Jackie Mader

Mississippi passes landmark pre-k bill, moves forward with charters

Mississippi is one step closer to passing sweeping education reforms that could, for the first time, bring state-funded pre-k to the state. On Wednesday, the House and Senate passed legislation that would provide $3 million to partially fund voluntary preschool programs for 4-year-olds beginning in the 2014-15 school year. Advocates of early education in the […]

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Districts face roadblocks in developing teacher evaluations

School districts around the country are facing obstacles as they attempt to finalize new teacher evaluation systems in time for the 2013-14 school year. At least 30 states have passed laws requiring new evaluation systems, but many cities are experiencing pushback from teachers and unions, particularly on requirements to include student test scores as a […]

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Charter schools move forward in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss.—Mississippi is one step closer to allowing charter schools to open in the state after the Senate Education Committee approved a charter school bill on Tuesday. Update On Wednesday, after more than three hours of debate, the Mississippi Senate passed their version of the charter school bill. Lawmakers approved an amendment that will allow […]

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Report: More states using student data in reform

The number of states embracing contentious education reforms meant to increase teacher accountability rose rapidly last year. In 2009, no states tied tenure to a teacher’s performance in the classroom as measured by student achievement on standardized tests. Now, 15 states have policies that base teacher tenure partly on student test scores, up from eight […]

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In new year, will Mississippi make progress in education?

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has vowed to focus on education when this year’s legislative session convenes next week, with literacy and school choice at the forefront of his agenda. In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Bryant said that his goal is to get “something transformational” passed during the three-month session this year. But […]

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Giving teachers more power helps in turnaround of Boston schools

Six low-performing Boston schools participating in a pilot program that gives teachers more training, support, and leadership roles are showing higher growth on state tests than other low-performing city schools according to a report released Monday by the non-profit Teach Plus. The T3 Initiative program, a collaboration between Boston Public Schools and Teach Plus, began […]

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New graduation data shows lower rates, wide achievement gap

New federally-compiled graduation rates for 47 states and the District of Columbia left many states reeling this week as more rigorous and uniform standards highlighted wide achievement gaps and lower numbers than previously reported. While the U.S. Department of Education said the new rates can’t be compared to previous numbers, officials said the graduation rates […]

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No consensus on which skills should be included in teacher evaluations

At least 30 states are launching new systems to evaluate teachers using more rigorous criteria about what makes a good teacher, but so far there is little consensus on what the criteria should be. Can the quality of a teacher be measured by looking at just a few key skills, such as setting academic goals […]

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Mississippi pushes for literacy, merit pay over pre-k

Mississippi will probably not fund or create public pre-kindergarten opportunities next year, but will prioritize teacher merit pay, literacy, and dropout prevention, according to the proposed budget released Tuesday by Gov. Phil Bryant. The proposal asks for more than $3 billion in education funding, a $24 million increase over this year and addresses some of […]

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A second chance for Mississippi charter schools

Republicans in Mississippi intend to fight for charter schools during the 2013 legislative session, renewing a contentious battle from last year’s session. At a Mississippi Economic Council gathering in late October, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves vowed to support school choice legislation that would create more avenues for charter schools to open in the state, the […]

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