(Find previous versions of the Echo Chamber here.) (Echo Chamber ceased publishing in May 2008.)
Education Single-Sex Ed
Single-sex schooling, where students attend classes or schools segregated by gender, has traditionally been the province of private and parochial schools. Yet over the past few years the arrangement has been gaining popularity in some public school districts. Nationwide, roughly 50 public schools are completely single-sex and over 350 offer some single-sex classes. While single-sex schools were once banned under Title IX, the Department of Education lessened these restrictions in 2006. Today school districts can offer single-sex schools as long as they also provide “geographically accessible” coed classes.
Education Reading First's Subtraction Lesson
Since its creation in 2002, Reading First has simultaneously been one of the most popular and controversial aspects of the No Child Left Behind Act. The program offers states funding for reading instruction and assessment programs, provided the state demonstrates plans to establish a comprehensive and accountable phonetics-based reading program.
Education No Joke: Cities in Crisis
On April 1, America’s Promise Alliance released a report calling attention to graduation rates in the nation’s 50 largest cities. Cities in Crisis , prepared by the EPE Research Center, found that only about half of the students in main school districts serving those cities graduate from high school.
Education Time to Monkey Around
Over the past decade, researchers and policymakers have raised concerns about reduced time for recess in schools. Do kids have time to be kids today? The big fear is that instructional time is edging out playtime—much to the detriment of children’s health. Play is believed to be an important factor in social and cognitive development, and it can be a good form of exercise for children. Current trends, such as increased rates of childhood obesity and greater expectations for academic performance as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act, have led many to speak out about school recess and physical education policies.
Education Cyberhood Bully
No longer is the struggle between bully and victim limited to the playground or face-to-face encounters. With advances in communications tools and a generation of tech-savvy young people, the matter of bullying is entering unchartered territory. Cyberbullies use emails, text messages, or Web sites to humiliate or threaten their targets, and they create a situation, complicated by factors like anonymity and jurisdiction, that can be difficult to resolve.
Education Where are the Big Bucks in Teaching?
It’s hard to find many teachers who say they entered this profession to earn the big bucks. But at the end of the day, a decent salary still matters, no matter what your occupation. So exactly how much do teachers make? How do teachers’ salaries compare to professions that require similar skills? How do salaries affect efforts to recruit and retain talented teachers?
Education Exclusive Video: Quality Counts 2008
Did you miss our press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.? Watch video of the Quality Counts press conference, moderated by Jay Mathews of The Washington Post. The report's editors, Lynn Olson and Christopher B. Swanson, discussed ideas for strengthening the teaching profession, as well as other findings from this year’s Quality Counts.
Education Mix It Up—Calculate Your Own State Grades
Every year Quality Counts has "more bells and whistles," as Alexander Russo pointed out in his blog This Week in Education. This year we’re very excited to unveil an online grading tool that allows users to calculate new state scores. We always get a lot of questions about our grading. How did you calculate the grades? Why did you include this indicator? Why not that one? By changing the amount of weight assigned to any graded category, you can remix a state's grade based on what is important to you. Try it out and tell us about your new grade.
Education Just Got My Report Card
Grading the states on their efforts to improve public education has been a hallmark of Quality Counts since it was launched by Education Week in 1997. Last year we took a hiatus from grading to reassess some categories (finance and teaching), and to introduce a couple of new indexes (Chance for Success and K-12 Achievement).
Education Multiple Reality Disorder
Remember Voltaire’s character Pangloss from Candide—the guy who saw the world through rose-colored glasses? For Pangloss, everything was fine and dandy, despite resounding evidence to the contrary. Education Sector, the Washington, DC-based think tank, created a NCLB-related index in his honor.