August 2012 Archives

Guest post by Gina Cairney When a parent drops off a child at a school or child-care facility, there's a reasonable expectation that he or she will be safe and cared for, especially in times of emergency. But a new report by the international child-advocacy group Save the Children raises concerns that many U.S. institutions entrusted to protect children are not fully prepared to do so. In its "National Report Card on Protecting Children During Disasters," the Westport, Conn.-based organization found that 33 states and the District of Columbia do not meet at least one of four disaster-preparedness ...


Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, has tapped a tea party activist and former federal education department official to be the next chief of the Texas Education Agency. Michael Williams, who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House in the 25th Congressional district GOP primary this year, will succeed Robert Scott, who stepped down after five years at the helm. Williams takes over at a time when Texas continues to rebuff the feds on most education issues. The state hasn't embraced the federally supported common core initiative, hasn't applied for any Race to the Top awards, and has so far ...


Although statewide levels of vaccination coverage are at or very near target levels, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said "locally low vaccination coverage for extremely transmissible diseases such as measles remains a threat to health."


From guest blogger Kimberly Shannon Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and will undergo surgery in September, according to the Associated Press. She is expected to have a full recovery, but will be working a limited schedule until her operation. After her surgery, her recovery is expected to take about two months, during which time Deputy Commissioner David V. Abbott will be serving in her place. The 45-year-old got a concussion while traveling in July, which is what revealed the tumor. The tumor is believed to be meningioma. This type of tumor is ...


The Pennsylvania secretary of education has appointed the chairman of a state-level partner of a national school choice advocacy group to lead the turnaround of a troubled district.


A Florida Department of Education investigation into FCAT test results from four elementary schools in 2011 found that teachers at one school altered students' answers.


Results for Virginia's Standards of Learning math tests showed pass-rate declines from last year across all grades, with the notable exception of 6th grade students.


New Jersey's education community is split on the question of Commissioner of Education Christopher Cerf ability to implement major policy changes through regulatory authority.


Two state consortia working on tests based on the Common Core State Standards have released sample items intended to test whether students can show a deep understanding of material.


In 2013, 13 states passed laws related to 3rd-grade reading proficiency, but there remains a diverse set of interventions and consequences for students struggling with literacy.


The Kentucky Board of Education approved the creation of a nonprofit organization to fund education innovation in the state on Aug. 9.


Missouri voters approved a "right to pray" ballot initiative in schools on Aug. 7, while there is also ballot news in Nevada and South Dakota.


Oregon Chief Education Officer Rudy Crew said he is dissatisfied with the goals set in school districts' "achievement compacts" with the state.


Wyoming lawmakers took another step in discontinuing an exam for high school juniors in favor of the ACT, despite a request from Washington that the state keep it in place.


The complaints claim that black students—who do not constitute a majority in any of the five counties—represent a disproportionate number of students who are suspended, expelled, placed in alternative settings, and arrested at school.


State budgets heading into fiscal 2013 appear stable for the most part but are still vulnerable, according to a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.


Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Stan Heffner announced Aug. 4 that he would step down from his position following a report from the state inspector general's office revealing misconduct by Heffner related to outside employment and the use of department resources.


A school advocacy group in New Jersey says the state has a below-the-radar plan to take over schools and eliminate union contracts, but officials deny the charges of secrecy.


An investigation by the Ohio inspector general's office has revealed misconduct by Superintendent of Public Instruction Stan W. Heffner related to a conflict of interest.


A report published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute based on a survey found that the public opposes laying off teachers based on seniority, but is skeptical of online learning.


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