EdWeek: Test Data, Asian and Pacific Islander Inclusion and

OECD: U.S. Efforts Haven’t Helped Low Performers on Global Math, Reading Tests

After more than a decade of heavy investment in closing achievement gaps and bringing all students to proficiency in reading and mathematics, the United States has fewer low-performing students on the Program for International Student Assessment—but only in science.

In math and reading, by contrast, there were no changes at all in the share of low-performing students on the PISA between 2003 and 2012 , according to a new analysis by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. America was flat during that period, remaining a little worse than the international average in the share of students who performed below minimum proficiency in all three subjects.

Read more at: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2016/02/OECD_American_efforts_low_performers.html

In Efforts to Boost Teacher Diversity, Asians and Pacific Islanders Seek Inclusion

Sarah Ha didn’t have any Asian-American teachers growing up.

Ha was born in the United States but moved to South Korea when she was six years old; she and her little sister were left there for two years while their parents established a life in the United States. Enveloped by Korean culture, Ha all but forgot the English she had grown up learning.

When she returned to Worcester, Mass., Ha found herself isolated and bullied, an English-language learner with no Asian peers, teachers, or subject matter in school.

Read more at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/01/27/in-efforts-to-boost-teacher-diversity-asians.html

Teacher Shortages Put Pressure on Governors, Legislators

There’s heated debate nationally over whether K-12 teachers really are in short supply and—if so—what’s caused the shortage and how widespread it is.

But in a number of states with dwindling supplies of new teachers, overcrowded classrooms, months-long substitute assignments, and droves of teachers quitting midyear, activists on both sides of the issue are seizing the opportunity to push their policy agendas.

Those divisions are on stark display in places like Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington, where policymakers, including governors and legislators, are floating a variety of approaches to address the challenge of recruiting and retaining teachers.

Read more at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/02/10/teacher-shortages-put-pressure-on-governors-legislators.html