Daily School Reform News Roundup, June 25 to 29

Daily School Reform News Roundup, June 25 to 29
June 29, 2012

Joy Pullmann

Joy Pullmann (jpullmann@heartland.org) is a research fellow of The Heartland Institute and managing... (read full bio)

Rick Hess discusses the education policy implications of yesterday's Supreme Court healthcare ruling. It is likely to squeeze state education budgets further, but possibly reduce federal coercion over state policies, he says.

The Wall Street Journal hosts a debate on whether the U.S. should have national education standards.

Are Pennsylvania school districts hoarding cash while asking for tax increases?

States are falling trillions further behind on pension contributions for state workers (including teachers), and taxpayers will be required to make up the shortfall.

A controversy in North Carolina over whether the state should allow a virtual charter school really centers on who should control children: parents, or the education establishment, writes Jeff Kwitowski.

Louisiana's new education policies mean an explosion in the kinds of classes soon available to students.

Because of the Common Core, nearly all states will soon conduct standardized tests online in three years. 

From Thursday:

New Hampshire legislators overrode several of the governor's vetoes, including on a statewide school choice measure. Video here.

A Pennsylvania mom may give up custody over her daughter so the child can go to a better school if the state doesn't pass a school choice expansion.

Not just New York parents but everyone should be allowed to see public school teachers' evaluations, says Peter Meyer. The  legislature is likely to pass legislation restricting this possibility.

On the 20-year anniversary of the Supreme Court upholding school vouchers, Patrick Wolf remembers viewing the oral arguments.

Great schools will have fewer special-needs students, explains John Chubb, which is why a GAO report condemning charters for just that means little.

Watch Charles Murray discuss the state of U.S. education.

From Wednesday:

Washington DC really spends about $29,000 per pupil, three times what the local voucher program spends for much better results.

Teach for America alums, who enter the profession outside traditional structures, are beginning to influence politics.

Five thousand Indiana kids have currently signed up for a voucher this fall.

"The American dream of equality of opportunity will not be nearly fulfilled unless those less advantaged are given more power over where their children go to school," writes Jeb Bush in support of New Hampshire's tax credit scholarships bill.

Education Next profiles Jeb Bush, his influence on education reform, and advice to reformers.

The teachers union in Nevada's largest school district is insisting on pay raises at the expense of more than a thousand teacher jobs.

After a competitive bidding process turned up no options for the Idaho superintendent's plan to give every teacher a laptop, the department is looking for other options.

After campus protests and a statewide uproar, University of Virginia board members reinstated the university's president, Teresa Sullivan.

From Tuesday:

Louisiana’s top school board has approved rules that, for the first time, will allow parents to petition the state to take over failing public schools.

The first draft of national science standards is weak, focusing on process rather than actual content, say Fordham Institute analysts.

New Jersey's legislature has sent a tenure limits bill to Gov. Chris Christie's desk.

Pennsylvania Republicans still can't manage a vote on expanding the state's tax credit scholarships. The legislature is also considering two very different charter school bills in its last week in session.

Idaho's November referenda are a sequel to the Wisconsin and Ohio teachers union fights, writes Bill McGurn.

Despite budget cuts and cries of overindebtedness, states awarded 2.5 percent more in student aid in 2010-11 than in the previous year.

A Connecticut council agreed on guidelines for new teacher and principal evaluations, which will tie a teacher's rating to students' standardized test scores and four other measures.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed the state's third-grade "reading guarantee."

Test-maker Pearson blundered in its trials of new questions for New York students, says Fred Smith.

From Monday:

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 last week that labor unions cannot use dues for political purposes without allowing members to opt of those contributions.

The recession has meant that local schools are getting less money from states and more from local districts and the federal government.

New York's legislature moves to keep teacher evaluations private from the general public, but open to parents of their students. The Times-Union explains why its editorial board agrees with the legislation.

Was it political courage or suicide that led U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to deny Iowa's request for a No Child Left Behind waiver?

Twenty-one of Idaho's 130 school districts have dropped union contract negotiations in favor of offering teachers individual contracts.

Why we should bring back tracking high school kids into an education that fits each  individually.

New Jersey's tenure legislation is not perfect but still a huge win for the state, editorializes the Star-Ledger.

This wrapup discusses the policy implications of online and blended learning.

Louisiana unions have started lawsuits against the state's new education laws, which so far have 2,000 students applying for vouchers.

How independent public schools are likely to positively disrupt the public education system, from Chester Finn Jr.

For last week's School Reform News roundup, click here.

For other top-notch school reform news selections, visit: 

Image by Mo Riza.

Joy Pullmann

Joy Pullmann (jpullmann@heartland.org) is a research fellow of The Heartland Institute and managing... (read full bio)