June 2012 Archives

On June 29, the U.S. Department of Education approved waivers from No Child Left Behind for Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah, and Virginia.

Texas business leaders are saying the state economy will suffer if critics of new high-stakes standardized tests get their way; Wyoming has started reviewing standards in social studies, science and other subjects; Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed a charter school expansion bill; and California passed a budget for next year that relies heavily on a proposed tax increase voters will decide on in November.

Iowa is asking for a "one-year freeze on accountability measures in the federal No Child Left Behind Act after the U.S. Department of Education turned down the state's request for a waiver from the federal law last week.

Arizona's secretary of state rejected a ballot initiative this week that would extend a sales tax increase and earmark much of the money for education, but a group supporting the tax hike said it would challenge that decision in court.

An analysis from the National Conference of State Legislatures found that 100 bills related to the Common Core State Standards were introduced in state legislatures in 2012, and 39 were passed into law.

New York lawmakers are studying a proposal from Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) that would allow parents to see performance ratings of their children's teachers, but would otherwise prevent the public from seeing names attached to school employees' performance ratings.

A second report on school funding effort and fairness from the Education Law Center in New Jersey shows that the pervasive problems in education finance in identified 2010 have largely remained unchanged based on data up to 2009.

Only one state this year heeded the call made by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address for states to raise their compulsory attendance age to 18. One reason may be that states are too preoccupied with significant education policy issues to focus attention on the compulsory age.

A spokesman for the New Mexico education department said he mistakenly used his personal email account to send information about teachers not covered by collective bargaining contracts to an official with GOP Gov. Susana Martinez's political campaign, but state Democrats are alleging dirty tricks.

Ohio lawmakers appear to have struck a deal on a package of education legislation pushed by Republican Gov. John Kasich that includes a deal on a school grading system crucial to the state's No Child Left Behind Act waiver granted by the U.S. Department of Education in May.

Council of Chief State School Officers Executive Director Gene Wilhoit announced June 13 that he will retire once the organization finds a replacement for him. Wilhoit had served as the CCSSO since November 2006.

A ballot referendum fight in Idaho features state superintendent Tom Luna and Gov. Butch Otter against the Idaho Education Association over the faate of new laws related to merit pay and collective bargaining rights.

Graduation rates for the 2007 cohort of New York State high school students rose slightly, the state department reported on June 11, but significant achievement gaps exist between minorities and whites, urban/suburban and low-need schools, and between schools in "large cities" and others.

On June 8, the Texas Education Agency released results from five new end-of course tests in algebra, biology, world history, reading, and writing.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said his department would welcome Vermont back to the negotiating table after the state dropped its NCLB waiver application; Kentucky's education commissioner Terry Holliday gets a new contract; and a Louisiana teachers' union files two lawsuits challenging Gov. Bobby Jindal's new education overhaul.

In a statement after his victory in the recall election June 5, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he was looking forward to addressing "education reform" at a cabinent meeting he hoped to convene the next day.

Oregon superintendent of schools Susan Castillo announced Monday June 4 that she would resign from her position at the end of the month, about a week after the state's governor appointed Rudy Crew as Oregon's new "chief education officer."

Polling in advance of the June 5 Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election reveals that residents tend to view public-employee unions unfavorably, but also believe that new limitations on collective bargaining in the state have "decreased jobs."

The Florida education department rolled out a series of responses to the FCAT scoring controversy last month, including a new parent "call center" and public forums with education commissioner Gerard Robinson. An education advocacy group overseen by former Gov. Jeb Bush also offered the help of a PR firm linked to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) vetoed a bill that would have provided a salary increase to teachers with national board certification, and blasted the state teachers' union for endorsing gay marriage instead of spending more time on professional development.


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