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On the Tenth Day of Christmas CER Gave to Me…

The Best of Teachers Teaching!

(9th) Nine Data Dancing
(8th) Charter Schools Leading
(7th) Opportunity Scholars Expanding
(6th) Parent Power Growing
(5th) State Policy Changing
(4th) Reformie Ladies Lunching

(3rd) A Global Hub for Technology
 (2nd) Model Legislation
And a Nominee for Opportunity!

 

The 10th in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

by Dave Saba

“Your teachers teach!”

What a great statement from Texas Serenity Academy about teachers they received from the Teachers of Tomorrow alternative certification program. There are over 3.5 million teachers in schools today and many are doing an incredible job teaching America’s students. They challenge their students to learn while at the same time meeting the growing bureaucratic needs of an ever-expanding central office.

But PISA scores show that we must do better. We are too good to be 15th in reading, 35th in math and 18th in science.

Teachers have the greatest impact on student learning and yet our teaching pipeline is dry. Over the past 10 years the number of students selecting education as their major has dropped from 9.9 percent to 4.2 percent. Right now there are 116,000 openings in schools and it is only getting worse.

Some argue that there isn’t a teacher shortage and we have produced the right number of teachers. They argue that the problem is that too many are just not teaching, or don’t teach the right subjects or don’t want to teach in the right geography and they would be correct. They say we need to keep more great teachers in the classroom and they are right.  But if you are the HR person tasked with putting

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On the 9th Day of Christmas CER Gave to Me…

9 Data Dancing!

(8th) Charter Schools Leading
(7th) Opportunity Scholars Expanding
(6th) Parent Power Growing
(5th) State Policy Changing
(4th) Reformie Ladies Lunching

(3rd) A Global Hub for Technology
 (2nd) Model Legislation
And a Nominee for Opportunity!

 

The 9th in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

 

“Anyone can make data dance,” it’s been said.

That’s a reference often heard in research debates about whether or not someone’s findings are accurate, and usually to suggest that one person’s research is just as valid (or invalid) as another’s.

And yes, anyone can manipulate data, but not everyone uses the gold standard method of evaluations to help guide policy and decision-making. The gold standard is the term of art, for the best science to gauge whether something is working or not.  It uses real subjects, with similar characteristics, and tracks their progress to determine if the one major variable that distinguishes them might be responsible for their relative success or failure.

In the #edreform world that variable is most often a choice of schools. With literally thousands of comments, tweets, articles & the like constantly disparaging school choice results, CER brought together a distinguished panel of academicians and thought leaders this past November to create the first ever repository of “gold standard” guidelines for the education policy community. The forum was EdReform: Revived, and the findings from an ideologically diverse group conclusively demonstrate that not only does choice work for parents, its success from chartering to vouchers is clear and impactful from the student’s time in a choice school through college.

Giving new meaning to data dancing, these nine arbiters of data

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On the 8th Day of Christmas CER Gave to Me…

Charter Schools Leading!

(7th) Opportunity Scholars Expanding
(6th) Parent Power Growing
(5th) State Policy Changing
(4th) Reformie Ladies Lunching

(3rd) A Global Hub for Technology
(2nd) Model Legislation
And a Nominee for Opportunity!

 

The 8th in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

Charter schools are no longer a marginal experiment in US education.

Charter schools were started as a bipartisan effort to give schools more freedom and flexibility to meet results currently not being attained by district schools. As Ember Reichgott Junge, former Minnesota state senator and author of the first charter school bill in the nation, explains, “Chartering trades regulation for results, bureaucracy for accountability.”

Today, there are more than 6,700 charters enrolling nearly three million children in 43 states and Washington DC, leading the way in outcomes for children. There are arts-based charter schools, online charter schools, charter schools focused on STEAM and STEM curriculums, charter schools focused on the classics, and much more. 

The beauty of charter schools is that there is no “one-size-fits-all” model, and parents and children are free to determine if a school is a good fit – a sharp contrast to the district model.

As a student from Natomas Charter School – the winner in our Back Off My Charter video contest – told HBO comedian John Oliver, “The world realizes that education is an archaic model that needs updating – that’s why we have charter schools. We experiment, challenge and create – we pioneer change in hopes that other traditional schools will follow suit.”

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