November 19, 2013 |
CAMDEN A school district ranked one of the worst in New Jersey showed flat or slightly improved student test scores last year. Camden schools, taken over by the state in June, improved in language arts from 19 to 21 percent of pupils scoring at or above the state-mandated proficiency level. Math scores stayed at 30 percent, according to data for the 2012-13 school year released last week. There were signs of moderate progress in individual schools. Statewide, six of the schools with the most improved test scores in specific grade-level subjects were in Camden, including Freedom Academy Charter School, which was slated to close because of its failing test scores two years ago. Five of the six schools that showed the most improvement still failed, scoring below 50 percent proficiency in math, language arts, or both, according to results of the N.J. Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (ASK)
June 25, 2013
Teachers rightly complain they are too often blamed for every shortcoming in America's public schools today. It certainly is not teachers' fault that too many schools, especially in big cities, are inadequately funded and staffed to produce the results expected of them. It's also not teachers' fault when colleges gladly pocket education students' tuition and send them out with diplomas and certificates that perpetuate the lie that they are classroom ready. That reality has been corroborated by a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality that gives high marks to only 9 percent of America's collegiate teacher training programs.
June 19, 2013 |
Teacher education programs at many universities - from state schools to some of the nation's most elite colleges - fall woefully short in preparing teachers for the classroom, according to a report by a Washington-based teacher quality group released Monday. Locally, Rutgers-Camden, St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Gwynedd-Mercy College in Gwynedd Valley, and Arcadia University in Glenside were among only 9 percent of college programs nationwide that fared well in the study by the National Council on Teacher Quality.
June 9, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - New standards that would require high school seniors to pass multiple exams in order to graduate could be coming to a school district near you. The administration recently delayed implementing the controversial "Common Core" standards, which specify what students should be expected to learn by certain grades, but education officials say Gov. Corbett wants to have them in place by fall. The standards are a voluntary initiative adopted by 45 states that establish a single set of educational requirements for kindergarten through 12th grade in English, language arts, and mathematics.
April 26, 2012 |
Last week, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the nation's most expansive school voucher program into law. Since the GOP sweep of statehouses in 2010, similar measures have been introduced by the legislatures of more than 30 states — including Pennsylvania, where a bipartisan school voucher bill was defeated in the House in December. Few doubt that there is a crisis in America's public schools. But focusing so much attention on where money is spent — instead of how — oversimplifies a complex problem.
June 6, 2011 |
More than 250 teachers from public and private schools in the Philadelphia area, and from Pittsburgh and other cities, gathered at the National Constitution Center on Sunday for a two-hour discussion about the state of teaching and education, part of a national conversation called "Education Nation. " With little electronic clickers that registered their choices on certain topics, 48 percent of the teachers in the Constitution Center's Kimmel Theater voted that merit pay for teachers should "in some way" be based on student performance - a middle-ground selection that also included choices of "completely" and "not at all. " They also chose poverty and family issues, plus lack of student motivation, as the biggest hindrances to learning; and from a list of five responses, they voted that teachers could perform better if they had more time to work with and learn from colleagues and had additional technology.
March 30, 2010 |
I confess: I dread this time of year. It might sound strange coming from the executive director of the National Women's Studies Association, but Women's History Month reminds me of our education system's failures. At home, I help my elementary school-age children assemble projects with such titles as "Important Women in History" or "A Woman I Admire. " We search the Internet for information that's not in their textbooks and assemble it on poster board. It comes home from school with "great job" penciled on the back and goes in the recycling bin. At work, I field e-mail requests from middle- and high-school students assigned to interview experts on female portrayals in film, women in American politics, and so on. I have come up with an equation for this time of year: incomplete textbooks + inadequate teacher training = poster board + interview requests.
October 30, 2009
As aging baby boomers retire from the classroom, there should be plenty of newly trained teachers coming up to replace them. By 2014, the country's 95,000 public schools will need to hire as many as a million teachers and principals. More than half will be trained at education colleges. But will they be prepared for the classroom? Probably not, shortchanging another generation of the high-quality education they deserve. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has sounded the alarm that more must be done to prepare future teachers, especially those sent to failing urban school systems such as those in Philadelphia and Camden.
August 26, 2009 |
Hundreds of new teachers who are taking on the challenge of instructing Philadelphia's students this year were asked a pointed question at the opening of the orientation yesterday. "What kind of teacher will you be?" asked Elois Brooks, a consultant for the district's Empowerment Schools. She posed that question to about 800 teachers who gathered at Edison High School, 151 Luzerne St., at the start of the two-day program for new teachers. Among them was actor Tony Danza, who will start teaching at Northeast High School next month for a reality-TV show tentatively airing next spring on the cable channel A&E. Brooks spoke on behalf of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who was absent because her father, the Rev. Bennie Randle, 85, died Sunday in St. Louis.
August 19, 2009 |
If the Philadelphia School District gets its way, a new teacher contract would include longer days, drastically different work rules in a third of all schools, and the end of job assignments based on seniority. The district and its largest union, the 16,000-member Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, are engaged in lengthy daily negotiations to reach a new contract agreement. The current pact expires at the end of the month. In a letter sent to its members and obtained by The Inquirer, the union warned its members of a list of proposals the district has put on the table.