Report: Almost half of U.S. schools not meeting NCLB requirements
December 15th, 2011
02:32 PM ET

Report: Almost half of U.S. schools not meeting NCLB requirements

by Donna Krache, CNN
(CNN) A new report issued by the Center on Education Policy has some bad news for schools trying to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

According to the CEP, an estimated 48% of American schools are not making Adequate Yearly Progress, or what is known as AYP. This number is an all-time high and up from the previous year’s estimate of 39%. The most recent data was collected in the 2010-11 school year and the report notes that these are just estimates provided by the states. The official numbers will be released next year.

Under NCLB, states are required to set proficiency goals for students through testing or other performance assessments and report those metrics to the Department of Education. The ultimate objective is to meet the NCLB goal of 100% proficiency for all students in math and reading by 2014.

In September, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that states could apply for waivers as a way to offer some flexibility regarding NCLB. That action has been met with both praise and criticism from policymakers, educators and parents.

Read the Center for Education Policy's full report on AYP Results for 2010-2011.

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Filed under: NCLB • Policy • Practice • Testing
December 15th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

AJC: Georgia to require students to pick career path
Georgia joins most states in mandating that students pick a career or college path in ninth grade. Students will be able to choose from 17 career pathway clusters.

New York Times: State Takeovers of Other Districts Have Had Mixed Results
When school districts fail, or school boards become dysfunctional, a state may elect to take control. Research shows that state takeovers are more likely to impact central offices than classrooms. Student grade recovery increases; Duval teachers question its message
A Florida school district uses a computer-based grade recovery program that allows students to improve a grade of D or F in a class. About 38% of the district's students took advantage of the program; but less than half of them improved their grades.

CBS Santa’s Workshop: Kids Fix Toys To Donate To Others
A Minnesota school donates toys for needy children. The toys are then cleaned and repaired by the fourth grade classes.

The Charleston Gazette: Ex-POW Lynch to graduate from college Friday
On Friday, former POW and Iraqi War veteran Jessica Lynch will graduate from college with a degree in education. Lynch says her student teaching has prepared her for life in the classroom. Her next adventure: graduate school.

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Filed under: At Home • Curriculum • Policy • Practice • Teachers • Today's Reading List
Charter schools: Wave of the future?
Students study American History at Coney Island Prep, a charter school in Brooklyn, New York.
December 15th, 2011
07:35 AM ET

Charter schools: Wave of the future?

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN Radio

(CNN) More students are attending class at charter schools across the U.S. than ever before, and the number is expected to continue growing in the coming years.

Listen to CNN Radio's podcast on charter schools from Steve Kastenbaum.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools recently released a report saying that more than 2 million children are enrolled in public charter schools this year. The nonprofit resource for charter schools said that more than 500 charter schools opened their doors across the country in the 2011-12 school year.

In speech after speech, President Obama has said the charter schools play an important role in his education policy. His administration hopes to double the number of charters that were existence when he took office.

“We’ll encourage states to take a better approach when it comes to charter schools and other innovative public schools,” Obama said in a recent speech on education reform.

Coney Island Prep opened in Brooklyn, New York, in 2009. But it took founder Jacob Mnookin two years to get to that point. He first had to get through the application process.

“When I submitted it, it was about 1,800 pages,” the graduate of Princeton University’s public policy school said.

Mnookin said a tremendous amount of information is required for the application. “Everything from daily schedules and annual calendars to five-year budget projections and personnel policies, curriculum, assessments, etc. So it’s a very detailed and lengthy document.”

He also had to put together a board of trustees that would oversee the school, find a location for the school and hire a staff. Most charter schools go through a similar process, but the details can differ greatly from state to state and city to city.

While Coney Island Prep is housed in a traditional school building, the similarities between the middle school and other public schools end at the door.

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Filed under: Charter schools • Policy • Practice