December 19, 2012
The News Journal
Christina district cited in federal probe
A federal investigation has found that Christina School District punished black students “more harshly and more frequently” than white students with similar discipline records. The state’s largest school district entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to take several corrective actions in the future – including strategies to avoid suspending or expelling misbehaving students, improved support services for disruptive students and better training for teachers and administrators.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Math test causing division at schools
Minnesota created a math test to ensure that high school students graduate with enough skills to skip remedial work in college or on the job. It succeeded so well that as many as 20% may not graduate. A state panel wants the legislature to eliminate the exit exam and to start earlier with tests to help students plan the skills they’ll need, diagnose their deficiencies, and intervene to get them on track to graduation.
Arts education seen as Common Core partner
As educators nationwide seek to help students meet the demands of the Common Core in English/language arts and mathematics, many arts education advocates are making the case that the arts can be a valuable partner. And in some cases, they’re identifying ways to make the links explicit.
Split ruling in teacher tenure lawsuit
A judge Tuesday threw out part of an education revamp pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal as unconstitutional, but upheld the centerpiece provisions that changed teacher tenure and salary laws. Judge Michael Caldwell ruled that the section of the legislation dealing with the authority of local school boards and school superintendents violated the state constitution because it didn’t fit into the stated objective of the bill. He said any attempt to connect the authority of school boards with the listed objective of teacher tenure, pay-for-performance and evaluations “requires a long, tenuous and convoluted journey which this court is not willing to make.”
Ohio Senate OKs new school evaluation system
The Ohio Senate passed an education bill, H.B. 555, that calls for a more demanding evaluation system for schools, along with other significant changes. The bill would grade schools using 15 measures and give each district a cumulative grade of A, B, C, D, or F. The Senate added a provision that measures college preparedness and career readiness.