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DFER Joins Advocacy and Civil Rights Groups Urging Stronger Accountability for At-Risk Subgroups of Students

Today, Democrats for Education Reform joins with the NAACP, the National Urban League, NCLR, the National Center for Learning Disabilities and others in urging the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to correct course and ensure that in the next round of waiver renewals, states must make the achievement and attainment of each group of students count in ratings for all schools.

A recent analysis of data from new state systems shows that school rating systems do not account for the achievement and growth of individual groups of students in a meaningful way. A school with an “A” rating may only be academically preparing its white or affluent students, while African-American, Latino or low-income students are not seeing the same academic progress or achievement. Moreover, 16 states and territories have received waivers but do not require interventions when individual student groups miss their graduation rate targets. 

The full letter and list of signees is here:

Waiver Coalition Letter 10.24.doc.pdf




“Who The Heck Are They Endorsing?!” - Part Two

In honor of the days leading up to Election Day, we are going to feature some facts about candidates that surprised us…and we thought would also raise the eyebrows of our fellow progressive reformers fighting for our kids every day.

We thought we’d just offer a sampling of some folks who are anything but progressive, but who have somehow earned the thumbs up of their local teachers unions.

Nick Marshall

 

Name: Nick Marshall (R-MO)

 Office: State Representative for District 030

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“Who The Heck Are They Endorsing?!” - Part One

In honor of the days leading up to Election Day, we are going to feature some facts about candidates that surprised us…and we thought would also raise the eyebrows of our fellow progressive reformers fighting for our kids every day.

We thought we’d just offer a sampling of some folks who are anything but progressive, but who have somehow earned the thumbs up of their local teachers unions.

Buddy Cianci 

 

Name: Buddy Cianci (R-RI)
Race: Mayor - Province, RI
Background: Two-time Felon
Endorsement: The Providence Teachers Union


Wait…what?!

Read more...




Accountability Debate Taking Place on Different Planets

By Charles Barone, Policy Director

Today, at an event hosted by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a group of advocates and academics including Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford and Gene Wilhoit, formerly of the Council of Chief State School Officers, announced a "new approach on accountability and testing" (aka 51st state) that would, among other things, scale back annual statewide summative tests and increase the use of local assessments for purposes of accountability.

Weirdly enough, over at the Center American Progress, a new study issued today finds that it is districts much more so than states that account for what many consider "over-testing" taking place now in America's public schools. Which seems to suggest that the 51st state proposal is singling out the wrong level of government if what it wants to do is decrease the amount of testing. 

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DFER News Roundup

DFER News Roundup

By Stephanie Doctrow, Communications Coordinator and Web Editor and Bianca Dorsey, Communications Project Coordinator

DFER Seen & Heard:

  • Policy Director Charlie Barone’s piece on Bill Clinton’s recent remarks related to public charter schools and accountability made EdWeek’s Friday Reading List
  • Chicago students “urgently need access to more high-quality charter schools, particularly in underserved communities,” DFER-IL’s Rebeca Nieves Huffman said in the Chicago Sun-Times. Huffman also commented on the announcement that CPS will not consider plans for any new public charter schools this fall in Catalyst Chicago
  • “With every election and every legislative session, we the voters are responsible for getting the schools we want for Washington’s students,” DFER-WA’s Lisa Macfarlane writes in The Seattle Times.
  • CTU chief Karen Lewis “shouldn't continue to be tone deaf” regarding her conflict of interest between serving as a mayoral candidate and teacher contract negotiator, Huffman tells POLITICO’s Morning Education

Read more...




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