Daily Top Ten School Reform News Roundup, November 12 to 16

Published November 15, 2012

Friday’s news roundup:

1. Political advocacy has no place in classrooms, writes Esther Cepeda.

2. Tennessee’s Commercial Appeal comes out in support of school vouchers.

3. A federal court strikes down a voter-approved ban on affirmative action in Michigan university admissions.

4. Virginia parents complain their district paid $7.7 million for online textbooks their kids can’t use.

5. Controversy shouldn’t obscure ousted Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett’s concern for academics and children, says Matthew Tully. 

6. California should grade schools on more than average student test scores, says John Chubb.

7. Iowa is considering testing all preschoolers

8. Washington DC needed to close some schools, the Washington Post editorializes.

9. Texas lawyers argue how to define “adequate” school funding.

10. Minnesota school districts rely too much on tax-raising referendums, exacerbating school spending gaps between districts over time.

Thursday’s news roundup:

1. The administrators of a failing school in Michigan still rated every teacher “highly effective.”

2. The Midwest Marxist Conference featured teachers discussing how to insert Marxism into classrooms and their love for unions.

3. The U.S. economy could be $1 trillion a year stronger if Americans only performed at Canada’s level in math.

4. More than 1,100 school districts applied for federal grants, which submit local policies to federal oversight.

5. Indiana voters supported every single school-choice candidate but Tony Bennett.

6. Why we can’t hold different education standards for children of different races.

7. Alabama’s governor won’t try again at allowing charter schools.

8. Schools in five states limit science instruction to focus on state-tested subjects.

9. One more reformer wins a seat on the Minneapolis school board.

10. Iowa leaders consider how to improve teacher training.

Wednesday’s news roundup:

1. Los Angeles’ mayor explains why the nation’s mayors unanimously support the Parent Trigger.

2. We know ways to close achievement gaps, but the education establishment resists them. 

3. A Tennessee task force works to make recommendations on forthcoming voucher legislation.

4. How to launch a successful Parent University.

5. Pennsylvania lawmakers’ refusal to fix the state’s school funding formula means the state will continue to pay double for charter school employee pensions.

6. A national college organization is considering accrediting a few massive open online courses. This means enrollees could take them for credit that counts towards a degree.

7. The outcome of South Dakota referendums on education reform laws mean lawmakers need to start listening, say the editors of the Argus Leader.

8. Michigan lawmakers should move to pass legislation governing a statewide school district for the worst schools, opines the Detroit News.

9. Voice recognition software is getting closer to tutoring students. 

10. College students and professors complain about highly-paid, increasing numbers of administrators.

Tuesday’s news roundup:

1. Washington narrowly becomes the 42nd state to allow charter schools.

2. Big data in UK schools means a central database of personal information parents don’t know about but authorities can access.

3. Last in, first out union policies in an Oregon school mean teachers are now teaching classes they’ve never taught or trained for.

4. An Ohio auditor accuses a public school official of embezzling $4.2 million.

5. Chicago union leaders promise “no peace in the city” if the debt encrusted metropolis closes any underperforming, underenrolled schools, as planned.

6. View a map of social conflicts created by public schools, from the Cato Institute.

7. Kansas schools boost science instruction without adopting national standards.

8. Fed up with repeatedly failed charter school votes, Pennsylvania’s House Speaker replaces an Education Committee member.

9. Idaho’s voter-chastened superintendent agrees to “sit down” with union leaders as they push their advantage.

10. Pennsylvania college faculty take a strike vote.

Monday’s news roundup:

1. What does Indiana’s new superintendent believe on education policy? Is the state’s choice an education policy disaster?

2. Take a look at what the American Federation of Teachers did with its money last year.

3. Though 58 percent of Georgia voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow charter schools, the establishment is suing to prevent their vote from taking effect.

4. After voters shot down a South Dakota teacher evaluation law, legislators are pledging to revisit the topic.

5. San Antonio voters who supported a pre-K ballot measure were more likely to be minority and support Barack Obama.

6. Wisconsin reforms limiting collective bargaining and requiring school employees to pay into their own pensions and healthcare saved school districts two-thirds of budget cuts.

7. Michigan’s Supreme Court refuses to hear earlier the state teachers union’s case against pension changes that would reduce the system’s $45 billion shortfall

8. Unwitting Colorado teachers fund “nasty” political campaigns.

9. Do Massive Open Online Courses fix the economic problem in education of ever-increasing labor costs without attendant increases in productivity?

10. Intelligent Design is not likely to return to Kansas science standards any time soon. The state is a lead author on Common Core science standards.

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

Image by Mo Riza