Opinion Good Leaders Make Good Schools
Kentucky teachers rally over retirement cuts, warn of strike
Hundreds of teachers in central Kentucky have rallied in front of public schools to protest proposed cuts to their retirement benefits in what could be a precursor to a statewide strike. Kentucky state Senators on Wednesday took the first step toward passing a bill they say would save taxpayers $3.2 billion over the next 20 years and stabilize one of the country's worst-funded public pension systems.But most of those savings would come from a 33 percent cut to the annual cost-of-living raises for retired teachers, who aren't eligible for Social Security benefits.
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The solutions to the nation’s problems already exist somewhere out in the country; we just do a terrible job of circulating them.
For example, if you want to learn how to improve city schools, look how Washington, New Orleans and Chicago are already doing it. Since 2011 the graduation rate at Chicago public schools has increased at nearly four times the national average, to 77.5 percent from 56.9 percent. The percentage of Chicago students going to two- or four-year colleges directly after graduation increased to 63 percent in 2015 from 50 percent in 2006.
Conspiracy theory about the biggest NCAA Tournament snubs
There was a common thread between some of the biggest snubs in this year’s NCAA Tournament.There was a common thread between some of the biggest snubs in this year’s NCAA Tournament, one that seems to make a lot of sense.
Sean Reardon of Stanford compared changes in national test scores between third and eighth grade. He found that Chicago students were improving faster than students in any other major school district in the country. Chicago schools are cramming six years’ worth of education into five years of actual schooling.
These improvements are proof that demography is not destiny, that bad things happening in a neighborhood do not have to determine student outcomes.
How is Chicago doing it? Well, its test scores have been rising since 2003. Chicago has a rich civic culture, research support from places like the University of Chicago and a tradition of excellent leadership from school heads, from Arne Duncan to Janice Jackson, and the obsessive, energetic drive of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Parkland survivor: Trump 'owned' by NRA just like other politicians
Parkland, Fla., shooting survivor David Hogg criticized President Trump after the White House unveiled new gun proposals on Sunday, saying that Trump walking back his calls for certain gun measures shows that "he's owned" by the National Rifle Association (NRA) just like other politicians."Because of the NRA lobbying on Trump, I'm glad to see that he did take action, and he did seem to take steps in the right direction," Hogg said Sunda"Because of the NRA lobbying on Trump, I'm glad to see that he did take action, and he did seem to take steps in the right direction," Hogg said Sunday on CNN.
Chicago has expanded early childhood education and imposed universal full-day kindergarten. After a contentious strike in 2012, Emanuel managed to extend the school day. But he and the other people who led this effort put special emphasis on one thing: principals.
We’ve spent a lot of time over the past few decades debating how to restructure schools. We’ve spent a lot of time trying to help teachers. But structural change and increasing teacher quality don’t get you very far without a strong principal.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Toronto studied 180 schools across nine states and concluded, “We have not found a single case of a school improving its student achievement record in the absence of talented leadership.”
What do principals do? They build a culture. Researchers from McKinsey studied test scores from half a million students in 72 countries. They found that students’ mind-sets were twice as powerful in predicting scores as home environment and demographics were. How do students feel about their schooling? How do they understand motivation? Do they have a growth mind-set to understand their own development?
DeVos gets cold shoulder from White House after interviews
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos got a less than ringing endorsement from the White House on Monday after a pair of uncomfortable television interviews raised questions about her commitment to help underperforming schools and support for President Donald Trump's proposal to curb school violence. Less than a day after DeVos was appointed to chair a federal commission on school safety, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders downplayed DeVos' role in the process.
These attitudes are powerfully and subtly influenced by school culture, by the liturgies of practice that govern the school day: the rituals for welcoming members into the community; the way you decorate walls to display school values; the distribution of power across the community; the celebrations of accomplishment and the quality of trusting relationships.
Principals set the culture by their very behavior — the message is the person.
Research suggests that it takes five to seven years for a principal to have full impact on a school, but most principals burn out and leave in four years or less. Chicago has one of the highest principal retention rates of any large urban system, 85 percent. Principals are given support, training and independence. If you manage your school well for a couple of years in a row, you are freed from daily oversight from the central office.
But the big thing is transforming the role. Principals used to be administrators and middle managers, overseeing budgets, discipline, schedules. The goal was to be strong and decisive.
GOP chairman: Government funding bill will likely boost school safety
Lawmakers will likely boost money for school safety in an upcoming government funding package, a key GOP subcommittee chairman said Tuesday night.Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who heads the House Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services and education, said appropriators want to increase funding for an existing grant program tha t is designed to prevent violence in and around schools."Stay tuned. It's going to be a nice number," Cole told reporters. "We are looking at putting additional funding well beyond what was in either the House or Senate [spending proposals.
Today’s successful principals are greeting parents and students outside the front door in the morning. That Minnesota-Toronto study found successful principals made 20 to 60 spontaneous classroom visits and observations per week.
In other words, they are high-energy types constantly circulating through the building, offering feedback, setting standards, applying social glue. In some schools, teachers see themselves as martyrs in a hopeless cause. Principals raise expectations and alter norms. At Independence Middle School in Cleveland, principal Kevin Jakub pushes a stand-up desk on wheels around the school all day.
Research also suggests a collaborative power structure is the key. A lot of teachers want to be left alone and a lot of principals don’t want to give away power, but successful schools are truly collaborative.
The Wallace Foundation website recently described the exemplary activism of. In his first week he drew a picture of a school on a poster board and asked the faculty members to annotate it together. “Let’s create a vision of a school that’s perfect. When we get there, then we’ll rest,” he told them. School governance was led by a simple structure of three committees, populated and headed by teachers. Hensley also visited the homes of the 25 most disruptive students.
When you learn about successful principals, you keep coming back to the character traits they embody and spread: energy, trustworthiness, honesty, optimism, determination. We went through a period when we believed you could change institutions without first changing the character of the people in them. But we were wrong. Social transformation follows personal transformation.
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Protests and strikes across France disrupt travel, schools .
<p>Trains, planes, schools and other public services across France were seriously disrupted Thursday as unions set up dozens of street protests across the country.</p>Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Paris to call for more investment in public services and to oppose French President Emmanuel Macron's economic changes.
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Monday, 25 june 2018
Most immigrants have historically voted Democratic. This dates all the way back to the 1790s. Both parties have always had large populations of established constituencies, but the Democrats have tended to include the preponderance of populations who are relatively new to the United […]
Monday, 25 june 2018
For that singular individual who will not let himself be morally handcuffed and so hands in his badge and handcuffs, I have nothing but admiration.Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views […]