Ed Today: School Safety Addressed At House Education Committee Hearing; Arne Duncan's Sequestration Hype
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.
Ed Today: 'House Of Cards' Goes Where No Congress Has Gone In Recent Years; SOTU And Early Education
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!
Vouchers To Grow In Ohio? In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich's (R) budget plan would reduce funding gaps between wealthy and poor public school districts and also create a new voucher program, reports the Columbus Dispatch. The new vouchers would give about $4,250 a year toward private-school tuition to any kindergartener whose family is making less than 200 percent of the poverty line. The next year, Kasich would expand the program to include first graders. While an existing scholarship plan currently does something similar for 15,702 students, a full 1.8 million students would qualify for the new plan's income requirements The budget plan includes a 6 percent overall school funding increase the following year, and then 3.2 percent more the next year.
Ed Reform In Nevada? Gov. Brian Sandoval is putting the final touches on his Wednesday State of the State speech, and according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, education will factor high. Merit pay -- a plan in which teachers are paid partially in accordance with their students' test scores -- is looking good to him. "There is money in the budget to ensure we have a fair system by which we're going to measure the performance of teachers," Sandoval said. "Education will be a big priority for me, and you're going to hear a lot about it in the State of the State. K-12 as well as higher ed." (It should be noted that merit pay hasn't been found to work most anywhere -- except in special cases).
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