Daily Top Ten School Reform News Roundup, Oct. 15 to 19

Published October 19, 2012

Friday’s news roundup:

1. Thirty-five Mississippi schools are newly eligible for the Parent Trigger.

2. Why progressives don’t like homeschooling.

3. Pennsylvania lawmakers’ three-year failure to create more equitable charter school law is a “national embarassment.”

4. Will enshrining union negotiations in Michigan’s constitution keep sex offenders and felons in classrooms?

5. Fewer than one in eight North Carolina high school seniors are ready for college based on their ACT scores.

6. Students licensed to carry concealed weapons on the University of Colorado-Boulder’s campus defend their choice.

7. New Jersey districts work to improve school facilities without raising taxes.

8. A Texas judge allowed a group of public school cheerleaders to keep Bible verses on their banners as a case against them moves forward.

9. An Idaho ad charges that tying teacher bonuses to student achievement treats “children like widgets.”

10. A school district leader who requested a spending audit two years ago has now been appointed to a Kansas school efficiency board.

Thursday’s news roundup:

1. The U.S. Department of Education has granted Idaho a No Child Left Behind law waiver.

2. A Pennsylvania charter school reform bill fell apart due to Republican inter-party bickering.

3. Average student debt has increased to $26,500.

4. Missouri’s board of education voted to re-accredit the Saint Louis school district, though 70 percent of students read below grade level.

5. Newark, New Jersey is now the first in the state to strike a deal providing teachers merit bonuses.

6. Illinois teachers union refuses to discuss much-needed pension reform.

7. California officials will investigate a school district for trying to cut “exorbitant” special education costs.

8. Texas Gov. Rick Perry voiced support for a group of public school cheerleaders who want to use Bible verses on football banners.

9. A Kansas school efficiency committee is constructing an anonymous tip line.

10. A program to give Colorado students $100 bonuses for passing AP tests is expanding.

Wednesday’s news roundup:

1. Tomorrow, California parents will vote to decide which charter school operater will run the school they converted under the Parent Trigger.

2. Kyle Olson factchecks Stephen Colbert, President Obama, and Gov. Romney’s push for high education spending.

3. A poll shows Idahoans unsure of upholding 2011 education reforms placed on November’s ballot.

4. Pennsylvania legislators approved some, but not the most central, updates to the state’s charter school law.

5. Meet the Newark superintendent hired to transform the desperate school district.

6. Check out this map that outlines state education-technology policies.

7. Maryland communities discuss creating their own parent academies to jumpstart parent-school engagement.

8. Louisiana’s Board of Education changes how it will evaluate private schools that accept vouchers.

9. Take a look at an incubator for new education-technology companies.

10. Bill and Melinda Gates visited Colorado to see how their money has influenced changes to teacher evaluations tied to national standards.

Tuesday’s news roundup:

1. A Louisiana court is hearing the case against the state’s new, huge voucher program.

2. A 90-minute debate between Obama and Romney representatives Monday revealed Romney really plans no cuts to K-12 and an end to NCLB waivers.

3. Teachers nationwide grapple with new evaluations.

4. Parents petition New Jersey to let their children transfer to better public schools at state expense.

5. A Pennsylvania debate over public education becomes a microcosm of choice vs. monopoly arguments.

6. Kansas’s school board meets today to discuss the state’s participation in Common Core science standards, which are evolution friendly despite a Kansas law requiring more neutral standards.

7. The state of Tennessee won’t change its mind about withholding $3.4 million from Nashville schools because their board went against state wishes to deny a charter school application.

8. Because Washington state does not allow charter schools, it’s behind the curve, says the Seattle Times.

9. Michigan officials mull a proposal to count poorly-scoring students proficient if they have made “significant” progress on state tests.

10. Yes, we really do have too many teachers, says Jay Greene.

Monday’s news roundup:

1. A judge approves the first Parent Trigger to convert a school.

2. The Common Core promotes fuzzy math, Barry Garelick writes. Here he lists some of its deficiencies.

3. A Texas superintendent allegedly engaged in massive fraud, such as telling low-achieving students not to attend school on test day, to inflate his students’ average test scores.

4. What is life like for children of the unemployed?

5. Why education savings accounts are next-gen vouchers.

6. How Minnesota schools are handling the same-sex marriage amendment on the November ballot.

7. Pennsylvania legislators have set aside a proposal to create an independent charter school authorizer

8. Why state superintendents don’t usually last long.

9. Colorado school districts are asking voters for tax increases.

10. A group of Oregon parents want schools to better manage their spending to pay for building upgrades rather than increase taxes.

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

Image by Mo Riza