In the News on April 25, 2008 | Teachers College Columbia University

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In the News on April 25, 2008

Federal judge releases AZ district from a 30-year-old desegregation order* Proposed changes to NCLB are open for public debate * NJ Leaders call for dramatic changes in high school curricula * MA Govenor commits to increase funding for pre-k programs

School Integration

Federal judge releases AZ district from a 30-year-old desegregation order, even though he says it has failed to prove that its programs were effective in achieving racial balance


Proposed changes to NCLB the most comprehensive in a series of actions intended to change how the law is carried out – are open for public comment

Other News

Bush urges support for faith based schools in cities

School Funding Litigation/Policy

CA Governor now calculates expected budget deficit at $10 billion, and GOP unveils a plan that would restore about half of the $4.8 billion reduction proposed for education

FL voters will decide in November whether to cut property taxes by about 25 percent through a dramatic shift in the way schools are funded, plan would lead to a higher sales tax and put lawmakers under immense pressure to replace billions in lost school taxes

DE General Assembly comes to the aid of teachers, pledging to limit education-related budget cuts to $30 million, instead of $80 million – possibly averting 1500 layoffs

LA bill would provide the first state aid program for public-school construction and repairs

State Roundup

AZ legislators await approval of a plan that would allow the state to take control of some of the most troubled school districts

Over 200 of D.C’s public and charter schools are over 90 percent African American or Hispanic, while seven are majority white, says study

Enrollment in KY Catholic and other private, inner-city schools is falling, but these schools are not disappearing, officials say

MA governor earns new status as "budget hero" in the eyes of a national education advocacy group for committing to increase funding for pre-kindergarten programs

Governor Corzine and a coalition of public and business call for dramatic changes in NJ high school curricula, with a sharp focus on math and science

In the News on April 24, 2008



Once again, the federal government rejects UT's request to meet the requirements of NCLB by measuring student growth over time

VA’s struggling students could get first crack at changing schools or receiving tutoring if the U.S. Department of Education selects the state's proposal to improve NCLB standards

Other News

Opinion – “Education lessons we left behind:” A limp down memory lane

Wide-ranging study offers a promising picture of American childhood from birth to age 10

Commentary – Teachers should be part of the school reform process

School Funding Litigation/Policy

AR legislators emphasize the need to spend extra money to help low-scoring students overcome disadvantages of long-standing poverty

AR public school districts have decreased the percentages of their expenditures on classroom instruction even as the totals have increased in recent years, says report

AZ lawmakers vote to dissolve the Schools Facilities Board, which oversees funding for K-12 facilities, and some see it as a political move to send a message that the state’s funding system needs to be overhauled

MS $2.5 billion education bill will fully fund education, reward teaching experience, and more

TX asks IRS to raise limit on guaranteeing school bonds, unprecedented amounts of debt, are straining the capacity of a state program that saves districts over $100 million a year

State Roundup

DE Senate will consider legislation that would put the state’s testing program on hold for one year, saving $10 million in the process

CA English-language learners showing enough proficiency to potentially be reclassified as fluent increases about four percentage points this school year, according to test results

LA legislators unveil the details of a pilot program plan to use public tax dollars to help pay low-income students' private school tuition
TX school districts look west for teachers, hoping to hire some of the 14,000 teachers who have received pink slips in CA


In the News on April 23, 2008

School Integration

Desegregation plan laid out in the latest settlement offer in Sheff v. O'Neill is endorsed by members of CT’s General Assembly's education committee; plan could cost $600 million,0,7369021.story


U.S. Secretary of Education proposes a series of ninth-inning regulatory fixes to NCLB

Spellings proposes new regulations for NCLB, including new rules for graduation rates

Other News

Forum seeks a new vision for the federal role in K-12 education; report calls for moving away from tests and sanctions

Researchers examine link between quality education and economic productivity; international comparisons refine understanding

In the European Union, education is gaining new attention as a way to ensure the region’s competitiveness

Commentary – “A Nation at Risk:” A legendary report, but what about the early grades?

School Funding Litigation/Policy

Larger expenditures on classroom instruction lead to better student performance, and higher teacher compensation shows the single largest effect, study finds

The state should have more control in how local school districts spend money on education, says AR senator

Bipartisan compromise to solve CO's perpetual tug of war between the inflating education budget and strict state spending caps runs into trouble

FL’s Teacher Education Association says it’s time for the state to use ‘rainy-day fund’,0,2053594.story

Free breakfast program in predominately low-income schools is the latest victim of FL budget cuts

IA lawmakers clear new bill on sales tax, and schools across the state would get the same amount of money per student

KY governor delivers a sour note to advocacy group, and says there is little prospect of finding more money for education through increased taxes

State Roundup

CO will continue to grow K-12 education funding by 5 percent each year after school financing amendment expires, if leading democrats succeed in their efforts

students could bring major changes to CT’s public education system by arguing before a high court; they hope for a trial in state court to challenge the state's assertions that it provides adequate education to its children

D.C. Schools Chancellor says it will probably take several years for the federally mandated effort to reinvent 27 academically troubled schools shows significant results

Independent studies calculate HI's graduation rate at about 64 percent, despite self-reported 80 percent rate

IA senate approves a bill to help fix more crumbling schools in rural areas of the state

LA education officials clash over bill to scrap state’s high stakes promotion exam

Editorial – On teacher testing: MA is in full-blown retreat from the reforms that have made it the unquestioned national leader in public education

MS school superintendents will risk losing their jobs if students in low-performing districts don’t improve academic achievement – if new bill is passed

NH proposal would allow districts without public kindergarten to contract with private providers, rather than offer the service in public schools

OH is ahead of most states in efforts to benchmark its performance against that of high-performing countries


In the News on April 22, 2008


Unable to push education fixes through Congress, the Bush administration is taking its own pen to NCLB

Other News

School choice movement gains ground as legislatures advance proposals that would indirectly funnel taxpayer money to families who want to send their children to private schools

School Funding Litigation/Policy

NY schools have to-do lists prepared for record influx in state aid

TX governor suggests that the 11-year-old STAR school property-tax rebate program might need an overhaul

State Roundup

FL overhauls high-stakes exam; high schools will be graded on how many students graduate and how many take college-prep courses in addition to exam scores

MI’s new statewide curriculum is still under debate, and two years later some school administrators are taking a wait-and-see approach

VA parents oppose proposed revision of special education consent rule because they say it would strip them of power in negotiating their children's education


In the News on April 21, 2008


IN state officials say combination of poverty and a high number of special needs students often leads to schools that fail to meet NCLB guidelines

Other News

U.S. Secretary of Education says schools must “pick up the pace” and hopes to assess “how far we’ve come and how far we need to go” in terms of education

School Funding Litigation/Policy

CA public schools seek private money to cover the basics; according to the president of one fundraising foundation “an excellent public education is not free at this point”,1,6232000.story?track=rss

State Roundup

Declining enrollment in AZ schools has forced districts to slash millions of dollars from their budgets, hire fewer teachers and move carefully on construction projects, but the most controversial measure involves closing schools

FL House approves an education bill that mandates a top-to-bottom revamping of the education children should get in public schools

FL Legislature is about to approve a major revamp of public-school testing program with new standards and a toned down atmosphere,0,6553686.story

MD school officials worry about the costs and complexities of a new alternative path to graduation scheduled to start in less than a month

The combination of job losses and educational failures in NC take on a renewed sense of urgency; major-party candidates for governor have made reducing dropout rates part of their campaigns

OH statewide voucher programs is growing; more students are seeking and more schools are accepting taxpayer-funded tuition vouchers

OR will become the 27th state to require students to prove their abilities on standardized tests to graduate

TX educators disagree over English language teaching approaches that will treat the state’s “dreadful disease” – the inability of many students to write and speak good English

Published Monday, Apr. 28, 2008