January 2011 Archives

A Leaner Preschool Program in Iowa?

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, following up on a campaign pledge, has proposed cutting his state's preschool program, arguing that it should be replaced with a need-based system.

Forget the Warm-and-Fuzzies on Oklahoma's Board of Ed

Members of Oklahoma's board of education clash with the newly elected state schools chief, Janet Barresi.

In Indiana, Graduate Early, Get State Aid for College?

A proposal in Indiana, backed by top state elected officials, would allow high school seniors who graduate early to use a portion of per-pupil state aid for college.

Rhode Island Group Lobbies to Keep State Board, and Deborah Gist

A group called RI-CAN enlists current and former public officials, including Jeb Bush and Andres Alonso, to keep the composition of the state's board of education and keep state schools chief Deborah Gist in her job.

Duncan Sets a High Standard for a High-Performing State

In Minnesota, Arne Duncan urges the state to do better, despite its high scores on national tests, and relatively strong showings on the international scale.

Would an Expansion of Florida Vouchers Stand Up in Court?

Would Florida's constitution allow a voucher-style program to go forward? Opponents of such a measure say no, and even some voucher supporters are skeptical.

Unions Facing Tough Outlook in State Capitals

Teachers' unions are on the defensive in many state legislative sessions this year. A pair of union officials, John Stocks and Mary Bell, gave me their thoughts.

Can States Escape Pension Obligations Through Bankruptcy?

Some federal lawmakers are showing an interest in states being allowed to declare bankruptcy to escape from pensions obligations, including those covering teachers.

Duncan: Common Standards Will Produce Tech Innovations

At an event organized by the Aspen Institute, Education Secretary Arne Duncan argues that the Common Core standards could spark technological innovation in schools.

UPDATED: The Costs of Class-Size Reductions in Florida

Florida schools and districts face potentially big penalties for not complying with a mandate to cap class sizes, even as policymakers in other parts of the country contemplate allowing class sizes to rise.

Governors and Lawmakers Target Spending, School Mandates

In several states, governors and lawmakers, many of them Republicans, are vowing to cut state spending, which could affect K-12.

Battle over Preschool Takes Shape in Iowa

A Republican proposal would scale back a statewide preschool program created by Iowa's previous, Democratic governor.

Ron Tomalis is the New Ed-Sec in Pennsylvania

Ron Tomalis, who served as an education aide in George W. Bush's administration, has been nominated as the next secretary of education in Pennsylvania.

School Budget Crises: An Online Discussion

Ed Week readers can submit questions for our on online chat on the budget crisis facing schools, scheduled for today, Wednesday, at 2 p.m.

States Look to Change Teacher Pension Systems

Personnel costs—salaries and benefits—make up a huge portion of school budgets, and they're difficult to cut. At the state level, elected officials are determined to bring down the costs of pensions, in particular.

Bill Honig Withdraws Name as Calif. Governor's Appointee

Bill Honig had been appointed to the California state board of education by new Gov. Jerry Brown, despite a past criminal conviction. Honig withdrew his name on Monday, and was replaced by Ilene Straus, an assistant school superintendent.

UPDATED: Brown's Budget Brings Massive Cuts, but Spares K-12 Education

Newly elected Gov. Jerry Brown calls for "vast and historic" reductions in state spending, but he pledges to protect K-12 schools.

Feds Offer Race to Top Guidance to Winning States

Federal officials say states will be expected to keep participating unions and school districts on board their Race to the Top plans, and they'll be held to the academic goals they promised to meet.

Jerry Brown Appoints Board, Cuts Ed Secretary Post

New California Gov. Jerry Brown is out of gate quickly on school issues, doing away with the state's secretary of education position and making appointments to the state's board of ed—which have drawn criticism.

Race to the Top, the Broadway Version

Newly elected Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposes the creation of a pair of $250 million competitions to reward districts for academic performance and finding cost savings,

Republican Majorities Go to Work in State Capitols

A wave of newly elected Republican governors and lawmakers are going to work in state capitols across the country. They're seeking changes to teacher job protections, more school choice, and spending cuts.

Hickenlooper to Lead Education Policy Group

Denver Mayor and Colorado governor-in-waiting John Hickenlooper has been named the next chair of the Education Commission of the States.

Jeb Bush Talks Up Florida's Education Model, and Plays Down a White House Bid

Jeb Bush talks about his often controversial approach to improving Florida's schools, and his future, which he says includes no immediate plans for a White House bid.

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