms aren’t uncommon. And Sayreville’s is far from the first to become an alleged crime scene. From Vermont and California to New York and Indiana, largely unsupervised athletes have allegedly engaged in incidents of locker-room impropriety serious enough to result in criminal charges.
But the solution isn’t as simple as it may sound. In many cases, lack of adult supervision reflects administrative fear that grown-ups in the locker room could prey on children or face accusations to that effect, say some coaches and experts. Stationing adults in kids’ locker rooms “could bring a different set of issues or accusations,” said Chris Sampson, superintendent of an Indianapolis-area district embroiled in its own locker-room-related scandal.
In the wake of cases such as Sayreville, where seven older students face juvenile criminal charges of assaulting younger students, some victims, experts and school administrators are calling for rules requiring stricter supervision. The locker room is where students are most vulnerable, they say, making it the last place that supervisors ought to ignore.