The role of state legislators, in a time when outside advocacy groups, think tanks and others have high profiles in education policy debates and decisions, could be in an interesting transition period.

Over 95 percent of school districts had their budget proposals approved by voters in New York State in the first year of a new law capping property tax increases. Districts that proposed going above those caps to pay for their budgets succeeded at only a 60-percent rate.

The New Hampshire Senate was scheduled to consider a bill May 16 that would block schools from using the International Baccalaureate course of study, which detractors say promotes a distasteful international ideology.

Tougher scoring guidelines on Florida's state reading test resulted in a significant drop in the percentage of passing students this year, prompting a change in the "cut score" by the state school board that means schools' grades won't be hurt this year by the lower score.

In the wake of news that California's budget deficit has grown to $15.7 billion, $6.5 billion more than a January estimate, California education groups are now worried that a proposed take hike in November to fund schools won't be enough to staunch deep cuts.

For those of you who haven't seen it yet, please go read "The Changing Face of Education Advocacy" by my colleagues Stephen Sawchuk and former State EdWatch maestro Sean Cavanagh. They both put a huge amount of work into the articles, which are running in two parts, this week and next week. One of the articles focuses on the state-level influence of these advocacy groups, but every article in the series should be read to give you a complete picture of what's going on....

The American Legislative Exchange Council's board of directors asked its Education Task Force to revise language in a resolution opposing the Common Core State Standards at its May 11 meeting in Charlotte, after which the resolution will be reconsidered by the board.

Charter school proposals in Alabama and Mississippi have gone down to defeat, with the foes ranging from Republican suburbanites in one state to a state teachers' union in another.

A May 11 vote by the American Legislative Exchange Council on a resolution opposing the Common Core State Standards is drawing attention from both foes and champions of the standards.

The Albuquerque Teachers Federation voted "no confidence" in New Mexico Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera due to her planned teacher evaluation system and decision to lay off education employees.


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