June 17, 2009

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Vol. 28, Issue 35
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The math and reading associations that thousands of teachers belong to worry they are being ignored in the setting of national standards.
Governors and school districts face the challenge of absorbing billions of dollars while satisfying the U.S. Department of Education’s requirements for that funding.
The president and secretary of education are giving a big push to the independent public schools by urging that states lift caps limiting charters.
Despite evidence that women have achieved parity on math and science achievement tests, men still outnumber women at the top levels of most of those fields.
News in Brief
Report Roundup
The report shows about half of 8th graders attended schools that offered classes—the same as in 1997 when the assessment was last given.
A new federal practice guide for educators lays out recommendations for making the RTI approach work in math as well as reading.
Schools urged to develop policies and programs to curb students’ use of cellphones to share nude or sexually provocative photos.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg exempts Teach For America recruits from getting pink slips, while letting go more-senior teachers.
Facilities
A new study uses a common metric to give letter grades that allow for the comparison of student math achievement across nations.
Policy Brief
Though they have tried to protect early-childhood programs, states may be running out of options as they look for places to cut.
The proposal would scrap a long-standing program that subsidizes private lenders to make federal student loans.
The measure calls for a fivefold increase in funding for grades 4-12 and an emphasis on writing along with reading.
Added accountability is the legislation’s aim, though voucher supporters fear it is a back-door assault on the program.
Capitol Recap
The pilot project includes a menu of options for students who have struggled in traditional settings.
"Common sense seems to dictate that if you want results on an urgent problem, you should be hard-nosed about it. The trouble is that this does not motivate people to bring about whole-system change," write Michael Fullan and Ben Levin.
"In her own backyard, Rhee is making policy decisions that are explicitly designed to make adults look good, even as many children are left behind," writes Jennifer L. Jennings.
Letters
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan writes, "If we don’t take aggressive action to fix the problems of low-performing schools, we are putting the children in them on track for failure."
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