Rhee’s D.C. Teacher-Evaluation System Is Working

Roundup: D.C.’s controversial teacher evaluation has improved teacher quality, according to a study from two well-regarded researchers.

Michelle Rhee, former chancelor of D.C. public schools and founder and CEO of StudentsFirst.
National Journal
Sophie Quinton
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Sophie Quinton
Oct. 21, 2013, 5:57 a.m.

Every week, The Next Amer­ica pro­duces a col­lec­tion of edu­ca­tion art­icles that catch our eye. These date from Oct. 14-21.

Study Finds D.C.’s Con­tro­ver­sial Teach­er- Eval­u­ation Sys­tem Is Work­ing. The IM­PACT sys­tem — star­ted by Michelle Rhee when she was chan­cel­lor of Wash­ing­ton’s pub­lic schools — has caused more low-per­form­ing teach­ers to leave the school sys­tem and seems to have im­proved the per­form­ance of both strong and weak teach­ers, ac­cord­ing to a study by Thomas Dee of Stan­ford Uni­versity’s Gradu­ate School of Edu­ca­tion and James Wyck­off of the Curry School of Edu­ca­tion at the Uni­versity of Vir­gin­ia. Teach­ers judged ef­fect­ive, by classroom ob­ser­va­tion and test scores, re­ceived sig­ni­fic­ant raises.  The New York Times’s Eco­no­mix blog has a good re­view of the find­ings re­leased last week, while the Amer­ic­an En­ter­prise In­sti­tute’s Rick Hess in Edu­ca­tion Week of­fers some thoughts on what makes IM­PACT unique.

Al­most Half of Pub­lic-School Stu­dents Are Low In­come. Forty-eight per­cent of pub­lic-school stu­dents now qual­i­fy as low-in­come, com­pared with 38 per­cent a dec­ade ago, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port from the South­ern Edu­ca­tion Found­a­tion. In 17 states, more than half of chil­dren are eli­gible for free or re­duced-price lunches. Thir­teen of the 17 states are in the South. The At­lantic Cit­ies

Phil­adelphia Schools Get In­jec­tion of Fund­ing. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Re­pub­lic­an, has re­leased $45 mil­lion in state fund­ing to al­low 400 teach­ers, coun­selors, as­sist­ant prin­cipals, sec­ret­ar­ies, and oth­ers to staff the city’s cash-strapped schools. The num­ber of school nurses won’t be in­creased — a mis­take, ad­voc­ates say, cit­ing the death last month of a sixth-grader who suffered an asthma at­tack at a school without a nurse. Phil­adelphia In­quirer

Cali­for­nia Law In­creases Trans­fer Op­por­tun­it­ies for Com­munity-Col­lege Stu­dents. A Cali­for­nia law will give com­munity-col­lege stu­dents more op­por­tun­it­ies to trans­fer to Cali­for­nia State Uni­versity cam­puses — at least, that’s the goal. Fac­ulty lead­ers at both com­munity col­leges and Cal State say the bill signed by Demo­crat­ic Gov. Jerry Brown just makes the trans­fer pro­cess even more com­plic­ated. Ed­Source

Chica­go Sub­urbs Aim to Di­ver­si­fy Teach­ing Work­force. In Chica­go’s sub­urbs, there can be up to a 75 per­cent­age-point gap between the share of minor­ity stu­dents in a school dis­trict and the teach­ers in front of the classroom. School dis­tricts are fan­ning out to col­lege job fairs to re­cruit a more di­verse teach­ing force — but they face a chal­lenge, be­cause few­er minor­it­ies than whites enter the teach­ing pro­fes­sion. Daily Her­ald

CFPB Scru­tin­izes Ser­vi­cing of Stu­dent Loans. Bor­row­ers of private stu­dent loans sub­mit­ted more than 3,800 com­plaints to the Con­sumer Fin­an­cial Pro­tec­tion Bur­eau last year. Ac­cord­ing to the bur­eau, the ma­jor­ity of high-debt bor­row­ers have private loans. Private loans gen­er­ally have high­er in­terest rates and lack some con­sumer pro­tec­tions avail­able with fed­er­al loans. The New York Times

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