June 3, 2013

June 4th, 2013

Category: Policy and Practice, Student-Centered Learning

Local News

The News Journal
Bill would toughen charter schools’ oversight, allow access to state funding
A bill that would toughen oversight of charter schools would also award more money to charters with proven track records and allow them to access capital funding from the state.

Colonial School District has much riding on $9.6 million tax vote
Colonial School District voters are set to decide Tuesday whether to raise property taxes to bolster the sagging budget. Residents who support the increase say they want to preserve teacher jobs and the education quality at the schools. Opponents argue taxes are high enough and the district should do more to trim costs. Without the money, the officials say drastic cuts would be necessary such as laying off about 81 people, including 59 teachers.

National News

CNN Tech
High school learns to love students’ tech habits
Many high-school-age students are hooked on their phones and computers. Instead of fighting the kids, some schools like the public New Technology High School in Napa, California, are jumping right in and embracing the technology. “We meet kids where they live,” New Tech Principal Michelle Spencer said. .

The New York Times
New York to evaluate teachers with new system
The New York State education commissioner broke a long and acrimonious impasse on Saturday by imposing a new evaluation system that would rate New York City teachers in part on their students’ test scores and streamline the disciplinary process.

Education Week
N.J. moves to take over another district
The move for a takeover of the Camden system, announced in March by Gov. Chris Christie and education Commissioner Christopher Cerf, cites what state leaders argue is an obligation to act. Mr. Christie, a Republican, said that the dire situation in the school system means that not taking over the district would be “immoral.” Camden is home to 20 of the lowest-performing schools in the state, and it has an on-time high school graduation rate under 50 percent.

The Los Angeles Times
Schools’ effort to shift to Common Core faces a difficult test
Nearly every state has adopted the Common Core, which is a set of learning standards laid out by grade and subject, in math and English. States and individual school districts are developing, adapting or adopting curriculum to help students meet the mark. Supporters see the effort as raising the quality of teaching and closing the achievement gap that separates white and Asian students from their low-income black and Latino peers. They also hope to end standardized testing based on rote memorization.

The Texas Tribune
End of CSCOPE presents hurdles for some schools
Beginning Aug. 31, the state’s curriculum support system, known as CSCOPE, will no longer be a source of lesson plans. It’s a victory for activists who have said that it advances an anti-American agenda. But the small rural districts that use CSCOPE say it will force them to spend already scarce funds developing unnecessary new materials.

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