SBOE Weekly Ed Links: 08-31-2018

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

Here’s our rundown of this week’s top education news and events in the District and around the country!

SBOE IN THE NEWS
Girls (Finally) Get Their Own School in Ward 8 | Afro (Markus)
Experts: State Test Scores Only One Measure of Student Progress | Afro (Karen)

NATIONAL
After Five Years, a Bold Set of Teacher-Prep Standards Still Faces Challenges | EdWeek
It has been five years this week since the teacher-preparation landscape was shaken up with the adoption of standards for accreditation that focused on evidence and outcomes, and teacher-training programs are still feeling the ripple effects.

Is Growth Mindset the Missing Piece in the Equity Discussion? | EdSurge
How does a school or district begin to tackle the seemingly insurmountable issue of equity? Decades of attempts at closing the persistent (and perhaps even widening) achievement gap, along with the knowledge that this is an immense and deeply historical issue to address, make it feel as if the task may be impossible.

Back to School by the Numbers: 2018 | EdWeek
Across the country, hallways and classrooms are full of activity as students head back to school for the 2018–19 academic year. Each year, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) compiles some back-to-school facts and figures that give a snapshot of our schools and colleges for the coming year.

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State Board in the Community: August 2018

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

This August, State Board members celebrated with students, parents, teachers and school leaders at back to school events around the District!

Ashley (At-Large) and Marjoury (Student Representative) shared ideas with the team at an Every Day Counts! Task Force meeting.

 

Laura (Ward 1) participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly modernized Bancroft Elementary School.

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SBOE Weekly Ed Links: 08-26-2018

By: Matt Repka, Policy Analyst

Here’s our rundown of this week’s top education news and events in the District and around the country!

SBOE IN THE NEWS
Karen Williams: School can be a warm, exciting place to be | The DC Line
A student’s voice | David Grosso
Meet Marjoury Alicea, SBOE’s bilingual student representative | DC Language Immersion Project

NATIONAL
How Do You Get Better Schools? Take the State to Court, More Advocates Say | The New York Times
A lawsuit alleges that Minnesota knowingly allowed towns and cities to set policies and zoning boundaries that led to segregated schools, lowering test scores and graduation rates for low-income and nonwhite children. Last month, the state’s Supreme Court ruled the suit could move forward, in a decision advocates across the country hailed as important.

Schools add laundromats to battle absenteeism | CBS News
At schools across the country, officials are tackling student absenteeism by focusing on a non-educational problem: a lack of access to laundry facilities.

Bills and Bulletproof Backpacks: Safety Measures For A New School Year | NPR
As students prepare to go back to school, more and more parents are thinking about school safety. A recent poll found 34 percent of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school.

Why School Spending Is So Unequal | Governing
Governing calculated per pupil current spending for all school districts in the nation with 100 students or more, using data from the Census Bureau’s 2016 Annual Survey of School System Finances. In most states, as in New Jersey, the top elementary-secondary school districts reported spending from two to six times more than those near the bottom.

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SBOE Weekly Ed Links: 08-17-2018

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

Check out our rundown of this week’s top education news and events in the District and around the country!

SBOE IN THE NEWS
Back to School: Time for All of Us to Get to Work! | Hill Rag

NATIONAL
Beyond Equality: Considerations for Equity in Schools | Eduwonk
Today, it’s become popular to extol the benefits of equity and to talk about virtually everything a school or district does as an equity activity. But in a world where almost everything is equity, how can we know if our individual efforts are working?

Closing the ‘Perception Gap’: With 3 in 5 Teachers Saying Students Are Not at Grade Level on First Day of School, New Digital Tool Offers Parents a ‘Readiness Check’ | 74
Most parents think their kids are ready for the next grade. In fact, 90 percent believe their child is academically on par with or above their peers in their grade.

Tennessee Department of Education Releases Report on Educator Diversity | TN DOE
Education Commissioner Candice McQueen today released a new report to provide insight on the racial and ethnic makeup of Tennessee’s student body and educator workforce, as well as outline where the department and districts across the state go from here. Additionally, for the first time, the department is releasing detailed demographic information by district to increase awareness and prompt further conversations.

Why Diversity Matters: Five Things We Know About How Black Students Benefit From Having Black Teachers | 74
Can an education profession overwhelmingly comprising whites and women effectively instruct surging numbers of pupils who do not resemble them? And if not, what can be done to introduce more diversity into the teaching ranks?

A Well-Rounded Education | CAP
Not that long ago, a high school diploma was a ticket to a middle-class job. Today, however, in too many states, earning a high school diploma might not even mean that students are eligible for college—let alone ready to succeed there.

The State of America’s Student-Teacher Racial Gap: Our Public School System Has Been Majority-Minority for Years, but 80 Percent of Teachers Are Still White | 74
Although America is becoming more diverse each year, and is expected to have a majority-minority population by 2044, the teaching force is not keeping up with the changing racial makeup of America’s children.

Teachers in the US are even more segregated than students | Brookings
An increasing amount of evidence shows that alignment in the racial or ethnic identity of teachers and students is associated with a range of positive student outcomes, from test scores to disciplinary actions to teacher expectations. Due to the underrepresentation of teachers of color in the current workforce, minority students stand to disproportionally benefit from efforts to increase teacher diversity.

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SBOE sees continued, but limited growth on PARCC test 

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By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

During a press conference held last evening at the newly-modernized Bancroft Elementary School, Mayor Muriel Bowser, with Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, Interim Deputy Mayor Ahnna Smith, State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang, Interim DC Public Schools Chancellor Dr. Amanda Alexander, DC Public Charter School Board Executive Director Scott Pearson, and Principal Arthur Mola from Bancroft Elementary School publicly announced results for the 2017-18 statewide Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams. Overall, the percentage of District students who are on track for the next grade level and to leave high school prepared for college and career increased since last year. The full results can be found here.

The SBOE is encouraged by the increases in scores for almost all students, but remains concerned about the enormous gaps that remain between students of color and white students. The District’s scores for high school math and students with disabilities are also of particular concern. Statewide, the proportion of students meeting or exceeding expectations on the PARCC has increased gradually in each of the last two years, and the District is up 5.5 points in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and 4.8 points in math over 2014-15 levels.

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SBOE Weekly Ed Links: 08-10-2018

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

Here’s our rundown of this week’s top education news and events in the District and around the country!

NATIONAL NEWS
New Teachers Are Often Assigned to High-Poverty Schools. Why Not Train Them There? | EdWeek

This fall, the Denver public schools are piloting a program aimed at training new teachers in the buildings where they are most likely to be assigned: the city’s high-poverty schools. The district is testing the strategy with six new “associate teachers” who will teach part-time and spend the remainder of their day observing master teachers in action and planning their own lessons.

Most Principals Like Their Jobs. Here’s What Makes Them Change Schools or Quit Altogether | EdWeek
Principals love their jobs, but some would ditch their current jobs immediately if a higher-paying gig came along, according to a new survey of the profession. Some 94 percent of principals say they are satisfied at their current schools.

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A Letter from the Ombudsman – Joyanna Smith

Dear Colleagues, Partners, and Friends,

After nearly five years, I am leaving the Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education. I have learned so much from my incredible colleagues at the State Board, charter schools and DCPS schools, advocacy partners, education organizations, and students and families.  With my colleagues, we were able to re-establish an office that supported thousands of families, the majority of which represent the most disenfranchised in our city, particularly in Wards 5, 7, and 8. Through the office, we have demonstrated that establishing trust and ensuring confidentiality between schools and families can result in positive outcomes for students.

In the Office of the Ombudsman, we addressed issues that were brought to our attention by providing direct intervention; we also addressed these same issues on the systemic level through our engagement with local, state, and national education leaders. Our office became a venue for parents, students, and families to have a real voice in addressing systemic inequities that are causing our children, particularly children of color, to fail.  We implemented a dispute resolution system with the vision that educational equity extends beyond formal equality and promotes a barrier free system in which students have the opportunity to benefit fully from their public school systems.

Our office’s work has been recognized nationally, and our recommendations have been implemented locally. Over the years, as the Education Ombudsman, I have observed positive changes in this city, and though a number of challenges remain, these changes indicate that disruption of inequitable systems is not only possible, it’s starting to happen every day.

I look forward to my new role as the DC Regional Director of Rocketship Public Schools as it gives me an opportunity to continue the important work of advancing educational equity by taking lessons learned through thousands of interactions with schools and families to promoting the growth of quality schools in Washington, DC.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as the second Education Ombudsman in DC.

Warmly,

Joyanna

Outgoing Ombudsman for Public Education

Louisiana’s Content Leader Initiative – A Guide to State Support of Local Education Agencies

By: Matt Repka, Policy Analyst

Educators and school leaders from across the state of Louisiana – and some guests from the District of Columbia – assembled in New Orleans last month to participate in four days of intensive professional development around English language arts (ELA) instruction and content. More than 300 educators participated in the ELA Content Leader training this year, a marked increase from 70 educators in the training’s inaugural summer one year ago. The Content Leader trainings were designed and led in partnership with SchoolKit and Teaching Lab.

The Content Leader Initiative is a project of the Louisiana Department of Education and its Louisiana Believes state plan. The purpose of the initiative is to train educators from across the state on a high-quality ELA curriculum that those educators can take back to their school districts, training other educators in their school or network in how to deliver the new materials. This is the second year of the initiative, which will take place across nine days of professional instruction over summer and fall 2018. The first four days took place last week, and the remaining five professional development days will be staggered throughout the fall. giving educators time to apply the new content and methods in their classrooms and obtain feedback and evidence to bring back to later professional development sessions.

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SBOE Weekly Ed Links: 08/03/2018

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

Check out our rundown of the top education news and events this week in the District and around the country!

SBOE QUOTED IN THE NEWS
The Progressive Happy Hour: Young People, Young Leaders | PFAW

NATIONAL NEWS
Major Changes Planned By Department Of Education | WAMU
The Education Department unveiled a plan to rewrite and roll back important rules that govern colleges and their accrediting agencies. The department says it wants to reduce obstacles to innovation, but critics worry this will lower school standards and hurt students.

How History Classes Helped Create a ‘Post-Truth’ America | The Atlantic
The author of Lies My Teacher Told Me discusses how schools’ flawed approach to teaching the country’s past affects its civic health.

Here’s some advice for CPS’ future Chief Equity Officer in year one | Chalkbeat
On Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education is expected to vote on CPS’ 2018-19 budget, which lists a new four-person Office of Equity as a $1 million line item. The board also plans to vote on a proposed revision to its student code of conduct to help address racial disparities in suspensions.

Teachers Weigh in on Pay, Safety, School Choice, and Evaluations in New Survey | EdWeek
In a year marked by teacher activism and demonstrations, educators are urging policymakers to listen to them. Now, a new survey details teachers’ opinions on more than a dozen education issues.

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#Ward5EduTownHall Recap

By: Dyvor Gibson, Administrative Support Specialist

On July 24, 2018, another town hall meeting was held in Ward 5 at the Lamont-Riggs Library in the District of Columbia. This was one of a series of meetings initiated on behalf of Councilmember (At Large) David Grosso where community members, parents, students, school administrators, and other stakeholders continued numerous conversations to weigh views and sentiments on specific subject matters presently impacting schools. The audience consisted roughly of 35 attendees in total. There were six student-led panelists during the meeting; one of which was our most recent State Board of Education (SBOE) Student Representative Tallya Rhodes – valedictorian and graduate of Woodson Senior High School.

The discussion centered on what a student’s “dream school” would look like, along with identifying roadblocks students encounter within the educational system that continue to spark debate. The discussion also included what forward-thinking solutions would resemble.

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