Daily School Reform News Roundup, August 6 to 10

Published August 10, 2012

An auditor’s report finds no widespread test cheating in Washington, DC.

Struggling students desperately need to learn algebra, writes charter school teacher Ryan Hall.

Idaho officials approved a charter school that plans to focus on America’s heritage.

Mississippi lawmakers express interest in charter schools and vouchers.

Eighty-one percent of state legislative seats are up for grabs in November’s election.

Ohio voters again largely turned down property tax increases tied to school spending.

How Nevada plans to change its schools after receiving a waiver of the federal No Child Left Behind law.

From Thursday:

The Obama administration’s race-based discipline order will create a nightmare for schools in pursuit of phantom racism, says Heather MacDonald.

The government’s myriad special-education programs are poorly coordinated, resulting in waste and lost opportunities, says the Government Accounting Office.

The federal government has just approved Nevada’s application for a waiver from No Child Left Behind, making 34 states under direct federal oversight.

Lawmakers must confront the reality that state pensions are unsustainable, economists told them at the National Council of State Legislatures yesterday.

Oregon school districts’ plans to improve some student outcomes by 1 percent have the state’s new education commissioner shaking his head. 

Mid-career teacher evaluations in Cincinnati improved student test scores, says a new study.

A new report finds that Massachusetts’ taxpayer-paid scholarships to students in government universities lengthened students’ time to getting a degree by 40 percent. 

A poll of states finds their budgets have stabilized but their immediate outlook uncertain because of federal expansion.

Online teacher degree and certification programs are exploding in popularity.

Steve Forbes discusses education reform.


From Wednesday:

Special-education fraud in New York has cost taxpayers millions.

Recent Labor Department filings reveal teachers union leaders receive fat-cat compensation.

Most D.C. teachers are still evaluated highly despite abysmal student performance, prompting the city chancellor to raise the bar. Richard Whitmire speculates what would have happened if the city had kept former Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

Why school choice promotes religious freedom.

Local school districts must begin comparing themselves to international peers or the U.S. will fall further behind economically, writes Thomas Friedman.

Midwestern states have closed thousands of schools in the past decade due to enrollment declines.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, after signing a limited K-12 tenure reform bill, said he still wants the practice of “last in, first out” to end.

Ohio’s fund for retiree healthcare may be bankrupt by 2016.

A new report concludes cyberbullying is rare.

An Ohio school district goes to outlandish lengths to conceal its labor spending from the public.

Zappos’ founder is investing hundreds of millions in making Las Vegas a great place to live and work–which includes spending $50 million on education improvements.

Catapult is a new online platform that allows learners to set their own learning goals and crowd-fund rewards for them. 

From Tuesday:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed a bill that slightly limits K-12 teacher tenure.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks about his proposal to have federal education money follow each child .

The Pennsylvania Board of Education released information about how families and businesses can start participating in the state’s new tax-credit scholarships.

Three reasons back-to-school tax holidays are dumb.

Illinois will soon spend more on pensions than on education.

At least ten states have begun outsourcing their driving tests.

A Nevada judge has struck down a tax petition aimed at increasing school spending. Union leaders in the state have said they will refile the petition to meet the judge’s requirements.

The Obama administration has dumbed down education standards using No Child Left Behind waivers, says Sandy Kress. Lance Izumi says the waivers also have allowed the administration to centralize control over education policy.

A group with ties to Scientology has been tutoring in Colorado public schools, but its pupils are not progressing.


From Monday: 

A new survey shows where Americans would make education cuts. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told Congress required federal cuts would be “devastating” for schools.

A new study has found that college students in online courses do just as well as students in traditional courses.

Utah’s Board of Education decided Friday to back out of its ties to Common Core tests

Idaho hasn’t conformed enough to federal demands to receive a No Child Left Behind waiver yet. 

Michigan’s Supreme Court has ordered a law allowing emergency school district managers to be placed on the November ballot.

Why Coloradans should oppose raising taxes to spend more on government education.

Iowans rejoin a debate over restructuring the teaching profession in the state. The New York Times considers the same topic and its national implications.

South Carolina considers how to restructure school funding around a statewide property tax level local jurisdictions may exceed.

Budget cuts to Pennsylvania colleges aren’t even a nick, says Thomas Wonsiewicz.

An Alaska Senate candidate opposes government-subsidized school lunches.


For last week’s School Reform News roundup, click here.

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Image by Mo Riza