• NAACP Fights To Keep Kids Trapped in Failing Schools
    NAACP is suing to keep a lot of black kids trapped in really bad schools, with no options for escape. Many citizens have also taken exception with the NAACP’s position. An estimated 2,500 kids and parents recently protested outside the organization’s New York office.
    We have to believe that the NAACP is buckling to traditional political alliances and financial considerations.
  • Better Alternatives to No Child Left Behind
    John Kline (R–MN), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, says he won’t be granting the Obama Administration a reauthorization of the failed NCLB. Instead he’s making a counter-offer to President Obama and Secretary Duncan: Put power back in the hands of state and local leaders.
  • Tennessee Trumps Wisconsin: Kills Teacher Collective Bargaining. Dead
    Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam affixed his signature on House Bill 130 and Senate Bill 113, ending collective bargaining and giving local school boards the full authority to operate their districts in the manner they choose. That doesn’t mean the unions are shut out of the discussion. The new laws create a process called “collaborative conferencing,” where the school board, administrators and union officials will be forced to sit and discuss many of the normal issues, including salary, insurance, grievance procedures and working conditions. And we kind of like the unique process created by collaborative conferencing.
  • Dropouts pose huge drain on economy
    A new study suggests dropouts’ diminished earning power is robbing the local economy of millions of dollars. If the region’s class of 2010 reduced its number of dropouts by half, those students collectively would earn $9.9 million more in an average year than they would without diplomas, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington, D.C.-based education advocacy organization.
  • County schools offer 2 international diplomas
    Bradley County Schools will begin offering classes next year from international programs with the goal of eventually allowing students to receive an internationally recognized high school diploma in these programs.
  • 157,000 Fewer Students, 137,000 More Employees
    The latest Census Bureau report provides details of the 2008-09 school year, as the nation was in the midst of the recession. That year, 48,238,962 students were enrolled in the U.S. K-12 public education system. That was a decline of 157,114 students from the previous year. They were taught by 3,231,487 teachers (full-time equivalent). That was an increase of 81,426 teachers from the previous year. Per-pupil spending rose 2.6 percent, and spending on employee compensation (salaries and benefits) rose 2.3 percent. The United States average for per-pupil spending was $10,499, with 25 states spending more than $10,000 per student.
  • Teacher advocacy group produces first detailed guidelines for city’s new teacher evaluation system
    Teachers should be rated not just by principals but by their students and independent observers as well, according to recommendations published today by Educators 4 Excellence. As far as subjective measures, administrators would observe teachers three times a year — twice unannounced — for 30 percent of an overall rating, while two observations from independent experts — one unannounced — would account for 15 percent. Additionally, student surveys of their teachers would for the first time account for 10 percent of a teacher’s rating, while a teacher’s contributions to the school community would round out the remaining 5 percent. Finally, poor attendance or lack of professionalism would count against a teacher’s evaluation by as much as 5 percentage points.
  • TN wants teachers ‘Ready2Teach’
    Board of Regents has launched a five-year effort to overhaul and upend its teaching curriculum in an initiative the system has dubbed “Ready2Teach.” Future teachers will spend the bulk of their time in college learning about the subjects they’ll be teaching — as math majors, history majors or physics majors. Then they’ll spend their entire senior year either in a working classroom or actively engaged in classroom problem-solving exercises. They’ll learn by doing —
  • School redistricting tests boards, students
    Last fall, the Williamson County school district approved its largest-ever countywide redistricting plan. It will send 3,000 students to different schools starting this coming school year. The redistricting plan was needed to fill up two newly built schools — Summit High and Clovercroft Elementary — and to relieve overcrowding in South Williamson County and the Brentwood area.
  • Memphis City Schools teachers rewarded for successes
    Thousands of Memphis city school teachers will get an extra $750 in their paychecks this month — part two of a $1,500 reward for sticking out the year in tough schools. Teachers could get another $2,500 for student test scores.

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