June 9, 2010

Education Week, Vol. 29, Issue 33
Mary Helen Berlanga, a Democrat on the Texas school board, shows her frustration at the volume of amendments during a meeting last month.
Mary Helen Berlanga, a Democrat on the Texas school board, shows her frustration at the volume of amendments during a meeting last month.
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman/AP
School & District Management Standards Debate Puts Texas Board in Hot Seat
Some critics want the controversial social studies standards revisited, as well as to rein in the state school board’s authority.
Erik W. Robelen, June 7, 2010
10 min read
Education News in Brief Rights Advocate Dies
Phyllis P. McClure, a longtime advocate for disadvantaged and minority students, died May 17 in Washington.
Alyson Klein, June 7, 2010
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Former Editor Takes Reins at EWA
Caroline W. Hendrie, a veteran education journalist who most recently was the managing editor for Education Week's online operations, became the executive director of the National Education Writers Association on June 1. The Washington-based EWA is in the midst of a strategic overhaul with a goal of expanding its online resources for writers and increasing its advocacy for high-quality education news coverage. Ms. Hendrie succeeds Lisa Walker, who led the group for 24 years.
Stacy Morford, June 7, 2010
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Middle School Group Hires Chief
Drew Allbritten will take over as executive director of the National Middle School Association next month.
Stacy Morford, June 7, 2010
1 min read
Education Funding News in Brief 20 States Split $250 Million To Expand Data Systems
The awards seek to help states link data about students from their early-childhood years into their careers.
Michele McNeil, June 7, 2010
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Urban NAEP Reveals Small Reading Gains in 8th Grade
Eighth graders in large cities posted small gains in reading over the past two years, though urban 4th graders failed to show any improvement deemed statistically significant, according to new national test data.
June 7, 2010
1 min read
School Climate & Safety Buses Catch Bad Drivers on Camera
The Fort Madison school district, which already has cameras inside its buses to watch the students, is now putting cameras on the outside to catch drivers who illegally pass in this Iowa community.
The Associated Press, June 7, 2010
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Think Tank Analyst To Take N.J. State Post
Andy Smarick has been named New Jersey's deputy commissioner of education.
Michele McNeil, June 7, 2010
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief R.I. Board Backs Off Firings; Teachers Keep Their Jobs
The Central Falls, R.I., school board approved an agreement last week to let teachers at the city's troubled high school keep their jobs after all were fired.
The Associated Press, June 7, 2010
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief D.C. Teachers Ratify Contract With Pay for Performance
The contract also involved American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, who helped the local affiliate at the bargaining table.
Dakarai I. Aarons, June 7, 2010
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness NCAA Moves to Bench Two Virtual Schools
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has a message for would-be college athletes hoping to use online courses to bolster their high school transcripts: Proceed with caution.
The Associated Press, June 7, 2010
2 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Banks, Loans, Hurricane Fund To End Furloughs in Hawaii
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle ended the state's school furloughs last month, grabbing hold of a serendipitous deal that involves a $10 million loan from local banks and that forced no one to give ground.
The Associated Press, June 7, 2010
1 min read
Federal News in Brief U.S. House Passes Measure Targeting STEM Improvement
After some false starts amid partisan wrangling, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act.
June 7, 2010
1 min read
Education Best of the Blogs Blogs of the Week
June 7, 2010
3 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Report Charts Increase in High-Poverty Schools
The percentage of public schools where more than three-quarters of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch has increased in the past decade, according to a special report on high-poverty schools.
The Associated Press, June 7, 2010
1 min read
Melissa Gregory and her financial-aid staff at Maryland’s Montgomery College are feeling swamped as they make the transition to the direct-loan system, which must be fully operational by July 1.
Melissa Gregory and her financial-aid staff at Maryland’s Montgomery College are feeling swamped as they make the transition to the direct-loan system, which must be fully operational by July 1.
Andrew Councill for Education Week
Federal Students and Higher Education Prepare for Direct Lending
An overshadowed provision of the health-care overhaul, which takes effect July 1, will improve access to loans and Pell Grants.
Caralee J. Adams, June 7, 2010
8 min read
Education Report Roundup Dropout Recovery
Students who enrolled in a "quasi-military" residential program aimed at high school dropouts were more likely than other dropouts to later complete a high school diploma or a General Educational Development certificate, according to a study.
Dakarai I. Aarons, June 7, 2010
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Response to Intervention
High schools are organized in a way that makes implementing "response to intervention"—a three-tiered instructional approach used with struggling students—especially complex, a report says.
Dakarai I. Aarons, June 7, 2010
1 min read
Kenji Hakuta, a member of the common-standards validation committee, says the final version of the standards will help teachers stress academic-language development with English-learners. The new document addresses some, though not all, of the concerns of advocates for ELLs.
Kenji Hakuta, a member of the common-standards validation committee, says the final version of the standards will help teachers stress academic-language development with English-learners. The new document addresses some, though not all, of the concerns of advocates for ELLs.
Erin Lubin for Education Week
Federal Standards Organizers Leave English Proficiency to States
The two national groups leading the effort plan to leave it up to states to craft their own English-proficiency standards.
Mary Ann Zehr, June 7, 2010
6 min read
Leah Luke, Wisconsin’s teacher of the year, joins other supporters of the common standards at an event last week at Peachtree Ridge High School in Georgia.
Leah Luke, Wisconsin’s teacher of the year, joins other supporters of the common standards at an event last week at Peachtree Ridge High School in Georgia.
Vino Wong/Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Standards Final Version of Core Standards Assuages Some Concerns
The document outlines what experts decided are the knowledge and skills students should have in mathematics and English/language arts.
Catherine Gewertz, June 7, 2010
6 min read
Reading & Literacy Report Targets 3rd-Grade Reading as Crucial Turning Point
A foundation planning a literacy initiative says 85 percent of poor 4th graders in the lowest-income schools fail federal reading tests.
Debra Viadero, June 7, 2010
3 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Math and Science
About half of parents say their local schools are doing a good job of preparing students for college-level mathematics and science instruction, according to a survey released last week.
June 7, 2010
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Graduation Rates
The U.S. graduation rate for the class of 2008 was 75 percent, up from 74 percent for the class of 2007, says a new report by the National Center for Education Statistics.
Mary Ann Zehr, June 7, 2010
1 min read
States States' Fiscal Outlook Is Still Gloomy
A majority of states are considering cuts for K-12 schools and higher education.
Alyson Klein, June 7, 2010
3 min read
Equity & Diversity Mascot-Name Law On Books in Wis.
A recently passed Wisconsin measure creating a pathway for those looking to challenge school mascots that may be racially offensive isn’t perfect, but it’s a start.
Ian Quillen, June 7, 2010
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor American Education: All Talk, No Innovation?
To the Editor:
Maybe we’re all talk? So an English teacher (actually her school’s department head) from a country on the other side of the globe visits several suburban high schools in Ohio, schools that are considered among the higher-quality schools in the area. And she asks me after her visits, “Why am I being taught throughout my staff-development work back home that American schools engage students, utilize interactive lessons, and have reduced lecture-style teaching?” She said that during her two weeks in American high school classrooms, all she saw was teachers talking to students, lecturing them, and students sitting passively listening to teachers. I had no answer.
June 7, 2010
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor Corporate Tax Credits Defeated in Maryland
To the Editor:
Here’s an education story that national media somehow missed. Hours before adjourning in mid-April, the Maryland legislature narrowly stopped a bill that would have shrunk the state treasury by up to $37 million per year through a corporate-tax-credit scheme to aid faith-based private schools, similar to plans in Arizona and a few other states.
June 7, 2010
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor Texting in Photo, Not in the Car
To the Editor:
On Page 4 of your May 19, 2010, issue, I couldn’t help but notice a student in the center of a photograph showing high school seniors raising their cellphones as they pledge not to text while driving. Am I mistaken, or is he texting? We can only hope that his promise to “just say no” will come while he is behind the wheel.
June 7, 2010
1 min read