August 23, 2012
D.C. charter schools fight second-class status
While Washington D.C. pours billions into rebuilding a city system that has more classroom space than it needs, parents are increasingly opting for charter schools. If trends continue, charter enrollment will surpass the traditional public school population before the end of the decade. Yet even as charters soar in popularity, D.C. officials have often relegated these schools to second-class status, maintaining funding policies and practices that bypass charters and steer extra money to the traditional city school system.
Feds spar on NAEP testing of ELLs, special ed students
Despite a pending policy change aimed at including more students with disabilities and English-language learners on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal agency that administers the test appears to be softening the penalty for states that fail to improve inclusion rates. The disagreement reflects a debate about how to ensure that NAEP accurately allows for state-by-state comparisons.
Raleigh News and Observer
Court lifts cap on poor children in pre-K program
A county judge was within legal bounds when he ruled that 2011 legislative changes to the state’s pre-kindergarten program violate the constitutional right to a sound, basic education for all schoolchildren, according to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. At issue were provisions in the state budget that cut funding, established a copayment, and capped participation by poor children to 20%.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
State creates new path to teaching license
Aspiring teachers who have a college degree and some nontraditional K-12 teaching experience may pursue a new track to become a licensed educator in Wisconsin. The new pathway allows an individual with three years of teaching experience—such as in a private school, workplace training center, child care center, or postsecondary institution—to apply for a teaching license by submitting a portfolio of work.
The New York Times
Preschool special education trade group calls for more state audits and penalties
Confronting reports of skyrocketing costs and outright fraud in New York State’s preschool special education system, a group of companies that provide services to children with disabilities is calling for mandatory new audits, clearer regulations and a strict code of conduct with tough penalties for violators. The preschool special education system, which serves 60,000 children annually, costs Albany and local governments more than $2 billion a year. It is far more expensive per child in New York than in other states.