Daily Top Ten School Reform News Roundup, Nov. 26 to 30

Published November 30, 2012

Friday’s roundup:

1. A Louisiana judge considering the state’s voucher program changes his mind, saying now he may need more time to decide after oral arguments today.

2. Los Angeles doubles the number of teachers in “rubber rooms.”

3. Have education reformers drunk the Common Core Kool-Aid?

4. States spend $1.7 billion on testing each year, a new report estimates. 

5. California schools borrowed $2.8 billion that will cost them $16.3 billion to pay off

6. Boston school administrators are trying to predict which schools parents would choose if they could.

7. Teachers aren’t the only ones who cheat–so do half of students.

8. Special education spending grows as enrollment and learning lags in Iowa.

9. Could Common Core tests establish low cut scores, making kids look better educated than they are?

10. Because Illinois keeps putting off paying its bills, schools and services have $3.6 billion less this year. 

Thursday’s roundup:

1. Louisiana’s teachers union sues to keep kids inside failing schools. The case will likely conclude this week.

2. Wisconsin teachers explain why they are glad to have alternatives to joining a union

3. Forty percent of Milwaukee students attend choice schools.

4. Oklahomans float the idea of vouchers for students attending unsafe schools.

5. Leaders of large, poorly performing Tennessee school districts don’t like the idea of vouchers

6. A Common Core testing coalition releases a draft of what it believes students should know at every grade level.

7. Ohio charter schools demand shutdowns of poor-performing charters.

8. Illinois lawmakers bicker over legislation to let Chicago name school closures four months later. 

9. Approximately 17 percent of applicants for federal education grants have made the final round, the U.S. Education Department announced. 

10. Is a college degree worth the cost (video)?

Wednesday’s roundup:

1. After a tug of war with the feds, Pennsylvania will seek a No Child Left Behind waiver.

2. New Jersey charter schools perform better than traditional public schools, particularly with poor and minority students, a new report concludes.

3. Will the Common Core turn preschool into the work farm?

4. Utah is getting into tests that change as a student takes them.

5. Ohio lawmakers are moving a school A-F grading bill forward.

6. Technology in education is just a tool.

7. Chicago leaders try to compromise on inevitable school closings.

8. Follow a series on “where your public school dollars go” in large districts.

9. A student center in New Mexico will cost taxpayers $5 million more than the planned $15 million.

10. There is no one right way to redesign education.

Tuesday’s roundup:

1. The U.S. Department of Education releases more accurate state-by-state graduation rates. Iowa tops the list at 88 percent, and Washington DC bottoms it out at 59 percent.

2. A fine article outlines how Kansas schools, like most in the country, work to implement federal teacher evaluation requirements.

3. A former New Orleans schools chief works a quiet, budding transformation in Saint Louis.

4. Tennessee vouchers should include public school choice, state lawmakers say.

5. Nearly a third of Minnesota high schoolers are expected to fail the graduation math test, so educators want to graduate them anyway.

6. Pennsylvania’s pension system is eating away at every state expenditure.

7. One Florida college has taken up Gov. Rick Scott’s challenge to create a $10,000 bachelor’s degree.

8. More states are showing what an average graduate earns after graduating from different colleges.

9. South Dakota plans to use a one-time tax windfall partly on higher education spending.

10. A high number of education-related bill requests have been filed in Nevada ahead of the 2013 legislative session.

Monday’s roundup:

1. A federal investigation uncovers teachers in three states allegedly hiring doubles to take their teaching certification tests

2. After helping engineer the country’s first successful “parent trigger” to wrangle control of a persistently failing school from local bureaucracy, a mother won election to the reform-opposing school board. She knocked out the school board president.

3. This week, a Louisiana judge hears a lawsuit aginst the state’s voucher program.

4. Indiana’s new schools chief says she’ll unilaterally dispense with third-grade tests that could hold poor readers back.

5. Because Common Core lesson materials are still undeveloped while 45 states put it into place, Florida and a company are trading lawsuits

6. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sketches his plans for education changes.

7. Passing grades on Kansas tests are “embarassing as heck,” an outgoing Kansas board of education member says. 

8. Suburban schools are often as bad at helping the worst students as urban districts. 

9. Redistributing property tax money can hurt poorer schools. 

10. The forthcoming tests aligned with Common Core education standards are shifting how people think about tests and creating great uncertainty. 


For last week’s School Reform News roundup, click here.
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Image by Mo Riza