Daily Top Ten School Reform News Roundup, Sept. 17 to 21

Published September 21, 2012

Friday’s news roundup:

1. Should teacher contract negotations be public?

2. New research shows academically hyperstimulated kids don’t come out ahead–instead, children need to struggle a bit. 

3. A progressive and libertarian unite in support of eliminating bureaucratic mandates on education in favor of empowering those closest to the kids: parents and teachers.

4. Illinois Watchdog considers who won what at the close of the Chicago teachers strike.

5. A Nebraska legislator plans to propose laws allowing charter schools and limiting the power of school bureaucracy.

6. Virginia is considering raising the passing score on state math tests for all students, regardless of race. It previously, like most states, held lower expectations for minorities.

7. Two teachers failed to get enough signatures to recall Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for his education reforms, but they won’t say how many signatures they did get.

8. Delaware’s department of education has declared it will no longer approve charter schools because spending on them has barely exceeded 1 percent of the state’s education budget.

9. Kansas standardized test scores fell for the first time in a decade, and officials are looking for somewhere to pin the blame.

10. How a skeptic became a school reformer.

Thursday’s news roundup:

1. A group of Nashville parents are considering pulling the parent trigger to take charge of their kids’ failing school.

2. Majorities of independent voters support vouchers and charter schools and view unions suspiciously, according to a new survey.

3. Bloomberg/Businessweek evaluates the winners and losers of the Chicago teachers strike. Looking forward, the Sun-Times says, dozens of school closings loom.

4. If Wisconsin’s collective bargaining curbs remain suspended, school districts will have to come up with millions of dollars to pay higher union demands. 

5. As Harrisburg, Penn. teachers prepare to be evaluated partly based on student test score increases, they worry about students who don’t take tests seriously.

6. New Jersey’s education commissioner wants schools to focus on students’ literacy by third grade.

7. Arizonans consider whether lawmakers or voters should decide how much to spend on schools.

8. New York school districts will receive some money after a $18 million settlement with a school lunch vendor an investigation found overcharged taxpayers.

9. A Georgia legislative panel sidestepped questions about revamping the state funding formula and endorsed more technology in schools.

10. A Utah lawmaker proposes taxpayer-funded preschool.

Wednesday’s news roundup: 

1. Chicago students are back in the classroom today now that the teachers union has called off its strike after 9 days. Rick Hess analyzes the outcome, as does the Chicago Tribune.

2. Michigan lawmakers are considering Parent Trigger legislation.

3. The government monopoly over education is set to crumble, says an Ohio entrepreneur.

4. Scammers are milking California’s taxpayer-paid college aid.

5. Nevada’s governor is supporting ways to measure student and teacher performance.

6. Blind students in Montana are complaining they can’t take online classes.

7. Researchers are considering how to have computer programs emulate tutors

8. A Rhode Island school district considers how to continue its father-daughter dances amid an ACLU discrimination lawsuit.

9. How to create more champion teachers.

10. Iowa congressional candidates discuss No Child Left Behind and education reform.

Tuesday’s news roundup:

1. A Maryland college student has proposed starting a white student union

2. The future is unclear for Chicago’s poorest children as teachers continue to strike. Their union delegates meet again today to discuss ending the strike.

3. A newspaperman visits a private Chicago school to learn what might happen if the city allows vouchers.

4. Wisconsin students are boycotting new federal school lunch rules: “Now it’s worse tasting, smaller sized and higher priced.”

5. Three things colleges don’t want Americans to know.

6. Wisconsin school administrators are in confusion after a judge ruled the state’s collective bargaining curbs unconstitutionally limit free speech.

7. The Tennessee Department of Education is withholding $3.4 million from Nashville schools because its board refused to comply with state law in allowing a charter school to open.

8. The U.S. State Department has shelved plans to buy 35,000 Kindles aimed at boosting foreigners’ English skills. 

9. Rhode Island has banned “father-daughter” and “mother-son” dances and activities, saying these violate anti-discrimination laws.

10. Yet another study shows increasing state education spending doesn’t increase student learning.

Monday’s news roundup:

1. Chicago teachers are back on strike after delegates refused to agree to a compromise yesterday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has vowed to sue the teachers back into their classrooms as kids are now likely to be out of school at least until Wednesday.

In a poll, Pennsylvanian voters gave public schools a “C” grade yet a slight majority disapproved of vouchers and charter school expansion.

Chicago shows teacher strikes will be less about pay and benefits and more about school structure and policies, opines the Seattle Times.

A Wisconsin judge struck down the state’s limits to collective bargaining that led to the governor’s recall and re-election this spring.

What the U.S. could learn from Sweden’s education system.

The feds have spent $5.2 million this year on temporary grants to states for tougher school lunch regulations.

The release of Idaho data determining teacher bonuses for student achievement has been pushed back again.

California is attempting to force all public schools to offer programs for 4-year-olds, and charter schools are balking.

Federal education spending would be trimmed 8.2 percent under sequestration, a federal Office of Management and Budget says in a new estimate.

States must start cuttiing public pensions to avoid fiscal disaster, says Frank Keegan.


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

Image by Mo Riza