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Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 271) 18 Feb 2014
- Sana Kazi
25% Reservation: A perception study on its implementation and Impact

At one end of the spectrum there are several people who have reacted positively to the idea behind this clause and are supportive of the fact that through the Act, the government has finally recognized and acknowledged the private sector’s role in the provision of quality education. What is most telling of this is the fact that the poorest in India choose these private schools over free government schools and are willing to spend substantial money on educating their children in these schools. Of all the enrolled children living below the poverty line, 14.8% of 5-10 year olds, 13.8% of 11-14 year olds and 7% of 15-17 year olds attended private school (Gandhi, G.  2007) and their parents spend between 6-11% of their income on education in these private schools (ASER, 2010). These numbers are a powerful testament to those policy makers who continue to believe that the private sector has no role in education.

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Do teachers matter? Measuring the variation in teacher effectiveness in England
Authors: Helen Slater, HM Treasury; Neil Davies, Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol; Simon Burgess, CMPO, University of Bristol; January 2009
Centre for Market and Public Organisation, Working Paper No. 09/212

Abstract: Using a unique primary dataset for the UK, we estimate the effect of individual teachers on student outcomes, and the variability in teacher quality. This links over 7000 pupils to the individual teachers who taught them, in each of their compulsory subjects in the high-stakes exams at age 16. We use point-in-time fixed effects and prior attainment to control for pupil heterogeneity. We find considerable variability in teacher effectiveness, a little higher than the estimates found in the few US studies. We also corroborate recent findings that observed teachers’ characteristics explain very little of the differences in estimated effectiveness.

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Education News

IIM-A to teach right way to claim Right to Education
- The Times of India, 13 Feb 2014
The centre aims to help parents of needy students overcome procedural difficulties in completing and submitting applications. RRC is a student initiative at IIM-A and is run in collaboration with students from National Institute of Design.

Promote practical education; diversify work culture for a better India: Modi
- Business Standard, 12 Feb 2014
"You can't live by degrees alone; every nation is stressing on skill development. In our whole education system, if we stress on skill development, we will have the manufacturing sector come in; there will be growth. Even in agriculture, we need skilled manpower," Modi said.

Education in brief: Ofsted has started inspecting academy chains
- The Guardian, 11 Feb 2014
The move follows a statement in December's annual report by Sir Michael Wilshaw (pictured below), chief inspector of schools, that Ofsted planned to "co-ordinate the inspection of the constituent schools in some weaker academy trusts".

Media-education groups link up in Alliance of Asian Media Schools
- The Nation, 17 Feb 2014
The network members have founded what is to be known as the "Alliance of Asian Media Schools (AMS)".

Union HRD minister urged to increase chances for IIT aspirants
- The Times of India, 13 Feb 2014
Encouraged by UPSC's decision to provide additional chances to aspirants across all categories, mathematician Anand Kumar of Super 30 fame has urged the union HRD minister MM Pallam Raju, for a similar opportunity in examination for qualifying in IITs.

What should the government invest more in for improving learning outcomes in children?

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Special ed success stories start with the basicsSpecial ed success stories start with the basics
Shakespeare comes in many different forms at the Patrick O'Hearn School. While one child reads it with his eyes, another does so with fingers. One student interprets it with a drawing, another performs a skit. There is no uniform way to learn, and there is no single benchmark for success. But most children do succeed at this Dorchester elementary school. The philosophy is simple: "Wherever you are, we take you higher," says Principal Bill Henderson. At O'Hearn, close to one-third of students are on a special ed plan, and half are identified as low-income. Students with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy and significant development delays are in the same class as their non-disabled peers. Test scores are among the highest in the city, and the school is held up as a model by educators and advocates. Watch this video here.


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