Feds Scrutinize Wisconsin Voucher Schools, Obama Admin Secretive on $5mil, and More: Friday’s Ed News Roundup

Published May 3, 2013

Friday’s ed news

WISCONSIN: The U.S. Justice Department orders the state to do more monitoring of special-ed kids in voucher schools. 

FLORIDA: A section of the dead Parent Trigger bill, requiring that kids not be assigned to poor teachers two years in a row, is resurrected and sent to the governor.

FEDS: The Obama administration gives $5 million to big campaign donor American Federation of Teachers, but won’t tell the public what their money is funding

NATIONAL: More than 40 members of the U.S. House tell Education Secretary Arne Duncan they want details on student privacy changes

ILLINOIS: Unions introduce competing pension reforms.

WISCONSIN: A study of Milwaukee principals finds that, rather than improving instruction when faced with competitive pressure, they tend to buy ads. 

TEXAS: The House passes a bill to let high-performing students skip the next year’s standardized tests. The state fails to move teacher evaluation legislation.

DC: The charter school wait list hits 22,000 children.

COLORADO: Lawmakers consider allotting $150,000 plus travel expenses for a state “parent engagement director.”


Thursday’s ed news

LOUISIANA: At least 3,000 more students will use a voucher this fall after the first round of applications concludes. 

ARIZONA: The state moves ahead with a novel school voucher program called education savings accounts. It’s now available to more than 200,000 students.

COMPUTER TESTING: As students take computerized state tests across the country that determine teacher pay and school grades, Oklahoma, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Florida, and Minnesota report widespread server crashes invalidating tests. 

VIRGINIA: The state’s first online school is likely to close, leaving families scrambling.

CHICAGO: Four hundred charter school teachers vote to join the city’s teachers union

MAINE: Three-quarters of state schools received a C or worse on the new school grading system. 

NEW YORK: Education publishing giant Pearson puts the same reading passages from its textbooks also on state tests. 

CALIFORNIA: The Senate again rejects a mild teacher evaluation bill. 

CALIFORNIA: This video depicts an Oakland teacher brawling with a student–kicking, throwing desks, and more. 

EMOTIONAL TESTING: Business schools begin assessing applicants’ emotions


Wednesday’s ed news

FLORIDA: The Senate votes down a Parent Trigger bill for the second time. More.

NATIONAL: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio promotes his federal tax-credit scholarship bill. 

NEW YORK: Angry parents turn out for a townhall on student data-sharing company inBloom.

TEXAS: The House Education Committee passes a bill to expand the state’s charter school cap. Next top: Full House vote, then the governor.

GEORGIA: Teachers whose licenses were suspended for cheating will likely never teach again

TEACHING: How a teacher performs her first year indicates her future performance, a new study finds. 

OHIO: Students rise early to say goodbye to the substitute teachers they’ve had for eight weeks during a teacher strike.

IDAHO: School board leaders raise concerns about Common Core.

MICHIGAN: A school district chooses to demolish a school building rather than sell it to a charter school.

COMMON CORE: The Wall Street Journal finally notices the controversy


Tuesday’s ed news

WISCONSIN: Citizens and leaders debate Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed voucher expansion.

FEDERAL: Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio visits a private Christian school today to talk up his proposed federal education tax credit.

TEXAS: The House education committeee takes up a charter school expansion today, and may vote. More.

TEACHERS UNIONS: AFT President Randi Weingarten calls today for pausing and regrouping around Common Core.

SPIN ZONE: Jay Greene lambasts the education reform world for seeking spin rather than truth and debate.

FLORIDA: Parent Trigger supporters hurt their cause by releasing a questionable petition

MICHIGAN: Why school marketing isn’t such a bad thing.

ARIZONA: Lawmakers consider a bigger, stronger student data system.

MARYLAND: The state’s school construction agency keeps incomplete records and manages projects poorly, says a report.


Monday’s ed news

INDIANA: A bill to pause and reconsider Common Core heads to Gov. Mike Pence. So does a bill expanding the state’s vouchers.

STEM: The science, technical, engineering and math worker shortage is a myth companies promote to get cheaper foreign workers, a study finds. 

NORTH CAROLINA: Lawmakers turn to black families for support of a school voucher bill.

INTERNATIONAL: Middle-class students in the U.S. trail their foreign peers in academic achievement.

FLORIDA: A Parent Triggermystery video” surfaces, accompanied by petitions some signers say they never saw. 

WISCONSIN: Milwaukee refuses to sell vacant buildings to private voucher schools. 

PRE-K: Nationwide, pre-kindergarten spending is at its lowest in a decade, complicating President Obama’s efforts to federalize preschool.

NEVADA: The state’s former superintendent shows how to pay top teachers $200,000 a year.

FLORIDA: A town’s new charter schools also boost the economy.

MISSOURI: A Common Core opposition panel packs a town hall.


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