Daily Top Ten School Reform News Roundup, Oct. 29 to Nov. 2

Published November 2, 2012

Friday’s news roundup:

1. Because of Hurricane Sandy, 370 New Jersey school districts are closed.

2. A New Hampshire school discourages Halloween dressing up and candy eating because of federal anti-sugar nutrition guidelines and local families whose cultures do not celebrate Halloween.

3. Chicago schools offer parents $25 gift cards to participate in parent-teacher conferences.

4. Elementary teachers score below average on the SAT, and other reasons to rethink the profession.

5. Surprise: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg contributed $200,000 to an Idaho school reform campaign. Here’s a clear outline of those Idaho ballot issues.

6. Government pensions have become a Ponzi scheme, says Frank Keegan.

7. Indiana hires a new education-parent liason. She’ll meet with parents whom the state selects from a list of nominations.

8. Holding kids back who fail third grade will reduce later high school dropouts, write three researchers.

9. Union groups focus on school board races to ensure long-term, direct power.

10. On average, universities only use half their classroom space.

Thursday’s roundup:

1. The differences between Wisconsin and Chicago education reforms: Wisconsin’s are more effective and less costly.

2. Georgia’s charter school amendment pits reformers against the establishment. 

3. Tennessee’s education commissioner: Parents, use school report cards to hold officials accountable

4. Detroit schools’ emergency manager says he’s leaving if voters don’t affirm his ability to act.

5. Giving weak math students double time in algebra class improves test scores, high school graduation rates, and college enrollment.

6. Sending more money to failing Colorado schools improved nothing, so the state is ending the grants.

7. More than 262,000 Wisconsin K-12 students used some form of school choice in 2011-12.

8. California teacher unions say no to federal money because it would require evaluating teachers using objective data.

9. Nevada’s union-disliked governor offers to help forge a deal between the state’s largest union and its district to get federal cash.

10. Twenty-one Georgia schools get $87,000 in grants to curb child obesity.

Wednesday’s roundup:

A fellow Mississippi student beat a 14-year-old with cerebral palsy, bringing attention to figures that say 80 percent of disabled students are bullied. 

California’s Proposition 30 would raise taxes without fixing education, says Lance Izumi. Here’s why the measure is dishonest.

Where do school districts get the money piles to buy iPads?

Hawaii releases a plan to plug solar panels into all state schools.

An Idaho education advocacy group must reveal its donors, a local judge rules.

The federal government offers states many options to feed children who are out of school for the summer.

Massive open online courses are allowing a California college to offer a bachelor’s degree cheaper than community colleges.

Texas state senators review school discipline practices including letting the police issue misdemeanor charges to students without viewing unruly behavior. Texas business leaders insist rounds of tests help improve students’ preparation for work.

San Antonio advocates of government pre-k have raised more than half a million dollars in an attempt to have local voters raise taxes to fund another program.

A Wisconsin judge rules the governor can’t control state agencies’ regulations on schools.

Tuesday’s roundup:

1. “Throw out” the education system, Ann Romney says.

2. Significant education reforms are on the ballot in Washington and Idaho.

3. The nation’s largest union is supporting South Dakota ballot initiatives to raise taxes and eliminate new teacher merit pay laws.

4. More than 100,000 empty seats, terrible performance, and a budget disaster means many Chicago schools must close, opines the Chicago Tribune.

5. The elections that really matter to schools are local and state races, says Chester Finn Jr.

6. A new study ranks teacher union strength by state.

7. Louisiana moves closer to letting students pick among privately provided individual classes on the state dime.

8. Kansas gears up to cap property taxes.

9. Wyoming legislators are trying to cut school construction tape.

10. A Florida task force plans to recommend that state universities charge different tuition amounts for students choosing different majors.

Monday’s roundup:

1. Check out the last-minute millions the nation’s largest teachers union is sending to state campaigns.

2. A judge rules New Jersey’s schools chief can cap superintendent compensation.

3. Union balking has ended Los Angeles’ hopes for a federal education grant.

4. Pennsylvania’s public pension crisis is robbing future children and current education initiatives. 

5. Tennessee taxpayers lost $1.4 billion to school overhiring, says a new report.

6. If a tax-increase ballot initiative failes, Moody’s says up to 150 California school districts are likely to see lower credit ratings because of their high debt levels.

7. Arizonans spar over the merits of increasing the state’s sales tax to spend more on education and roads.

8. Now that Oklahoma’s A-F school grades are out, superintendents objecting to the grades look foolish, opines The Oklahoman.

9. Idahoans trend Right but are wary of Republican-led education laws on the November ballot.

10. President Obama and Gov. Romney would have been punished for violating school speech codes had they attended the colleges where they debated. 

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

Image by Mo Riza