State passing rates on AYP (the percentage of schools that meet state testing requirements and thus federal ones) varies widely, as you can see from the great chart to the right (courtesy of But, of course, this doesn't mean that the students in high percentage states are smarter than the rest, or that their schools are better. It probably just means that their tests are easier, or that the cutoff score is lower. Some states like North Carolina have low AYP pass rates AND their state test cutoffs seem low, according to Pauline Vu's Stateline story. In NC, ...

There's lots of good stuff as usual in the PEN NewsBlast (NewsBlast)t, though I wish they'd understand how hard it is to read anything after Happy Hour has started. The cutoff is Thursdays at 4 -- how many times do I have to tell them? Some of the standouts this week include a Local Education Fund handbook, and a peek into the secret world of grantmaking....

Whatever you may think of the Bush health care proposal being rolled out this week, it's hard not to notice how much bigger and bolder it is than pretty much anyone's education proposals, whether they be to fix NCLB or to develop national standards. To get something that big and transformative in education, you'd have to look at a nationwide universal preschool program, the elimination of local school districts (or teachers unions), or a Constitutional amendment giving everyone the right to an adequate education. But so far as I know, no one powerful is talking about these things right now. ...

Over the AFTBlog they're chomping at the bit about the possibility that the "other" Representative Miller -- Brad, from NC -- might subpoena folks in the USDE as part of his newly-formed science oversight subcommittee (A Congressman Drops the S-Bomb). Don't forget that the "real" Congressman Miller (George, CA) hired a chief investigator to do much the same thing last month -- at the full committee level (Miller Ramps Up For Oversight & Investigations)....

Inner-City Teacher Inspires Students To Stab Him "Before Mr. Fitzsimmons came along, nobody had been dedicated and hardworking enough to show us that we had the power to make a difference," said student and stabbing participant Gabriel Salazar. (From The Onion) UPDATE: School bans talking at lunch after choking incidents CNN A Roman Catholic elementary school adopted new lunchroom rules this week requiring students to remain silent while eating. The move comes after three recent choking incidents in the cafeteria....


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