School Reform News Roundup, June 11 to 15

Published June 14, 2012

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush discusses the Common Core, Parent Trigger, ALEC, third grade retention, and federal involvement in education.

California lawmakers prefer to the governor’s budget one that would spend a billion more on education.

A judge’s ruling means student test scores may soon be used to evaluate Los Angeles teachers.

Modified teacher tenure reform bills came out yesterday in New Jersey. Neither would end the practice of “last in, first out.”

A New Jersey Democratic leader explains why tax-credit scholarships are good, just, and compassionate policy.

Philadelphia’s archbishop calls on state lawmakers to swiftly pass pending voucher and tax-credit scholarship legislation. Without it, he says, several more Catholic schools will close and their students funded fully by taxpayers.

Why North Carolina needs to pass proposed bipartisan tax-credit scholarship legislation.

The dismal Indianapolis Public Schools must be swiftly changed, says a former local principal.

Michigan lawmakers adjourned until July 18 without passing an expected state pension reform bill.

Wisconsin’s largest teachers union expects to lose some 200,000 members in the months after Gov. Walker’s re-election.

It’s time to drop the college-for-all charade, says Robert Samuelson, part 1 and part 2.

From Thursday:

Louisiana lawmakers say the state’s new tax-credit scholarship law includes safeguards against some fraud found in other states.

Indiana’s Department of Education is considering reducing the certification requirements for new teachers to enter classrooms.

German companies in the U.S. are importing apprenticeship programs that help fill worker skill gaps.

Average tuition at four-year public universities climbed 15 percent between 2008 and 2010.

Researcher Paul Hill explains how absurdly complex education funding is.

New Mexico will pilot a new teacher evaluation system in 17 schools this fall. 

From Wednesday:

Ohio lawmakers have reached a deal on Cleveland school changes, to include removing last-in-first-out hiring and firing requirements, make it easier to fire poor teachers, allowing the district executive to make changes to failing schools directly, and allowing charter schools to receive portions of property taxes.

Parents and teachers are loudly shouting down changes to Philadelphia public schools.

A new class of bright high school graduates forego college for $100,000 and a business plan.

Detroit’s failing schools should group children by ability, not age, and implement the savings and personalization of blended learning, say state leaders.

Wisconsin students will soon be able to dual enroll in high school and college.

Ohio lawmakers also reached a compromise with Gov. John Kasich on the state’s forthcoming “third grade reading guarantee.”

Chester Finn Jr. outlines five ways technology tackles major K-12 education challenges.

From Tuesday:

The Cleveland schools reform plan was released at 8 p.m. Monday and will be voted on today.

Charter school network Mastery has transformed the previously violent, failing schools it has assumed in Philadelphia.

The U.S. Department of Education has received several hundred critical comments on its planned district-level Race to the Top grant bonanza. 

New Jersey State Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz plans to announce her K-12 tenure reform bill this week.

Charter schools nationwide have waitlists totaling more than 600,000 students.

Michigan lawmakers will overhaul the state pension system by end of session Thursday, leaders say.

A judge has ruled that the Los Angeles school district must tie teacher evaluations to student performance. 

A Florida professor says his best students consistenly come from Chinese, Indian, Eastern European, and homeschooling homes

From Monday:

A group of Ohio sixth graders have written and released their own math textbook.

RiShawn Biddle says Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews keeps making foolish arguments while criticizing the Parent Trigger.

A South Carolina proposal to allow education tax deductions and tax-credit scholarships was not brought up to vote before the state’s legislative session closed last week.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering expanding the state’s tax-credit scholarships and adding another for low-income kids in failing schools.

Chicago’s teachers union reports 75 percent of its members voted to authorize a strike.

More details about Congress’s nearly $1 billion spent getting kids to walk and bike to school. Minnesota has announced a new set of grants from the project even as Congress considers cutting it.

Voucherizing Title I federal dollars for low-income kids is a good idea Mitt Romney supports, explains Chester Finn Jr.

Rick Hess interviews Common Core architect and new College Board President David Coleman.

Raising Arizona’s sales tax to give education a carte blanche is bad policy, says Arizona Senate President Steve Pierce.

School-choice opponents in Oklahoma employ Jim Crow-era attacks, editorializes The Oklahoman.

Charter schools follow the iTunes model, say Idaho educators.

A retiring Idaho state representative joins the effort to retain the state’s new collective bargaining curbs and digital education push.



For last week’s School Reform News roundup, click here.

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Image by Mo Riza