June 2011 Archives

The New York State United Teachers organization says teacher-evaluation measures approved by the state's board of regents violate a state law approved last year.

California passes a budget that will create deep budget cuts in the state's university system, and could result in deep reductions to K-12 schools if state revenues don't improve.

An effort to recall Idaho state schools chief Tom Luna failed to get the necessary signatures to have the item placed on the ballot.

Maryland is using federal Race to the Top dollars to introduce teachers and administrators to common standards at educator "academies." It's being billed as the largest professional development program for educators in the state's history.

Texas dropped out of CCSSO over the common standards issue, and for years has not been a part of the National Governors Association, which also supports common standards.

A bill that would require teachers and many other public workers to pay much more for pensions and health care clears tNew Jersy's General Assembly. Gov. Chris Christie supports it but Democrats are divided.

In the 40 states that currently allow charter schools, 24 of them require teachers in those charters to take part in the state pension plan. Many charters offer 401(k) or 403(b)-style plans, in contrast to the defined-benefit plans offered in many states.

Texas has pulled out of the Council of Chief State School Officers, an influential Washignton organization helping lead the effort to create common academic standards across states.

Unlike the recessions of the early 1980s and early 1990s, states have avoided approving tax hikes during this economic downturn to raise revenue, despite its severity.

Virginia Secretary of Education Gerard Robinson has been named as Florida's new commissioner of education. He replaces Eric J. Smith.

Eighteen new state superintendents of education have taken over since the beginning of 2011, according to the Council of Chief State School Officers. The churn comes as states push for major policy changes and face major economic difficulties.

Wisconsin's Republican-controlled legislature approved a controversial expansion of the state's existing school-voucher system. Gov. Scott Walker has indicated he will sign it.

A leading New Jersey teachers' union has strongly criticized Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat, over his support for a proposal that would require them to pay more for benefits.

Chester Finn of the Fordham Institute questions whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry's anti-federal government policies would make sense for the nation's schools. Perry has said he's considering a run for president.

States face major questions about the impact of expanding private school vouchers to middle-income families, according to scholars at an American Enterprise Institute forum.

More than a dozen states have introduced "parent trigger" laws this year, but only a few of them have made it into law or stand a chance of success during these legislative sessions.

Wisconsin's Supreme Court has upheld a new law law that restricts collective bargaining for teachers and many other public employees s districts brace for budget and labor challenges..

Minnesota's Democratic governor and Republicans in the legislature are locked in an impasse over the state's budget. The governor wants to close the gap by raising taxes on the top 2 percent of income earners; Republicans want to cut spending.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signs into law a measure that will change the way tenure is granted to teachers, and make it easier to remove ineffective educators from classrooms.

Several good stories have emerged over the past week, including stories that: examine the college-degree attainment of state lawmakers; profile a key political player behind Illinois' sweeping new law on teacher tenure and advancement; and South Carolina's schools chief holds firm in refusing to take part in Race to the Top.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that more than 200,000 local schools jobs have been cut since August of 2008.

Joe Morton, Alabama's state schools chief since 2004, announces that he will resign. Morton pushed for several statewide initiatives, including those aimed improving statewide graduation rates and students' reading skills.

Applicants to become Florida's next education commissioner include Virginia Secretary of Education Gerard Robinson and former New Jersey education commission Bret Schundler.

Gery Chico, who helped guide a major effort to bring financial and academic improvements to Chicago's schools, has been named as chair of the state's board of education.

A report issued by Education Resource Strategies offers recommendations on cost-saving measures for states, some of which are already being tried, while others, in special education and other areas, would require new state policy.

Michelle Rhee hires a top Democratic party official to work on her communications efforts. This leads to speculation that she's trying to repair relations with members of her party.

Republican governors who pushed for major changes in collective bargaining and teaching have seen their approval ratings slide. Scott Walker, John Kasich, and Rick Scott

Texas officials are looking at making $4 billion in cuts to education, less than is required to account for enrollment growth and other factors. Democrats have fought to block those cuts, forcing a special legislative session.

Stakeholders from a successful district-union partnership in Pittsburgh, Pa. discussed ways to manage negotiations without rancor at an Aspen Institute discussion today.

Idaho passed some the most sweeping changes to teachers' job protections and pay of any state in the country, and now opponents are organizing efforts to try to overturn those laws. Gov. C.L. Otter is vowing to fight to keep the laws in effect.

One of the most far-reaching options considered by school districts trying to save costs is the move to the four-day school week. But the savings from that option are often overstated, an analysis finds.


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