[6/1] For Our Future: This Week's Education News & More

by Seth Saavedra │Friday, June 1st, 2018

Friends & Colleagues -

Welcome to June! I bring you the latest from APS and NMPED, along with a new, free resource for teachers. And my love for podcasts continues with two more for your listening pleasure.

Earlier this week I asked "Are Our Schools Meant to Be Gardens or Construction Sites?" Of course, I hope the answer is somewhere in between. Here's this week's roundup:

[LOCAL: NEWS] APS (Finally) Signs Off On School Improvement Plans. After months of posturing, APS superintendent Raquel Reedy has signed off on improvement plans for two elementary schools: Los Padillas and Whittier. This leaves one more MRI school (Hawthorne Elementary, which I wrote about recently) for APS to complete a "champion and provide choice" plan for.

Let's hold APS accountable to making substantive change for some our Albuquerque's most vulnerable students.


[LOCAL: NEWS] NMPED Increases Number in Homegrown Principal Program. We in New Mexico love our homegrown people, ideas, and businesses. So we should be incredibly proud of two locally fostered programs: Teachers Pursuing Excellence (TPE) and Principals Pursuing Excellence (PPE).

Per NMPED: "The state is welcoming 50 new principals to join the evidenced-based program that will help them improve their schools. PPE schools have tripled and doubled academic growth rates while serving more students living in poverty, English Learners (ELs), Native students, and students with disabilities. Dozens of PPE schools have increased their school grades from Ds and Fs to As and Bs, thus becoming models of excellence for other struggling schools statewide to emulate."

[LOCAL: NEWS] Local Advocacy Group Launches "The Future of Education in New Mexico". Speaking of locally grown, NMKidsCAN released a literal roadmap describing "our [education] path, and the guiding stars that we follow as the compass points we use to fine-tune our journey."

To request a physical copy of the roadmap - and also follow the path of New Mexican student Isabel - visit: https://nmkidscan.org/vision/.


[NATIONAL: OPPORTUNITY] Khan Academy Offering Teachers Free Online Training. The Silicon Valley powerhouse now offers free online training program through its new Khan Academy Teacher Training. The 60-minute, self-paced training program helps teachers - and their students - get the most out of Khan Academy’s extensive collection of free online courses.

[NATIONAL: PODCAST] Vox Digs Into "No Excuses" Charter School History. Matthew Yglesias and crew are some of the wonkiest podcasters out there. This week they tackle the fraught topic of "no excuses" charter schools. I found their exploration one of the smartest, most incisive conversations I've heard on the topic. I put this in my "can't miss" category.

[NATIONAL: PODCAST] New Education Podcast Launches. The Bell, in association with The Hechinger Report, has launched "Miseducation". The series digs into the bifurcated public education system in New York City. One for the haves, and an entirely different one for the have nots:

"New York City has two high school systems. One is for the affluent and well-connected. It promises elite opportunities for families able to sacrifice time and money to compete for them. The other primarily serves low-income students of color, concentrates them in the same schools, and offers them slim hope of college preparation. But most people here, including policymakers, have little idea what actually goes on inside this dual school system." Listen to episode one: "The Price of Specialized High Schools".