Jennifer Jennings, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at New York University, has spent a lot of time studying how accountability systems affect racial, gender, and socioeconomic inequality in educational outcomes. Now she has weighed in on author Steven Brill’s op-ed piece accusing teachers unions of standing in the way of real education reform. Her take is that while Brill’s critique has little actual evidence behind it, he makes one important point: Teachers unions are not stepping up with real-world solutions to the problems plaguing public education.
Meanwhile, virtual schools are moving into the spotlight this year as a Florida law requiring high school students to take at least one virtual class before graduation kicked in. The Miami Herald took an in-depth look at the issue in a story on Sunday. But as Florida goes all in on online learning, Harvard University’s education site points out in a recent article that many virtual schools are moving some classes into brick-and-mortar buildings. Why? Because they are finding some kids don’t do as well taking online only classes.
A testing company that Florida officials criticized last year for being late with FCAT scores is now being chided by Oklahoma school districts for the same problems. And reports continue to filter in of slow traffic times around some schools, especially during the afternoon pickup times. Read More