Aside

As can be deduced by the months that have passed since I last updated this blog, the Education Blog is on indefinite hiatus. However, I continue to post education-related research and news several times per week via my Twitter feed.

How accountable are teacher professional development programs?

From the Hechinger Report:

In addition to the $1 billion the federal government sends annually to local districts, according to a national survey by the U.S. Department of Education, more federal money for on-the-job teacher training has poured into states and districts through the Race to the Top and School Improvement Grant programs.

 

Educators, pointing to high-performing education systems in some European and Asian countries, have pushed for teachers to spend more time at work learning, not just teaching…

 

Yet even as districts increase accountability for teachers, few are checking on the companies, universities and in-school programs that are supposed to help them get better.

Atlanta newspaper reviews test scores from across the U.S. and finds 200 districts with “improbable” scores

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

Suspicious test scores in roughly 200 school districts resemble those that entangled Atlanta in the biggest cheating scandal in American history, an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows.

The newspaper analyzed test results for 69,000 public schools and found high concentrations of suspect math or reading scores in school systems from coast to coast. The findings represent an unprecedented examination of the integrity of school testing.

The analysis doesn’t prove cheating. But it reveals that test scores in hundreds of cities followed a pattern that, in Atlanta, indicated cheating in multiple schools.

For those with an interest in the technical details, the Journal-Constitution published its methodology here (the methodology page also lists the experts consulted as part of their analysis).

Teens asking the Web to judge their appearance

The San Franciso Chronicle reports on a disturbing trend:

A growing number of tweens and teens, mainly girls, are posting videos on YouTube asking commenters if they’re ugly, according to Jezebel.

Type ‘Am I ugly?’ or ‘Am I pretty’ into the YouTube search box and dozens of videos pop up, including one of an 11-year-old girl who poses for the camera, twirling her shoulders, smiling big, and pulling her long hair out of a pony tail.

“Hi guys,” she says. “I was doing a video because I’m bored and stuff. Do you guys think I’m pretty?”

“If you think I’m pretty comment down there,” she adds, pointing to the bottom of the screen. “I really don’t care but I just want you guys’s opinion.”

 

Dallas ISB buses 5,700 boys to see movie but leaves girls back at school

The Associated Press (via the Daily Mail) reports:

When 5,700 fifth-grade boys in Dallas’ public schools recently went to see a movie about black fighter pilots in World War II, the girls stayed in school and saw a different movie instead…

Spokesman Jon Dahlander told The Dallas Morning News that [space in movie theaters was limited and that] leaders of the district also thought boys would enjoy the movie more than girls.

‘Red Tails’ tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the legendary pilots during World War II who become the first black aviators to serve in the U.S. military.

New research suggests ‘education gap’ in American society now more a function of economic class than of race

The New York Times reports:

Education was historically considered a great equalizer in American society, capable of lifting less advantaged children and improving their chances for success as adults. But a body of recently published scholarship suggests that the achievement gap between rich and poor children is widening, a development that threatens to dilute education’s leveling effects…

N0w, in analyses of long-term data published in recent months, researchers are finding that while the achievement gap between white and black students has narrowed significantly over the past few decades, the gap between rich and poor students has grown substantially during the same period.

“We have moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s, in which race was more consequential than family income, to one today in which family income appears more determinative of educational success than race,” said Sean F. Reardon, a Stanford University sociologist.

EducBlog.com: 2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.