[10/4] For Our Future: This Week's Education News & More

Friends & Colleagues - 

As we collectively despair in the aftermath of another mass shooting in our country, we seek answers, grace, and leadership to forge a different future. For me, this time has been a reminder of the erosion in our civics education and discourse, adults and children alike.

The degradation of civics education in the U.S., the dire implications for our democracy, and a potential path forward comprise three posts below. I've also included a local teacher's perspective on teacher evaluation, New Mexico's selection for a sizable grant, and some good news about record numbers of Hispanic students graduating high school and enrolling in college, which ties back to the benefits of college beyond earning potential.

As always, your feedback is welcomed, as are social media and other sharing. Here's this week's roundup:

  • [LOCAL: OPINION] Use Evaluation System As an Improvement Tool. In a rare but much needed instance of reasoned discourse, Rio Rancho teacher Amanda Bader shares her clear-eyed take on the real purpose and utility of teacher evaluation. As those of us outside the polemic bubble already know, teacher evaluations are no silver bullet nor consuming sin. Rather, evaluations provide necessary data and credibility to a profession deserving of both. Or, as Amanda writes, evaluation used properly is a tool "for improvement and empowerment, not an obstacle to teachers growing as professionals and students growing as learners."
  • [LOCAL: NEWS] New Mexico Awarded Federal Grant to Expand Charter Schools. The Land of Enchantment was selected as one of only nine states to share $254 million. We received a sizable grant of $22 million to launch 22 new charter schools statewide and expand eight existing schools. Every one of these 30 schools represents the opportunity for parents to select a school that best fits the needs for their children. Kudos to all who put great effort into a stellar application.
  • [NATIONAL: NEWS] Making Civics Education Relevant. Two weeks ago, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor joined a group of experts to discuss the importance of enriching civics education in order to advance political knowledge and social equality. Among the topics covered were how to make civics education more engaging and targeted toward core values in schools and how the reason for college is not financial. "What college does is give you knowledge about the world and that has an intrinsic value that services you as a human being no matter what kind of work you're doing during the day," Sotomayor said. "That ability to become a better person, to become a more curious human being, to have more active knowledge so that you can act or choose not to act in the world, but by choice. That's the value of education."
  • [NATIONAL: RESEARCH] Civics is the Key to Our Next Generations. Beyond the three "Rs" of education, schooling has always been in large part about citizen formation: how and who are we preparing our children to become? Political scientists refer to four common measures of citizenship behavior: community service, civic skills, political knowledge, and political tolerance. In nearly all four measures, we are lackluster. For example, in 2014, only 23% of America’s eighth-graders — in public and private schools alike — scored proficient or higher on the National Assessment of Educational Progress’s civics test. Some good news is that evidence from around the world suggests that studying within “distinctive educational communities in which pupils and teachers share a common ethos” vastly increases the odds of students acquiring academic and civic knowledge, skills, and sensibilities. In other words, schools with strongly identifiable culture and purpose offer us a solution to the civics education gap. These findings suggests the possibility that" effective democratic participation relies upon seeing ourselves as more than citizens, and that larger commitments and values inform civic engagement rather than the other way around."
  • [NATIONAL: OPINION] The Failure of Civics Education. Behind much of the erosion of civic discourse in our country is the depletion of civics education in the classroom. For example, when the Annenberg Public Policy Center surveyed American adults in 2014 and found that only 36% could name the three branches of the U.S. government. More alarmingly, the recent release of a survey by the Brookings Institution where college students were asked about their understanding of the First Amendment’s free-speech clause. Overall, "a surprisingly large fraction of students believe it is acceptable to act—including resorting to violence—to shut down expression they consider offensive." Here are some frightening responses:

         - “Does the First Amendment protect ‘hate speech’?” Just 39 percent said yes

         - "A public university invites a very controversial speaker to an on-campus event, a person “known for making offensive and hurtful statements and a student group opposed to the speaker disrupts the speech by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker ... Do you agree or disagree that the student group’s actions are acceptable?" 51 percent said yes (including 62 percent of those who identify as Democrats)
  • [NATIONAL: RESEARCH] The high school dropout rate among U.S. Hispanics has fallen to a new low, according to recently released data from the Census Bureau. The reduction comes alongside continued increase in Hispanic college enrollment, also at a record high. The Hispanic dropout rate was 10% in 2016, when merely five years earlier, the rate was 16%. The overall high school dropout rate in the U.S. has also fallen substantially in recent decades, matching a record low of 6%. In 2016. Hispanics have accounted for much of that decline. We must ask then, how do we ensure Hispanic students in New Mexico join this widening group of students graduating high school and enrolling in college?

[9/19] For Our Future: This Week's Education News & More

Friends & Colleagues -

This week is a special update that brings two guest writers sharing their experiences in New Mexico's education system, from quite different perspectives. We also find broad support for school choice from Millennials, smart cities using data in innovative ways to improve public education, and continued challenges in recruiting and retaining a diverse teaching force. The work is never ending but together we move forward.

As always, your feedback is welcomed, as are social media and other sharing. Here's this week's roundup:

  • [LOCAL: NEWS] Perspective on School Grades Once Again Ignores Equity. Albuquerque native and founder of the recently approved charter school Albuquerque Collegiate, Jade Rivera, shares a poignant reminder of the pernicious inequity that persists across public education and in our own backyards:

    "In a recent op-ed in the Santa Fe New Mexican, entitled “Ignore the state’s grading system for schools”, David Soherr-Hadwiger, professor at UNM, writes about the great opportunities his daughters received at three campuses within Albuquerque Public Schools and his frustration about the grades received by these schools under the Public Education Department’s school grading system.

    Reading the op-ed, I experienced a flurry of intense emotion, both personally and professionally. Personally, I am a product of APS, a proud alumnus of Montezuma Elementary School, Jefferson Middle School, and Albuquerque High School. Numerous experiences highlighted in the article reflect my own experience at these schools. Sixteen years ago, my single mother was among the “dozens of families” that Mr. Soherr-Hadwiger writes about that transfer their children into Jefferson to gain access to its academic offerings. I took AP courses at Albuquerque High, including AP calculus from Mr. Jimmy Phillips, who was instrumental in my decision to become a mathematics teacher myself.

    I benefitted tremendously from the educators and academic programs at these schools. However, I know that those same opportunities were not afforded to every one of my classmates, particularly those who came from low-income households, and who identified as ethnic minorities. If you read beyond the single letter grades of these schools, dissecting the school grade reports, you can see that this inequity remains true today.

    The school grading system is an assessment of how a school is performing. Is it a perfect encapsulation of 100% of the things happening at a school? Of course not, but it gives us a high-level picture about the statistical performance of a school and its students. This year Albuquerque High received a “D” letter grade. Looking more closely at the school grade report, we know that the school did not perform well in “current standing”, which assesses if students are on grade level. The report shows that currently 29% of all students are proficient in reading and 14% are proficient in math. The vast majority of students are not meeting grade level targets, and while that is an issue in and of itself, the greater issue I see is that of inequity among subgroups. 60% of white students are proficient in reading, while only 22% of Hispanic students are proficient. Again, white students surpass the all student math proficiency with 42% deemed proficient, while a mere 9% of Hispanic students are identified as proficient. Hispanic students, who account for nearly 80% of the student population, are being outperformed by their white peers by nearly 3 times in reading, and over 4.5 times in math. As a member of the Hispanic community, that is something I cannot ignore, particularly as I think about what this means for my community.

    Does this mean there aren’t Hispanic students in AP courses at Albuquerque High, gaining scholarships to prestigious colleges and universities? Absolutely not. But it does mean that those AP courses and college admissions are likely not representative of the larger school population. When I attended Albuquerque High 10 or so years ago, I was often one of few Hispanic students in the AP classes, and when I opted to take regular government, instead of AP government, I was asked how my “gen pop” class was, because that’s what students called it. To be frank, my “gen pop” class was not remotely rigorous or challenging, but it was the first time I had a class where I was in the ethnic majority.

    In response to Mr. Soherr-Hadwiger’s suggestion to parents to ignore school grades based on the positive experiences of his daughters, I would urge him to reflect on the privilege and hubris of such a suggestion. Certainly, inquiring families should talk to other parents about the doors that have opened for their children, but understand that the experiences of one child cannot reflect the broader experience of all children at any given school.

    For parents and families, I would advise getting all the facts and information possible. Get qualitative information from other parents, and look at the quantitative data in a school grade report. Get to know everything you can when making a determination about what doors can be opened for your child at any given school. Remember that knowledge is power, and if we hope to flourish as a community, it is critical that we understand the inequities that exist and then fight for equitable power and knowledge, for all students and families in our community."
  • [LOCAL: NEWS] New Mexico Needs Fresh Ideas, Not Tired Politics, To Move Forward. Offering a perspective straight from the classroom (and a stark contrast to the stale perspective of Sen. Stewart of Albuquerque, who we'll recall is adamant that "we don't know how to teach poor kids") longtime educator Rachael Stewards is kind enough to share a counter and constructive narrative: 

    "My participation in the New Mexico Teacher Leader Network invigorated my energy and helped me find my voice as a teacher in New Mexico. The relationships I built with other teachers from around the state, as well as the conversations I was able to have with PED officials, increased my capacity as a teacher leader in the state. My year in the NMTLN allowed me to better understand policy and protocol coming out of the PED and how it impacted me as a teacher and my students. The openness and transparency with which our PED works is unique and an opportunity for teachers to have a voice in public education."

  • [NATIONAL: SURVEY] Across All Millennials, Support for School Choice High. In two recent national surveys, researchers found broad support for various forms of school choice, with support highest among Millennials of color. Specifically, charter schools garnered "support from 65% of African Americans, 61% of Asian Americans, 58% of Latinos, and 55% of whites." This comes as no surprise from the generation accustomed to on-demand options in all facets of their lives and who grew up with a distrust of large institutions following the 2008 Great Recession. The question remains whether we as adults have the courage and fortitude to enact the fundamental changes our students are asking for - and desperately need.
  • [NATIONAL: RESEARCH] Smart City Data Helping to Solve Education Challenges. A recent article highlights examples from Chicago to Nashville to Fresno and also finds that, for cash-strapped school districts, partnering with the community is sometimes the only way they can leverage data to improve student experiences. One such data-sharing agreement in Nashville, TN "has helped Metro Nashville Public Schools improve students’ reading skills. By looking at data on which types of after-school initiatives are effective, educators were able to alter the programs’ curricula to support better outcomes."
  • [NATIONAL: CERTIFICATION] Teaching Licensure Remains Barrier for Diverse Teachers. In fantastic reporting from Matt Barnum over at Chalkbeat, he finds systemic and financial hurdles continue to keep teachers of color out of the classroom, where our students need them most. With a teacher workforce that hovers around 80% white nationwide, many of the requirements intended to ensure teacher quality instead becomes burdens "of tough certification rules borne by teachers of color". The five primary issues he uncovers are:

         1. Undergraduate GPAs requirements "which excludes half of Black and over one-third of Hispanic college graduates";
         2. When they take traditional teaching exams, Black and Hispanic candidates fail more often;
         3. A new kind of test has shrunk the gaps, but Black candidates continue to fail at higher rates (see graphic below);
         4. All of those teaching exams cost a lot, especially if you have to retake them; and
         5. Alternative pathways attract more teachers of color, but some states limit them.
Teacher Certification Exam

[9/6] For Our Future: This Week's Education News & More

Friends & Colleagues -

As a New Mexican native and education advocate, I know our thoughts on education are as varied and colorful as our sunsets. This holds true when it comes to our school letter grades as well. My thoughts are that letter grades are an imperfect but helpful tool that provide a glimpse into how things are going. They are also a rare opportunity for parents to see how their school is performing overall. A school grade is akin to a thermometer as it provides incomplete but indispensable information about what’s going on inside a complex body, whether it’s human or a school. Your temperature won’t tell you exactly what’s going on but does let us know whether we should be concerned and what to be on the lookout for.

Different from the letter grades we get as students, however, New Mexico school grades were designed from the outset to be transparent. I encourage all New Mexicans to head to the Public Education Department website to see for themselves. The report cards are quite easy to read, though of course I’d love for NMPED to continue to make the information as accessible as possible for all parents by including things like demographic information as well.

For "fun" I looked up the 2016 grades for the seven APS schools I attended as a child and found one "C", one "D", and five "Fs", which aligns with my personal experiences. The high school I eventually dropped out got an “F” last year but a “C” this year. Hmmmm, that sounds promising. Right there on the first page of the school report I see where the change comes from: in a category called School Improvement that asks, “Is the school as a whole making academic progress?” This appears to be the case of a school working hard to improve a specific category that increases their overall grade, which is precisely why teachers, and especially parents and students need school grades. How else do we know where we are doing well, or not, without first having the information about how students are learning?

One of the few things all New Mexicans agree on is that our public education system has yet to fulfill its potential, particular for poor and Hispanic students like myself. We cannot meaningfully address the issues of equity and access which haunt our state (and did so long before we had school grades) without first knowing the hard reality of now. What we find in the school report cards isn’t always pretty, but we owe it to ourselves and our future to look our challenges straight in the eye and confront them head on. Remember, every D or F school represents hundreds or thousands of students who aren’t acquiring the skills they need to be the future community, business, and civic leaders New Mexico needs.

As always, your feedback is welcomed, as are social media and other sharing. Here's this week's roundup:

  • [LOCAL: NEWS] New Mexico 2016-17 School Grades Released.  NMPED has shared the latest school grades and provides these highlights:

         Farmington has eliminated “F” schools and increased the amount of “A” schools
    In 2012, 6% of its schools were “F” schools, today the district has 0 “F” schools
            - In 2012, Farmington had no “A” schools, today 37% of its schools are “A” schools

         Gadsden has eliminated “F” schools and increased the amount of “A” schools
    In 2012, 9% of its schools were “F” schools, today the district has 0 “F” schools

         Alamogordo has eliminated “F” schools.In 2012, 13% of its schools were “F” schools and now has 0 “F” schools
            - The district has grown the number of “A” schools by 14%

         Unfortunately for APS students, the state's largest district is trending in the wrong direction:
            - In 2012, 11% of schools earned an “F”, now that number has jumped to 34% (that’s roughly 36 more “F” schools across the district)
            - APS has 19 of the 23 schools statewide that earned a participation penalty, for lack of students taking PARCC
            - The only two schools in New Mexico that have earned an “F” letter grade for six consecutive years in a row are Hawthorne Elementary School and Whittier Elementary School in APS
  • [LOCAL: SCHOOL] Using Data to Inform and Improve Teaching. One of the great dilemmas and albatrosses around the neck of public education is a “data-rich, action-poor” approach. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in a school as an adult will find reams of data, though the degree to which these data impact instruction or practice is hard to know.

    Changing this paradigm to great success is Mission Achievement & Success (MAS) here in Albuquerque. Founder and principal JoAnn Mitchell and her staff believe that their jobs are not simply about collecting data but "about using data to enhance teaching." Most importantly, this approach is resulting in great outcomes for students. MAS (where 4 out of every 10 students receives free or reduced lunch) has earned an "A" grade for the last three years, a testament to the hard work, dedication, and collective effort.
  • [NATIONAL: PODCAST] Keeping Teachers. Teachers matter more than anything else in a school. But schools are struggling to hold on to the teachers they need. Men of color and teachers in rural areas are in especially short supply, which has massive implications for us in The Land of Enchantment as there is strong, emerging evidence that having a teacher of color improves the learning outcomes and likelihood of being recommended for gifted classes for students of color.
  • [NATIONAL: RESEARCH] Time to Revive the Guild System? "After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, U.S. needs more tradespeople" is the headline coming from The Hechinger Report. In California, 30% of all job openings by 2025 — more than a million jobs — will require some post-high school education, according to the state’s community college system. In an environment where we tend to debate either vocational training or liberal arts, what employers really want is both. Students need the hard skills to take industrial jobs along with so-called “soft skills” - such as communication and conflict resolution - that foster teamwork and reduce stress.

Mission Achievement & Success: Focusing on Data to Help Students and Teachers

Here's what the nation's teachers look like.

[8/15] For Our Future: This Week's Education News & More

Friends & Colleagues -

August is back-to-school time and a reminder of the trust parents place in schools to provide safety and learning to their most valuable possessions, their children. I can't help but smile at the excitement (and nervousness) of students and teachers alike as they engage in the sacred ritual between educator and pupil. This week's news brings several stories from here at home as well as the latest results from one of the country's largest education polls. As always, your feedback is welcomed, as are social media and other sharing. Here's this week's roundup:

  • [LOCAL: NEWS] New Mexico's ESSA Plan Approved by Department of Education. Coming on the heels of receiving high marks for our focus on ambitious and attainable goals, New Mexico becomes the second state to have our plan approved. We should be proud of this achievement and the hard work that went into this roadmap for modernizing our education system. We've set a high bar for all our children with a special emphasis on our most vulnerable and marginalized students.

    We as advocates must work to build belief in our plan and hold policy makers accountable to those goals, which were set in partnership with thousands of people via the New Mexico Rising Tour. We must also counter the negativity and disbelief of those like Sen. Mimi Stewart of Albuquerque who incorrectly stated that "there is “widespread hatred and dislike of both the teacher evaluations and the school grades” [a claim debunked below] and who last month told an audience in New Orleans that “We don’t know how to teach kids from poverty. They come with no skills – well, they have street-fighting skills. They’ve got a lot of skills; they’re just not academic skills.” There is simply no room in our state for policy makers who don't believe in ALL of our students and the responsibility of public education to reach every one of them, regardless of income or home situation.
  • [LOCAL: NEWS] Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) Releases New Academic Master Plan. In a long overdue move, APS has updated and shared their overarching vision for the path to improvement for our state's largest school district. The plan outlines three overarching goals (early learning, college and career readiness, and developing the whole child) alongside a concept titled "Learning Zones" which divides the district into four geographically bound zones:

         - LZ-1 consists of Albuquerque, Highland and Manzano high schools and their feeder schools;
         - LZ-2 is made up of Atrisco Heritage, Rio Grande and West Mesa high schools and their feeder schools;
         - LZ-3 includes Cibola, Valley and Volcano Vista high schools and their feeder schools; and
         - LZ-4 consists of Del Norte (the high school I dropped out of), Eldorado, La Cueva and Sandia high schools and their feeder schools.

    While the ideas in the new master plan are sound and worth exploring, this (as with any policy/strategic initiative) will boil down to implementation and commitment to goals. And speaking of goals, you won't find many in the plan yet. None of the three goal areas provide any quantitative goals to speak of, which is troubling. I'm a believer in setting visionary, feasible quantitative and qualitative goals to drive actions, with benchmarks to measure progress along the way. Perhaps APS and Superintendent Reedy will revisit our top-rated ESSA plan, which garnered bipartisan praise for its ambitious, equity-minded goals, and incorporate the smart work already done there.
  • [LOCAL: NEWS] Fort Sumner Student All Set for College. An inspiring story from NBC News shares the remarkable determination of 17-year-old Jazmin Regalado, who will be the first in her family to go to college. By accessing online study tools and zeroing in on improving her SAT score, Jazmin affirms that high standardized test scores are crucial not only for college admittance, but also to qualify for many scholarships available for low-income students. Of course, test scores can never tell the whole story of a student, but let's not lose sight of the reality that test scores matter in providing access and opportunity for all New Mexican children.
  • [LOCAL: LEADERS] Albuquerque Leaders Speak About Education. Improving education in New Mexico is necessarily a community and collective effort requiring strong local leadership dedicated to the cause. So it's with optimism I share statements from Albuquerque mayoral candidate Brian Colón and, the recently named Chamber of Commerce board chair, Meg Meister. Meister describes K-12 education as an “economic driver” as it relates to both educating the state’s future workforce and attracting residents of other states to the Albuquerque area.

    Meanwhile Colón states that, "As the new mayor, policies will be undertaken to improve the education that is provided within the City of Albuquerque. We can no longer accept incremental change and ineffective APS policies of the past. We can no longer accept mediocrity. I will work directly with APS by immediately appointing a CEO, a Chief Education Officer, who report to me on a regular basis. That person will be the conduit between the City of Albuquerque, APS, CNM and our flagship research institution, The University of New Mexico. It is imperative that the mayor’s office work directly with the APS Superintendent in reforming policies within the district. We must change the players at the table, demand innovation, and strive for excellence to create a first-class educational system, Albuquerque families deserve no less."
  • [NATIONAL: POLL] Education Next Releases Results of 2017 Poll. With its 11th annual poll, EdNext has become one of our most consistent and reliable sources for the collective thoughts of parents, teachers, and parents nationwide. This year's survey consists of "a nationally representative sample of 4,214 respondents, including representative oversamples of 2,170 parents, 669 teachers, and 805 Hispanics." Some quick highlights:

         - Accountability: As shown in the graphic below, there is overwhelming support (61%) for the use of state standards "to hold public schools accountable for their performance"
         - School Choice: "Public support for charter schools has fallen by 12%, with similar drops evident among both self-described Republicans and self-described Democrats. Meanwhile, opposition to school vouchers and tax credits to fund private-school scholarships has declined."
         - Teacher Policies: "The public is showing an increased resistance to change when it comes to policies affecting teachers. The percentages favoring merit pay, an end to teacher tenure, and increases in teacher salaries are all down about 5%. In each case, however, a plurality continue to support reform."
         - Parents’ Aspiration for Higher Education: "Two thirds of the public would have their child pursue a four-year university degree, while only 22% would choose a two-year associate’s degree at a community college, and 11% would choose neither.
         - Early Childhood Education: 51% of the public supports "publicly funded pre-school programs" as long as these "programs accountable for their performance", with 61% of Hispanic parents supporting this same question.
Accountability and State Standards

[8/1] For Our Future: This Week's Education News & More

Friends & Colleagues -

The start of the 2017-18 school year is just a few weeks away, bringing both excitement and anxiety to students, teachers and parents alike. While new supplies are purchased and classrooms get rearranged, let us not forget that the start of every school year is a fresh opportunity to reinvest hope in our schools and for the potential of education to liberate and support our students to their best selves. Education remains our best mechanism towards the just and equitable Good Society. We can and should debate specific policies and practices, all with an eye towards the future and what's best for our students and their ultimate self-determination. As always, your feedback is welcomed, as are social media and other sharing. Here's this week's roundup:

  • [LOCAL: NEWS] New Mexico PARCC Scores Released Showing Slight Statewide Improvement. Last Monday NMPED released our statewide PARCC results which show marginal improvement over last year for the 214,870 students who took the exam this spring. Since 2015, the first year of PARCC, New Mexico has experienced growth of 2.2% in English Language Arts (ELA) and 2.3% in Math. The biggest gains in ELA are seen with American Indian students (+4%), female students (+3%), economically disadvantaged students (+2.9%) and Hispanic students (+2.4%). While the value in making personnel decisions based on test scores should be and is limited (to 30% in New Mexico as of this school year), one of the most important aspects of PARCC, or any statewide standardized exam, is the light shined on our most disenfranchised students. Without this information we don't know that only 23.8% of Hispanic students are considered proficient in ELA and on course for college. We also wouldn't know that only 21.5% of our low-income students are proficient and only 17.6% of our American Indian students are as well. This information is absolutely vital in working towards equity and any discussion of removing this data is not focused on our most vulnerable students and how we will serve them better. The results also show us that in places and districts where the inequity is tackled head on and reforms are embraced (whether though NMPED or not) that progress will be made, in districts such as Gadsden, Gallup-McKinley County and Farmington, which have all seen marked growth over the past two years.
  • [LOCAL: OPINION] Looking In: Helping Young People Of New Mexico. As New Mexico's ESSA plan continues to be lauded as one of the best in the nation, including The Collaborative for Student Success and Results for America, a select few have begun to criticize this achievement by attempting to discredit the work of the organizations who have issued the reports. A classic example of attacking the speaker instead of their argument. So it's great to see a letter from Scott Sagrad, the K-12 Policy Director of the Center for American Progress, reflect on his experience as a peer reviewer for state ESSA plans. 
  • [NATIONAL: OPINION] Together, Technology And Teachers Can Revamp Schools. The Economist warns us that the science of learning (research-backed, not unproven, pseudoscientific ideas such as “learning styles”) must be at the center of our attempts to personalize and digitize education.
  • [NATIONAL: RESEARCH] Data Show Charter School Students Graduating From College At Three To Five Times National Average. About a decade ago, 15 years into the public charter school movement, a few of the nation’s top charter networks quietly upped the ante on their own strategic goals. No longer was it sufficient to keep students “on track” to college. Nor was it enough to enroll 100% of your graduates in colleges. Now many of these charter school networks, which almost exclusively educate low-income and students of color, are seeing returns on these efforts in the form of their students graduating college at impressive rates that are 3x-5x the national average.
  • [NATIONAL: PODCAST] Where Teacher Evaluation Reform Was A Home Run. In this week's podcast, special guest Thomas Toch, director of FutureEd at Georgetown University, joins to discuss teacher reform in Washington, D.C., where big changes were made without nearly the same animosity and discontent we continue to see in New Mexico.
Disparities in Educational Attainment


A new report finds that while more Americans are attending and completing degree programs, “sharp divisions” in access remain “by income level, race, ethnicity, and geography.” The report calls on Congress to “close educational attainment gaps” to ensure “All Americans have the ability to find a good job that pays well and provides a foundation for their family… Making college more affordable, giving students access to better information about their options, and better preparing high school students for the rigors of college are all goals that Congress must pursue.”

Grading NM School Grades