School Reform News Roundup for May 14-18

Published May 18, 2012

The Michigan Senate passed a bill to eliminate teacher pensions in favor of 401(k)s.

The U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on parent engagement in education this week. 

Maine moves towards proficiency-based high school diplomas.

Seventy percent of New Jersey voters support a tax-credit scholarship program for low-income children. The bill is Gov. Christie’s “top priority.”

A Missouri bill to allow children to attend public schools closer to their homes but out-of-district has stalled. Some parents are complaining their children are bussed for more than an hour when a public school is near enough their home to walk to. 

Wisconsin’s top teacher’s union official makes more than the governor.

Pennsylvania school districts have packed away cash in reserve stashes while asking taxpayers to pay more for schools.

From Thursday:

New Hampshire’s legislature has passed a statewide education tax credit with veto-proof majorities.

To win Latino voters, presidential candidates should talk up education and school choice, a new survey indicates.

A California nonprofit has filed suit against laws that make seniority paramount in teacher layoffs.

A Texas middle school student faces suspension if he doesn’t erase the image of a basketball star carved into his hair.

Louisiana lawmakers bicker over anti-bullying bill provisions.

Self-righteous lectures won’t help school choice advocates one bit, warns Rick Hess.

From Wednesday:

A Missouri bill expanding charter schools goes to the governor.

Michigan school districts need legislative relief from exorbitant retiree costs and benefits, editorializes the Detroit News.

University of Oregon Dean of Education Yong Zhao calls Common Core the new No Child Left Behind, saying it will narrow the curriculum and waste billions.

Time Magazine on the new prospects for vocational ed.

Rick Hess on how Mitt Romney should grade President Obama on education.

From Tuesday:

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed an expansion to online education and signed a bill she had previously vetoed to allow approximately 100,000 Arizona kids to receive education savings accounts.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is set to sign bills that would expand dual-enrollment and cyber charter schools.

Standardizing education via the Common Core is a dream for big corporations and bureaucrats, but not an efficient way to graduate career-ready young people, writes Marion Brady in the Washington Post.

A study shows Green Dot’s Los Angeles charter schools outperforming traditional schools.

The students charter schools attract do not cause the schools they left to suffer financially, writes Mike Klein of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

An increasingly nationalized education system has given way to powerful pro-reform interest groups that sometimes check teachers unions, according to the first in a series on the groups by Education Week.

From Monday:

Jim Newton discusses the legal issues at stake in the California case over the Adelanto Parent Trigger.

The Common Core draft science standards are out and likely to provoke controversy over evolution and climate change directives.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley plans to sign a bill that would allow single-sex charter schools, universities to authorize new charter schools, and for traditional public schools to allow charter students to participate in extracurriculars.

Iowa’s governor signs a package of diluted reforms that protect school budgets rather than focus on kids, says Tom VanderArk.

It’s harder to get into a Pennsylvania KIPP charter school than into Yale, which is why the state needs to expand its charters law, writes Jonathan Cetel in the Patriot News.

National Journal holds an online symposium on the controversy over the Common Core.

The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s firing of Naomi Schaefer Riley over racial politics is a disgrace to the journal and higher education in general, writes Harry Stein in City Journal.

The Common Core focuses on skills, not actual knowledge, and thus up-ends traditional education and makes innovation less likely, writes Robin Eubanks on the new blog Invisible Serfs Collar.