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News and Resources Roundup: Interpreting KY's new school report card, standards-based grading, more

A roundup of recent education news, resources, and commentary:

  • In preparation for the first release of scores using the new state accountability testing system (KPREP), the Kentucky Department of Education has released a PowerPoint and video for interpreting the new, online School Report Card system.
  • KDE has also recently revised the rubrics for program reviews, the new system by which schools evaluate their own programs for arts and humanities, practical living, writing, and primary education.
  • A new study adds support to the movement for standards-based grading by showing that assigning a "50" for missing work (rather than a "0") does not inflate student grades.
  • Speaking of standards-based grading, Marshall County elementaries go all-in for the practice.
  • Here's an argument for why public school leaders should embrace social media.
  • The Cato Institute offers a visual that shows the enormous gap between education spending in recent decades and the results we're getting in terms of measurable student achievement.  See my recent blog post on why I think Kentucky is making some progress in terms of educational practice, even if we haven't seen any results.  Incidentally, I don't think our progress in practice has anything to do with increases in education spending.
  • The American Enterprise Institute's Rick Hess argues that President Obama's NCLB waivers are a bad idea (worse than NCLB itself, which is pretty bad), and after touring Scandinavia, makes a case for why we can't really compare education in countries like much-ballyhooed Finland with the United States.
  • A new study from the Manhattan Institute argues that, while they are no "magic bullet," value-added measures of student achievement (which assess the impact a teacher has on the same group of students over a year) should be a component of the tenure-granting process.
  • A new Education Week blog will focus on the work of instructional coaches.
  • Also at Education Week, Justin Baeder questions whether a Master's degree offers a good value for professional development and Caralee Johnson Adams suggests that credit hours are not the best way to measure student progress in higher education - or in P-12 schools (standards-based grading, anyone?).

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