August 13, 2012
The News Journal
Keep suspension ranking a priority
In Delaware attendance patterns, we’re found to have direct consequences. Students who miss the most school get in trouble more often. So the state put its emphasis on parental outreach programs. This ability to tie the data to student performance was part of Delaware winning the first Race To The Top grant – $119 million – for school reform in 2009. Also last year Delaware joined other smart-thinking state Legislatures in curbing the use of zero-tolerance discipline rules that required suspensions without consideration for mitigating circumstances.
Burlington Free Press
Search on for new ed secretary
Vermont Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca must re-apply to keep his job in light of Governor Peter Shumlin’s announcement that he will open a national search for an education chief. The search comes in the wake of a new law that gives the governor the authority to select the education commissioner from a list of finalists submitted by the state board.
Legislative-control fights up ante on K-12 policy
The fate and scope of state education policy changes passed in the last two years may well hinge on a few hotly contested legislatures this fall, in an election cycle that will see 44 states with lawmakers going before the voters. The election results could extend or scale back dramatic changes in areas such as collective bargaining, school choice, and teacher accountability.
Mass. moves on ELL-training for regular teachers
Under pressure from federal civil rights officials to improve schooling for English-language learners, Massachusetts is forging ahead with major changes that will require intensive training for thousands of academic-content teachers with ELLs in their classrooms. The training also will be required for all prospective core-content teachers as a condition for licensing.
Romney’s VP pick of Paul Ryan puts spending debate in spotlight
Ryan’s controversial budget blueprint, which has been passed by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, would seek big cuts to discretionary spending (which includes most education programs). In fact, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said the budget could have “disastrous consequences for America’s children.”
Virginia to require an online course for high school graduation
Beginning next year, all Virginia high school students will have to take some sort of online course in order to graduate as a result of legislation passed this year. The requirement applies to every student pursuing a standard or advanced-studies diploma. Students will be required to take at least part of a course online, and even noncredit-bearing courses will count.