Win an Anniversary Prize!
School Choice Weekly #51
No, this isn’t a missive from Nigerian scam artist. Next week is School Choice Weekly’s first anniversary, and to celebrate, we’re handing out prizes for readers who forward this email to five friends you think would be interested in a weekly education news roundup from a pro-liberty perspective.
The prizes: A pair of tickets to Heartland’s 30th anniversary benefit dinner on September 12, 2014, featuring columnist Michelle Malkin; and two copies of the new book, Rewards: How to Use Rewards to Help Children Learn (And Why Teachers Don’t Use Them Well), by Joseph Bast and Herbert Walberg.
How to enter? We’re running the competition on the honor system. Forward this email to five friends. They can subscribe, completely free, by entering their email address and checking the “School Choice Weekly” box at this link. After you forward, register that you’ve done so by commenting on this blog post. Just leave a comment. It can say anything (okay, keep it G-rated), but make sure to include your email address in the commenter box, or we cannot contact you if you win.
In two weeks, SCW will use a random number generator to pick three numbers, randomly, among the number of comments on the post. The three winning numbers will be matched to their corresponding comment numbers, and SCW will email the winners to get their mailing addresses for prize shipping.
Wait! It gets better. If you post the subscribe link, with an explanatory message, on your Facebook profile, you may post two comments on the entry page, for two chances to win. Sample Facebook message: “Interested in liberty-loving education news, and having someone else sift and deliver it to your email each week, free? Join me in subscribing to School Choice Weekly.”
Okay, sales pitch out! Enjoy the rest of your weekly education news roundup.
IN THIS ISSUE:
- NORTH CAROLINA: A judge has ruled the state’s new voucher program unconstitutional because private schools are largely unregulated and may provide a poor education. The 2,400 students enrolled in the program may use it for the fall semester, and pro-voucher allies will seek a legal injunction allowing the program to continue past that as the decision is appealed.
- CALIFORNIA: A parent activist group says it will sue Los Angeles schools if they attempt to duck the state’s Parent Trigger law. The law lets a majority of parents require reforms at their children’s school if it has been underperforming for years. The author of the original Parent Trigger bill has just started a foundation to let parents know one of their options under the law is transferring their kids from a persistently poor-performing public school to a higher-performing one nearby.
- PENNSYLVANIA: No, school choice didn’t exacerbate Philadelphia schools’ financial crisis. But federal funding did.
- CALIFORNIA: In the past five school years, the number of California charter schools performing in the state’s bottom 10 percent has decreased by one-third, while the number in the top 25 percent has increased by one-twentieth. Also in that period, California charter enrollment has increased by 60 percent, finds a new report.
- TENNESSEE: A report finds vouchers mean more money for public schools, because private schools that accept them charge less than what public schools spend to educate the same child. Typically, school choice opponents insist vouchers take money from public schools.
- LOUISIANA: Gov. Bobby Jindal announces the nation’s first lawsuit against the federal government for violating three laws forbidding it from meddling with curriculum by requiring states to adopt Common Core for legal waivers and grants.
- CURRICULUM CONTROL: Despite Common Core proponents’ insistence that the curriculum mandates don’t mandate curriculum, a CEO for one of the two national Common Core testing groups recently said: “The PARCC states see quality assessments as a part of instruction, not a break from instruction.”
- ARIZONA: In Tuesday’s primary, anti-Common Core Republican Diane Douglas beat sitting state Superintendent John Huppenthal, a Common Core supporter who tried desperately to pretend he hadn’t been one until the election. Douglas will face a Democrat in the general election this November.
- KENTUCKY: The state superintendent has called for a public review of Common Core, demanding people give specific examples of what’s wrong with the curriculum mandates to end the complaints. Kentucky state Superintendent Terry Holliday has been one of Common Core’s most ardent champions.
- RESEARCH: Four years into Common Core, there’s still essentially no research demonstrating it is at all likely to benefit kids, according to a new compendium.
- ANTI-AMERICAN HISTORY: Just tuning in to the changes to U.S. history curriculum and tests half a million of America’s brightest students take? Here’s a summary of what’s happened and where the situation stands. And here’s an in-depth exposé of the leftist philosophy and agenda of those behind the changes. In other news, the College Board (now headed by Common Core architect David Coleman) canceled a meeting with the critics who started this conflagration, although Coleman is holding a private conference call Thursday to defend and explain the changes to homeschoolers invited by the Home School Legal Defense Association.
- DELAWARE: Zero percent of teachers received an “ineffective” rating this year, and only 1 percent were rated “needs improvement” on a new, test-tied teacher evaluation system. Essentially the same has happened in every state putting out similar results on the Obama administration-required teacher evaluation systems, which occupy principals, teachers, union negotiators, state department of education staff, and school support staff.
- QUEBEC: An intensive review of a major shift in math instruction finds “fuzzy math” techniques similar to those pushed by the education establishment and Common Core (but we repeat ourselves) unequivocally lead to a decline in student achievement.
- TEACHER CAMS: Should teachers and police officers be required to wear a camera that constantly records their every move?
- KANSAS: A school district tells locals and the feds that they’ve stopped releasing kids’ private information about family finances. But a local paper finds out they haven’t, thanks to a glitch in PowerSchool, an application used by thousands of schools and even entire states to manage student information.
- FLORIDA: Homeschooling enrollment in the state is growing faster than public school enrollment. Five percent of Florida’s homeschool students live in Miami-Dade County.
- ARIZONA: How state lawmakers can pump into schools the extra $317 million a judge has recently ordered, without resorting to tax hikes.
- MICHIGAN: Detroit schools’ staff could take a 10 percent pay cut as enrollments decline and deficits climb. The district, which is still in emergency management, plans to close 24 schools next year.
- MISSISSIPPI: The state’s back-to-school tax holiday is mostly a gimmick that doesn’t save taxpayers much. And the items eligible for no sales taxes for three days seem nonsensical. For instance, swimsuits are eligible. Goggles aren’t. Football jerseys are. Pads and cleats aren’t.
Thank you for reading! If you need a quicker fix of news about school choice, you can find daily updates online under the Ed News Roundup at http://news.heartland.org/education.
And don’t forget to forward this email to five friends, then leave a comment on the blog to be entered for our anniversary prize drawing!