In the News the Week of March 3-7, 2008 | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation

In the News the Week of March 3-7, 2008

Smaller class sizes don't close learning gaps, new study * Study looks at how experience in the arts might spill over into other areas of learning * Only 4 percent of NYC's elementary schools meet state requirement for arts education * CA appeals court ruling clamping down on home-schooling *

In the News on March 7, 2008

Smaller class sizes don’t close learning gaps – high achievers benefit more from small classes than low achievers, according to study

Study looks at how experience in dance, music, theater, and visual arts might spill over into other areas of learning, and to explore possible mechanisms for those links in the anatomy of the brain

School Funding Litigation/Policy

AZ school districts challenging the adequacy of programs for English language learners say a new funding system penalizes districts that scrimped to improve programs neglected by the state

Lt. Gov. Garamendi and state education leaders issue an open letter urging CA governor to reconsider $4.8 billion cut

Some ME school districts will receive increased state aid this coming year, but rural and coastal areas will take a hit

Federal Reading First initiative is not likely to survive if massive funding cuts are not reversed, according to state directors

State Roundup  

Appeals court ruling clamping down on home-schooling by parents without teaching credentials sends shock waves across CA

ND education panel hears study results to determine what constitutes an adequate K-12 education

Only 4 percent of NYC’s elementary schools meet state requirement for arts education, according to survey

Making high school graduation more reliant on state standardized tests is not received well in RI

Studies suggest that TX’s performance-pay system could be having positive effects on teacher attitudes

UT school districts were required to take a second look at schools that were given good marks due to processes that are not allowed under state rules, and they find increases in AYP,5143,695259602,00.html


In the News on March 6, 2008


Editorial – VA’s opting out of NCLB would be a costly mistake: state lawmakers are kidding themselves in claiming that state practices are sufficient

Other News

Home-schoolers are under new scrutiny as lawmakers in a number of states seek to more closely regulate the families who opt to teach their own children

School Funding Litigation/Policy

LA teacher unions say Gov. Bobby Jindal's education proposals will steer money from public schools and won't offer adequate pay for teachers or support workers

OK education leaders urge lawmakers to "act immediately" on a $41.6 million supplemental funding request to prevent local school districts from slashing their budgets

Despite school funding increases, UT education advocates say strings attached don't give school districts the flexibility they need to meet their most pressing needs,5143,695259213,00.html

The Washington Assessment of Student Learning may face redesign, and cutting back has come down to an issue of money, not educational philosophy

WA constitutional amendment aimed at making it easier to approve school levies already appears to be having the effect supporters intended

State Roundup

AL Department of Education asks schools to comply with calendar rules or lose funding

AZ school districts want a delay in a law that requires them to start providing four hours a day of special instruction to English learners beginning next school year

GA public schools could have more say in how they spend their money if they agree to meet certain standards set by the state, but if they fail, they could be converted into charter schools or put under private management

MN bill would require students to stay in school until age 18

NJ's “alternate route” to teaching has filled huge shortages with dedicated and energetic newcomers, but report says some cracks have developed in the system, especially at the elementary level

New methods used by OR schools to teach English to non-native speakers pay off with more students reaching proficiency, according to new state figures

In the News on March 5, 2008


House members are not making progress on their pledge to reauthorize the NCLB this year, says leading Republican lawmaker

Other News

Commentary – The US needs a new national strategy for improving teaching in high-need schools

Push to give school districts greater operating flexibility resurges as states seek to spur innovation that will help raise student achievement

Commentary – Test scores should play a supporting rather than a lead role in teacher evaluations, and school systems should use school-wide scores in their evaluation calculations, rather than individual teachers’ scores

School Funding Litigation/Policy

KY governor says proposed budget might cause deep cuts in education spending and agrees to listen to a pitch from House Democrats to raise revenue by increasing the cigarette tax

NE Legislature's Education Committee backs plan to reduce hike in school aid

VA advocates warn that proposed funding is not enough and localities will be forced to cut programs, employ fewer teachers or raise real estate taxes to pick up the slack in school funding

State Roundup

KS law enforcement officials say putting more children in pre-kindergarten classrooms now will prevent having to build more prisons later

KY Education Commissioner plans to create a task force to study education reform in because he doesn't believe the current political climate will bring about needed changes

Report says MA is not doing enough to provide homeless teens with a safe place to sleep and the chance to earn a high school diploma

ME Department of Education urges legislative committee to suspend a bill that would revise the state's high school graduation requirements

NE legislature supports statewide academic tests, which some say will be harmful to public schools

Can students be paid to excel? NYC experiments with student reward program


In the News on March 4, 2008

School Integration

MN voluntary desegregation program does not boost test scores - for the second year in a row low-income students in the Minneapolis Public Schools fare better on student achievement tests than those who were bused to suburban schools

Other News

By next fall U.S. Secretary of Education will have five teachers on her staff and set up a group of ad hoc classroom advisers, to bring the teacher voice back into education policy

New studies find that performance-pay initiatives nationwide show mixed results on how they affect student achievement, indicating that more work is needed on these plans

School Funding Litigation/Policy

AK House and Senate approve a wide-reaching education funding package; governor supports the plan but pushes for a larger increase to the base student allocation

FL House and Senate committees approve $358 million in budget cuts for public schools and universities

Authors of a much-criticized school funding plan for NH propose more money for poor towns that would lose aid under the plan as proposed, in order to rally support

PA governor proposes to give the poorest public school systems substantial increases in state aid, but faces tough questions from the House,0,3239020.story

State Roundup

AZ makes little headway on agreeing how to adequately pay for the education of English-language learners, despite recent ruling to require such a plan

AZ schools chief says it will cost $40.6 million a year to provide schools with the money needed to teach English to non-native speakers, but this is a fraction of what schools say they need

Opinion – CA’s flexibility for alternative education should be coupled with accountability for results

IL rebuffs last-ditch effort by Chicago Public Schools to delay testing, and Spanish-speaking public school students will have to take standardized tests in English,1,377129.story

After 5 years of centralized oversight, NY City Council holds first hearing on Mayor’s control of public schools

RI Department of Education will hold two public hearings this week on proposed changes to high school regulations and graduation criteria

Parents and school districts worry that changes to the TX Assessment of Knowledge and Skills for special-education students will mean lower scores


In the News on March 3, 2008

School Integration

CT officials consider building magnet schools and increasing the number of slots for city students in the suburbs, to comply with desegregation orders and tackle the difficulties of attracting white students,0,2243191.story

Other News

Experts hope that a new set of national standards for online teaching may help bring clarity and credibility to an industry that is growing in both popularity and controversy

School Funding Litigation/Policy

Some NJ school districts would get slightly more state aid next year than first anticipated under Corzine's new school funding law

WA Education Association and school workers pressure lawmakers with radio ads urging approval of larger pay increases for teachers, but the Senate proposes a smaller increase because of the possible recession and a projected slowdown in state tax revenue growth

State Roundup

CO governor’s proposal to overhaul the public school system meets cautious support among education groups

D.C. Deputy Mayor for Education advances a plan to help troubled students get intensive intervention services, including support for their families, behavior management strategies, and academic help

FL parents support tying teacher pay to student test scores, according to survey

Percentage of HI public school teachers who meet national qualification standards increases to about 81 percent

IL will administer high stakes student achievement tests that could force dramatic changes at some schools

IL schools recruit parents to help prepare kids for the state exams, and they use pep rallies and prizes to motivate students,0,5912183.story

PA School administrators and the State Board of Education discuss a plan to tie high school graduation to state-approved tests, but educators don't believe state leaders

WA plans to tweak state achievement test because of huge jump in test costs

Published Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2008