Latest Edu-Reads

Education Week has a big new report on reading instruction. For example, here’s Liana Loewus on how reading is really being taught in schools:

Our new survey showed that 75 percent of teachers working with early readers teach three-cueing, an approach that tells students to take a guess when they come to a word they don’t know by using context, picture, and other clues, with only some attention to the letters.

Similarly, more than a quarter of teachers said they tell emerging readers that the first thing they should do when they come to a word they don’t know while reading is look at the pictures—even before they try to sound it out.

And Sarah Schwartz looks at the evidence behind and, in many cases, missing from popular reading programs.

Bellwether has a new deck out this week on rural schooling in America.

Dale Chu has an interesting look at the intersection of finance, choice, and accountability reforms in Indiana.

David Kirp writes, “The goal is not to lure high-schoolers into college with zero tuition, it’s to assure that those who do enroll graduate.”

James Shuls wants to ask what people mean when they say charter schools should be held to the “same standards” as traditional public schools.

As I warned earlier this week, we should be careful about ascribing Mississippi’s rising NAEP scores to any one thing. Here’s Todd Collins on Mississippi’s student retention policies.

Finally, this Matt Barnum and Gabrielle LeMarr LeMee Chalkbeat piece on GreatSchools.org is a must-read. It’s sparking a lot of debate over whether it’s better to share information that might not be perfect, or whether imperfect information will inevitably lead to imperfect decisions.

I don’t have a particular dog in that fight. I respect GreatSchools’ incredible reach–43 million annual site visitors!–and think the organization deserves praise for attempting to improve their ratings over time. The remaining flaws in their rankings–they’re still highly correlated with student demographic factors–are often true in other rating systems as well. Moreover, I’d much rather have a free rating system that’s open to all (and which is working to improve and reach all audiences) than no information at all. GreatSchools is waaaay better than relying on word-of-mouth or other snap judgments of the “best” schools in a neighborhood. We’ve seen what that looks like, even in today’s world, and it isn’t pretty.

–Guest post by Chad Aldeman

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