November 2012 Archives

Oh, mama, can this really be the end? Shelby County residents who had hoped to avoid a merger with the struggling 105,000-student Memphis school district have the Memphis blues again, after a judge ruled earlier this week that they can't vote to start their own school systems. The suburbs had hoped to have districts up and running by the 2013-14 school year.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals and the College Board's Advocacy & Policy Center launched a free online toolkit for principals, focused on "equity, personalization, smart data, collaboration and continuous improvement."

Sixty-one districts have been selected as finalists for the Race to the Top district competition. Up to 25 winners will split $400 million, to be awarded in December.

On the heels of Michigan voters' attempt to repeal the state's emergency manager law, the Detroit Board of Education has voted to withdraw from the fledgling, state-run Educational Achievement Authority, which currently runs 15 schools of the city's worst-performing schools.

This summer, the New York-based nonprofit TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project) told school districts they need to disregard Beyonce: Some teachers are so good that they are, in fact, irreplaceable. Too often, those teachers leave school districts willingly, feeling unsupported and unrecognized. Now, in a follow-up report, TNTP has zoomed in on the Washington, D.C., public school system, where, it says, policies have made irreplaceable teachers more likely to stick around.

The Indianapolis school board has three new members who are likely to support education "reform." While folks are still trying to tease out the education reform implications of union leader Glenda Ritz's election night victory over current Indiana state superintendent Tony Bennett, the Indianapolis school board election told a different story.

The Department of Education received 371 applications for the latest round of the Race to the Top competition, which focused on individual school districts or consortia of smaller districts rather than states. The 371 applications represented 1,189 school districts. Some districts didn't apply due to difficulty getting union buy-in.

New research from Stanford explores the role of race in school principalship. Data shows that black teachers are more likely to be interested in becoming principals than their white peers.

More than 12 percent of Chicago K-8th graders missed more than four weeks of school in the 2010-11 school year, the Chicago Tribune revealed in a special report on absenteeism in the district.

Sarah Newell Usdin, whose campaign for a seat on the school board in Orleans Parish drew attention for receiving large contributions from out-of-state education activists, has won her 3rd district seat. With 58 percent of the popular vote, Usdin defeated Republican incumbent Brett Bonin, a lawyer, and Independent Karran Harper Royal, a public school parent and advocate.

In Chicago, ten protesters were arrested last Friday after they and close to 200 others gathered outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office to protest school closings, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

After a full week out of classes, most students in the 1.1-million student New York City district will return to school today.

The 400,000-student Clark County school district in Nevada will submit its application for the Race to the Top-Districts competition, after governor Brian Sandoval stepped in to mediate between the district and its union, the Clark County Education Association.

Students in the six schools that make up Tennessee's achievement district score at the 16th percentile.

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