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Reform Matters: August 31, 2012
posted by: Alix | September 04, 2012, 05:00 AM   

Welcome to the 3rd issue of the Association of American Educators' online biweekly publication, Reform Matters. This new education reform-focused publication will feature both original AAE content and a compilation of the latest news from the growing education reform community.


As the largest national non-union professional association for educators, AAE is a non-partisan choice for teachers across the country. We are proud to be member-driven and only take positions on issues after our members are surveyed at a majority. The studies, articles, and policies showcased in this newsletter have not necessarily been endorsed by AAE; however, by sharing new and innovative trends in education policy, we hope to educate and empower our members by examining new possibilities in education.


Feel free to forward this email on to a colleague, or encourage them to join our email list. We hope that you will provide us with feedback and consider submitting an article or study for consideration.

AAE Blog Roll: Don't forget to bookmark the AAE blog and the AAE Charters blog for original daily posts on trends in education reform and professional development. 

AAE, Education Reform Coalition Pen Letter Asking Administration to Hold Teacher Preparation Programs Accountable
Charter School Teachers: Sign up for National School Choice Week!
National Survey Highlights State of Student Drug Use
New Book: Shadowbosses Sheds Light on Public Sector Union Spending & Tactics
Poll: Nation Holds Diverse Opinions about Public Education Policy
Neighborhood Internet Schools: The Wave of the Future?

Education Reform Organization Spotlight: Democrats for Education Reform (DFER)


Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) is an organization whose mission is to encourage a more productive dialogue within the Democratic Party on the need to fundamentally reform American public education.  DFER operates on all levels of government to educate elected officials and support reform-minded candidates for public office.


DFER stands for the following principles:

  • In support of policies that stimulate the creation of new, accountable public schools and which simultaneously close down failing schools;
  • In supporting mechanisms that allow parents to select excellent schools for their children, and where education dollars follow each child to their school;
  • In supporting governance structures which hold leaders responsible, while giving them the tools to effectuate change;
  • In supporting and empowering mayors to lead urban school districts, so that they can be held accountable by the electorate;
  • In support of policies that allow school principals and their school communities to select their teams of educators, holding them accountable for student performance;
  • In support of clearly-articulated national standards and expectations for core subject areas, while allowing states and local districts to determine how best to make sure that all students are reaching those standards.
AAE recently joined with Democrats for Education Reform and other stakeholders to pen a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urging the administration to hold teacher preparation programs accountable. It is this bipartisan coalition building that truly makes education reform an issue that affects all Americans, regardless of political preference. Click here for more information about Democrats for Education Reform and their latest initiatives in a state near you.

Education Technology & Blended Learning

Several states now require districts to give students more choices: New Laws, Programs Expand E-Learning Options, Education Week, 8/27/12

Digital Learning Now! Paper: "Funding the Shift to Digital Learning: Three Strategies for Funding Sustainable High-Access Environments," Getting Smart & the Foundation for Excellence in Education

Commentary: The Tech-Driven Classroom Is Here, But Grades Are Mixed, Forbes, 8/21/12

Teacher Quality, School Budgets & Alternative Certification

Model teacher evaluations after the British model? Study: On Her Majesty's School Inspection Service, Education Sector

Are incentives the answer? School gives students incentives to make the grade, Associated Press, 8/27/12

Commentary: Empathy for a Teacher, Sam Chaltain, 8/29/12


Charter Schools, Choice & Reform Advocacy

The PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools is a well-known research instrument. Conducted annually, it allows PDK members and other educators and policy makers to track public opinion about one of this nation's most important institutions, its public schools. Read the full results.


Study: Compulsory School Attendance: What Research Says and What It Means for State Policy, Brookings


K-12 Politics: Teachers Unions, Federal Spending Slammed at GOP Convention, Education Week, 8/29/12

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