Betsy DeVos Approves Testing Flexibility Under ESSA for Two More States

EDUCATION WEEK — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that she had approved Georgia and North Carolina to try out new assessment methods for the 2019-20 school year, joining Louisiana and New Hampshire as states to successfully apply to participate in this pilot.

COMMENTARY: Financial Literacy Transforms Students’ Lives. Here’s Where to Start

EDUCATION WEEK: In 2013, the Council for Economic Education (CEE) released a set of rigorous national standards for financial literacy that offer a starting point for elementary, middle, and high school educators to create a meaningful curriculum with the flexibility to determine what works best in their own school day. Schools should also tailor their curriculum to account for cultural differences in the classroom, as well as the specific learning styles of girls versus boys.

DeVos Seeks to Align Education Grants With Trump-Backed Economic Initiative

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wants to put a priority on competitive grants that square with the Trump administration's initiative to improve economic opportunities in distressed areas. In the Federal Register,...

No More Scissors. No More Mail. Box Tops for Schools Goes Digital

General Mills, which founded the program 23 years ago, announced that the program will soon be digital-only. Customers now earn money for their schools by scanning receipts rather than clipping box tops and mailing them in. Participants can download the new mobile app, scan their store receipt, which will automatically analyze which products were box-tops items and tabulate the amount that will be donated to their school of choice. Every box top will still be worth 10 cents.

ESSA: Every Student Succeeds Act

Video explaining the evolution, benefits and implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Educator Spotlight: Donald Hense

Three-quarters of the students enrolled in Friendship schools in D.C. are from Wards 7 and 8, the city’s two poorest areas, and nearly all are African-American. Their achievement is reflected in their continuous improvement on standardized tests. Most recently, Donald Hense and his team celebrated, when five of Friendship’s 12 D.C. schools were rated Tier 1 by the Public Charter School Board – the highest of three ratings a charter school can earn.

States Hunt for Evidence to Underpin School Turnaround Efforts

EDUCATION WEEK — Allendale County’s school district sits in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, in an impoverished, rural region near the coast known as the “corridor of shame” for the chronic poor quality of its education system. Until recently, three of the district’s four schools were considered among the lowest performing in the state.

ESSA’s Growing Pains Evident Amid Progress

EDUCATION WEEK — If the Every Student Succeeds Act were a schoolchild, it would be a preschooler—not much more than 3 years old, making steady progress, but still stumbling a bit along the way.The first major rewrite of the nation’s main K-12 law in more than a decade, ESSA was signed into law at the end of 2015, replacing and updating the groundbreaking—but problematic—No Child Left Behind Act.

COMMENTARY: Is There More to Teaching and Learning Than Testing?

In order for education to capitalize on the strengths and talents of learners and the skills and professionalism of their teachers, what kinds of additional progress measures might be employed?

COMMENTARY: Assembly Workers and Widgets

Well, how can we feel more professional and less like factory workers producing widgets? First, we must clarify our mission. Students are not widgets. There can be no reject bins for human beings with different needs and varied learning intelligence!

COMMENTARY: Color “Blindness”

Our perceptions of the value of ourselves and others often determine our treatment of and reactions toward those we view as less than or not as valued. Wars are fought over cultural and religious differences. Regardless of the injury, all people’s blood is red and all of us can hurt or grieve, regardless of color.

COMMENTARY: Classroom Culture Clashes

…in answer to the question when cultures clash in the classroom, who suffers, we all do! Poorly educated students make for a society that alienates its young, one that is unable to retain skilled and experienced teachers, and a country frustrated with unemployment, under-employment, and an ever-growing culture of violence, fear, and intolerance. Court systems and privatized prisons, along with mortuaries, result when the classrooms act as prep schools for these expensive alternatives.

OP-ED: Black Studies becomes major factor in social advancement

OUR WEEKLY NEWS — The Black Power movement of the late 1960s helped to redefine African American identity and establish a new racial consciousness. As influential as this period was in the study and enhancement of the African Diaspora, this movement spawned the academic discipline known as Black Studies on our college and university campuses.

Federal Flash: The Education Question Betsy DeVos Can’t Answer

The House Education and Labor Committee hearing this week examined the policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Education. It was the first oversight hearing for Secretary DeVos to testify before the Committee since Democrats regained control of the House. While members asked questions on a variety of topics ranging from student loan debt to affirmative action to the rights of transgender students, many focused on implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA.

OP-ED: Student Loan Debt is a Crisis

THE WESTSIDE GAZETTE — Finances should never be a barrier to graduation, nor should the financial impact of earning a college degree be a barrier for buying a home, saving money, starting a family, and having a good credit score. TMCF prides itself on building pipelines into good paying jobs but we also have to work to ensure that those students are able to truly reap the financial benefits of their achievements without having to pay off years of student loan debt.

HBCUs Testify Before Congress

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL — Tuesday, April 9, Herman Felton, Ph.D., president and CEO of Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, provided testimony before the House panel that decides the funding levels for all federal education programs.  The House Ap­propriations Committee’s Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee received public witness testimony from only 24 individuals to inform their crafting of the upcoming bill to fund the government for fiscal year 2020. 

Demystifying Student Performance Via Parental Engagement

Although parental engagement has a strong correlation to student academic performance and achievement, why is it that African American parents appear disproportionately less engaged than parents of other races?

Can You Hear Us, Now?

The Brown Bookshelf’s 28 Days Later initiative takes their original goal to highlight Black authors a step further. The initiative is designed to highlight Black authors with recently released books or books that have “gone unnoticed.” During Black History Month, every day,  a different book and author will be featured.

COMMENTARY: What More Can Be Done Under ESSA to Support Highly Qualified Teachers

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Teacher concerns transformed into organized protests when, in early 2018, the West Virginia teacher’s strike made headlines, lasting over 2 weeks. Local education activists and teacher advocates forced the state legislature to address many of their concerns through the statewide strike. Afterwards, teachers returned to their classrooms with a 5 percent pay raise.

COMMENTARY: For Black Children, Attending School Is an Act of Racial Justice

In the 2015-16 school year, Black boys made up 8 percent of public school enrollment, but they were 25 percent of the boys suspended out of school. Black girls were 8 percent of enrollment, but 14 percent of the girls suspended out of school. While Black children are overrepresented in practices that exclude or remove students from school, White children are underrepresented. Such data are clear evidence that racism and bias often drive exclusionary practices. To ignore this is to preserve the status quo.

COMMENTARY: A Dream Deferred — Is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Just Another Elusive Dream?

Parents must get engaged to hold legislators and educators accountable for their ESSA State Plans. Parents must also hold themselves accountable in prioritizing the education of our children. Research shows that just one year with a bad teacher can put a child three years behind. Now, think about what happens after years of neglect and lack of advocacy.

Equity v. Equality

ESSA gives power back to the states to control education policy. Now, members of the community must hold their school leaders and elected officials accountable to implement system-wide and school-specific measures that ensure equity in our schools.

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Statement on Kamilah Campbell’s SAT Score Challenge

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “As a mother and a former educator, I was extremely disappointed to learn that Kamilah Campbell’s SAT score is being challenged after she showed marked improvement in the second exam. It is my understanding that the first test that she took was a practice round for which she had not prepared. Before taking the second test, however, she spent a significant amount of time studying and took an SAT prep course. Her hard work and diligence paid off and she increased her score by about 300 points…

Civics Education Must Put Racial Equity First

Civics education is popular again. As our democracy itself sits on a historic precipice, people from around the country are calling for a national renewal of civics education.

New Money and Energy to Help Schools Connect With Families

It’s indisputable that most students perform better academically when they have parents or adults to help with homework and to be advocates with teachers and principals.

The Teachers’ Unions Have a Charter School Dilemma

The Chicago teachers’ strike has been largely cast in the media as a major symbolic win for teachers’ unions and a warning sign for charter schools and their supporters.

DREDF Rejects Attempt by Trump Administration to Reverse Progress on School Safety

On December 18, the Trump Administration’s Federal Commission on School Safety released its recommendation to remove 2014 guidance issued by the Education Department and the Department of Justice to eliminate disparities in school discipline. This guidance came about after a comprehensive review and study and talking extensively to all stakeholders seeking to interrupt the disgraceful and disproportionate suspension of students of color and disabled students from school.

Are standardized tests helping or hurting students?

For decades, standardized tests have played a key role in the U.S. education system.

On ‘Teachers Pay Teachers,’ Some Sellers Are Profiting From Stolen Work

Julie Reulbach doesn’t sell resources on Teachers Pay Teachers, an online marketplace where educators can make money on their lesson plans and classroom materials. Even so, she often sees her work for sale there.

Experts Tie Student Success to Bridging Education and Workforce

THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES — Better integration of education at all levels, eliminating the distinction between higher education and career preparation and more cooperation among local, state and federal policymakers can remove barriers and better prepare a workforce that increasingly includes individuals who don’t fit the traditional profile of college students.

Four Things to Watch For in the Trump School Safety Report

A federal panel led by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos that’s charged with making policy recommendations on school shootings in the wake of the massacre at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School last Valentine’s Day promised to have its report out by the end of the year.

ESSA: A Roadmap for Achieving Equity in Education

State education chiefs and their in-state partners at teaching and research institutions plus educators on the front lines have a real chance to make a difference for black students and other minorities. But do they have the courage to make the necessary changes?

How Zip Codes Relate to Achievement Gaps

NNPA NEWSWIRE — There are several factors that contribute to success in adulthood. However, routinely we find that early childhood education and the empowerment of excellent teachers plays a pivotal role.

Deeper Learning Digest: Star Wars, Social Media, and Skateboarding

“A fundamental role of education is to equip students with the skills they need in the future,” said Andreas Schleicher, director for education and skills and special advisor on education policy to the Secretary-General at OECD, in a September 19 ACT press release.

End Head Start, School Lunch Programs to Cut Deficit? Federal Report Probes Options

Capitol Hill’s budget arm says that among the many options federal lawmakers have for cutting the budget deficit, they could consider eliminating Head Start and federally supported school meal programs.

COMMENTARY: Arne Duncan: Betsy DeVos Turns a Blind Eye to Injustice

EDUCATION WEEK — While the U.S. Department of Education has sent mixed signals, it appears the department would tacitly approve the use of federal education funds by districts to buy guns. That’s a long way from the 1965 law that brought the federal government into the world of education.

International Day of the Girl; racist, sexist perceptions

DEFENDER NETWORK — In 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 the International Day of the Girl Child, in order “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”

More Than a Quarter of Schools Could Be Flagged as in Need of Improvement Under ESSA, Experts Say

Now that the Every Student Succeeds Act has been officially in place for a whole school year, states are beginning to release their lists of schools that need extra help.

Betsy DeVos Says There’s a Higher Education ‘Crisis,’ But Experts Dispute Her Explanations

Student debt, she said, is now 10 percent of national debt. “The student loan program is not only burying students in debt, it is also burying taxpayers and it’s stealing from future generations,” says U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

20 Teacher-Approved Apps You’ve Got to Try

Mobile apps have become “must have” classroom tools, and students are naturally drawn to their interactivity

NATIONAL ESSA NEWS

DREDF Rejects Attempt by Trump Administration to Reverse Progress on School Safety

On December 18, the Trump Administration’s Federal Commission on School Safety released its recommendation to remove 2014 guidance issued by the Education Department and the Department of Justice to eliminate disparities in school discipline. This guidance came about after a comprehensive review and study and talking extensively to all stakeholders seeking to interrupt the disgraceful and disproportionate suspension of students of color and disabled students from school.

read more

Experts Tie Student Success to Bridging Education and Workforce

THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES — Better integration of education at all levels, eliminating the distinction between higher education and career preparation and more cooperation among local, state and federal policymakers can remove barriers and better prepare a workforce that increasingly includes individuals who don’t fit the traditional profile of college students.

read more

Four Things to Watch For in the Trump School Safety Report

A federal panel led by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos that’s charged with making policy recommendations on school shootings in the wake of the massacre at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School last Valentine’s Day promised to have its report out by the end of the year.

read more

ESSA: A Roadmap for Achieving Equity in Education

State education chiefs and their in-state partners at teaching and research institutions plus educators on the front lines have a real chance to make a difference for black students and other minorities. But do they have the courage to make the necessary changes?

read more

How Zip Codes Relate to Achievement Gaps

NNPA NEWSWIRE — There are several factors that contribute to success in adulthood. However, routinely we find that early childhood education and the empowerment of excellent teachers plays a pivotal role.

read more

COMMENTARY: Arne Duncan: Betsy DeVos Turns a Blind Eye to Injustice

EDUCATION WEEK — While the U.S. Department of Education has sent mixed signals, it appears the department would tacitly approve the use of federal education funds by districts to buy guns. That’s a long way from the 1965 law that brought the federal government into the world of education.

read more

International Day of the Girl; racist, sexist perceptions

DEFENDER NETWORK — In 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 the International Day of the Girl Child, in order “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”

read more

How to Fill Out the FAFSA® Form When You Have More Than One Child in College

Having one child who is heading to college can be stressful, but having to help multiple children at the same time can feel like too much to manage. While we can’t save you from a forgotten application deadline or the “how to do your own laundry” lessons, hopefully, we can help make the financial aid part of the process run more smoothly with these tips:

read more

Education Department Gets Small Funding Hike

EDUCATION WEEK — The increase of $581 million for fiscal 2019 brings the Education Department budget to roughly $71.5 billion. It’s the second year in a row Trump has agreed to boost federal education spending—last March, Trump approved spending levels that increased the budget by $2.6 billion for fiscal 2018.

read more
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