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EDUCATION IN THE U.S.. Background  Every U.S citizen is guaranteed access to free public education from kindergarten to high school graduation  Fall.

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Presentation on theme: "EDUCATION IN THE U.S.. Background  Every U.S citizen is guaranteed access to free public education from kindergarten to high school graduation  Fall."— Presentation transcript:

1 EDUCATION IN THE U.S.

2 Background  Every U.S citizen is guaranteed access to free public education from kindergarten to high school graduation  Fall 2012-2013 school year public elementary/secondary schools would spend on average more than $11,000 per student  U.S public education has transformed from system designed to provide students with basic knowledge to one that provides them with tools to succeed in a global economy

3 Background  Out of 34 most developed nation U.S ranks 26 th in early childhood education and 28 th in high school graduation rates- 23% failing to get a diploma  Therefore in recent years there has been a push to reform public education so that there will be improvements to schools while also equipping students for competition in a global workforce

4 Movement to Reform Education  In 1980s Reagan ran for president vowing to shut down the Dept of Education- believed that federal gov’t should stay out of education and leave schooling to states  After election Secretary of Education wanted to study the condition of U.S. schools before pulling federal influence  Est a “Blue Ribbon” panel to travel the country and observe how schools were doing

5 “A Nation at Risk”  1983 the National Commission on Excellence in Education issued ‘A Nation At Risk’- negative critique of U.S. public education  The report called for:  increased graduation requirements  longer school days/years  greater teacher accountability  Increased role for federal government in education

6 School Choice and Vouchers  Traditionally public school students could only attend public school in their neighborhood  As arguments arose that this trapped kids to failing schools policymakers began proposing school choice programs  Parents receive a state or federal grant (voucher) to help them pay for their child’s education at a private school of their choosing  Originally started in VT and ME since late 19 th ce because rural towns lacked nearby public schools

7 School Choice and Vouchers  Today 12 states including DC accept voucher programs  Of those, 8 offer to students with special needs  4 states and DC offer vouchers to low-income students and those attending failing schools  2 states offer vouchers to selected rural students  http://www.ncsl.org/research/education/voucher-law- comparison.aspx http://www.ncsl.org/research/education/voucher-law- comparison.aspx

8 Charter Schools  Born in 1992 when City Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota first opened its doors as nation’s 1 st independently operated charter school  Exempt from many state and local regulations- created by developers to pursue specific educational goals  Must abide by federal laws regarding equal rights, access and discrimination

9 Charter Schools  Students attend charters free of charge by choice of parents  41 states and DC have charter school laws including who can authorize and hold them accountable for their performance  http://www.nj.gov/education/chartsch/allcharters.htm http://www.nj.gov/education/chartsch/allcharters.htm

10 Charter Schools vs Public Schools  Funded with public money but they generally operate outside of collective bargaining agreements (only about one-tenth of charter schools are unionized) and other constraints that many feel prevent principals in public schools from innovating for the good of their students  In exchange for more freedom they get less funding and have to prove they are making good on the promised set out in their charter- usually showing improvements in test scores  Charter schools can look for private donations

11 What Makes a Charter School Effective?  According to the National Bureau of Economic Research:  Frequent teacher feedback  Data-driven instruction  Intensified tutoring  Increased instructional time  High expectations  These 5 points can explain roughly half of the variation between more effective and less effective schools  Data gathered on 35 charter schools that vary widely in their approach to teaching and learning  However study comes with two important warnings  The 5 points might be the results rather than the causes of school effectiveness because the authors didn't study other potentially important inputs, such as the principal's skills, or the effects of the lottery system in selecting students  This study didn't examine all of NYC’s charter schools, so there may be other dynamics at work that make it hard to generalize the results for other charter schools or public schools.

12 Lets Compare  http://unitycharterschool.org/ http://unitycharterschool.org/  http://www.uhcs-newark.org/ http://www.uhcs-newark.org/

13 No Child Left Behind (NCLB)  Proposed in 2001 by Bush in response to flat test scores  Aim was to close achievement gap among students from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds as well as special needs and learning disabilities  NCLB mandates annual testing in reading and math from 3-8 grade and at least once in high school  States are required to administer tests, revise teaching strategies and offer tutoring programs

14 No Child Left Behind (NCLB)  States who do not follow the rules run the risk of losing federal funding  Also requires a highly qualified teacher in every classroom- means a college degree, license and competency in the subject they teach  However, some states have different views of what “qualified” actually means

15 Looking to the Future  Obama vowed to oversee the rewriting of NCLB  Wants to keep some features of NCLB but also add  Replacing grading systems with one that takes into account academic growth, attendance, graduation rates and the differences between affluent and low-income students  More intervention for failing schools, rewards for top performers and less federal interference for those in the middle  Congress missed 2011 deadline to pass a revised bill so Obama administration invited states to request waivers from specific NCLB requirements in exchange for state- developed plans to improve education outcomes

16 Race to the Top  4.35 billion dollar contest announced in 2009 by President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan  States could compete for funding by:  adopting performance-based standards for teachers and administrators  Complying with nationwide standards  Encouraging the development of high-performing charter schools  Using data systems to support instruction  Grants to winning states and districts have been awarded in ongoing phases- grant amounts determined by state’s population of children between 5-17

17 Race to the Top  http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/perf ormance/new-jersey-year-1.pdf http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/perf ormance/new-jersey-year-1.pdf

18 Standards-based education dampens student creativity  System based on standards is taking creativity and innovation out of teaching and learning  World is changing and K-12 should as well  Preparing students for the 21 st ce requires courses and content anchored in today’s world and a focus on creative thinking  Standards gives teachers tools and benchmarks to help students succeed  Basic reading and math skills gained will help form a solid foundation to help students study deeper and stay competitive in the world AgreeDisagree

19 Class Size  Many education reformers have pointed to class size reduction as a necessary step in school reform  National Center for Education Statistics says number of students per full- time teacher in public schools has declined over last 4 decades  By 2010 35 states had laws in place restricting the number of students in a general classroom but with economic downturn many states relaxed or eliminated them to lower costs  Studies done in the 80s points to the fact that class size reduction and individualized instruction resulted in increases in long-term graduation rates and improved outcomes for low-income and minority students

20 Harvard Study  Estimates that a 33% reduction in class size leads to an increase in students' lifetime earnings of about $4,421 for every year the reduction takes place  However, number of teachers in public classrooms has plummeted by 220,000 between 2009 and 2011  This translates into a 5.9% increase in class size- resulting in a $49.3 billion loss in lifetime earnings for every year this class size increase lasts - or an almost $100 billion loss between 2009 and 2011 alone.  The actual budget savings from these teacher cuts is only $11.8 billion per year.

21 2011 Report Card  http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc11/rcreport.php?c=27 ;d=4080;s=050;lt=P;st=H http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc11/rcreport.php?c=27 ;d=4080;s=050;lt=P;st=H

22 Smaller class size improves student learning  Individualized instruction  Long-term benefits especially for minorities  Better classroom management and discipline  Teachers less likely to burn out of profession  More flexibility in teaching methods  Focusing on smaller class sizes distracts from more important issues  Fewer students per class will lead to schools hiring under qualified teachers to meet demand  Most expensive form of school reform AgreeDisagree

23 Merit Pay and Performance Bonuses  According to ‘Race to the Top’ federal guidelines, states that want to compete for federal grants must create teacher evaluations that take into account data on student growth and use that to “compensate, promote and retain” teachers  In Nov 2012, Newark became first union in NJ to introduce bonus pay  $5,000 for achieving high-level results  Up to $5,000 for working in poorly performing schools  Up to $2,500 for teaching a subject that has been difficult to staff in the past

24 Merit pay for teachers should be tied to test scores  Teachers should be compensated and promoted based on their performance  Merit pay removes ineffective teachers  Financial incentives are a powerful motivator  Teachers are often underpaid and merit pay will fix the injustice  Student test scores do not adequately represent teacher skill level  High stakes causes cheating and altering of data  Teachers would only be thinking about themselves and teamwork would suffer  Punishes teachers assigned to low-level or difficult students AgreeDisagree


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