THE BLOG
02/12/2013 08:43 am ET Updated Apr 14, 2013

'House Of Cards' Goes Where No Congress Has Gone In Recent Years; SOTU And Early Education: Ed Today

Netflix Reauthorizes No Child Left Behind? Or so quips this EdWeek headline. Real-life Congress hasn't yet reauthorized NCLB (since 2007!), but characters on the Netflix series "House of Cards" do. "[Writer Beau] Willimon noted on Twitter that he hinged the plot on education because it affects us all directly and indirectly, and because of the contention that often revolves around education reform," EdWeek writes. Read the full story for a taste of which education fights the show covers. My take: Obviously TV isn't reality, but there are a few major inaccuracies. The most glaring one in my eyes is that teachers unions can't legally hold a national strike over some federal legislation they dislike!

Pre-K Push In The State Of The Union? While the State of the Union is a very fluid speech until the president delivers it, and it's impossible to know what, exactly, will be in it until then, we're hearing that tonight's version will be heavy on the early education content, as we reported earlier this morning. And now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that GOP official responder Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) plans to counter the speech with his own school funding plan.

Rahm-Level Problems In France? In France, teachers and parents are protesting the lengthening of an already long school day, according to the New York Times. President Francois Hollande announced a decree that would create a half-day of school on Wednesday for the first time, while reducing 45 minutes from every other (long) school day. And the unions are not happy! "The difficulties facing our students and our schools need pedagogical responses," Sébastien Sihr, general secretary of France's national union of primary schoolteachers, told the Times. "We have to put an end to this magical thinking that just stretching the school week over four and a half days will improve students' performance."

Idaho School Reform? Idaho's state senate education committee advanced a plan that would give school boards more authority over things like teacher pay, reports the Associated Press. "The bills, being pushed by the Idaho School Boards Association, would change the nature of negotiations that occur each year on so-called master contracts -- the broad agreements that cover salaries and benefits, as well as issues such as length of school year and teacher duties outside the classroom," the AP reports.

Wyoming School Accountability? Now that the Wyoming state legislature has stripped Tea Partier Cindy Hill of her powers as states schools chief, lawmakers say they can continue with the state's plans to bring more accountability to its schools, lawmakers say. "House Bill 91 restarts certain education reform functions and removes a piece of current law that threatened districts with the loss of state funding if underperforming schools are not making improvement," reports the AP. "The proposed measure also removes a requirement that high school seniors take a college placement test, leaving no way to measure the performance of seniors."

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