Daily Top Ten School Reform News Roundup, Aug. 20 to 24

Published August 24, 2012

Friday’s top ten:

1. President Obama says he wants to help black students advance educationally while ignoring that school vouchers do so, write two authors of a new study demonstrating black voucher students were more likely to attend college.

2. An Washington environmentalist group has received $726,000 in federal stimulus dollars for its “educational” activities.

3. [Video] How California teachers unions killed a bill that would have made it easier for school districts to fire teachers convicted of sexual, physical, or drug abuse of students.

4. A new gold-standard study finds school choice lowers male truancy and increases student achievement.

5. Atlanta’s state Rep. Edward Lindsey on why state Superintendent John Barge is wrong to reverse his position into a stance against allowing charter schools in Georgia. 

6. Why vouchers accomplish social justice.

7. Washington, DC will give two charter schools $1.1 milion to help struggling traditional government schools train teachers and improve student achievement.

8. Louisiana’s reformer superintendent travels the state to talk Common Core education standards and the state’s new comprehensive education reforms.

9. China’s college graduates can’t find jobs, either.

10. As the school year begins, states implement tougher cyberbullying policies.

Thursday’s top ten:

1. A new study finds receiving a K-12 voucher makes a black student 24 percent more likely to attend college. 

2. Michigan’s changes to retiree healthcare are saving teacher jobs and district budgets, writes Ingrid Jacques.

3. Will Chicago teachers strike once school starts, or won’t they?

4. A Texas judge has ruled a group of school-choice-seeking parents can stay in a lawsuit against the state seeking a more efficient system.

5. California’s teachers union is practically a fourth branch of state government.

6. President Obama has begun talking about education policy on the campaign trail.

7. Though D.C. parents are clamoring for charter schools, the city is instead spending more on traditional schools with declining enrollment and worse academic outcomes.

8. A new report details how states have recently shifted teacher evaluations.

9. Ten reasons why the Supreme Court should rule against affirmative action.

10. California for-profit two-year schools have graduation rates nearly triple those of state community colleges. 

Wednesday’s top ten:

1. The public supports Parent Trigger legislation 70 percent to 28 percent. See those results and more on education inside the annual Gallup poll, out today.

2. Indiana public schools must now compete to retain students given the state’s new voucher program.

3. Maine’s first two charter schools have been overwhelmed with applicants.

4. Current Pennsylvania pension reform bills only tweak the severely underfunded system. The state’s teacher pensions are underfunded more than $26 billion.

5. Pennsylvania is also not likely to move on several education property tax restructuring plans.

6. Federal Title IX has forced schools to create sports team quotas and disinvest in men, likely leading to the U.S.’s sad performance in men’s gymnastics.

7. Catholic schools, hurting from charter school competition, are turning to digital learning with success.

8. A North Carolina court has ruled the state must enroll every poor child in taxpayer-funded pre-K whose parents ask.

9. The great majority of Alabama high school graduates struggle in college.

10. Practically all of Mississippi’s students took the ACT last year, but the state’s average scores were lowest in the country.

Tuesday’s top ten:

1. The Louisiana Supreme Court has allowed the state’s new voucher program to continue as litigation pends.

2. Only 55 percent of eligible New York City teachers earned tenure in 2012 under tougher requirements, compared with 97 percent in 2007.

3. Private schools, homeschooling families express concern over Common Core education standards, particularly for their “one size fits all” approach and tendency towards nationalization.

4. A government school chastised an eighth-grader for pasting a picture of her military brother on her binder.

5. The skinny on Texas’s complicated school funding system and a lawsuit pending against it.

6. New Jersey’s new tenure law that stopped short of eliminating seniority rules seems to have sapped legislative will for further education reform.

7. President Obama is back to stumping for a teachers union bailout.

8. Wisconsin has just created a new path to a teacher license that relaxes old rules.

9. Two Alabama legislators have filed bills that would allow school districts to pick their own school year start and end times.

10. The Washington state Parent-Teacher Association should rethink its opposition to charter schools, argues the Seattle Times.

Monday’s top ten:

1. New Hampshire announced it plans to seek a waiver of the federal No Child Left Behind law

2. Georgia’s dropout problem is twice as bad as school officials previously calculated, concludes The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionin an analysis of excluded data.

3. State lawmakers are recently grappling with whether to strengthen vaccination requirements for school children given fears over increasing epidemics.

4. Sorry, teachers, test scores should factor into your evaluations, writes the Los Angeles Times editorial board. 

5. Rick Hess summarizes a recent seminar on Parent Power.

6. New York teacher pension costs will continue to increase, squeezing school budgets, concludes a new report.

7. A coalition of parents, students, and businesses complains again about August school starts.

8. An Indiana candidate is making school bus seat belts a campaign topic.

9. Hawaii’s governor is asking the state teachers union to resolve their conflict using federal mediators.

10. A California lawmaker wants the state to measure schools on non-objective qualities such as “problem solving” and communication skills.

For last week’s School Reform News roundup, click here.
For other top-notch school reform news selections, visit: 

Image by Mo Riza