Daily Top Ten School Reform News Roundup, Sept. 3 to 7

Published September 7, 2012

Friday’s news roundup:

1. Texas’s new education commissioner has decided to seek a federal waiver from the No Child Left Behind law.

2. Chicago Public Schools makes strike contingency plans for children as teacher contract negotiations continue. The Sun-Times counsels the union not to strike.

3. High-performing teachers in low-income DC schools will get the fastest raises under a new salary ladder.

4. At great cost, Milwaukee is choosing to maintain empty school buildings rather than lease them to charter or private schools.

5. Utah has 7 school districts in the top 10 lowest spenders.

6. California’s largest teachers union is spending big to defeat a ballot proposition that would end automatic union dues deductions from teacher payroll.

7. One-third more private-school students than public-school students passed all the ACT subject test benchmarks in the last round of tests.

8. A Maine editorial discusses the pros and cons of online learning.

9. A new report says credit hours do not measure or ensure learning.

10. Connecticut’s department of education estimates it would cost the state $264 million for the first year of statewide government preschool.

Thursday’s news roundup:

1. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks up about the possibility of a teacher strike

2. A new report lists more than 400 ways New Jersey can reduce absurd regulations such as that schools keep student records for 100 years. 

3. A union leader gets honest about why unions hate vouchers: private schools aren’t unionized. 

4. Nine months after an independent audit revealed burdensome regulations and wasted education spending in West Virginia, officials are still arguing over how to format their response: bullet points, or arrows?

5. Rocketship charter schools is expanding its pilot online math program for students in grades 2 to 5 after finding it boosted student test scores. 

6. Montana’s schools chief speaks about education and President Obama  at the Democratic National Convention.

7. Controversy embroils a union-supported charter school proposing to serve at-risk students in northern Virginia.

8. Charter schools have benefitted Harlem students.

9. Arizona is rolling out teacher training and public information on its adoption of Common Core education standards

10. How to spot a genuine ed reformer.

Wednesday’s news roundup:

1. Michigan will appeal to the state Supreme Court a ruling against requiring teachers to pay 3 percent of their healthcare costs

2. The first Republican Superintendent in Oklahoma starts pointing out inefficiencies in public schools.

3. Chicago Public Schools is making contingency plans should teachers strike.

4. Advocacy groups start suing over single-sex classrooms.

5. Approximately 8,000 Indiana students have chosen to attend private schools using the state’s vouchers as the deadline for applying nears.

6. As school starts, thousands of students in Florida and across the country have no teachers.

7. It may not be entirely charter schools’ fault that Catholic schools are losing enrollment, says Peter Meyer. 

8. Utah, the cheapest school system in the country, cut education spending still more during the recession.

9. An Arkansas coalition aims to improve literacy by the time students reach third grade.

10. The national PTA reverses policy to support independent charter schools even as some of its state chapters continue to campaign against the nontraditional public schools.

Tuesday’s news roundup:

1. A former California state senator exposes the depth of teachers union influence over the statehouse, and how she managed to get Parent Trigger legislation passed.

2. Schools in Minnesota adjust to new federal health requirements to school lunches

3. Parent Trigger movie Won’t Back Down subverts unions, not teachers, writes Allysia Finley. Pre-release screenings at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this week generated controversy.

4. The newly-released Democratic Party platform hails the Common Core and federal stimulus. Democrats for Education Reform sponsored a panel featuring New Jersey legislators.

5. A state audit says Hawaii’s Department of Education has “lost control” of its student transportation program.

6. In Texas, a special education teacher is accused of trapping an autistic student in a filing cabinet.

7. This year, Indiana principals must evaluate teachers according to a new, more intensive rubric.

8. Rick Hess comments on the Republican and Democratic education platforms and how Mitt Romney might use the power the Obama administration has appropriated over education. 

9. Florida is trying out pre-kindergarten tests

10. California school administrators tap a loophole allowing them to collect both pensions and six-figure lump sums from the state pension fund.

Monday’s news roundup:

1. San Antonio students are revolting against a requirement they wear tracking devices while in school. 

2. As U.S. demographics head towards more seniors than children, schools attempt to incorporate senior volunteers and explain how they will not increase taxes for those on fixed incomes.

3. A Kansas court is set to rule whether public schools should receive $1.5 billion more in taxpayer dollars. 

4. Washington state regulations are hindering a private online school from opening.

5. Dozens of Harvard University students are being investigated for cheating

6. A new report details the major changes states have proposed under federal No Child Left Behind law waivers.

7. A tech language for letting all of a school’s technology products work together has released version 1.1.

8. The U.S.’s first charter school is still operating under direct teacher supervision.

9. Approximately 900 school districts have applied for direct federal oversight under Race to the Top grants.

10. The U.S. Department of Education’s website has added a new section for parents

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

Image by Mo Riza