Thanks to an eagle-eyed reader for sending me this Houston Chronicle story about a Houston school district cafeteria worker who, after much discussion, gets to keep a pan on which, yes, an image of the Virgin Mary might be seen. UPDATE: Forty-five minutes later (not bad, actually), Eduwonk catches up....

There's lots of good stuff in Elizabeth Weiss Green's US News story on national standards -- including about the grassroots version of national tests that might be bubbling up from the states via Achieve. Check it out towards the end of the article here. What's a national policymaker to do, then? Well, to get us out of the this stalled go/no debate on national standards that we've been in for a few months now, some enterprising member of Congress might propose new funds to help states implement these state-developed "national" standards, and encouraging more states to follow. At the ...

I wouldn't have heard about this series of reports from NACSA's if I wasn't talking to a Chicago friend, but it surprises me that the report hasn't gotten more attention, given the timeliness of its topic -- how to restructure low-performing public schools. In essence, Starting Fresh is a how-to manual for districts outside Chicago that may want to close low performing neighborhood schools and open new charters -- based on Chicago's experience both with charters and with Ren10, Chicago's controversial school closing- and opening initiative. Agree or disagree, it's a series worth looking at, as is Chicago's experience closing ...

Back in the day, there used to be a thing called a "side by side" that would compare the key provisions of different versions of legislation category by category or even sometimes provision by provision. Maybe it's still done. In the meantime, David DeSchryver from Brustein & Manasevit has done somewhat the same thing based on seven NCLB reauthorization reports (USDE, Commission, Chiefs, NEA, AFT, NASBE, NCSL. Common if not unanimous areas of interest and direction include: a focus on standards and cross-state comparisons, calls for more flexibility in accountability models, improved assessment quality, a better menu of sanctions and corrective ...

Virginia Backs Down in Testing Showdown Learning The Language Charles Pyle, the director of communications for the Virginia Department of Education, told me that Virginia has decided to "move on" ... Teacher Sends Text Messages Meant For Drug Dealer To State Trooper Huffington Post A middle school teacher trying to buy pot was arrested after she sent text messages to state trooper instead of a dealer, police said. Democrats Pledge: No Vouchers in NCLB Heartland Institute Matthew Ladner, vice president of research at the Goldwater Institute, a free-market organization in Phoenix, said differing statements from leading Democrats such as Kennedy and ...


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