North Carolina Bill Targets Teachers A top North Carolina lawmaker has introduced several education reform measures du jour -- including one that would end tenure -- reports the News & Observer. "Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger on Tuesday unveiled what he called the second round of education reforms aimed at holding schools and teachers more accountable for students' progress - including ending tenure and grading entire schools," the N & O reports. Last year, he introduced the same bill. But this time around, Republicans hold a veto-proof majority, so one never knows.
Where Can Kids Go If Their Schools Are 'Failing'? In New Orleans, they don't have many options, the Lens. Under No Child Left Behind, districts are required to allow students in schools rated as failing to other, better local schools. As long as there's room. But in places like New Orleans, there are rarely any choices. The Lens found that New Orleans underestimated the number of schools that are failing.
"If every student in a failing school wanted to transfer," Gabriela Fighetti, the New OrleansRecovery School District's executive director of enrollment conceded to the Lens, "we would not be able to guarantee them a slot."
A really interesting story. Especially in light of the school closure discussions that are taking place in cities across the country. If you close a child's school, can you be sure that child has better options?
Maryland Reform Delay? Teachers Unions and Montgomery County Public Schools are trying to delay the implementation of new teacher evaluations, reports the Washington Post. "Supporters of Senate Bill 775 want to keep the Maryland State Board of Education from forcing local school systems to include standardized tests in their teacher evaluation criteria until those exams are aligned with new education standards currently being rolled out in classrooms," the Post reports. But a legislative analysis found that the bill could cost the state $37.9 million in federal cash.
Pennsylvania Testing Loophole? According to the Morning Call, Pennsylvania's imminent Common Core related state standardized tests, the Keystone Exams, have a major loophole. Students are supposed to be required to pass the tests to get a diploma. But, columnist Paul Carpenter writes, "What if students are too stupid, too lazy or too preoccupied with thuggery to pass the Keystone Exams, which apply to uncool academic subjects like English, science, math and social studies? What if they repeatedly and hopelessly flunk every time?... Unfortunately, the new standards allow students who do not pass the Keystones to get diplomas based on "validated local assessment," which means a local school district can dish out diplomas to students just to get rid of them, as is done now." Basically, Pennsylvania still allows students to get local diplomas -- meaning kids don't necessarily have to be "career and college ready" in accordance with the new standards to earn them.
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