• Putting Politics Aside for Wisconsin Students: Representative Jason Fields (D)
    A lifelong Democrat, he has no problem putting politics aside and working with Republicans to ensure that Wisconsin children have the best educational options:
  • N.C. students may get chance to rate teachers
    This spring, students in the Charlotte region will test-drive a survey that could eventually give them a voice in their teachers’ job evaluations.
  • Transition Team Considers Organizational Structure
    Memphis: Your child’s education is in the hands of The Shelby County Transition planning commission. At Thursday night’s meeting they were supposed to come up with an organizational plan, but send the proposals back to the consulting group without a vote. The Transition Planning Commission is expected to vote on the compromise plan Thursday, March 8th.
  • ‘Parent Unions’ Seek to Join Policy Debates
    Whether they’re organizing events, buttonholing legislators, or simply trading ideas and information, a growing number of “parent unions” are attempting to stake out a place in policy debates over education in states and districts, amid a crowded field of actors and advocates.
  • Book Review: “Obama’s Education Takeover”
    In his newly published book Obama’s Education Takeover, The Pacific Research Institute’s Lance Izumi illustrates how Obama’s education policies – particularly his push to impose national education standards and tests – create significant costs for states and are unlikely to improve outcomes for children.  “As seen so far, the national standards are costly, academically questionable, and deficient, contra-legal, and contra-constitutional.  There is more than enough reason for the public, especially parents, to want change.  Yet they are unlikely to get it given the byzantine centralized nationalization process created by the Obama Administration,” said Izumi. Obama’s 2009 ”stimulus” granted nearly $100 billion in additional federal money to the U.S. Department of Education, yet, as Izumi notes, “the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that instead of funding reforms and raising student achievement, the education stimulus money simply went to “retaining staff and current education programs”— i.e. preserving the status quo.”
  • Florida Bill Would Equalize Charter School Funding
    Florida Senate Bill 1852 would require school boards to share federal funding for property costs with charter schools, which often set up shop in churches, empty strip malls, or other alternative locales.
  • Polls Give Mixed Scores to Teacher Evaluation Reforms
    The MTSU poll found 18 percent of the 512 people surveyed thought the new evaluation requirements increase the quality of education. Another 16 percent said the evaluations decrease education quality, and 19 percent said it makes no difference. But almost half — 48 percent — said they didn’t know what they thought.
  • Video: Dr. Perry Speaks Out Against Failing Schools
    Perry wants to empower parents to demand choices. In light of the state takeover of local schools, and starting from scratch in a consolidated system, Perry said parents must demand to have control over their schools. “Parents need to do something, they need to fight for vouchers, they need to fight for school choice, they need to fight to bring people to town to run better schools,” Perry said.
  • Walton Family Foundation Gives $159 Million for Reform and Influence
    It’s going to take lots of money for the school reform movement to continue the decline in influence of the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers. Which explains why the Walton Family Foundation stepped up its own school reform efforts in 2011.
  • State approves new grading formula for schools – with revisions
    TALLAHASSEE – The state Board of Education on Tuesday approved plans to revamp the school grading formula – but made significant changes to the original proposal, which had unleashed a barrage of criticism from parents, teachers, superintendents and business leaders. State Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson backed off the so-called proficiency trigger, which would have schools get an automatic F if fewer than 25 percent of students were reading at grade level. Under the revised plan, schools that don’t hit the 25 percent mark would instead be docked by one letter grade. The trigger would not kick in until the start of the next school year.
  • Selfless educators in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin
    Teachers with the Oconto Falls school district deserve to be commended. Oconto Falls educators recently agreed to reopen their collective bargaining agreement and cut a scheduled pay increase to preserve teaching positions for next year. Oconto Falls teachers are in the middle of a two-year contract, but agreed to reopen their contract and accept a 1.75 percent raise for the 2012-13 school year, the Green Bay Gazette reports.

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