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

Published September 14, 2012

Friday’s news roundup:

1. The Chicago strike is the Super Bowl of school reform, writes Andrew Kelly. Both sides are indicating they are likely to reach an agreement today.

2. Though 10,000 students applied for Louisiana’s new vouchers, 5,000 will take them this year due to lack of space in schools parents want.

3. Oklahoma’s special-needs vouchers benefit public schools.

4. Florida teachers unions will band together to defeat an amendment to the state constitution that would allow state money to fund religious institutions such as schools. They also are focusing on judicial elections to ensure the courts continue to advance their agenda.

5. Early music training boosts children’s cognitive skills

6. Arnold Kling on which edtech innovations are worth the press. 

7. Michigan teachers float the idea of portfolio assessments rather than tests in evaluating their work.

8. An Arizona teacher considers objective ways to measure and weed out bad teachers.

9. Madison public school credit cards show thousands of dollars in expenditures on pricey hotels

10. A new report from the American Enterprise Institute praises President Obama’s education policies for breaking the link between Democrats and teacher unions.

Thursday’s news roundup:

Chicago teachers on strike say they don’t want to be measured by student test scores . Wisconsin teachers head to the Chicago strike. Teachers call the students necessary “casualties.”

How President Obama and Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney propose to improve the U.S. workforce.

Tennessee rolls out a new website to help the state implement Common Core state standards 46 other states have adopted.

Another study shows that more state education spending does not improve student test scores.

A charter school coalition has decided to stop attempting to open a school in Tenneessee after months of frustration and controversy.

Schools in New York attempt to weed out non-district students.

Another Chicago-area teachers union is on strike.

An Indiana judge has ruled the state cannot present districts with a uniform teacher contract

How to get more college financial aid

Could vouchers erase income gaps?

Wednesday’s news roundup:

1. The Chicago teachers strike indicates a nationwide problem: special interests distorting education away from kids’ best interests, writes Terry Moe.

2. Chicago parents are frustrated at the strike, but public opinion seems to favor the striking teachers for now. 

3. Nevada legislators are considering Parent Trigger legislation, which would let a majority of parents whose children attend a failing school require certain reforms.

4. Utah spends the least in the country on education, while its students are improving achievement.

5. Californians are considering two ballot initiatives that would raise taxes to spend more on public schools.

6. About twice as many Georgians support than oppose a state ballot amendment that would allow independent charter schools

7. In Denver, security guarded those who spoke out against union demands at a local school board meeting. 

8. A natural gas boom in Texas is enriching school districts, who now have to send some of that wealth to the state for redistribution. 

9. How Massive Online Open Courses are shifting possibilities in higher education to expand access and dramatically reduce costs.

10. Putting computers in front of students doesn’t automatically make education better, edtech innovators Sal Khan, Joel Klein, and Sebastian Thrun say.

Tuesday’s news roundup:

1. The Chicago teachers strike heads into its second day; more than 300,000 students did not attend district childcare during the strike Monday. Teachers view the strike as an ideological battle with national implications.

2. Mike Petrilli says the Chicago teachers strike is not likely to play well with the public, and that could damage President Obama’s chances this fall. A pair of researchers outline the negative impacts the strike will have on poor children.

3. Schools consider how to teach children about 9/11

4. Public schools offer free shoes, gift cards, and pizza parties to students for showing up on the day that determines their state funding. 

5. Virginia Gov. Rick Scott heads around the state to talk up merit pay for teachers.

6. Lindsey Burke fact-checks U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s claims that House of Representatives budget cuts will mean worse education for kids.

7. It’s been 20 years since the first charter school opened, and the independent public schools are celebrating their successes.

8. Immigrant parents’ education before migrating is more strongly tied to their children’s achievement in the United States than any other social, economic, or linguistic parental attribute, concludes a new study.

9. Virginia is the only state to offer families a religious exemption from all state education tracking and requirements. 

10. Parents more likely to send their children to private school are also more likely to keep their kids unvaccinated.

Monday’s news roundup:

1. Chicago teachers are on strike this morning. Here’s a list of their major disputes.

2. A record number of children are participating in school choice programs across the country.

3. President Obama’s policies have financially and politically undercut the independence of local school districts, writes Stanley Kurtz.

4. Implementing new Common Core curriculum in Arizona will mean higher costs forced upon school districts.

5. This week, Idaho teachers will know if they’ve received merit pay under a new law.

6. Teachers in a Michigan school district will pay nothing for their healthcare benefits until 2014 despite a state law requiring employee contributions to healthcare.

7. Despite a large drop in federal funding, Connecticut has cut few teacher jobs

8. Delaware is amassing students’ information in one central database.

9. The U.S. needs more and better charter schools, write the editors of Bloomberg Businessweek.

10. Indiana’s Republican candidate for governor has released his education plan: greater choice, rewards for teachers, encouragement for local preschools, and reducing dropout rates.

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