In the News…

ED Study Finds Teachers In Schools With Large Black, Hispanic Populations Paid Less.

The Sacramento Observer (10/11, Cooper) reports that new research from ED “shows that African American and Hispanic students are being shortchanged, literally, when it comes to school budgets, in most districts with diverse enrollments,” and “found that teachers in schools with more Latino and African American enrollment get paid an average of $2,500 less than teachers in the whole district.” The piece quotes Education Secretary Arne Duncan from a statement accompanying the report, “America has been battling inequity in education for decades but these data show that we cannot let up. Children who need the most too often get the least. It’s a civil rights issue, an economic security issue and a moral issue.”


Tutoring Industry Worried About NCLB Waivers’ Impact.

Education Week (10/11, McNeil) reports that since ED’s waiver plan could “free up as much as $800 million in money school districts now must set aside for tutoring students,” firms providing tutoring services could suffer “a significant financial blow.” The article notes that some 600,000 US students are currently taking advantage of SES tutoring, and under the waiver plan, states “will be free to craft interventions for 15 percent of their lowest-performing schools-leaving the role of tutoring as a big question mark.”

Elementary School Receives Grant To Expand Gardening Program.

The Star-Ledger (NJ) (9/17) reported, “Tamaques Elementary School has received a ‘Learning Through Gardening’ grant from the New Jersey Agricultural Society” that “will allow the school to expand its garden program,” which “encourages students to eat their fruits and vegetables, provides them with lessons about growing plants and encourages them to live an active life through planting and maintaining gardens.” The grant will allow the school to expand the program to all grades, and provide it “with gardening supplies, instruction for teachers and consultations with master gardeners to aid in expansion.”

Teachers At High-Performing Schools Share Strategies.

The Jackson (MS) Clarion Ledger (9/18, Brown) reports that standardized test scores have improved in Mississippi, and credits the change to “individual classrooms” and teachers. The article profiles several teachers at high-performing school, as well as the methods that have shaped their success. Kristin Brown of Timberlawn Elementary, for example, “incorporates other subjects such as math and history into her lessons” on English, while Canton math teacher LaTanya Sanders “takes her students outside the classroom, letting them do measurements in the hallways or go on nature walks, as long as it’s relevant to the skill she is teaching.” Sanders said “credits Nichols Middle School Principal Cleveland Anderson, who had been her math teacher in seventh grade and a mentor, with giving teachers the freedom to get outside the classroom.”

 Buncome County schools get new Spanish Program

August 17, 2011

ARDEN — When they enter school for the first day Thursday, two dozen kindergarten students at Glen Arden Elementary School will immediately begin learning a second language.

The students are taking part in a new Spanish immersion program, the only one of its kind in Buncombe County schools. Only Spanish will be spoken in this classroom.

“The kids do not have reservations about the class. They are so excited,” said Twyla Ryan, whose daughter will take part in the program. “They are more nervous about being in kindergarten than they are about being in a class that speaks Spanish.”

The Spanish immersion program is part of Buncombe County schools’ global initiative.

“It is a total language immersion program using North Carolina curriculum, but being taught totally in that language,” said Jim Erdman, principal at Glen Arden. “It provides a rigorous academic program while children are learning Spanish.”

The school had more interest in the program than available slots, so parents took part in a lottery.

“You start it in kindergarten, and you want to continue it through the elementary years so that the children are basically bilingual,” Erdman said.

This article goes right along with my “Feature Quote” …The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize.  Judge Manning is such a wonderful advocate for not only at-risk children, but all children in North Carolina.  His no-nonsense approach is admirable. 

North Carolina Paper Applauds Judge’s Pre-K Education Funding Ruling.

An editorial in the Raleigh News & Observer (8/10) notes that the “judge who has been in charge of seeing that North Carolina’s school children are properly served under the state constitution warned that there must be no slacking off in efforts to help ‘at risk’ four-year-olds,” but legislators “went and did it anyway.” The piece criticizes the legislature’s “sweeping and misguided cuts in education spending,” but notes that the judge “ruled that children who met the at-risk criteria, typically related to low family income, had to be served. His reasoning: Only with this extra pre-K boost will they have a decent chance of arriving for regular school ready to learn. That means the program falls under the state’s constitutional duty to its young people.”


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