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.
Michelle Rhee Sets Up Shop In SC StudentsFirst, the former D.C. chancellor's national lobbying group, is branching out into South Carolina, reports the Post and Courier. The paper notes that SC received a "D" grade on SF's recent policy report card -- not exactly stellar. On the group's SC agenda: turnarounds, teacher evaluations, charter school accountability, and the parent trigger.
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.
House Education Panel On School Safety On Wednesday, members of the House Education & Workforce Committee mulled over ways to keep schools safe in light of the horrific Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting, reports Politics K-12. Witnesses told the committee that "school resource officers, additional guidance counselors, and professional development for educators can help schools head off tragedies," the blog reports. But there was next to no conversation about gun control. Hmmm.
As of last month, 86 percent of Texas school boards representing 91 percent of the state's 5 million public school students had adopted resolutions opposing high-stakes testing.
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!
Happy Waiver Day! Today, the Senate's Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the No Child Left Behind waivers, featuring none other than U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the big cheese himself. Catch our preview here.
Today In School Closures... Detroit is slated to close even more schools, reports CBS. Enrollment in the Motor City has dwindled from 150,000 to a projected 40,000. "A deficit elimination plan obtained by The Detroit News says the district will close 28 schools [by 2016]," CBS reports. "The closures are expected to save DPS about $13.4 million in operating expenses, but hundreds of district employees will be out of a job." The Free Press has a letter from emergency manager Roy Roberts to the district's employees: DPS has "accelerated the time line for its return to complete fiscal stability," he wrote. But Roberts hasn't said which schools will be shuttered.
It's back to school for Congress. Today, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, held his first organizational meeting with the 113th Congress's iteration of his committee. In his opening remarks, Kline said reauthorizing No Child Left Behind will remain a "top priority." NCLB, the sweeping law that governs public K-12 education, expired in 2007.