Using policy, mind-set, and random acts of kindness to change education

  • It’s not quite time to celebrate for Ohio.  The Buckeye State’s NCLB waiver was approved by the federal government, contingent on implementing a tougher school grading system. However, as of right now, state legislators have stripped the new evaluation plans from the education bill.  
  • The piece “Millions spent on improving teachers, but little done to make sure it’s working” by The Hechinger Report describes the state of professional development in schools, and it’s less than desirable. With federal money flowing through programs like Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants that are intended to improve on-the-job teacher training, the report explains that finding professional development vendors is left up to schools. New York City has 900 vendors, which makes finding one an extremely difficult task for administrators. 
  • Louisiana is starting one of the nation’s largest voucher programs this fall by giving students the money needed to pay tuition at 120 private schools in the state. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a case out of Cleveland that vouchers may be used to pay for religious education so long as the state is not promoting one faith over any other. 
  • Cities like Dayton, Ohio are realizing that to keep alive, they must keep college graduates. In order to achieve this, Learn to Earn’s Tom Lasley says there must be a change of mind-set: “We have to go from one where people think of themselves as being in a high-school-attending culture to being in a college-attending culture.”
  • There seems to be an endless amount of quotes about changing the world: Ghandi said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” and Anne Frank said “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” And the list of inspirational quotes goes on and on. But few have put action to those words, and Marie Bell is one of the few. The Texas kindergarten teacher gave one of her kidneys to her student’s father. Talk about teaching by example. 

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