Saturday, January 12, 2013

What does "K-12 Achievement, Equity" measure?

Education Week just released the new Quality Counts 2013 Annual Report. I took a quick review of the State Report Cards for my two home states (Maryland and Texas) and there were some interesting points to contrast, especially in K-12 Achievement. Maryland ranked top in the nation with an overall score of 87.5. Texas ranked a littler better than the national average (76.9) with an overall score of 79.4.

I noticed in the K-12 Achievement, Equity score, Texas fared a little better than Maryand. Both of the scores were a little disconcerting with Maryland at 71.7 and Texas at 76.9. After a pretty exhaustive review of the website I could not figure out exactly what the K-12 Achievement, Equity score measured. If it is what I think it is, then parents of students of color should be alarmed. If a state like Maryland is 1) very high-performing academically and 2) extremely diverse, it is not too much to expect the equity in achievement score to be a little higher. Of course some states scored better on this indicator, but I am interested in learning more about what this score means for Maryland.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Where's the discussion on mental health?

It has been less than a month since the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. No doubt many of us still feel the impact of seeing the photos of children crying while being escorted by police out of their school or family members fearfully waiting outside the fire station to hear about the safety of their children. Gun control advocates appropriately began pressing for immediate action. The Children's Defense Fund was out front leading the call to action to "protect children, not guns." Marian Wright Edelman also wrote powerful pieces about gun violence in her Child Watch® Columns after the shootings. The Administration has also kept the gun control debate in news by signaling that recommendations for tighter gun controls would go to the President in a matter of days.

Who is leading the conversation on mental health in this country in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings? Clearly that played a role in this tragic event. I would love to hear more about what's going on and how I can get involved.