Daily School Reform News Roundup, July 2 to 6

Published July 6, 2012

Now that more than half the states have received waivers of No Child Left Behind from the Obama administration, even the New York Times is noting the department has used them to legislate around Congress.

Boys and young men are in an educational crisis, writes David Brooks.

Georgia may lose its federal Race to the Top grant for failing to follow through on promises made to get it.

Ohio has a literacy crisis, writes Matthew Ladner.

Sometimes, if school districts lure homeschoolers into state-run virtual programs, the districts get state money for doing nothing.

The ACT is developing tests for grades 3 to 10

From Thursday:

As North Carolina schools trim budgets, privately-funded Teach for America teachers are stepping in to lift the gaps.

The Department of Education is hectoring charter schools, writes Rick Hess. He also comments on a new study showing nearly no testing fraud in D.C. schools, which means former Chancellor Michelle Ree’s boost was real. 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s first comments on the state’s tenure reform bill, which retains “last in, first out” provisions, are positive. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney says he’s responsible for the LIFO omission.

Because of rotten public knowledge about government, Florida is instituting a middle-school civics exam

Texas has the lowest rate of special-needs-classified students in the country.

Peter Meyer offers five lessons from five years on his local school board.

A charter operator looking to open schools in wealthier parts of Nashville has applied to the state for permission to open after the local school board denied them twice. 

For-profit companies are bringing high-tech education to Baby Boomers looking to upgrade their skills during the recession. 

Bill Gates donated $1 million to a ballot initiative hoping to bring charter schools to Washington state.

From Independence Day:

America’s schools need a Declaration of Independence, writes Larry Sand.

North Carolina’s legislature overrode the governor’s veto to pass into law an A-F school grading system, merit pay for teachers, and limits on social promotion.

Promoters of national standards suffer from pride, impatience, and naivete, details Jay Greene.

Idaho Superintendent Tom Luna treks out to tout the state’s education reforms before November’s ballot decides whether to repeal them.

Texas business leaders will oppose more money for public schools if the state rolls back its controversial new tests.

A federal judge has struck down several provisions of the U.S. Department of Education’s “gainful employment” rule that negatively impacted for-profit colleges.

Several Louisiana school districts and the state’s two main teachers unions have filed suit against its new statewide vouchers.

From Tuesday:

Some notable institutions are criticizing the draft Common Core science standards

South Dakota voters will decide in November if the state’s plan to phase out tenure, give teachers merit bonuses, and recruit for hard-to-fill teaching positions can stay.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed legislation giving Cleveland’s mayor more power over the city’s rotten schools.

Washington state supporters of charter schools have nearly rounded enough signatures necessary to put allowing them on the ballot this November.

Union officials in Nevada are blustering and threatening lawsuits in response to a nonprofit group emailing teachers information about how to legally leave the union

A third of all jobs now require something more than a high school diploma but less than a 4-year college degree. 

Has America’s self-esteem lunacy contributed to our college debt crisis?

From Monday:

Mike Antonucci is on the ground at this week’s NEA convention. His first report details the teacher’s union’s massive loss of members and its implications for their budget.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed legislation adding objective measures to teacher evaluations and adding a new tax-credit scholarship for students in failing schools. He’s also considering having the state take over financially failing districts.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill to expand charter schools beyond two cities in the state, but vetoed a bill that would have allowed students to transfer into districts closer to their homes. 

Idaho spends more than only Utah on education, and has better than average test scores. 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie must weigh whether to sign a teacher tenure reform bill that does not end the practice of “last in, first out.”

The U.S. Department of Education has waived No Child Left Behind, the largest federal education law, for five more states, bringing the total waivers to 24. 

Orthodox Jews and Catholics are supporting a measure in the New York Legislature to let some special-needs students attend private schools using taxpayer funds.

As overall test scores in Michigan inch up, the achievement gap has also increased. 


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

For other top-notch school reform news selections, visit: 

Image by Mo Riza