THE BLOG
01/16/2013 09:03 am ET Updated Mar 18, 2013

Texas Zeroes Out Standardized Testing, Can Tablets Replace Textbooks? Ed Today

Less Texas Testing? As Texas prepares its budget, lawmakers in the Lone Star State are trying to make a statement on standardized testing. Currently, KUT News notes, testing is "zeroed out" in the House budget. That means it's still in there, just followed by a bunch of zeroes. "We want to start the conversation on testing," House Budget writer and Republican state representative Jim Pitts told KUT. "And we're gonna have a lot of hearings between now and the end of the session on education and some things that we're going to do in education.  And we sure want testing to be one of the number one things. And that's why we did it." We are grateful to KUT for asking, since we were wondering ourselves: yes, says Texas Education Agency spokesperson Dabbie Ratcliffe, this is probably the first time in Texas history such a tactic has been used to discuss testing.

Movement On NYC Evaluations? While the public loves a good fight, it seems the dynamic some negotiators are painting of the talks over New York's teacher evaluations are more boisterous than reality. "State education officials said the city Department of Education and the UFT had been laying the groundwork for a successful submission before the end of the day on Thursday, the deadline for districts to adopt new evaluations or lose state funding," reports GothamSchools.

Not Quite A Parent Trigger? In Vermont, parents in North Bennington are trying to privatize a public school. But it's not exactly the type of privatization most people fear in public education. These parents are happy with the school. "Instead, their move was launched, in part, to ward off a state push for consolidation that the group fears could have led to the North Bennington, Vt., school being merged with another," the Wall Street Journal's Stephanie Banchero notes.

Can Tablets Replace Textbooks? Round 39... Yesterday, New York City's City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called for using the $100 million the city spends on textbooks to purchase tablets instead, reports Erin Durkin at the New York Daily News. Experts, of course, have mixed opinions. Former deputy chancellor Eric Nadlestern told her textbooks can't be fully replaced by tablets, but Chris Whittle, a local private school founder, is of another mind.

People: Adieu Eugene White? Eugene White, the superintendent of Indianapolis's public schools, will be retiring on April 5, reports the News-Sentinel. White had some issues with management. "White's standing with the IPS board took a hit with the recent retirement of two longtime backers and the November election defeat of a third. The new board members took office last week," the N-S wrote. But he also sparred with one of those backers: White and former state Commissioner Tony Bennet fought over the state takeover of a handful of Indianapolis schools, we reported awhile back.

**Extra Credit**:
Speaking of Indiana -- the Hoosier State will be having a hearing today on whether it should secede from the Common Core. Stay tuned.