Children’s Zones in Milwaukee?

While speaking to a group of students and faculty at Alverno College this week, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle said that Wisconsin would soon be revealing its ideas for the national “Race to the Top”
competition. Part of the proposal, he said, will include “Milwaukee Children’s Zones,” modeled after the successful Harlem Children’s Zone. The Harlem
Children’s Zone Project offers a range of supports and programs for children and families, based on the premise that it takes much more than schools are able to offer in a seven hour day to break the
bonds of generational poverty. …

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North Carolina Superintendent Cuts Central Services to Save Classrooms

Del Burns, Superintendent of the Wake County Public Schools (Raleigh, NC), has called for $20 million in cuts
to central office
to offset a projected budget shortfall in the upcoming 2010-2011 fiscal year. has called for $20 million in cuts to central office to offset a projected budget
shortfall in the upcoming 2010-2011 fiscal year. By calling for the cuts at central office, Burns is protecting the district’s classrooms as much as he can. I applaud you Dr. Burns. There is no
more important …

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Devaluing the Importance of Pedagogical Expertise– A Dangersous Policy Trend

Since writing my November 3rd post about proposed changes to Indiana’s educator preparation programs,I haven’t stopped thinking about what I see as the beginning of a policy trend in devaluing the

importance of classroom teachers’ pedagogical expertise. Perhaps beginning with the No Child Left Behind Act and its surrounding rhetoric, increased emphasis has been placed on teachers’ content
knowledge or lack of it. I contend that this renewed emphasis is extremely important. I have worked with and observed far too many teachers over my career whose grasp of their courses’ academic
content was severely lacking. This is …

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Louisiana’s Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS)– Too Important to Lose!

The Louisiana State University (LSU) System’s president, John Lombardi, recently challenged the continuance of Louisiana’s Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). Students graduating from Louisiana high schools who meet the program’s requirements, including completion of a prescribed core curriculum, gpa, and college entrance exam requirements, are eligible to attend state post-secondary institutions tution-free. Lombardi contends that given the state’s tight fiscal situation, the legislature should reconsider paying tuition for students whose parents can afford to pay it themselves. Lombardi’s issue is that state legislature has been less willing to approve significant tuition increases because they pay the …

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Charter Schools- Bad Word In Kentucky

David Cook, the Kentucky State Department of Education’s advisor for the “Race to the Top” program, suggested Tuesday that Kentucky probably will have to make changes in school governance structures that at least resemble the charter school concept in order to get  “Race to the Top” funds. Currently, Kentucky’s school laws do not allow for the creation of charter schools. Cook suggested, however, that making changes to how school-based decision-making councils operate could give considerable freedom to the school councils of failing schools and put Kentucky in a better position to receive funding.

In the brief time that I’ve been …

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