• Big day tomorrow for families banking on private school vouchers
    The ISTA’s voucher lawsuit has bigger implications that likely will extend far beyond the state’s borders. The judge’s decision tomorrow will also have an impact on the general momentum for education reform that has swept the country over the past year. Currently, the National Education Association, through its state affiliates, is working overtime to slow the tide.
  • New School Cafeteria Regulations Cost $7 Billion
    Kids might notice missing menu items when returning to school cafeterias this fall, as a new federal law and changing school regulations increasingly dictate what’s on their plates. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, signed in December 2010 as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign, requires schools to limit fat, sodium, and cholesterol while offering more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. One of the most contentious items cut in some districts: flavored milk. The new regulations will cost nearly $7 billion over the next five years, when a combined deficit of $144 billion already weighs down 44 states and the District of Columbia.
  • 20 changes to public schools
    In an effort to improve Tennessee schools, a great deal of planning has taken place. Much of that planning — new teacher evaluations, more charter schools, more technology and data — is now hitting classrooms this school year as the state moves at warp speed in a relay race for more graduates, effective teachers and students who can compete with not only peers in other states but in other countries. Here are 20 changes in public school classrooms in 2011-12:
  • Quiet Riot: Insurgents Take on Teachers’ Unions
    But perhaps the biggest strategic pressure for reform is starting to come from teachers themselves, many of whom are trying to change their unions and by extension change their profession. The hybrid. Teach Plus is a network of teachers with chapters in Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis…Union leaders, meanwhile, bristle at the upstarts and so far seem less inclined to help them than to co-opt or marginalize them.
  • Arne Duncan challenges state to back education reforms
    Huffman called the achievement gap between racial and socioeconomic groups “staggering.” He said all educators would have to deeply focus on improving achievement for every single Tennessee student. “We cannot get where we want to go as a state unless deep in our hearts we truly believe that every student can learn,” he said.
  • Rising test scores show what D.C. charter schools can achieve
    IT IS UNDERSTANDABLE that the D.C. public school system gets most of the attention when student test scores are released, given the high-profile efforts to reform the traditional public schools. What gets overlooked, though, is the equally compelling story of the progress being made by the city’s public charter schools. Results from this year’s testing are real cause for celebration, with charter students throughout the city showing impressive gains in both reading and math.
  • FLUNKED Department of Education has become a money pit
    The U.S. Department of Education has found a way to prevent schools from failing: exempt them from standards. With thousands of American public schools failing to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind, the 2001 federal education reform law, the department granted schools in all 50 states waivers from NCLB’s requirements on Monday.
  • Cheating to Win, Blame Game Loser
    Here at Edspresso, we’ve grown tired of this complaining that high-stakes testing is responsible for the cheating done by teachers and administrators. It almost seems that because as a society we demand and expect positive results – our children to be educated – we’re being unfair. It’s not their fault, they say, it’s the requirements. The stakes are too high.
  • Emanuel Chooses a School as a Father Rather than a Mayor
    Choice for me but not for thee, episode 5,486. I think Emanuel should make schooling decisions as a father, rather than as a Mayor or the leader of the Chicago Public Schools. I also however think that if choice is good for his family it is also good for all families.
  • Charter school proponents rally support
    HOPE Academy proponents aren’t discouraged by last week’s vote, and they’ve started ramping up their efforts. Officials expect to receive a written notification within several days, said Sarah Herron, a founding member of Innovation Education Partnership Inc. After receiving the document, they’ll start revising their application. “We plan to appeal at the end of this month, and we hope to convince them that we have a great idea,” she said.

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