• Video: Jindal supporters meet at State Capitol, think education proposals are necessary
    Supporters of Governor Bobby Jindal’s education plan voice their support at the State Capitol today.
  • Milwaukee Teacher Union Requests Gov. Walker’s Policies
    At the Milwaukee teacher union and school district’s request, Wisconsin legislators approved a bill extending to the district the same policies that prompted union-backed petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker, the lieutenant governor, and four state senators. The bill, which Walker has said he will sign, allows the Milwaukee school district and MTEA to reopen negotiations on their contract without canceling it. The district would have trouble paying a $10 million pension payment without laying off teachers if it couldn’t renegotiate to cancel a scheduled pay raise, for example.
  • SCORE: Prioritize Principals
    Cultivating good principals and continuing to train them are among the top four education issues the state needs to focus on in the next year, concluded the State Collaborative for Reforming Education in the 2011-2012 installment of its “State of Education in Tennessee.” Other issues identified by SCORE include policy leadership, focused professional development for teachers and strengthening training for the state’s future teachers, according to the group’s report, issued Tuesday.
  • In parent trigger debate, teachers unions sound an awful lot like management
    Management always uses these arguments to fight union organizers, which is why I wasn’t surprised they surfaced during the recent parent trigger debate in Florida. The parent trigger legislation is part of an effort by progressive Democrats to begin unionizing parents in school districts, and management is opposing their efforts. But it’s ironic that teachers unions are also opposing parent unions and using the same arguments management used against them in the 1970s. Collaboration is a necessary component of school improvement, but collaboration works best when it occurs among equals. Teachers unionized so we’d have the power to ensure collaboration wasn’t capitulation. Now low-income parents need this same power. Parent unions will require teachers unions and school boards to share some of their organizational influence with parents, but ultimately this will make decision-making in public education more democratic.
  • Public teacher scores help everyone
    However well-intentioned, it is not a good idea to hide teacher evaluation scores from the public; for our children’s sake, the legislature should drop the attempt to do so.
  • Bill advances, keeps teacher evaluation rankings private
    Tennessee lawmakers advanced a bill Wednesday that would prevent teachers’ new evaluation rankings from being made public, the same week the state received a C grade from a national watchdog group for its access to public records. The bill, SB1447, now moves to a House State and Local Government Committee and full Senate floor vote next week.
  • School Choice Leadership in New Hampshire
    Yesterday, the New Hampshire Senate passed a path-breaking education tax credit bill that includes home school expenses and allows the program to grow 25 percent each year if it is successful. It is income-limited, but scholarship organizations can use 20 percent of their funds for children who would otherwise not qualify, giving flexibility instead of a hard cut-off. It allows up to 30 percent of students to be currently enrolled in private school. It imposes no new regulations on private education beyond basic reporting to the Department of taxation. And it was passed with the support of more than 60 percent of the Senate. This is a spectacular law for New Hampshire and should inspire legislators in other states to pass the best education tax credit law their tax system will allow.

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