• Education News
     
    This Week in Education News

    11/25/2010-12/1/2010

    Recently, the Illinois State board of Education approved a mandate that requires that preschools comply with rules already in place for English-language learners in K-12 public schools. The mandate, which is the first of its kind in the nation, requires that preschools with at least 20 students who speak the same language, must offer bilingual education. It also requires that and preschool teachers who have English-learners in their class must hold an extra certification. One concern amongst several is that this could cause segregation of preschool students. Education Week covers the story.
     
     
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    Chicago Public Schools recently unveiled plans for a new admissions system at its magnet and selective enrollment schools. The changes have many parents worrying about how their students will fare. This is the second change in two years to the very complicated process. The Chicago tribune details parent frustrations here.
     
     
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    America's Promise Alliance recently released a report showing that “The United States is turning a corner in meeting the high school dropout epidemic”, according to General Colin L. Powell. The study, which was introduced by America's promise Alliance, a group founded by the former Secretary of State, notes that graduation rates have increased from 72% in 2001 to 78% in 2008. The New York Times further explores this report here.
     
     
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    12/2/2010-12/8/2010:

    Schools across the state have been taking initiatives to improve teacher performance.  These methods are necessary to pull new teacher skill levels up to the most effective levels. Several districts are taking advantage of resources that allow coaching for new teachers from “veterans” in the educational system. Others are employing teamwork methods to allow teachers to learn from each other.  The promising methods are detailed by the Chicago Tribune.
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    Standards are an important of the education reform puzzle. Through raising them, students, teachers, and administrators come to expect from the entire educational experience. Illinois and several other states have recently decided to raise standards in math and English, which will hopefully lead to improved performance for students. Medill Reports at Northwestern University details how these standards are coming into play in several states across the nation.
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    Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE) plans to file a complaint with the United States Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights concerning the practice of flunking students for poor performance. The group uses evidence from a 2004 study from the University of Chicago’s Consortium on Chicago School Research, which find the practice of holding back students unsuccessful. The Chicago Sun-Times covers the story here.