Nearly a decade ago, a new organization of chief state school officers was charting new ground. The Education Leaders Council (ELC) was THE hip group to belong to. NCLB was the freshly minted law of the land. Chiefs, influencers, and vendors wanted to be part of the ELC posse, seeing the group as the drivers of NCLB in key states. And many were believing ELC would overtake the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) as the state supe organization of choice, becoming the state ed policy voice in the country. Five short years later, ELC was no longer.
Earlier this week, the New York Times’ Michael Winerip offered a piece looking at the nation’s leading education reformers and where they themselves went to school. It should come as no surprise to those in the education space that many of the names closely associated with either the ed reform community or politicians with a keen eye toward education are products of a non-public school education. In a suspenseful follow-up, we may also learn that many ed reformers — particularly those in urban settings — are sending their kids to private schools.
Last week, Eduflack detailed the long and distinguished list of “losers” in the FY2011 Continuing Resolution and the ongoing budget fight between the White House and Congress. All those billions that both sides had to cut needed to come from somewhere and, unfortunately, education was unable to avoid the knife.
OK, I’ll admit it. Eduflack has always been a data guy. I like to see the proof. I want to measure effectiveness based on outcomes. I make jokes about those who emphasize (or solely focus on) the inputs that go into our educational systems.
It appears that not all pots of $4 billion are created equal, at least not according to EdSec Arne Duncan. Out at the Education Writers Association conference last week, Duncan was scratching his head regarding an interesting paradox. We talk, ad nauseam, about the $4 billion the federal government has committed to the 12 states that won Race to the Top (RttT). But why do we say virtually nothing about the $4 billion available through the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program that is serving the lowest 5 percent of all schools in the county?
Details are starting to trickle in on how the U.S. Department of Education will be affected by the budget deal cut late Friday by President Obama and congressional leaders. And how does our little education space shake out?
For much of the last week, Eduflack has been down in New Orleans, living the edu-life. First stop was the Education Writers Association (EWA), followed by a multi-day play at the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
Eduflack hits the road again this week, destination New Orleans. The Education Writers Association will be meeting down in the Big Easy this Thursday through Friday, celebrating its 64th Annual Seminar. This year’s theme? Recovery and Reform: Aiming for Excellence in Uncertain Times.
Over at ASCDedge (a professional networking community managed by, of course, ASCD), Steven Weber reflects on recent Education Week coverage on the topic of Common Core State Standards and how it relates to curriculum. One of the key questions Weber asks those in “the community” is “Do you think that the Common Core State Standards are curriculum or do you believe there is a distinct difference between standards and curriculum?”
The standards are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. Consistent standards will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live.
These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:
- Are aligned with college and work expectations;
- Are clear, understandable and consistent;
- Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
- Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
- Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
- Are evidence-based.