Wednesday, November 30, 2011

University of Texas College of Education Now Ranked Number One in Nation Among Public Universities

U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools has ranked The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education number one in the nation among public university graduate education programs and number two overall, tying with Harvard University. The College of Education is the first University of Texas at Austin graduate school, among those ranked yearly by U.S. News & World Report, to be named number one in the U.S.

The College of Education has steadily risen in the rankings for the past 13 years, this year leaping from tenth overall to second place and outranking elite private universities like Stanford and Columbia as well as public universities such as UCLA, UC-Berkeley and the University of Michigan. The College also ranked number one in research, with research expenditures in 2009-10 totaling almost $60 million.

"Under the leadership of Dean Manuel Justiz, the College of Education has thrived," said William Powers Jr., president of the university. "This ranking is confirmation of the university's commitment to educating the next generation of teachers and leaders in Texas.”

The College of Education is one of four colleges and schools (law, business and engineering, in addition to education) at the university that receives annual qualitative and quantitative graduate school ratings from U.S. News & World Report.

In addition to ranking colleges and schools, the magazine also provides specialty rankings of select programs. Ratings of these programs are based solely on nominations by education school deans and deans of graduate studies, and the nominating deans may choose up to 10 programs that they feel are exceptional in each specialty area.

This year in the administration/supervision category, the College of Education is ranked fourth overall and special education is ranked fifth overall.

"This is wonderful news for the College of Education," said Manuel J. Justiz, College of Education dean, "and I am so pleased that the hard work of our faculty, students and staff is getting recognition on such a large scale. I want to offer sincere thanks to all of the individuals in our college for their dedication and, of course, to the donors and alumni who so faithfully support our efforts."

The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education is home to the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, which received a $20 million research grant last year (the largest in the college’s history), and in the past year the college has added the Institute for Public School Initiatives, which is developing innovative tools for P-16 students and teachers to improve student college readiness and success.

The college has garnered national recognition for its leadership preparation programs in the Department of Educational Administration, as well as for the Learning Technology Center, Science and Mathematics Education Center, Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts, H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, Pearson Center on Applied Psychometric Research, and the Texas Child Study Center. In addition, state-of-the-art labs in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education are helping the college’s top scientists conduct breakthrough research in the areas of fitness, nutrition, aging and the mind/body connection.

One of the most outstanding and nationally touted of the College of Education’s programs, UTeach was created through a partnership with the College of Natural Sciences that was forged in 1997. UTeach has proven to be an effective, innovative and efficient way to prepare highly qualified secondary science, math, technology and computer teachers. Undergraduates who are interested in teaching are eligible as well as college graduates who want to return to school for certification, new teachers who want to join a supportive community or seasoned teachers who would like to get an advanced degree. The University of Texas at Austin UTeach program has expanded beyond natural sciences to include liberal arts and engineering, with the engineering program recently receiving an unprecedented $12.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation in support of its work.

To date, UTeach has been replicated at 21 major universities in 11 states around the country. In addition, numerous corporate leaders and education leaders as well as Presidents Bush and Obama have praised UTeach as an extraordinarily successful, research-based approach to STEM education.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hoboken Board of Education Meeting: Public Meeting Notice and Stated Agenda for 11-15-2011

Board Meeting
Time: 11/15/2011 - 7:00pm
This meeting was rescheduled. It was originally to be held on November 8th.

Board Meeting Room
1115 Clinton Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030

November 15 2011 BOE Stated Session Agenda

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

School superintendent: A tough job to fill- By David A. Kaplan, contributor @FortuneMagazine

FORTUNE -- The job typically pays about $250,000 a year. That doesn't include the pension and fabulous benefits. You usually get a long-term contract. There's no competition. Customers can't leave. So why do so few talented people want such a great gig?
Welcome to the world of superintendents for public school districts, which I'm learning about firsthand as a parent and taxpayer -- and discovering is an exercise in frustration. In most years about 1,500 districts nationwide will be hiring. I live in a prosperous suburb of Manhattan. But we, like many others, can't seem to find top talent.

That struggle represents a key challenge in American education. Schools can have dedicated teachers, thoughtful courses, and sound finances -- yet without an able leader no district is likely to excel. In my little village the last two superintendents were safe, traditional picks with long careers in school administration. Should we go that route or aim for someone with an unconventional background? Our school board has started the process by hiring a consultant. Ours is Hazard Young Attea & Associates, a national search firm near Chicago specializing in recruiting superintendents. Co-founder Bill Attea has been in the superintendency business for more than 50 years. From 1970 to 1994 he ran the schools in an affluent Chicago suburb. He was hired at 32. Neither his long tenure nor relative youth is prized anymore. "It's extremely difficult to find an appropriate person," he says. "The hiring environment has changed." The talent pool mostly consists of principals, assistant superintendents, and superintendents who've been shown the door. The last category is a function of boards and superintendents who no longer get along. State and federal requirements have made being a superintendent more complicated. Attea warns of analogizing members of school boards to corporate boards.

Whereas most corporate directors have expertise in business or government or academe, school board members have simply managed to get elected. Since school board members lack specialized knowledge about education, the argument goes, they ought to largely stay out of district governance. But because meddling is irresistible, superintendents and boards clash. And while superintendents may get, say, a 25% pay increase, it's not worth it if you were a principal and had to give up job tenure. The result is the Groucho effect: Anybody who actually applies to be superintendent isn't someone you want. We -- and 1,499 other districts that are desperately seeking leadership this year -- are hoping to do better than a Groucho.

This article is from the November 7, 2011 issue of Fortune.