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Costs of Competency-Based Programs Come Into Focus

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 18, 2016 - 2:55am
The programs may be inexpensive to run, but they can also take longer than expected to turn a profit, according to a new study.
Categories: Higher Education News

Your Daily Briefing, a New Feature for Chronicle Subscribers

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 18, 2016 - 2:55am
We've started a new email, for subscribers only, that briefs readers on everything they need to know in higher ed to start the day. Here's a sample.
Categories: Higher Education News

What We Owe the Next Generation of Teachers

U.S. Department of Education Blog - October 17, 2016 - 12:49pm

I was a fairly mediocre teacher when I first started. Sometimes I look back on my first few years and wonder why my students didn’t walk out on me. My old slides look atrocious; my handouts were too wordy; my instruction was completely teacher centered: me talking, me explaining, me doing some weird dance.

“I’m the teacher I am today largely because I stuck it out and learned from my early career failures and missteps.” (Photo courtesy of the author)

There were some long, sad, doubt-filled nights my first few years of teaching. I thought frequently about moving into law. For the first several years of my career, every spring, I would thumb through an LSAT prep book and browse law school catalogues. It wasn’t until my seventh year that I didn’t get that “ritual spring itch.” That’s when I knew I had hit my stride.

I am now eleven years in and I think I have things kind of figured out. In my classroom my students do most of the talking and a fair amount of the teaching. They tweet articles from the National Review and the Atlantic to me and to each other in the evenings. I have waves of students in college and they almost always report they felt prepared. I have sharpened my craft. I have grown and progressed.

But I wonder what might have been for me and for others in the career field? Roughly half of the teachers who started this fall will be gone from the career field in five years. Nearly ten percent will bounce before the year is up. For many of them, that’s for the best. Teaching isn’t for them or they aren’t especially good at communicating complex ideas or building relationships with students and their colleagues. But also in that 50% are some phenomenal educators who will never get a chance to hit their stride.

Teaching is hard. The early parts of our career are harder. Being a new teacher in a high-need school, without the appropriate supports is the hardest. It breaks strong, smart people, but it’s the most important work imaginable.

We know from research and I tell audiences every opportunity that I get that the number one in-school factor impacting student achievement is the effectiveness of the teacher in the classroom. The constant turnover of teachers, particularly at high-poverty schools, creates a revolving door that robs our neediest students. Year after year, they have earnest, good hearted, but green teachers who are still sorting things out. Our neediest students deserve our best; instead far too often they get whoever is available.

For the sake of their students, we owe new teachers meaningful supports:

  • We owe our teacher candidates intentional placements with effective mentor teachers.
  • We owe our new teachers effective, successful mentors who can support them in their professional growth.
  • We owe our new teachers meaningful and timely feedback that gives them specific areas for improvement and growth.
  • We owe our new teachers a salary commensurate with the gravity of their work.
  • We owe our new teachers assignments that set them up for success—rather than failure.

I’m the teacher I am today largely because I stuck it out and learned from my early career failures and missteps. Too many who enter our ranks depart too soon. We owe them better, better preparation, better mentors, and better support.

In his eleventh year of teaching, Nate Bowling is veteran of the United States Air Force Reserves and a graduate of the Evergreen State College. He was a 2014 recipient of the Milken Family Foundation’s National Educator Award, the 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year and was one of four finalists for 2016 National Teacher of the Year. He blogs about teaching and educational equity issues at natebowling.com.

The post What We Owe the Next Generation of Teachers appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

A Third of Student-Loan Borrowers Will 'Re-Default' in Next 2 Years, Report Says

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 17, 2016 - 12:47pm
A consumer-watchdog group's report recommends overhauling the federal programs that seek to guide borrowers from default back to repayment.
Categories: Higher Education News

Princeton Will Pay $18 Million to Settle Suit Over Property-Tax Exemption

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 17, 2016 - 2:56am
The university said it believed its tax-exempt status would have survived the challenge, but would rather see the money go to the community than to litigation costs.
Categories: Higher Education News

2 Foundations Plan Renewed Focus on More Credentials and Student-Aid Reform

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 17, 2016 - 2:55am
Among other priorities for the Lumina Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are competency-based education, improving quality assurance, and removing barriers to student progress.
Categories: Higher Education News

The Next Great Hope for Measuring Learning

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 16, 2016 - 5:00pm
Thirteen states are using a common tool to evaluate how well their students write, calculate, and think. Can this effort paint an accurate portrait of academic quality?
Categories: Higher Education News

Title IX Officers Pay a Price for Navigating a Volatile Issue

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 16, 2016 - 4:55pm
Two high-profile departures of title IX administrators underscore the pressures that come with being a college’s "moral compass."
Categories: Higher Education News

Michael Ignatieff Leads a European University in His Wife’s Home Country

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 16, 2016 - 4:30pm
The former Harvard professor who once led Canada’s Liberal Party hopes he can help reform graduate education through his new role.
Categories: Higher Education News

What I'm Reading: ‘Respect: An Exploration’

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 16, 2016 - 4:30pm
To prepare for today’s challenging conversations, says a consortium’s leader, we need to encourage students to practice respect.
Categories: Higher Education News

2011: A Test of Faith in Happy Valley

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 16, 2016 - 4:28pm
The child-sex-abuse scandal at Penn State shook the institution to its core.
Categories: Higher Education News

What You Need to Know About the Past 7 Days

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 16, 2016 - 4:27pm
In a turnabout, a Title IX investigation at Wesley College focuses on the rights of a student accused of misconduct. Plus Northwestern University is forced to rethink its handbook for football players, and Liberty University students rethink their president’s support for Donald J. Trump.
Categories: Higher Education News

Deadlines (10/21/2016)

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 16, 2016 - 2:58pm
Compiled by Anais Strickland
Categories: Higher Education News

A Closer Look at Income-Based Repayment, the Centerpiece of Donald Trump's Unexpected Higher-Ed Speech

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 15, 2016 - 10:51am
The presidential candidate caught many observers off guard by talking about a substantive higher-ed policy idea. Here’s some context to help make sense of his proposal.
Categories: Higher Education News

U. of Wisconsin Spent $24 Million on Faculty Retention After Perceived Threats to Tenure

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 14, 2016 - 4:04pm
Twenty-nine professors left the state's flagship university after the last academic year, while 111 professors who entertained outside job offers were retained.
Categories: Higher Education News

Raising Expectations and Rethinking Discipline

U.S. Department of Education Blog - October 14, 2016 - 8:00am

Editor’s Note: This is the third post in a series about rethinking discipline in charter schools.

I remember when my 6th grade teacher challenged my class to read a 1,000 page novel—something I knew even then was well beyond what most 11-year-olds were usually asked to do.

At the time, I grumbled about why Ms. Soberman was making our class work harder. Later, when I became a teacher myself, I realized that by assigning such a challenging book, it was Ms. Soberman who was working harder. By raising the level of expectation, she was increasing the likelihood that each of us might struggle – and that she’d have to figure out how to help each of us with our particular challenge.

I’m reminded again of Ms. Soberman when I hear U.S. Department of Education Secretary John B. King, Jr., an early co-founder of my organization, Uncommon Schools, talk about what are often called “no excuses” schools. In June, at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ annual conference, Secretary King rightly explained that “no excuses” never referred to not accepting “excuses” from students. Rather, as Secretary King said, “It was always about ‘no excuses’ for ourselves as educators—no blaming parents, no blaming neighborhoods—and asking ourselves, ‘What could we, the adults in school, do differently to change outcomes?’”

Ms. Soberman made no excuses for herself—she was determined to get each and every one of us through that novel no matter our circumstances or challenges.

And now we are applying that same “no excuses” approach to discipline in our schools – we are relentlessly seeking out the right solutions and thinking through the right adjustments that best ensure teachers can teach and students can learn in a safe, supportive, and loving environment.

We agree with Secretary King that those of us in public education must work with urgency to innovate around discipline and lead the way on equity for our most struggling students. We are proud that he highlighted Uncommon Schools for our work to rethink discipline.

We are tackling this in the same way we have tackled questions of how to generate academic improvement: through supporting our educators with the best professional development, by studying innovations to figure out what’s working, and then by sharing those best practices immediately with our other schools for their own implementation. When we have done this with our academic programs, we have seen improvement in student achievement across our schools, and we are seeing the beginnings of a similar outcome for our discipline practices.

This work was evident this past August, when all of our school Deans got together for professional development around discipline. The PD was led by our Uncommon Schools Teach Like a Champion team, who are experts in studying and codifying what effective educators do in their schools – in this case, emphasizing how the best Deans proactively avert the types of discipline issues that can easily derail a school day for a student.

Our schools are innovating in this area. For example, one of our high school principals developed and runs a weekly seminar with the students who are most struggling behaviorally to track their work habits and use data to change their performance. As another example, our deans have been collaborating on what it means to be a ‘public dean’, one who is proactive and not just reactive and whose mindset is consistently focused on supporting teachers and building relationships with students and families.

And it’s working. Uncommon has seen its suspension rates come down by 24% over the past three years, and we are committed to continuing to do even more to strengthen the guidance, professional development, and resources that we provide our team of educators. The drop in suspensions, by the way, coincides with huge growth in our enrollment, underscoring families’ desire to send their children to our schools. Over the same three-year period, Uncommon’s enrollment increased by 44% to 14,371 students in 2015-16. Our organization is evolving, as all great organizations must do.

As you can see, none of this is rocket science, and nothing that hasn’t been done before. It’s simply a product of the deeply-held belief by our team of dedicated school leaders and teachers that we must meet the needs of each of our individual students behaviorally as well as academically. We’ve been making a sacred promise to our families for 20 years, one we intend to keep – their child will attend a safe, rigorous, and joyful school where students can learn and teachers can teach.

As the chief executive of a network of 49 schools and 16,000 students, I’m proud to work with so many educators at Uncommon who believe in the power they have to change the lives of children.  Like Ms. Soberman, and countless educators around the country, they don’t make excuses and they are focused on creating safe, rigorous, positive learning environments that work for all students.

Brett Peiser is the Chief Executive Officer of Uncommon Schools

The post Raising Expectations and Rethinking Discipline appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

As Tension Mounts Over His Support of Trump, Liberty U.’s Falwell Stands Firm

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 14, 2016 - 2:56am
Students at the evangelical university have complained that their president’s support of a candidate accused of sexual misconduct damages the university’s reputation.
Categories: Higher Education News

Donald Trump Actually Talked About Higher Education on Thursday. Here's What He Said.

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 14, 2016 - 2:55am
The Republican nominee for president made his first substantive remarks on academic issues at a speech in Ohio, less than a month before the election.
Categories: Higher Education News

Sonny Vaccaro Plans One Last Push Against the NCAA

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 14, 2016 - 2:55am
The former shoe marketer, now an influential advocate for college athletes, looks to enlist new plaintiffs to challenge NCAA restrictions.
Categories: Higher Education News

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