Daily Top Ten School Reform News Roundup, Dec. 10 to 14

Published December 14, 2012

Friday’s ed news:

1. View an interactive map of graduation rates by state and ethnicity.

2. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell suggests increasing teacher pay 2 percent in exchange for lengthening the time it takes a teacher to get tenure. 

3. A legislative audit predicts the Common Core will cost Kansans $34 to $63 million over the next five years.

4. A streaking teacher’s firing indicates the power of New Jersey’s new tenure law.

5. Outgoing Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett discusses his move to Florida.

6. A Kansas efficiency task force calls for reviewing union contracts.

7. Connecticut trades No Child Left Behind for school grades.

8. West Virginia’s deeply underfunded teacher pensions mean it must devote millions of dollars to the past, shortchanging the future, write Charleson Daily Mail editors.

9. Linda Darling-Hammond, who dislikes using tests to measure teachers, has been elected chair of California’s teacher credentialing commission.

10. A literacy professor lists his top five myths about the Common Core.

Thurdsay’s ed news:

1. View the top five news media hits and misses on 2012 education stories.

2. Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett will become Florida’s superintendent after a November ouster. He’ll likely triple his former salary.

3. “The most secure way to predict whether an educational policy is likely to help restore the middle class and help the poor is to focus on the question: “Is this policy likely to translate into a large increase in the vocabularies of 12th-graders?” writes E.D. Hirsch.

4. Labor unions’ role in passing Michigan’s new right-to-work law. Here’s video of union protesters tearing down a tent and stomping on people inside.

5. States have $325 billion in unfunded teacher pension liabilities--the difference between what teachers will get and what states have saved to pay them.

6. Mississippi lawmakers start talking education with scores of parents and tea partiers, and they want school choice.

7. A satirist gets hold of the Common Core. So do Missouri teachers. And Neal McCluskey explains why so many teachers apparently do not understand the standard authors’ intent.

8. Kansas’ board of education unanimously approves keeping cursive in state schools.

9. RiShawn Biddle picks the top eight education reform books of 2012.

10. New Jerseyans question state education grants made by a private foundation.

Wednesday’s ed news:

1. Common Core authors insist the standards do not mean classrooms dilute classic literature. Teachers and English teacher organizations, however, are not hearing the same thing.

2. Hundreds of apps promise to help children learn but have no basis in research or teaching experience, says a new report.

3. An Arizona legislative panel voted to support the state’s tax-credit-funded vouchers.

4. An Idaho school district is in hot water with citizens after secretly giving a superintendent $220,000 to leave.

5. The latest national test scores show no average improvement in reading, but do demonstrate students with vocab power perform better.

6. This article summarizes recent state unrest about adopting the Common Core.

7. Georgia schools the state rates A or B will be given freedom to govern themselves as long as they meet curriculum requirements. 

8. Kansas legislators consider allowing concealed carry on campus.

9. A Republican candidate for Montana superintendent may have won election, but she won’t know because she can’t pay for the recount.

10. Nashville’s school board decides not to sue the state over funds the state withheld because the board refuses to consider charter school applications.

Tuesday’s ed news:

1. The United States still lags international peers on new standardized test results. Asian Americans perform the best, as do Florida and Massachusetts students.

2. Michigan students are out of school today as teachers play hooky to protest right-to-work legislation. Union members from out of state bus into Michigan to join the protests.

3. Bill Ayers gives lefties education advice.

4. The New York Times holds a symposium on the Common Core education standards two years after nearly all states passed them.

5. A second attempt to pass a bill that would let schools fire teachers who molest students will indicate how brazen California’s teachers union will be about owning the state legislature, says Mike Antonnuci.

6. Education advocates’ slogan, says Rick Hess: “Screw the kids, let’s keep borrowing.”

7. Fifty-nine illegal residents avail themselves of in-state Rhode Island tuition.

8. A New Jersey school district agrees to let homeschool students play public school hockey.

9. Tennessee has no idea how effective its teacher training programs are.

10. Nevada students’ latest vocabulary scores are “pathetic,” editorializes the Las Vegas Review-Journal. They suggest parents, you know, read to their kids.

Monday’s ed news:

1. Union protestors take civil disobedience training to prepare for protests today over fast-tracked Michigan right-to-work bills

2. America’s wealthy and high-performing schools still lag their international counterparts.

3. Consultants make money when Americans believe schools are in crisis–and the Common Core is designed to provoke a crisis, says Jeff Bryant. 

4. Why schools should abolish social studies.

5. Some poor families keep their children illiterate so the child is labeled learning disabled and thus receives a federal disability check. 

6. The rising number of unwed mothers signals danger for the next generation’s ability to learn

7. More information about the Texas sophomore suing to get out of wearing a radio-tracking ID at school

8. Jeb Bush gives a heart to heart on education policy. 

9. Even if Louisiana’s Supreme Court quashes vouchers, state leaders can resurrect them.

10. Nevada’s superintendent, at 75, braves one of the worst school systems in the country. 

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

Image by Mo Riza