education reform

A California judge has struck down the state's teacher tenure and seniority system, ruling it denies students their fundamental right to a quality education.

The LA Times reports the judge appeared to accept most of the prosecution's main arguments, including the idea that teachers can be fairly evaluated using student test scores. The paper also notes the judge rejected defense claims that teacher quality compares favorably to workforce quality in other fields.

Concerns about public education in China are fueling an increasing interest in alternative schools like Waldorf education. The trend is profiled in a fascinating New Yorker article now on newsstands.

Three years after a state order to dramatically overhaul Central Falls High School, a new report finds evidence of progress. The Education Alliance at Brown University conducted the study, which finds school culture and parent involvement have improved significantly.

The graduation rate at Central Falls High is up from 48 percent in 2009 to 70 percent last year. Superintendent of Central Falls Schools Fran Gallo says it took an all-out effort from school staff to keep students from dropping out.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

It’s October, and that means students across Rhode Island are filling in bubbles on standardized tests. The annual use of testing in math and English has become a controversial tool for rating schools, and making decisions about high school diplomas, and it will soon be part of teacher evaluations too. One researcher who started out supporting standardized testing now says its part of the problem in public schools. Diane Ravitch has become one of the strongest voices in the national debate and she spoke at the University of Rhode Island last night.

As Rhode Island debates high school diplomas tied to test scores, a prominent critic of standardized testing comes to make her case at the University of Rhode Island. Diane Ravitch, a research professor at New York University, is scheduled to speak this evening as part of URI's honors colloquium on education.

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