Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Peggy and Dennis

Remember this Guy?

Sure you do.

That's former NBA star Dennis Rodman, the poster child for the Competence-Deviance Hypothesis. In a nutshell, the premise is that the more competent an individual is, the more deviance will be tolerated in him or her by others. So in the case of Dennis Rodman, Detroit, San Antonio, Chicago and others all tolerated, at some expense, Dennis's proclivities for flamboyant stylings - even those that were a big departure from the expectations placed on others.

Why? There was a lot Dennis could not do; like shoot freethrows or hit a 3-pointer.

The reason lies in what Dennis could do. He could rebound. He could rebound a lot. Over a 14-year career Rodman pulled down an average of 13.1 rebounds a night. 18 per game in his prime at Detroit in 91-92 when he gathered more than thousand for the season.

Given so much competence in a critical area - Dennis was allowed to be deviant in others.

This was essentially the argument made by Superintendent Stu Silberman and the Fayette County school directors who evaluated former BTWA Principal Peggy Petrilli as they try to explain to the jury how anyone could rack up such a significant list of management problems - a list that would place lesser beings squarely in the cross hairs - and not have a one of them show up on her evaluations.

Catch us tomorrow morning and I'll share today's testimony as Petrilli's attorney bore down.

In the are a few tweets: Read 'em from the bottom up.

Reday000Court in recess until Monday morning.about 1 hour ago from mobile web

Reday000Jurors indicate to Judge that they all can continue to serve next week. from mobile web

Reday000Plaintiff rests. from mobile web

Reday000Judge says it looks like another long day Monday...possible Tuesday. from mobile web

Reday000 Golden calls Brenda Allen. Court rules Allen does not have to appear due to attorney client privilege. from mobile web

Reday000Judge confers with attorneys on remainder of trial. from mobile web

Reday000Silberman excused. from mobile web

Reday000Golden: "Wasn't the goal to send Carmen & Fabio out to her house, to pressure her to resign. from mobile web

Reday000Golden bears down on Silberman. from mobile web

Reday000Stu: That's the bottom line on this whole situation. I did not make Peggy leave. from mobile web

Reday000"Did you throw Peggy under the bus? Stu "Oh no. Peggy made the decision to leave." from mobile web

Reday000Court resumes. Stu still on the stand. from mobile web
Reday000After side bar...McNeilll begins cross. from mobile web

Reday000Golden: "Didn't you decide it would just be easier to turn your back on Peggy?" Stu: "That is just not true." from mobile web

Reday000Golden concludes. McNeil reserves right to recall Silberman. Does not cross. from mobile web

Reday000Stu: Peggy could have gone back to BTWA. from mobile web

Reday000Stu is back on the stand. Lisa Stone is probably next. from mobile web

Reday000Trial resumes. from mobile web

Reday000McNeilll's client is Stu but it's also the Board. Is that the thing? ? ? ? from mobile web

Reday000Doesn't Stu own the privilege? Can't he waive it at will? Hummmm. from mobile web

Reday000...but he didn't say everything he wanted to citing priv. My question is.... from mobile web

Reday000...attny/client priv. Stu told the jury he wanted to answer and that "it was critical." ... from mobile web

Reday000Is there a lawyer in the house? Before lunch Golden asked Stu a question involving the board attorney. McNeilll cautioned Stu about ... from mobile web

Reday000This AM: Ishmael admonished attorneys "Remember Rule # 1...Attnys ask...Witnesses answer...and can explain. from mobile web

Reday000Stu said: I knew her to be an outstanding instructional leader...had a significant issue with management...relationships from mobile web

Reday000Court in recess until 1PM from mobile web

Reday000Stu: Sir, There was nothing more that I wanted than for Peggy Petrilli to succeed from mobile web

Reday000Stu on Aug 22 Mtg:I thought it was just one more thing that Peggy had gotten us into. I was there to smooth things out. from mobile web

Super Super

Jessamine schools chief Lu Young
Kentucky superintendent of the year

This from H-L:
Jessamine County Schools Superintendent Lu Young was named the 2012 Kentucky school superintendent of the year on Wednesday by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators.

Association executive director Wayne Young and other officials surprised Young with the award Wednesday afternoon at the Jessamine County Career and Technology Center.

Young, 51, joined the Jessamine County Schools as a teacher in 1983. She became superintendent in 2004, and she has been highly regarded among school superintendents statewide.

Last summer, Young was one of three finalists for superintendent of Fayette County Schools. Tom Shelton, who formerly headed the Daviess County Public Schools, got the job. Young and Shelton, who attended Wednesday's announcement, are close friends...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Georgia’s Shorter University tells workers to sign pledge they are not gay

This from the Washington Post :
To better ensure its staff follows the school’s biblical mandate, Georgia's Shorter University told its 200 employees late last month to sign a “Personal Lifestyle Statement” rejecting homosexuality, adultery and premarital sex.

The New York Daily News reports that those who don’t sign the pledge may lose their jobs.

The pledge also bans teachers and administrators at the conservative Christian university from drinking alcohol in front of students and requires they be active in local churches.

A gay university employee told the Georgia Voice that the pledge has many employees fearing witchhunts. “We now will live in fear that someone who doesn't like us personally or someone who has had a bad day will report that we've been drinking or that we are suspected of being gay,” he said.

The employee, who chose to remain anonymous for fear of repercussion by the school, said that while students don’t have to sign the pledge, they, too, are worried about how they might be affected next.
Tamara King Henderson, a student at Shorter who says she is bisexual, commented on the Georgia Voice story that she was concerned the pledge could impact her education. “This could hurt the University’s ability to attract the best and the brightest professors available... [and] ability to receive federal funds.”

Henderson also quoted anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller, who said: “ First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

“Will the students be next?” she asked.
“They (employees) must be transparent,” Shorter President Donald Dowless (photo) told the Rome News-Tribune. “The rules are already in place and we have set up fair expectations up front. It is not unusual for any company to have a code of conduct.”

More Parents Accused Of Wrongly Sending Kids To Oldham Schools

This from WLKY:

At Least 12 More Cases Under Investigation

Three more parents have been charged in the ongoing investigation into students illegally attending classes in the Oldham County school district. 
Court papers said Jim McGuire used his Oldham County address to enroll his child when the child's primary residence was in Jefferson County with his mother, Cheryl McGuire. 
Dawne Grigsby, of Shelby County, is accused of using her mother's Oldham County address to enroll her two children.Investigators said the children actually live with their father in Henry County. 
The McGuires and Grigsby are all charged with theft by deception of less than $10,000. 
According to court paperwork, they listed their actual home addresses on emergency contact forms.Two parents previously had been accused of lying to the Oldham County school district in order to enroll their children...

Justices Decline Doninger Internet Speech Case

This from the School Law blog:
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up a case involving school punishment of a student for Internet speech critical of school administrators. However, two other appeals raising similar student free-speech issues are pending before the justices.

The high court on Monday turned away the appeal of Avery Doninger, who, as a Connecticut high school junior in 2007, had criticized school officials in her Web journal. After a dispute with officials at her high school in Burlington, Conn., over the scheduling of a band contest, Doninger referred to administrators as "douchebags" and encouraged her readers to email the superintendent "to piss her off more."

School officials, citing disruption by the emails and Doninger's Web comments, barred her from running for senior class secretary, but she wasn't suspended. Doninger and some of her fellow students were also later barred from wearing T-shirts at a school assemby that said "Support LSM Freedom of Speech," referring to Lewis S. Mills High School.
Doninger and her mother sought an injunction barring her discipline, but a district court and a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, in New York City, which included then-Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor, ruled against her.

The student continued to press her claims for damages under the First Amendment's free-speech clause. She lost in 2009 in federal district court, which granted qualified immunity to the school officials who disciplined her.

In an April decision, another 2nd Circuit court panel agreed that administrators were immune from the suit...

Court Casts Doubt on Race-Conscious Student Assignment Plan

This from the School Law blog:
A federal appeals court has cast doubt on a Louisiana school district's student assignment plan that had a goal of maintaining racial balance and had allowed the district to be freed of court supervision for desegregation.
A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in New Orleans, ruled 2-1 on Thursday that a lower court must give greater scrutiny to the student assignment plan of the Ascension Parish school system.
The 20,000-student district, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, was declared unitary, or legally desegregated, in 2004. When the school board in 2006 was evaluating plans to deal with overcrowding at one of the district's four high schools, it took data about the proportion of African-American students and at-risk students at feeder schools into account. The board cited a desire to maintain its unitary status.

A father of two black children in the district sued, alleging that the board's consideration of race and selection of an option that placed more at-risk students in a particular feeder zone violated the U.S. Constitution's equal-protection clause.

A federal district court held that the school system's plan was race neutral on its face and that evidence was lacking that the school board had a discriminatory motive in adopting it.

In its Nov. 3 decision in Lewis v. Ascension Parish School Board, the 5th Circuit panel called for more factual development in the lower court to determine whether the plan involves race classifications and thus must pass muster under the highest level of constitutional analysis, known as "strict scrutiny." ...

School Law and 'Spoiled Kids'

This from the School Law Blog:
A prominent federal appeals court judge said in a recent speech that courts should defer more to school administrators, and that students today are "spoiled and coddled" and should "learn to roll with the punches" and not be hypersensitive about political or religious messages in schools they might find offensive.

"Modern American kids, it seems to me, have excessive self-esteem," said Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, in Chicago. "They're spoiled and coddled. Many of them have very aggressive parents."

The judge, a conservative nominee of President Ronald Reagan who is considered one of the leading intellectuals of the federal appeals courts, spoke Nov. 11 in Chicago before the national conference of the Education Law Association. That group is made up of professors who teach education law, as well as practicing lawyers and school administrators.

Judges have all been through school, of course, but "we don't have any systematic knowledge of the educational process," Posner said. "We certainly have no experience running schools. The experts are the school administrators. They know a lot more about it than judges. It seems to me judges ought to be very cautious before they try to displace the authority of the school administrators." ...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Quick Hits

Program aims to engage Ariz. students in STEM study:  A program developed at Arizona State University has ASU students, as well as high-school students in Advanced Placement chemistry, conducting hands-on science experiments with K-12 students to help spark interest among the younger students. The Science is Fun program, which is funded in part by the National Science Foundation, is aimed at preparing more students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math. (The Arizona Republic)

Why teachers should determine which students work together:  Teachers -- not students -- should determine which students work together in groups, says instructional coach David Ginsburg. In this blog, he writes teachers are better equipped to strategically match students based in part on their skills, teamwork abilities, behavior and other qualities. He encourages teachers to form diverse groups. (Coach G's Teaching Tips)

Online K-12 schools partner with top universities:  Students who attend the online Education Program for Gifted Youth will now receive diplomas from Stanford Online High School, after the university agreed to attach its name to the online institution. Supporters say the partnership marks a significant milestone for online K-12 learning and the alignment of secondary and higher education. Critics, however, fear such partnerships could lend credibility to lower-quality programs. (The New York Times) 

More young people are affected by text-based bullying:  Twenty-four percent of more than 1,500 youths aged 10 to 15 who were surveyed in 2008 said they were harassed via text messages, up from about 14% in a 2007 survey of the same respondents, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics. However, researchers found no increase in rates of exposure to violence, harassment, bullying or unwanted sexual encounters online during the same time frame. (Reuters), (WebMD) 

Editorial - Why California is right to pass on a NCLB waiver:  California is not expected to apply for a waiver from some of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, a policy that is supported by the Los Angeles Times' editorial board. The editors agree with Gov. Jerry Brown, who has said the Education Department is asking too much of states in exchange for the waivers, particularly in requiring them to make student achievement a "significant factor" in teacher evaluations. The state's current system for holding schools accountable and its plans to improve education are more promising than the federal proposals, the editors write. (Los Angeles Times)

Some private schools incorporate elements of a farming heritage:  Several private prep schools are incorporating agriculture into their curriculum and engaging students in the farm-to-table movement with working farms on campus. Some schools, such as the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn., are including elements of a farming heritage alongside rigorous academics and are growing enough vegetables to avoid outside purchasing this year. "We're not serving foie gras," said Joshua Hahn, assistant head of schools and director of environmental initiatives. "We're just growing enough staples to service our dining hall for the year." (The New York Times)

How to teach elementary-school students about money:  In this blog, teacher Brian Page writes about the importance of teaching elementary-school students about money. The concept can be challenging for young students, and Page recommends teachers begin by reviewing the National Standards for K-12 Personal Finance Education. Page also includes several online resources for teachers, such as BizWorld and a lesson his own high-school students prepared for third-grade students. (Brian Page's blog)

Should teachers receive "cultural competency" training?:  More schools in Indiana and the U.S. are providing "cultural competency" training for teachers to help promote understanding among students and teachers and capitalize on diversity in the classroom. Some are critical of the concept that students from different backgrounds require different styles of instruction. Others say this strategy is effective because many teachers in urban schools are from racial and socio-economic backgrounds that differ from their students. (The Indianapolis Star)    

Khan Academy site to allow uploaded content from teachers:  The Khan Academy, an online repository of educational videos, soon will allow teachers to upload their own instructional videos to the academy's collection, and create and customize their own "knowledge maps" for their classes. "The deal will be, you can use our tools if we can put your stuff onto our noncommercial public domain," the site's founder Salman Khan said. "We don't know how it'll turn out, but we suspect there will be some amazing things put up." ( blog)

Who will pay for Ohio's switch to online testing?:  Ohio schools will switch to online state tests in three years, but questions remain about how to pay for the computers and software needed for the change, plus how much the transition will cost. While some officials hope the state will shoulder the financial burden, others anticipate the cost will be transferred to local districts. "How things are implemented and what resources there are, that's a conversation that is ongoing," state education official Dennis Evans said. "We're still working on identifying all the resources and challenges and opportunities that lay ahead." (Dayton Daily News)

One teacher's path to the classroom:  Jessica Nevitt, a first-year teacher working at The Dwight School in New York City, writes in this essay about the training she received in preparation of becoming a teacher. As part of a master's program at Teachers College, Nevitt worked alongside mentors or cooperating teachers in several public-school classrooms, where she experienced both successes and failures as she transitioned into her new role. (The New York Times)

House OKs bill that would block school-nutrition standards:  The House of Representatives has approved a spending bill that would block government efforts to improve nutrition standards in school meals. The food industry says the standards would have required companies to change products in ways not acceptable to children. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack pledged that students still will have more fruit and vegetables, grains and low-fat dairy and less salt. (Reuters)

ASU implements changes to its teacher-education program:  Arizona State University, home to the country's largest undergraduate education program, has implemented significant changes to its teacher-training curriculum. Under the school's new iTeachAZ program, students will be required to demonstrate mastery of the Teacher Advancement Program framework during a yearlong stint in the classroom, with the goal being to produce graduates who are as effective as second-year educators when they are in their first year of teaching. (Education Week)

Iowa delays new teacher-pay plan:  A new teacher-pay plan in Iowa will be tabled for least 12 months to give policymakers time to study the cost and structure of this proposal as well as alternatives. Gov. Terry Branstad proposed the four-tiered pay structure, which calls for higher starting salaries and requires teachers to demonstrate effectiveness for advancement, as part of his education blueprint for the state, but questions arose about the cost of implementing the program. (The Des Moines Register)

Website, app create digital side to Flat Stanley Project:  Technology is increasing interest in the long-running education and literacy phenomenon known as the Flat Stanley Project, in which paper versions of the children's book character Stanley Lambchop traveled the world. The project, which was founded by former Canadian teacher Dale Hubert, now has a website and a free iPhone application developed under a new iteration called Flatter World, with new digital tools that allow students to create avatars or insert a "flat" person into any photo. (Suzie Boss' blog)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mason County school district under investigation

This from the Ledger Independent:
Since June, the Mason County School District has been under investigation by the Office of Education Accountability in Frankfort...
[Karen Timmel, division manager of investigations at OEA] did acknowledge that two OEA personnel were in the district on June 16 and 17, and a "large amount" of documents were secured during that visit. Timmel said documents were also requested two additional times, and the agency "waited quite a while" on documentation from Superintendent Tim Moore for the third request...
Moore said Tuesday the investigation was initiated after a complaint was filed with the OEA and questions have focused upon travel expenses, servicing of his vehicle at the school garage, and the provisions of his employment contract. Questions have also been posed about providing a vehicle allowance versus use of a school vehicle by Assistant Superintendents Kelly Middleton and Liz Petitt, Moore said. He said right now there are three school vehicles provided for employee use: Gerald Fulk, for purposes as director of pupil personnel; one for the maintenance garage; and one for transportation (bus) garage. Regarding the document requests, Moore said "Anything related to contracts, travel, whatever they asked for, we gave them." Moore said this is the first time the district has been under an OEA investigation, but there have been times the OEA has contacted him on issues such as principal hiring...
Board of Education Chairwoman Janet West was also contacted Tuesday. West said she met with two OEA personnel and the entire school board is aware of the investigation. West alluded to the allegations being made under an anonymous system and said "I did not care about the anonymous person and then I asked them "Do you have a grievance or several greivances?" They were very vague," West said. "I met with two ladies and I believe Ann (Porter) did, out of courtesy and kindness," said West, adding she had her lawyer with her for the meeting.
West said the women could provide no specifics and she didn't feel comfortable and she decided to discontinue the meeting. "They asked questions in all kinds of arenas...I told them I wanted a list of items from them and they wouldn't provide them, so I ended the meeting," said West...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Seven States Apply for Race to the Top Round 3 Funds

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that seven states eligible for Race to the Top Round 3 (RTT3) funds have submitted complete applications for a share of $200 million provided by Congress in 2010 to help drive reform. They include Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Nine states that were runners-up in the initial Race to the Top competition were eligible for RTT3, but South Carolina opted out and California submitted an incomplete application. Education Secretary Arne Duncan saluted the seven successful applicants for their hard work on a tight time frame saying, “These states really want to drive reform, and we are thrilled to be able to support their work. We share their sense of urgency and their belief that education is the path to shared prosperity and a stronger economy.”

The applications include commitments to enhance data systems, raise academic standards, improve principal and teacher support and evaluation systems and implement school interventions in under-performing schools.  By Dec. 16, applicants also have to provide a detailed narrative and budget.

Race to the Top Round Three focuses on supporting efforts to leverage comprehensive statewide reform, while also improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Round Three awards will be announced in late-December. Award amounts within the $200 million fund are based on state population. SOURCE: US Department of Education Press release

Undercover Probe Finds Lax Academic Standards at Some For-Profit Colleges

This from The Chronicle of Higher Education:
An undercover investigation by the Government Accountability Office has found evidence of lax academic standards in some online for-profit programs.

The probe, which is described in a report made public Tuesday, found that staff at six of the 12 colleges that enrolled the investigators tolerated plagiarism or awarded credit for incomplete or shoddy work.

The release of the report, "For-Profit Schools: Experiences of Undercover Students Enrolled in Online Classes at Selected Colleges," comes roughly a year after the accountability office revised an earlier report on recruiting abuses at for-profit colleges, acknowledging errors and omissions in its findings. A coalition of for-profit colleges has sued the office over that report, accusing its investigators of professional malpractice.
In that earlier investigation, the office sent undercover investigators to 15 for-profit colleges to pose as prospective students. It found widespread deception in recruiting by the colleges, with many employees providing students with false or misleading information about graduation rates, job prospects, or earning potential.

This time, the agents attempted to enroll in online programs at 15 for-profit colleges using a home-school diploma or a diploma from a closed high school. Twelve of the colleges accepted them.
The "students" then proceeded to skip class, plagiarize, and submit "substandard" work. Though several ultimately failed their classes, some got credit for shoddy or plagiarized work along the way.

At one college, a student received credit for six plagiarized assignments; at another, a student submitted photos of political figures and celebrities in lieu of an essay, but still earned a passing grade. A third student got full credit on a final project, despite completing only two of the three required components. That same student received full credit for an assignment that had clearly been prepared for another class...
In two cases, instructors confronted students about their repeated plagiarism but took no disciplinary action against them. One student received credit for a response that was copied verbatim from other students' discussion posts.

Instructors at the other six colleges followed their institutions' policies on grading and plagiarism, and in some cases offered to help students who appeared to be struggling.

All of the students ultimately withdrew or were expelled from the programs. Three of the colleges failed to provide the departing students with federally required exit counseling about their repayment options and the consequences of default.

Sen. Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, who requested the report, said its findings "underscore the need for stronger oversight of the for-profit education industry." ...

Laurel County Superintendent Resigns After DUI Arrest

Said he had made a mistake...
Doesn't want it to become a problem for the school district...
School board poised to act.
Does "the right thing."

This from the Herald-Leader:  (Photo by way of Sentinel Echo)
Laurel County schools Superintendent David Young resigned Tuesday in the wake of his drunken-driving arrest over the weekend.

School board Chairman Charles Stuber said Young told him he had made a mistake and didn't want it to become a problem for the school district. Stuber said Young had been with the school system for more than 37 years, working his way up from science teacher. The school system is the 12th-largest in the state, Stuber said.

Young had an excellent record with the Laurel County school system and had been honored for his work, Stuber said.

Police charged Young with impaired driving, resisting arrest and having prescription pills not in the proper container after finding him in a wrecked pickup truck Saturday evening.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Stuber said the board will hire an interim superintendent for a few months while members search for a replacement for Young.
This from WMYT-TV:

Superintendent charged with DUI resigns 
Laurel County Superintendent David Young was arrested after a crash Saturday. His resignation was announced Tuesday morning.
Moments after calling an emergency meeting to order Tuesday morning, the Laurel County School Board went behind closed doors, where they met for just under 30 minutes. Their specially called meeting happened three days after Superintendent David Young was arrested.
The arrest report states Young was allegedly more than three times over the legal limit and that he had to be forced out of his truck and into the police car and handcuffs. His alleged actions on Tuesday resulted in his letter of resignation.
“I would move we accept the resignation of Mr. David Young tendered in writing to this board,” board member Ed Jones motioned.
David Young has worked in the education field for more than 37 years. Now as far as what the board would have done had he not resigned, the board chairman says that he knew that David Young was too classy of an individual and he knew that Young would do the “right thing.”
After accepting the resignation, Chairman Charles “Bud” Stuber read from a statement detailing the board’s action.
“The board was prepared to take action with regard to this incident, but the board has accepted his resignation and no further board action is necessary,” he said.
Deputy Superintendent Denise Griebel was named the acting superintendent.
“This incident has been a distraction in the education process, but it is now behind us and we will focus on the education of students in Laurel County," Griebel said after the meeting.
School officials say an interim superintendent will be named later but it could be three to six months before a permanent superintendent is hired.
This from the Sentinel Echo:
Though he has sat in on hundreds of disciplinary sessions for students violating the rules, the Superintendent of the Laurel County Public School System found himself on the wrong side of authorities Saturday.

David M. Young, 59, of Green Meadow Drive in London, was jailed after he was involved in a one-vehicle crash around 5:19 p.m. According to information from the Laurel County Sheriff's Office, Young was traveling along U.S. 25 near the intersection of Court Road when he ran off the roadway and landed his 1995 Nissan pickup truck nose down in a ditchline.

Deputies Shawn Boroviak and Greg Turner were en route to another complaint around 5:19 p.m. and were traveling U.S. 25 when they spotted the pickup truck in the ditchline. Stopping to check the situation, the deputies found Young still sitting behind the wheel and was believed to be under the influence.

Young reportedly refused to exit the vehicle, resulting in the resisting arrest charge. He was also in possession of prescription pills that were not in the proper container.

Online jail records show that Young was booked into the Laurel County Detention Center around 7 p.m., but less than two hours later, he was released. No information was available on the jail's website concerning Young's bond for the charges.

A long-time educator and administrator, Young moved up the ranks in the school system, serving as student personnel director before being named assistant superintendent. After the resignation of former superintendent James Francis in May 2006, Young took the helm of the school system in September of that year, and has served with high evaluations from the Laurel County School Board for the past five consecutive years.

A press release from Laurel County School System Attorney Larry Bryson is expected on Monday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Alleged Victim In Sandusky Case Leaves High School Due To Bullying

This from the Huffington Post:

The first known alleged victim in the Jerry Sandusky case, known as "Victim One" was forced to leave his school because of an onslaught of bullying, The Patriot-News reports.

Mike Gillum, psychologist for the family, told the news source that officials at Central Mountain High School didn't step in and provide guidance to the boy's classmates, who began to blame Joe Paterno's firing on the 17-year-old.

Victim One testified he was forced into multiple sex acts between 2006 and 2008. During that time, Sandusky was also assisting the high school with their varsity football program, the report states.

Gillum told The Patriot News that name-calling and verbal threats at the school, which is located about 30 miles northeast of Pennsylvania State University, became too much for the boy to bear...

Prichard Committee focuses on education 'hot topics'

Here's Prichard's press release on their Fall meeting:

Education issues that are the subject of sometimes contentious state and national discussions were the focus of the recent fall meeting of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

The Committee is setting priorities for its work in the coming months, building on more than 25 years of advocacy that have contributed to Kentucky's improved national rankings in education. Members heard from the editor and publisher of Education Week, a leading national publication, and from representatives of Kentucky organizations who shared their perspectives on key issues in education today.

The Committee also celebrated the 15th anniversary of its award-winning Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership, an initiative that trains parents to become informed advocates for school improvement. To date, more than 1,600 Kentuckians have completed the program, which also has been made available in other states.

Publisher Virginia B. Edwards, who also is president of Editorial Projects in Education, told the group that the Prichard Committee has led efforts to heighten public will, political support and media attention as Kentucky has framed many of the issues that are now making headlines. Among the themes that in Edwards' view are taking shape across the country:

· The challenging transitions to tougher academic standards, such as those Kentucky adopted last year, and to the tests that will measure student performance on the standards. In Kentucky, the new tests are to be administered for the first time next spring.

· Early childhood education and the importance of parent involvement and community support for quality programs.

· Tight budgets that states are facing, worsened by the end of federal stimulus funding.

· The increasing significance of international measures and competition in determining and ensuring education quality.

· Political uncertainties about the re-authorization of federal education legislation and other matters.

Clustered under these areas are issues related to technology and on-line learning, teacher effectiveness, college access, leadership development, special education and other importance topics, she added.

National leaders and much of the public realize that the education system is outdated, Edwards said, adding that she believes four things could lead to significant changes in education: eliminating so-called "seat time," where students must remain in a class for a certain length of time regardless of their mastery of the subject; eliminating the adoption of textbooks to encourage more creativity in classroom teaching and learning; deploying teachers and other staff members differently to remove restrictions on how they do their work; and greater use of technology.

The Kentucky panelists shared their views as "voices from the field" in a session led by Stu Silberman, executive director of the Prichard Committee.

· Mary Ann Blankenship, executive director of the Kentucky Education Association, described the "excitement, anxiety and trepidation" that she sees in Kentucky classrooms today. The atmosphere is the result of Kentucky's adoption of the tougher standards and the additional work they will require when resources are limited and shrinking. KEA members appear to be "more stressed out and confused" than they have been for many years, she said.

· Bill Scott, executive director of the Kentucky School Boards Association, said his organization is focusing on helping local school boards set and maintain high expectations for student performance, accountability for results and ensuring the capacity is in place to meet the goals in both areas. He agreed that ensuring conditions for success was possibly the most challenging task in times of rising costs and diminishing resources, citing the tension between greater student needs and a declining capacity at the local level to raise revenue.

· Wayne Young, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators, agreed with elements of Edwards' assessment and said the state should change its thinking on curriculum with more emphasis on virtual and distance learning. "We need to look differently at what we teach."

· Jerry Green, president of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents and Superintendent of Pikeville Independent Schools, applauded the new emphasis on preparing students for college and career and noted that parents want their children to be ready to succeed at that level. He also noted that "this has been the greatest single year of change since 1990, (the year the Kentucky Education Reform Act passed) without question."

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is a statewide citizens' advocacy group, founded in 1983, working to improve education for all Kentuckians.

Collegiate IDEAS Summit 2011

About 30 students from 10 Kentucky colleges and universities gathered at The Center for Rural Development on Oct. 28 for the 2011 Collegiate IDEAS Summit. Participants were tasked with tackling key issues affecting youth retention in Southern and Eastern Kentucky, and proposing solutions to help address those issues. This video features the full reporting session with each of the event's student groups. For more information on the event, visit

Hat tip to KyForward.

The College Affordability Crunch in Kentucky

Meeting the Costs of College in an Era of Eroding State Support

A decade of state budget cuts in higher education,
rising tuition, underfunded need-based financial
aid and stagnating incomes are combining to make
college less affordable in Kentucky. Student debt
is on the rise, and Kentucky's college students
--particularly low-income and adult students--
face significant challenges in paying for college.
The state needs a new commitment to college
affordability for all its citizens.

Download a pdf of this report.

This from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy:
Progress in higher education is essential to building a productive and innovative economy, an informed and empowered citizenry, and a higher quality of life among families and communities. However, affordability of higher education is a growing challenge. Over the last ten years, Kentucky has shifted the primary responsibility of paying for postsecondary education away from the state in the form of appropriations to institutions and over to students in the form of tuition and fees. State need-based financial aid reaches only a portion of those who qualify and has received shrinking priority relative to programs and tax breaks that benefit students with higher incomes. Adult students, among whom higher education needs are substantial, receive limited support. These problems are compounded by trends in federal financial aid and stagnating wages for families. To address these challenges, Kentucky needs a new commitment to college affordability for all its citizens.


There is wide agreement that higher education is beneficial to Kentucky’s economic future. Greater educational attainment can increase productivity, attract investment and result in greater innovation and entrepreneurship. It can also help meet growing skills gaps; according to one estimate, by 2018 around half of jobs in Kentucky will require at least some form of postsecondary education.[1] Yet only 28 percent of Kentuckians age 18-64 have an associate’s degree or higher, ranking Kentucky sixth from the bottom.[2]
Higher education is also important to the quality of life for Kentucky’s families and communities. Workers with higher levels of education tend to have higher earnings, giving their families a better chance at a middle-class standard of living.[3] And increases in educational attainment have social benefits. A more educated population is less likely to commit crimes, more likely to be civically involved and more likely to vote.[4]

Since enacting postsecondary education reform in 1997, Kentucky has made important steps forward in higher education attainment. The share of adults ages 25 to 64 with an associate’s degree or higher has climbed from 25 percent in 2000 to 31 percent in 2009. More students are enrolling in college, and graduation rates have improved.[5]

However, huge gaps in higher education remain. Educational attainment levels are still too low. Less than half of those who enroll in four-year universities graduate in six years, while less than a third of those who enroll in community colleges graduate within three years. Thirty-four percent of whites in Kentucky had an associate’s degree or higher in 2009, but only 22 percent of minorities—a gap that has grown since 2000.[6] College attainment also varies widely by geography—30 percent of Oldham County residents ages 25 and older have a two-year degree or higher compared to only five percent of Knox County residents.[7]

There are many factors associated with success in postsecondary education, including: college readiness; the importance of education to career and personal goals; the accessibility of educational opportunities (due to time constraints and geographic location); the support services that make college attendance possible; and students’ aptitude and capacity to persevere. Another critical factor is the affordability of higher education. On that factor Kentucky has been losing ground.

State is shifting higher education costs to students

Over the past ten years, the primary responsibility of paying for higher education in Kentucky has quietly shifted away from the state in the form of appropriations to public universities and community colleges and to students in the form of tuition and fees.  Figure 1 shows that in 2000 the state paid two dollars of higher education expenses for every dollar paid by students. But since 2008, students have paid a larger share than state government. [8]

Sources: Office of the State Budget Director, Kentucky Revenue Department
Making students the primary payers of higher education was not part of the state’s vision for comprehensive postsecondary education reform contained in major legislation passed in 1997.[9] Instead, this shift was the byproduct of budgeting choices in the context of an inadequate state tax system in need of reform.[10] In the face of tight budgets, lawmakers in essence chose to increase taxes on students.

In inflation-adjusted terms, the state’s appropriation for public universities and community colleges was 14 percent lower in 2010 than it was in 2000. Over that same period, enrollment in higher education increased 32 percent in part due to greater recognition of the need for higher education for success in the workforce—and more recently, as people head back to school because of a lack of job opportunities. To keep up with costs in the face of climbing enrollments, higher education institutions dramatically increased tuition after a decade of relatively flat tuition rates.

In effect, Kentucky has gradually moved to a more market-based approach to higher education in which broad-based subsidies to lower the costs of college have declined. Kentucky did make a commitment to increase investment in financial aid, deciding in 1998 to dedicate almost all of its lottery revenues to aid programs. Most of those funds have gone to a three-pronged system—two programs based on need, the College Access Program (CAP) and the Kentucky Tuition Grant (KTG) program, and one program based primarily on merit, the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) program (see appendix for more on state financial aid programs).

While those funding increases were important, state funding for financial aid has grown more slowly than tuition. Figure 2 shows revenue from tuition and fees compared to state spending through the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, which operates state financial aid programs.[11] Institutional tuition revenues have grown 66 percent since 2004 while state financial aid spending has grown only 15 percent...

The Uncertain Future Of Charter School Proliferation

Closing schools is exceedingly difficult,
both logistically and politically.
And, even if states and localities
implement a closure regime, the real
question is whether they can open
superior alternatives. There is some brutal
logic here. There is only handful of charters
that consistently do very well (e.g., KIPP,
Achievement First). They rely heavily on

This from the Shanker Blog:

This is the third in a series of three posts about charter schools. Here are the first and second parts.
As discussed in prior posts, high-quality analyses of charter school effects show that there is wide variation in the test-based effects of these schools but that, overall, charter students do no better than their comparable regular public school counterparts. The existing evidence, though very tentative, suggests that the few schools achieving large gains tend to be well-funded, offer massive amounts of additional time, provide extensive tutoring services and maintain strict, often high-stakes discipline policies.

There will always be a few high-flying chains dispersed throughout the nation that get results, and we should learn from them. But there’s also the issue of whether a bunch of charters schools with different operators using diverse approaches can expand within a single location and produce consistent results.

Charter supporters typically argue that state and local policies can be leveraged to “close the bad charters and replicate the good ones.” Opponents, on the other hand, contend that successful charters can’t expand beyond a certain point because they rely on selection bias of the best students into these schools (so-called “cream skimming”), as well as the exclusion of high-needs students.

Given the current push to increase the number of charter schools, these are critical issues, and there is, once again, some very tentative evidence that might provide insights.

One fairly simple way to take a look is to identify places where the charter sector as a whole has been shown effective. There are at least two major districts where this seems to be the case.

The first is New York City, as shown by a 2009 lottery study, which is discussed here (NYC charters were also shown effective in this paper). The other charter hotspot is Boston. A 2008 evaluation, part of which also used random assignment, found that, among Boston middle and high schools, charter students outperformed their regular public school counterparts by substantial margins (also see this analysis).

Charter supporters frequently point to these analyses as evidence that it’s not just a few chains scattered throughout the nation doing well – that NYC and Boston are among the largest districts in the U.S., both serve large proportions of disadvantaged kids, and that the charters in these cities are “showing it can be done.”

It’s fair to say that most of these schools are probably very well-run and doing great things. But, in the question of whether these efforts represent proof that charter sectors as a whole can produce results, it’s also important to note that, in both cities, charter “market share” is exceedingly small. In other words, in these two large, urban districts, there are very few charter schools...

Tears are a part of my job

"I’m not sure that any educator, 
traditional or nontraditional,
is emotionally prepared for this experience."
-- Caitlin Hannon

This from Caitlin Hannon in the Hechinger Report: 
I broke a cardinal rule of teaching several times last year: I cried in front of my students.

Sometimes it happened out of frustration. Just as often, I was overcome during very honest conversations about the struggles my students face within and beyond the school building. At least twice the tears were brought on by uncontrollable laughter at a student’s joke.

As a first-year teacher, I figured tears (of some kind) were inevitable. I entered the classroom with a conservatory degree in acting, a bachelor’s degree in public affairs, lots of knowledge about urban education and the achievement gap, and the hope that I could improve another person’s life.

I knew I wanted to make a difference, and I thought that difference needed to start in the classroom—not in an office as a policymaker, with little or no connection to, and understanding of, what happens inside schools.

This desire, and my nontraditional education background, led me to Teach For America, a program that trains recent college graduates from various backgrounds to teach in public schools. I spent my first year teaching English at Tech High School, which serves a predominantly low-income, minority population. This year, I am teaching seventh-grade language arts at Emma Donnan Middle School.

By the end of that first year, I realized that the life I’d changed the most was my own...

Tennessee Districts Snub Student Teachers

This from the Tennessean:
Tennessee’s new teacher evaluation system has hit an unexpected snag.

With teacher tenure and job retention riding on a top score, Williamson County is banning student teachers from working in high school subjects where there are statewide end-of-course exams. The district is also suggesting individual principals not allow them in grades 3-8, or, if they do, not turn over the classroom until after standardized tests.

Even though they’re not under formal policies, other principals and teachers statewide who formerly volunteered to take student teachers are backing off, too.

They say they don’t have time to mess with mentoring, or they fear the process could affect students’ test scores, college of education officials at Vanderbilt and Belmont universities said.

“It’s nothing but the teacher evaluation system that’s got them tied up in knots,” said James Stamper, director of student teaching for Belmont University. “We all had to have somewhere to start.”

Williamson County Schools can’t risk interference for teachers when 35 percent of their evaluations are based on student learning gains on standardized tests, said spokeswoman Carol Birdsong. “It’s your classroom, and you are being evaluated based on your students’ performance.” ...

How education fares when debt supercommittee fails

This from the Answer Sheet:
Failure of the congressional supercommittee tasked with reducing the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion could lead to across-the-board budget cuts, which would have a serious impact on already-distressed public education funding.

The Congressional Budget Office has projected what could happen to public education if the trigger is pulled and across-the-board cuts kick in in January 2013. There are new reports that the supercommittee is getting ready to admit that its Republican and Democratic members couldn’t compromise after several months of negotiations — this after Congress itself couldn’t reach an agreement...

How About Better Parents?

This from Tom Friedman in the New York Times:
IN recent years, we've been treated to reams of op-ed articles about how we need better teachers in our public schools and, if only the teachers' unions would go away, our kids would score like Singapore's on the big international tests. There's no question that a great teacher can make a huge difference in a student's achievement, and we need to recruit, train and reward more such teachers. But here's what some new studies are also showing: We need better parents.

Parents more focused on their children's education can also make a huge difference in a student's achievement. How do we know? Every three years, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or O.E.C.D., conducts exams as part of the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, which tests 15-year-olds in the world's leading industrialized nations on their reading comprehension and ability to use what they've learned in math and science to solve real problems - the most important skills for succeeding in college and life. America's 15-year-olds have not been distinguishing themselves in the PISA exams compared with students in Singapore, Finland and Shanghai.To better understand why some students thrive taking the PISA tests and others do not, Andreas Schleicher, who oversees the exams for the O.E.C.D., was encouraged by the O.E.C.D. countries to look beyond the classrooms.

So starting with four countries in 2006, and then adding 14 more in 2009, the PISA team went to the parents of 5,000 students and interviewed them "about how they raised their kids and then compared that with the test results" for each of those years, Schleicher explained to me. Two weeks ago, the PISA team published the three main findings of its study:

"Fifteen-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher scores in PISA 2009 than students whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all.

The performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in their early school years is evident regardless of the family's socioeconomic background. Parents' engagement with their 15-year-olds is strongly associated with better performance in PISA."Schleicher explained to me that "just asking your child how was their school day and showing genuine interest in the learning that they are doing can have the same impact as hours of private tutoring.

It is something every parent can do, no matter what their education level or social background."For instance, the PISA study revealed that "students whose parents reported that they had read a book with their child 'every day or almost every day' or 'once or twice a week' during the first year of primary school have markedly higher scores in PISA 2009 than students whose parents reported that they had read a book with their child 'never or almost never' or only 'once or twice a month.'

On average, the score difference is 25 points, the equivalent of well over half a school year."Yes, students from more well-to-do households are more likely to have more involved parents. "However," the PISA team found, "even when comparing students of similar socioeconomic backgrounds, those students whose parents regularly read books to them when they were in the first year of primary school score 14 points higher, on average, than students whose parents did not."...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Prichard Rethinks 21st Century Education Reform

There’s rising concern that our 
test-based accountability system is broken…
Some experts argue that key elements of the US system,
especially annual testing and tying consequences for low scores
to schools and increasingly to teachers - and you know that’s
just a huge mess - are a far cry from the practices embraced
by these leading countries… I’m not sure it’s a particularly
healthy way to look at [teacher evaluation.] In many cases,
top performing countries do not test annually, and their approach
to accountability rests on gateway exams in high school with clear
consequences for students. 
--Virginia Edwards

The keynote speaker at Friday’s Prichard Committee Fall meeting was Virginia Edwards, Editor-in-Chief of Education Week the nation’s top source for national education news. She spoke on the topic: 21st Century Education Reform: A National Perspective. Edwards, was a long-time friend of Bob Sexton’s, having met him as a freshman at UK in 1973 when he was the new-ish head of UK’s Office of Experiential Education. She double majored in journalism and political science and became the editor of the Kentucky Kernel. Edwards went on to report and edit for the Courier-Journal before a brief stint with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning.

Now as President of Ed Week’s parent group, Editorial Projects in Education – where Sexton served as a board member - she says she has the perfect job, one that combined four “important-to-me things:” journalism that helps build political will through communication; a chance to improve education for kids; she gets to “run something;” and is part of the nonprofit sector.

From her unique perspective Edwards tells a familiar tale, that “Kentucky has been a national beacon of education reform” over the past quarter century, after languishing at the bottom of the heap for so many years. But, Edwards has been uniquely positioned to see education reform in other states mirror Kentucky’s efforts.

Edwards’s topic was “21st Century Education Reform: A National Perspective,” and she zeroed in on six “big picture” themes for the current year:

1. A difficult academic transition is taking shape: The common-core standards are different and hard, and the move to a new generation of assessments will be a challenge. The new standards and tests have implications across the board for everyone but it remains to be seen how well the supporters of the common core can sustain the momentum of the past year as the “real work” gets going.

2. Early Literacy: by which Edwards means early childhood education up to the third grade. Education Week will focus on cradle-to-career coverage, Edwards said. She underscored the importance of community support and parental involvement.

3. Tough budget times are getting tougher: The “funding cliff” was real; the end of most of the stimulus aid that “partly cushioned the blow of the Great Recession for states and districts.” In many states, the budget squeeze has reduced school funding and cost jobs while districts are challenged to offset significant losses with greater efficiencies.

4. Watershed political and policy changes are still being assimilated (or resisted) as the 2012 election looms. The K-12 system already had a full plate with the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act; the competitive-grant and school improvement initiatives of the Obama years have introduced another driver of policy; and schools in many states are now being whipsawed by dramatic changes enacted by a resurgent GOP. Against this backdrop, educators face the unknown timing and provisions of a new ESEA and the uncertainties of an election year with control of the White House, Congress, (most other states’) governorships, and state legislatures in play.

5. A conjunction of new entrepreneurship and new forces for innovation is reshaping the “education industry” and - maybe – education itself. “New programs, products, and services are emerging through the efforts of private investors, a new generation of philanthropists, and retooled older companies (with a nudge, in some cases, from federal dollars). New technologies are enabling much of this ferment, which could be “disruptive” as well as “sustaining” innovation in the field. Many educators are eyeing these developments warily; others see opportunities to rethink a century-old K-12 system.

6. The international dimension in education is more significant than ever: The financial and economic crisis of the past three-plus years has only heightened the urgency of seeing American education in its global context. How well the United States performs academically compared with overseas competitors is a first-tier concern in policy circles.

Edwards then shared a partial list of issues Ed Week is following:
• Teaching and Learning
     o Standards and Assessment (a favorite focus of business and policy circles)
     o Teacher Effectiveness
     o Teacher Preparation
     o Expanded learning (out-of-school)
     o College access
• Leadership, Districts, Research & Special Needs
     o Leadership development
     o Get-tough management
     o Zero-tolerance (questioned)
     o Nutrition standards
     o ELLs and Common Core
     o Special education and charter schools
     o Special education expenses
     o Neuroscience in the classroom
     o Research and entrepreneurship
• Government and Politics
     o Whither ESEA?
     o RTT, SIG, i3 implementation
     o The impact of state policy change and cuts
     o The new players (PIE Network, Stand for Children, Students First, DFER, others… flex muscles in state policy)
     o Campaign 2012 (See Politics K-12)
• Technology and E-Learning
     o Online learning goes mainstream
     o Bring your own device (portable digital technology)
     o Games and education
     o Research questions remain
• Education Week Priorities
     o Develop and launch a business and innovation/ “education ventures” channel
     o Expand the presence of Commentary online through our evolving “opinion channel”
     o Build on our 2011-12 successes by disseminating even more of our work to new audiences through content partnerships or other means
     o Build on our recent advances in social media by making more effective use of Facebook or Twitter to promote our work and engage readers
     o Increase our skills and content knowledge by attending PD events and beat-area conferences

The Gist

America’s leaders and much of the public have come to realize that an education system born in the Industrial Age can no longer effectively serve students in a complex, rapidly changing Information Age…Students need a combination of content knowledge, cognitive strategies and learning behaviors…high-quality education will increasingly become a necessity for building a successful adult life…must think creatively and critically…adapt…leverage technologies…work collaboratively… communicate clearly…

Yet, in 19th century fashion, we continue to rely on tests, and textbooks that are poorly conceived and inconsistently taught… This can be traced to teachers’ inadequate subject-matter knowledge… PD does little to make up for teachers’ deficits… too many students are unprepared as innovators, creative thinkers, problem solvers or leaders…

Recent years have seen unprecedented developments in the policy environment…growing momentum toward a very different educational experience… Most states have aligned with common core and high expectations… federally funded consortia developing next generation assessments…

“If the past two years can be characterized as a time of massive movement on the policy front, we believe the coming years will be occupied by the hard work of implementing these ambitious policies, bringing the new vision to the classroom, and making it real through curriculum, instruction and assessment, both formative and summative.”

Edwards told the Prichard gathering that Quality Counts 2012 will take on an international theme, and that the trips she joined to Finland, Toronto, Singapore and Shanghai were “not junkets.” Her observations taught her that high quality education was an important goal in those places, and that educators were held in high regard for civic and economic reasons.

Quality Counts will feature
• Career: focusing on college readiness
• Testing: “A recent report by the National Research Council suggests there’s little evidence to date that the current approach – with its high stakes for teachers and schools, but little for students – will produce the kind of academic gains hoped for.” …and they are not the practices of our leading competition
• Testingbox: An infographic with PISA and TIMSS
• Teaching: Teachers are universally seen as crucial but “in the US continue to be viewed largely through a pink-collar lens…”
• Curriculum: how international schools approach curriculum

Ed week is launching a new “channel” of coverage looking at innovation in a rapidly-evolving high tech education industry. Well established players, like Pearson, are aggressively staking new claims in the market, and Ed Week hopes to be an independent national resource to chronicle and analyze the changes in “the business world of K-12 education.

The idea is being shaped by the notion of “disruptive innovation,” change that alters the fundamentals of how we look at teaching and learning.

Ed Week online: 
25 million page views last year

Edwards on the reauthorization of ESEA: 
“I don’t think any of us think it’s going to happen quickly.”

“We’ve got to start telling our story better – 
about why good schools are needed…” 
“Education has suffered and continues to suffer from people 
who are telling the story in a negative way.”

I’m a big fan of the democratization of information. 
The internet is not going away. 
Social media’s not going away…
so trusted media brands are more valued than ever.”

I think there is a common vision of where we are going 
to the extent that the political ends have come around to meet 
(on the possibility of other forms of education 
that don’t have to be the cookie cutter of one teacher to 22 kids).

If four things could happen tomorrow, 
here’s what I think could change the education system over night:
1. If we got rid of seat time
2. If we got rid of textbook adoption 
(to help teachers become more creative 
about the curriculum materials)
3. If we could figure out how to deploy 
our human resources differently 
(Who says you can’t sit with a 150 kids in a classroom, 
particularly in AP?)
4. The technology piece. 
(There are tons of teachers doing innovative things…
and people are not fretting over the possibilities as they were two years ago.)

“We’re on the verge of big change in education.”