July 12, 2012
Red Clay School District tax rate down, services intact
Needs-based funding contributed to a decrease of the district’s tax rate. Also, Leah Davis was elected unanimously (and ran unopposed) for the position as school board president. Martin Wilson Sr. was elected to serve as vice-president.
Charting a better course
Today there are 5,600 charter schools, and they serve more than 2m pupils in 41 of America’s 50 states. This number has grown annually by 7.5% since 2006 (see chart), but is still tiny: charters enroll less than 4% of the country’s public-school students. Studies have shown that students in poverty and English learners fare better than in charters, yet variation in school quality can be traced to the governing legislation behind the schools.
Bill Gates talks teacher evaluation, Common Core at ECS forum
Bill Gates, speaking at the Education Commission of the States’ National Forum on Education Policy in Atlanta, cited student surveys as among the three components that can go into a good teacher evaluation system, along with supervisor observations and test scores. Gates stressed that it is a “big mistake” to design an evaluation and feedback model without the “heavy involvement” of teachers and getting them to understand and accept whatever system is being put in place beforehand. The evaluation systems should focus on where teachers can do better, he argued.
Ed. law challenges loom after health-care ruling
Legal analysts say that part of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the federal health-care law will encourage states to challenge education laws and other federal aid programs and legislation passed under Congress’ spending power, a pivotal aspect of the historic ruling.
Analysis reveals firm’s involvement in Phila. School Reform
The School Reform Commission hired the Boston Consulting Group in February as part of an effort to radically overhaul the district, which was plagued by poor student performance and teetering on financial collapse. Nevertheless, officials revealed that the district’s shortfall for the coming school year has ballooned to as much as $282 million, much of which is expected to be closed through borrowing. In response to public criticism that the firm’s work has occurred almost entirely behind closed doors, the commission is expected to release a set of the consultants’ analyses and recommendations as soon as this week.
Percent of young adults with college degree rises slightly, remains far below Obama’s goal
The percent of adults ages 25-34 had earned an associate, bachelor’s or graduate degree raised a half a percentage point over the past year. Rising tuition costs is one of several reasons why more young adults aren’t graduating from college. In remarks to the National Governors Association on Friday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan is expected to urge states and institutions to help the federal government keep costs down.