Cluster Suck? The New York Daily News takes another look at the StudentsFirstNY teacher distribution report and finds something stunning: 20 percent of teachers are "bad" teachers in each of 14 Brooklyn schools. To give you some perspective: only 3 percent of all city school teachers got these negative ratings. And two of those schools received "A" ratings from the Department of Education. (I should note here that these ratings are volatile, etc., but you already knew that.)
No Closure Cash? A recent trend in urban education has been school closures. New York City recently made headlines for releasing a lengthly list of schools slated to be closed. Philadelphia has made similar news. And Chicago is now deciding which of its "underutilized" schools it will close. A similar thread between all these closures has been the argument that closing schools saves money. But a new study adds to the growing body of evidence that shows this may not actually be true.
Less Texas Testing? As Texas prepares its budget, lawmakers in the Lone Star State are trying to make a statement on standardized testing. Currently, KUT News notes, testing is "zeroed out" in the House budget. That means it's still in there, just followed by a bunch of zeroes. "We want to start the conversation on testing," House Budget writer and Republican state representative Jim Pitts told KUT. "And we're gonna have a lot of hearings between now and the end of the session on education and some things that we're going to do in education. And we sure want testing to be one of the number one things. And that's why we did it." We are grateful to KUT for asking, since we were wondering ourselves: yes, says Texas Education Agency spokesperson Dabbie Ratcliffe, this is probably the first time in Texas history such a tactic has been used to discuss testing.
A Somewhat Happy Education Headline? America's students are graduating high school at higher rates, according to a new Harvard report (via the Wall Street Journal.) In 2000, researchers found, 77.6 percent of Americans ages 20-24 had high school diplomas; 10 years later, 83.7 percent of that same group held diplomas. "The improvement was particularly sharp among blacks and Hispanics," WSJ reports. "For instance, in 2000, 61.2% of black men between 20 and 24 had finished high school; in 2010, 72.0% of black men in that age bracket had." But even so, 20 percent of American men between 20 and 24 -- and 14 percent of women -- still lack that crucial certification.