Clinton Doubles Down on Obama’s K-12 Agenda, Commits $2 Billion to Fight School-to-Prison Pipeline In her initial remarks on K-12 education during the 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton expressed her commitment to putting an end to the school-to-prison pipeline as part of a broader effort to …
A General Education Development (GED) essay is an academic essay that assesses a high school graduate’s ability to think critically and write persuasively. There is no one formula for writing a successful GED essay. However, there are some general tips that can help you write …
The Democratic Party, led by Barack Obama, is facing challenges in meeting its goal of providing a high-quality education. There is a lack of agreement within the party on how to achieve this objective. Obama, in his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, outlined his plans for education from preschool to college. While Democrats share the same goals, there is a disagreement on the specific policies to implement. Education advocates have presented different proposals on teacher pay and public school choice, both crucial components of Obama’s K-12 agenda.
Several forums and discussions took place before the official convention, where different camps presented their proposals for education reform. Inside the convention hall, education was briefly mentioned, but the federal No Child Left Behind Act received little attention. Obama, in his acceptance speech, did not delve into the internal party disagreement but reiterated his commitment to new approaches for teacher pay and school accountability. The party platform adopted at the convention includes Obama’s proposals on teacher pay, charter schools, and accountability in education.
However, the platform and Obama’s campaign rhetoric leave many questions unanswered regarding education policy. Various factions within the party have different perspectives on issues such as teacher pay and charter schools. Teachers’ unions and urban leaders have conflicting views on how teacher pay should be determined, whether it should be based on student performance or professional experience. Similarly, there is a divide among Democratic elected officials regarding the expansion of charter schools and public school choice. The lack of clarity in the party’s platform leaves room for further debate among Democrats if Obama and his running mate, Joseph R. Biden Jr., are elected.
A coalition of urban Democrats, distinct from the teachers’ unions, has been emerging even before the official start of the convention. They have been presenting alternative policies for education reform, challenging the positions advocated by the unions.
“The comment made by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), was unfair,” Weingarten expressed in an interview during the convention. She believes that instead of promoting unity within the party, those advocating for certain education reforms are causing division and failing to demonstrate effective leadership. Weingarten also mentioned that she was not invited to the DFER seminar and expressed her gratitude for the efforts of the mayors involved, while criticizing their approach as they seem to be tearing down the very people they need to uplift.
The disagreement over education policy highlighted at this event is an extension of an ongoing debate among different factions of the Democratic Party. Some Democrats question the extent to which public schools can improve without addressing the overall well-being of the students, including their health, welfare, and economic status. Merit pay is one of the most divisive issues among teachers. Michelle Rhee and other proponents argue in favor of a compensation model that partially evaluates teachers based on their ability to enhance their students’ educational achievement.
On the other hand, the unions oppose this approach, emphasizing that it places excessive importance on a single measure and fails to consider external factors beyond teachers’ control. John Wilson, executive director of the National Education Association (NEA), explained in an interview that it is challenging to hold teachers accountable for test scores without holding students and parents accountable as well. Wilson and other teachers suggested that they would support increased compensation for engaging in professional development activities that improve their teaching skills. However, there is frustration among teachers like Tod Bowman, who feels that despite investing time and effort in enhancing their teaching, they are not seeing any financial rewards.
Supporters of pay plans based on student test scores argue that raises and bonuses should be awarded based on teachers’ success in improving student achievement. Philanthropist Eli Broad expressed this sentiment during a panel discussion on education issues. He believes that the focus should be on increasing student achievement, which will ultimately benefit both teachers and students.
Another point of contention among union leaders and Democratic allies is school choice, particularly charter schools. An emerging group of African-American politicians under the age of 50 is urging the Democratic Party to provide more options for public school choice. According to Peter C. Groff, president of the Colorado Senate, this younger generation prioritizes policy over race and party affiliations. This group includes politicians like Groff himself, Mayor Booker of Newark, and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty of Washington, among others. Former Senator Obama also embraced efforts to open new charter schools in Illinois when he served as a state senator from 1997 to 2005. Groff attributed the change in opinion among these politicians to the desires of their constituents.
Ultimately, the convention showcased the contrasting views within the Democratic Party regarding education policy, revealing divisions over merit pay, teacher accountability, and school choice.
Your objective is to rephrase the entire content using enhanced vocabulary and ensure it retains a natural tone. The rephrased version must be unique and written in English. The original text is as follows:
Enhancing communication skills is crucial for personal and professional growth. Effective communication allows individuals to convey ideas, thoughts, and emotions with clarity and confidence. It not only helps in building strong relationships but also aids in career development.
There are various ways to improve communication skills. One approach is to actively listen to others while engaging in conversations. By giving others your undivided attention, you demonstrate respect and empathy, leading to more fruitful discussions.
Another technique is to practice clarity in speech. Using precise and concise language helps in conveying messages effectively. Avoiding jargon and using simple terms ensures that the intended meaning is understood by all parties involved.
Non-verbal communication also plays a vital role in effective communication. Paying attention to body language, facial expressions, and gestures enhances understanding between individuals. Maintaining eye contact, for instance, demonstrates attentiveness and interest in the conversation.
Furthermore, being aware of cultural differences is important when communicating with people from diverse backgrounds. Understanding and respecting varying customs and norms promotes effective communication and fosters positive relationships.
Lastly, seeking feedback and actively working on improving communication skills is essential. Continuous learning and self-reflection enable individuals to identify areas for growth and refine their communication abilities.
In conclusion, enhancing communication skills is a valuable endeavor that supports personal and professional development. Active listening, clear speech, non-verbal cues, cultural awareness, and seeking feedback are all key components in becoming an effective communicator.
An article on the study by the Osofskys can be found online at www.edweek.org/links. New research conducted by scholars who have worked with children affected by Hurricane Katrina reveals that 40% of the children and teenagers who returned to schools in the New Orleans area …
For years, motorists traveling on Interstate 25 through Pueblo, Colo., would hold their breath and continue their journey. The large smelter at the Colorado Fuel & Iron steelworks emitted such a foul smell that tourists had little reason to stop. However, to the locals, the pervasive odor evoked a sense of familiarity and comfort, reminiscent of bread and butter. After all, CF&I was the biggest employer in the city. As long as the smokestacks continued to emit soot, the residents of Pueblo could rely on a relatively stable life. In the 1960s, it was not uncommon for more than half of the city’s high school seniors to secure employment at the steel mill immediately after graduation. Abel Tapia, the former president of the board of education at Pueblo School District 60 and now the head of the city’s chamber of commerce, says, "And once you got a job with CF&I, your future was secure."
However, everything changed in 1982 when the mill laid off 4,000 workers, causing the city of Pueblo to experience a severe economic downturn. The unemployment rate skyrocketed to double digits. In fact, between 1980 and 1990, over 3,000 residents decided to leave as there simply weren’t enough job opportunities available.
Nevertheless, something close to a miracle has occurred in Pueblo, a city of approximately 102,000 people located around 100 miles south of Denver. Thanks in part to a proactive marketing campaign, city leaders have successfully attracted new, cleaner industries to the area. Pueblo’s unemployment rate now stands at a low 5%, and the once dilapidated downtown area is now flourishing.
However, the situation with the schools is far from ideal. Forty percent of all high school freshmen fail to graduate four years later. Moreover, until recently, very few students in the district bothered taking pre-algebra or algebra, which are instrumental for pursuing higher education. Superintendent Henry Roman points out, "even though successfully passing these two classes is key to going on to college."
Of particular concern is the consistently low achievement rate among Hispanic students in Pueblo. Ray Aguilera, the president of the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation, an activist, states, "Traditionally, they have performed poorly," referring to the Hispanic students who make up 51% of the student population.
Those students who do manage to graduate soon realize that a high school diploma alone is insufficient for success in Pueblo’s evolving economy. Even CF&I, which currently employs 1,450 individuals, requires prospective employees to possess college-level reading skills. And that is merely "to secure an interview," according to Stephen Bronn, the vice president for finance and planning at the University of Southern Colorado. He adds, "This tells us in the field of education a significant story about what needs to be done. We can no longer have students who simply coast through and deem our efforts successful. They will not become productive members of society unless we prepare them for the lucrative employment opportunities available."
In the rear of the classroom, Ms. Thornton and two student judges, who are both in the 3rd grade, listen attentively as the younger students take turns explaining their work. Each judge has a sheet of paper with three categories: "Did-Ant Do The Job," "OK Job," and "Excell-Ant Job." (The 1st and 2nd graders, who helped create the scoring guide with their teachers, are responsible for the puns.) The student judges take their responsibilities seriously. "Do you have a food chamber?" one of them asks a group of students. "Yes," a boy replies. "Is it labeled?" "Yes." Satisfied that the students have fulfilled all the requirements for the highest level, the judge declares the poster as "Excell-Ant." If it had fallen into the lowest category, the students would have had to redo the project.
After the assessment ends, the students go back to their classrooms while a few teachers and their principal stay behind to discuss the changes that have occurred at their school. Implementing the new standards-based system, they admit, wasn’t easy. "I think we’re always resistant to new things," says 4th grade teacher Diane Stewart. "Change is difficult. We had to see that this was going to work for us. But once we started using the scoring guides and saw how students could embrace it and strive to be their best, we realized that it could work. And now we strongly support standards and scoring guides." In fact, Haaff Elementary has become District 60’s model school for visitors who want to witness the new approach in action, and the school’s teachers now conduct workshops for educators in other Colorado districts.
"I believe things were good before," says JoAnn White, "but now we have a direction to follow, and we’re all moving towards the same goal. We know where we need to be. There are no teachers going in different directions."
Adding to this, Ms. Thornton says, "The children are more responsible. They understand the expectations."
"I’m seeing a lot more proficiency in all areas," says 4th grade teacher Michelle Meier. "Reading. Writing. Everything is interconnected."
"It’s exciting to see the students engage in meaningful projects," adds Principal Marcie Bartley. "But it’s also exciting to see teachers who have adapted their teaching because of this." However, she mentions that other schools in Pueblo have shown less enthusiasm towards the new emphasis on standards. "But that’s alright. They will come around."
How the new focus on standards will affect the district’s four high schools is yet to be determined. At Central High School, a team of six teachers, along with a professor from Pueblo Community College, met for three hours every Wednesday night last year to discuss how the school’s curriculum could be adjusted to meet the new standards. This year, teachers at the other high schools are doing the same, while at Central, the team members are working to bring the rest of the faculty up to speed.
Jim Manzanares, Central’s principal, admits that it’s a slow process. "Some teachers have the attitude that ‘This, too, shall pass’," he says. "But the standards are here to stay. We are determined to make our courses fit within a standards-based system." He hopes to see positive results in about three years.
Meanwhile, starting this year, all high school students in District 60 are required to take two years of math, including algebra, and two years of science. In District 70, the course requirements are even more challenging.
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