May 2011 Archives

Wisconsin's Supreme Court will hold a hearing on June 6 on the state's controversial law that restricted collective bargaining for most state workers, about two weeks after a circuit court judge declared the law invalid.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he's considering a bid for the White House. The Republican's candidacy would almost certain underscore stark contrasts between him and President Obama on the federal role in education.

The New Jersey Supreme Court orders funding restored to the state's poorest urban districts.

I'll be on break from May 20 and May 27, and returning to State EdWatch after that.

The American Federation of Teachers calls for changes in pensions that will control their costs, such as double-dipping. But it also says some of the rhetoric about high pension costs for taxpayers are overblown.

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna has issued a memo warning teachers, administrators, and others against using school grounds for political purposes. The state's leading teachers' union says it is being targeted by the proposal

The budget situation in California, and a number of other states, has improved, with more tax revenues than expected rolling in. That could mean more money for K-12.

John King, a 36-year-old Brooklyn native, has been named New York's next education commisioner. He will be the first African-American and Puerto Rican to hold the job.

A report from the Brookings Institution says that state lawmakers, when considering class size reductions, may want to consider keeping them low among disadvantaged students at early grades.

A meeting between Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist and education historian Diane Ravitch produces controversy, but both sides are now taking a conciliatory tack.

On Sunday, May 15, CNN will air the documentary "Don't Fail Me," which follows three elite, high-achieving students as they attempt to pursue their academic dreams—and face major challenges along the way.

Phil Handy, an influential former Florida state board of education official, is helping Tim Pawlenty's campaign for president. Handy worked on John McCain's 2008 campaign for the White House.

Paul Pastorek, the Louisiana state schools chief who won praise for setting new and more demanding academic standards in his state, has resigned from that post. He will go to work for an aerospace and defense contractor.

Paul Pastorek, who as served as Louisiana's state superintendent of schools since 2007, is expected to resign, sources tell the Associated Press. Test scores have improved under Pastorek though he has occasionally angered state lawmakers.

A recent measure signed into law by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will switch local school board elections from the spring to the fall.

Funders at a "policy summit" on school choice said that they view the financing of voucher programs and charter schools as a way to promote competition in American education.

As debates over public pension systems play out in California and around the country, a new study shows that many workers in the state have quite generous retirement benefits, compared to the private sector. Teachers' benefits? Not as much.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed placing a series of tax extensions and increases on the ballot, but GOP lawmakers won't budge. Schools could be looking at cuts, as a result.

A Cato Institute scholars says Indiana's far-reaching voucher law will detract from the academic freedom offered to private schools.

A study finds that a landmark Michigan policy, which sought to create more level funding between rich and poor districts, helped students in the poor districts academically, but appears to have hurt those in wealthier systems.

The National Education Association is backing an effort in Idaho to collect enough signatures to have an item placed on the ballot to overturn a collective bargaining law. It's also likely to focus on similiar efforts in other states, including Ohio.

An Idaho teachers' union is launching a petition drive to block a series of new laws that change collective bargaining rights. It's one of a series of legal and political challenges to new laws in the states.


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