Daily School Reform News Roundup, July 23 to 27

Published July 27, 2012

Watch the trailer to the Parent Trigger movie, “Won’t Back Down.”

Louisiana teacher unions are threatening lawsuits against private schools that accept state vouchers. A state appeals court ruled Thursday the program may continue pending litigation.

An initiative to get allowing charter schools into Washington state has gotten enough signatures to be placed on the ballot November 6. 

Virginia’s board of education has approved the first northern-Virginia charter school, a math and science academy. The local public schools are ranked fourth in the nation, so school district officials felt families did not need the flexibility of public charter schools.

How Hillsdale College abandoned nonsensical state requiremetns and rethought teacher education.

If people can be trusted to purchase food, health care and housing with government-provided funds from taxpayers, why not education?

Suprime student loans are the government’s fault, says Neal McCluskey.

A new report says NCLB waivers may allow some states to backtrack. Another says this is so particularly for parent engagement requirements.

A New Jersey Senate committee approved the state education commissioner after two years of him filling the spot. 

A new book explores “The Higher Education Bubble.”

Maine’s governor should have responded better to data indicating the state needs to improve its education, write the Portland Press-Herald editors.


From Thursday:

Indiana conservatives grill state Superintendent Tony Bennett on his support for the Common Core.

The feds are insisting Washington state rewrite its teacher evaluation law to get a No Child Left Behind waiver, but the way they want it rewritten has not disposed of bad teachers in Tennessee, writes Liv Finne.

The U.S’s house of education is burning down, says Joel Klein.

Utahns should fight for local control of education, says Lindsey Burke.

A new study shows the benefits of holding failing kids back a grade persist several grades forward.

Time to finally confirm acting New Jersey education commissioner Chris Cerf, says the Star-Ledger editorial board.

Public high schools should pay for students’ remedial college courses, says Maine Gov. Paul LePage. He promised to soon unveil education proposals centered on ABCs: Accountability, best practices, and choice.

Arizona lawmakers and lawyers are spatting over how to describe a ballot item that would retain a higher sales tax rate to spend on government education.


From Wednesday:

Instead of having its current teachers work more than seven hours a day, Chicago will hire 477 more

After an Oregon teacher gets around the state’s sex-offender-prevention law, The Oregonian says it’s time to shut school molesters down.

Ohio public schools scrub hundreds of thousands of student absences from their records to look better to the state and public.

News Corp’s education division now has a name and three-part mission: digital, Common Core-centered curriculum; data and analytics; and digital learning.

An Indiana lawmaker wants to allow military families to participate in the state’s voucher program.

Texans continue to fight over how to pay for government schools.

Some Idaho universities are offering core classes at reduced prices to help families struggling with college costs.

How to make merit pay work.

What happens when Big Data comes to campus.

Khan Academy’s videos aren’t very good, says a math teacher.

Wyoming is spending more on K12 education than the results merit, says a new report.

University of California-Sacramento’s workers are harder to manage and file more grievances because they’re close to the state capitol, says a report.

Virginia’s largest community college needs tighter control over credit-card-wielding employees, says a state auditor.

From Tuesday:

A California judge has directed a school district to accept a Parent Trigger petition to transform a failing local school into an independent charter upon a majority vote of the school’s parents. If the order goes through, it will be the first successful “pulled trigger.” 

Louisiana voucher students must take state tests, the state superintendent spelled out in new accountability rules Monday. John White spells out his support for parent choice and school accountability in an opinions article.

Large school districts are losing students to city depopulation and competition like charter schools.

Despite opposing tax hikes, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) supports a Cleveland tax increase coupled with significant changes to the school system.

How to cut school budgets while improving student performance.

Detroit’s Wayne State University has proposed becoming one of the few that limit professor tenure

Higher education needs a financing overhaul, writes A. Gary Shilling.

From Monday: 

After Act 10, Wisconsin teacher contract talks settle in as little as 15 minutes

Why we don’t need national education standards to prevent a race to the bottom.

Twenty-four New Mexico education system retirees have received $181,000 more in pension payments than they should have, and so far are refusing to pay the money back.

Thousands of Minnesota students received waivers to graduate high school despite failing the state’s graduation test

California is taking the worst-possible route to deal with its schools and budget crisis, says Eric Hanushek.

A report discusses how to fine-tune Tennessee’s new teacher evaluation system.

The Star-Ledger editorial board praises the New Jersey commissioner’s approach to approving new charter schools.

School districts have largely lost their monopoly on education programming, but maintain their monopoly over financing, developing, and deploying public school buildings. 

Texas’s high school graduation rate is increasing, but no one is sure why.

Kansas University, among other state universities, is attempting to fill cuts in taxpayer support with private funds

Texas schools lose millions in state funding when students miss school. 


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

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Image by Mo Riza