John Legend, Saving Your Schools? Musician John Legend appeared at USC last night to promote his education reform agenda, according to the Daily Trojan. "If we think demography is destiny, we will allow our school system to confirm that belief," Legend said, echoing basically the entire reform movement. He serves on the board education advocacy group Stand for Children.
Waiver Withdrawal? North Dakota is withdrawing the application it wrote to the Obama administration get out of the strictures of the No Child Left Behind Act, reports the Bismark Tribune. North Dakota was one of the late waiver applicants. I remember calling the state to find out their status over the summer, and Wayne Sanstead, who was state superintendent at the time, told me he was readying an application but looking forward to his retirement. Now, Kirsten Baesler, Sanstead's replacement, is withdrawing it. As of last week, the U.S. Education Department hadn't approved the request. "The further we progressed through the waiver process, the more we felt we were being asked to adopt another national, one-size-fits-all model of education," Baesler said, according to the Trib. Unclear what this means for the Obama administration.
Jindal's Reforms Overruled Yesterday, a Republican Baton Rouge judge struck down Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's 2012 education reform law, as we report. It marks the second judicial blow to Jindal's education agenda, following the overrule of his school voucher program a few months ago.
Sequester Effects? As U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan walks back his words on teachers pink slipped by sequester-related layoffs in a West Virginia county, school districts heavily dependent on the federal government -- which means school districts that either serve military or Native American kids -- are already dealing with cuts. The sequester follows years of cuts to state education budgets. As one superintendent told me, "There is never any fluff after you've already cut $15 million."