Tuesday, January 23, 2007

“President Bush Tries Another Push for Vouchers”

President George W. Bush in his State of the Union address last night highlighted a plan to give children with greater economic needs private school vouchers -- something key Democrats in Congress already have signaled they will reject. The administration tried unsuccessfully to include a voucher program in the No Child Left Behind law when it was first approved by Congress five years ago.

In an article in the today’s Mississippi Sun Herald, entitled “Bush reintroduces school voucher plan”, Nancy Zuckerbrod of the Associated Press writes: “White House officials say a private school voucher program makes sense for students in schools that are consistently failing to meet progress goals under the No Child Left Behind law.”

"This is not for every kid in America," White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joel Kaplan said. "This is for those kids who are trapped in the absolute worst schools that just don't seem to be capable, or willing, to make the changes necessary to serve those students well." www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/16528972.htm

Let’s hear what you think of another push for vouchers by this administration.
Good Idea…?
Crummy Idea…?


Bloomberg Report January 6, 2007:
“Bush Says He and Democrats Can Find Common Ground This Year”

Education Week December 19, 2006:
“Democratic Congress to Step up Department Oversight”

United Press International January 6, 2007
“Bush Plugs Education Legislation”

Friday, January 05, 2007

“From Cradle to Career”

Education Week Publishes 2007 Quality Counts Report With Mixed Reviews

“Parents in Michigan are Upset by Study on Kids’ Success” was the headline in the Local Section of the January 4th Detroit Free Press. Chastity Pratt ,Free Press education writer, went on to describe a study released Wednesday which said Michigan’s students, on average, are destined to be… average.

The study was Education Weeks 2007 Quality Counts Report which ranked Michigan 25th among the 50 states when it comes to a child’s chance for success, taking into account categories such as the unemployment rate, the number of residents who graduate with a diploma and income.

Ms. Pratt writes, “It concluded that the state’s children have an average chance for educational and career success largely because Michigan’s adults fall in line with national averages”. Some parents she interviewed complained that the study seems too defeatist. They believe success for students cannot be measured so easily by looking at the accomplishments of parents. “That’s too much stereotyping for me,” said Shaton Berry of Detroit, a regional representative in the Michigan Parent Teacher Student Association.

The state that ranked highest on the chance-for-success index was Virginia. The state that ranked lowest on the chance-for-success was New Mexico.

Has Education Week chosen the correct measures for student success?
What do you think?
How did your state rank?

View the report and let me know what you are thinking or feeling about the validity of their assumptions. Being from Michigan, or not, I certainly do not feel “average”.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Look for “Greener” Pastures in 2007…

Grant Awards for Environmental Engineering and Green Product Design

After your usual holiday spending spree “depression” dissipates, the start of a new year can bring renewed excitement in the search for funding to support your district, school or classroom science and technology goals.

eSchool News has identified several grants available to educators at all levels that are looking for funds to support the use of innovative technology with a “greener” side.

The Hewlett-Packard Company’s 2007 Technology for Teaching Grants will award approximately $10 million in cash and equipment to schools through the HP Technology for Teaching Program. This year extra consideration is being given to proposals related to environmental engineering and green product design. You can begin your application process Monday, January 8th and the deadline is Thursday, February 15th.


For science teachers looking to challenge their students’ writing and scientific thinking skills, the “DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition” could be the ticket, offering more than $20,000 for science-oriented student essays. Students compete by writing a 700 to 1,000-word essay discussing a scientific discovery, theory, event, or technology application that has captured their interest. And, the teacher sponsoring the winning student also receives a prize. The deadline is Monday, February 12th. Previous winning essays can be found at the site: http://www.glcomm.com/dupont/index.htm