Bellwether has two great posts today in honor of National Special Education Day. Lynne Graziano reflects on her sister-in-law’s educational experience without an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or social supports. Speaking of which, Sara Mead writes about the 460,000 students served in special education preschool.
Lina Bankert and Lauren Schwartze on how mergers among education nonprofits can improve student outcomes and save school districts money.
The Fordham Institute is hosting an event (with free food!) to discuss Checker Finn’s new book, Learning in the Fast Lane: The Past, Present, and Future of Advanced Placement.
Housing assistance programs that improve a child’s neighborhood can also have a long-term effect on voting rates.
Andy Rotherham interviews law professor Jack Coons, who litigated the Serrano v. Priest cases, which challenged California’s school funding structure.
While so many other places are turning away from teacher evaluation efforts, kudos to DCPS for sticking with theirs. A new study from Thomas Dee, Jessalynn James, and James Wyckoff finds those efforts are continuing to pay off:
The large effects we identify here suggest that rigorous teacher evaluation can be sustained over at least an eight-year period. We observe these effects across years, implying IMPACT has led to a cumulative improvement in teaching quality and student achievement. These gains benefit students who primarily come from nonwhite, low-income households.
–Guest post by Chad Aldeman
“…a report by Grantmakers for Education released earlier this year, revealed a precipitous decline in the areas of education funding that were dominant across the prior decade. Grants for issues related to the academic core of schooling—teacher quality, accountability, standards and assessment, for example— all saw deep cuts.” That’s from this excellent piece by Celine Coggins on the state of edu-philanthropy.
A new study out of Texas finds that more years of schooling is related to higher earnings, even for people who don’t complete a college degree and ultimately drop out.
Check out the video here about Bellwether’s work to end the fragmentation of supports for high-need students in Utah.
Care about teacher shortages? Read Phillip Burgoyne-Allen on the school bus driver shortage, and what districts can do about it.
Tom Toch interviews Brian Pick about curriculum and instruction in the District of Columbia Public Schools.
I got a chuckle out of a tweet from the Pennsylvania Treasurer account asking why pension plans chase after active investments rather than being passive investors. While current Treasurer Joe Torsella has used his power to transition other state funds to index-based investments, and the Pennsylvania Treasurer does not control the investments made by the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS), Pennsylvania teachers are investing 17.1 percent of their money in hedge funds, 16.5 percent in private equity, and another 17 percent in commodities and real estate. Those are, ahem, not exactly passive investments!
This long New Yorker piece on “The Day the Dinosaurs Died” came out earlier this year, but I strongly recommend it. It’s a fascinating story of geology, paleontology, and history.
–Guest post by Chad Aldeman