In the News for the Week of September 10, 2007 | Teachers College Columbia University

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In the News for the Week of September 10, 2007

RI weighs the positives and negatives of NCLB * TX will pay up if districts allow young adults another chance to get a diploma * Thousands of children are sent home from school with backpacks full of food * Early education advocates face big challenges with business leaders


Commentary: Rep George Miller says about NCLB, “when the Bush administration tries to cast the current reauthorization debate in terms of more vs. less accountability, don’t buy the spin. What we should aim for is a smart system of accountability—one that doesn’t needlessly exclude millions of children across the country”

Study shows that most private schools are not using federally funded services they are entitled to receive under NCLB

Early education advocates face big challenges in persuading more business leaders to buy into the cause of expanding preschool and other services, particularly for children considered at high risk for later academic or social problems

The BackPack Program aimed at keeping needy kids and their families from going hungry on weekends sends thousands of children home from school with backpacks full of food

School Funding Litigation/Policy

Property-tax freeze for schools is expected to bring in $114 million across CO next year

State Roundup

CO hopes to alter its image as out-of- touch and unhelpful to the 178 school districts statewide with a massive reform plan

GA school board approves new requirements geared toward “giving all students a strong grounding in core areas such as reading and math while offering them flexibility in choosing elective classes”

School enrollment today in IN can make or break budgets because the state will use today’s attendance to determine how much money districts get

KS education advisory panel rejects a proposal to require school districts to implement a standardized accounting system on how they spend money and state Rep. says she is “frustrated by the lack of transparency in school finance”

TX reform designed to curb the high school dropout rate specifies that the state will pay up if districts allow young adults another chance to get a diploma

RI weighs the positives and negatives of NCLB

September 13, 2007 

School Integration

In light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, MA tells school districts not to rush changes in student assignment plans for this school year


A “salary comparability” provision of the NCLB draft that would provide more money to schools with the least experienced teachers at the expense of schools with more senior ones faces opposition

The clock is ticking and NCLB renewal debate heats up in Congress

Education author, Jonathan Kozol explains why he is fasting – as a “personal act of protest at the vicious damage being done to inner-city children by the federal education law No Child Left Behind”

School Funding Litigation/Policy

Assistant attorney general tells AR legislators to not “get complacent when handling school-funding issues” and attorney agrees that education funding “should be a super-priority [that] should be reviewed... every year forever”

NJ Gov. Jon Corzine hopes for a new school funding formula and asks lawmakers to completely revamp the way the state pays for public education in the next four months

State Roundup

Survey shows that AR teachers certified in math, science or computer science are twice as likely as other teachers in the state to leave education for other employment opportunities

GA supporters of foreign languages and fine arts hope to have those subjects play a more prominent role in the high school curriculum, but some educators say they might be forced to drop these "elective" classes to meet budget demands and math and science requirements

Standardized test scores rise in MA but data reflects a persistent achievement gap between minority-group and white students; state education leaders and politicians discuss how to address the problem

MD plans to eliminate written-response questions from its high school exit exams to speed up grading

NM denies all but one application for new state-chartered schools

September 12, 2007


Editorial: “What’s Good for Children” - Business leaders are right in their attempt to prevent teachers’ unions and their political allies from weakening NCLB

Latino advocates tell House panel that NCLB has helped students learning English

“Getting Serious About Principal Preparation:” Focus changes from creating efficient managers to preparing individuals who can lead a school to higher student achievement

School Funding Litigation/Policy

CO lawmaker urges the state to revamp the school-funding plan that freezes property tax rates and claims that Denver Public Schools deserve an increased percentage of funding because city schools have higher needs and city taxpayers contribute more money than citizens in other parts of the state

30 IA school districts hoping to share $14.6 million in new preschool grants saw their applications tossed because of incorrect formatting

NJ approves an $800 million loan to finance the ongoing public school construction program and school officials ask lawmakers to authorize another $3.25 billion in borrowing to continue on other projects that have been suspended for lack of funds

WI Gov. rejects proposals to provide immediate state funding for schools while other details of the state budget bill are being worked out

State Roundup

State officials find that AZ English language learners are taught by teachers who don't know the language

Opinion: “Why so many CA teachers are quitting”

KS schools show significant improvements in test scores, and officials largely attribute progress to increases in state aid

Sept. 11, 2007

School Integration

Commentary: A remedy based upon social class - “The class-divide runs like a fault line throughout the education system, and yet policymakers and politicians rarely confront it”


The educational accountability movement’s focus on bringing all students to academic proficiency risks leaving behind high-achieving children from lower-income families

The draft House bill to renew NCLB comes under sharp attack from civil rights groups and the nation’s largest teachers unions

Research shows that schools are reluctant to implement changes even after failing to reach student-achievement targets under the NCLB for five consecutive years

School Funding Litigation/Policy

Commentary: Why the Courts Have Cooled to Adequacy Lawsuits

Other News

Southern schools rise in national rankings to defy history and stereotype, but critics say they need more in-depth analysis of what's going on before accepting the apparent “miracles”

Summit links preschool to economic success through its message that spending money on early-childhood education will improve high school graduation rates and help keep the United States economically strong

Some states are moving ahead with efforts to certify early-childhood programs according to how well children who go through those programs perform in kindergarten

School districts with large numbers of immigrant students craft new policies to balance cooperation with federal officials, protection of student privacy, and the safety of students during enforcement operations

Researchers will study the “4th grade slump,” which tends to occur when reading instruction shifts from basic decoding and word recognition to development of fluency and comprehension

Report finds that exit exams have little correlation with adequate preparation for college or work

Commentary on Teach for America and the impact the program’s alumni are having outside of education

State Roundup

Gov. Riley pledges that AL will continue to lead the nation in reshaping public schools and he insists that the nation shouldn't wait until it falls behind to introduce the sort of schooling relevant in a global economy

State Superintendent of Schools calls for big raises for ID’s school teachers next year – but only if they come through a new merit pay plan

A coalition of KY education and social service groups works to expand state support for more families, and build toward the longer-term goal of voluntary pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds

Increased student enrollment strains buildings and budgets in GA and TN districts, and some schools may have to look at adding portable classrooms

Published Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2007