June 8, 2011

Education Week, Vol. 30, Issue 33
Education News in Brief Corrections
The introduction to the “Graduation in the United States” table in Education Week’s Diplomas Count 2011 report (June 9, 2011) incorrectly identifies the graduation rates for two groups since the late 1990s. The rates have risen by 8 percentage points for black students and by 6 percentage points for white students.
June 7, 2011
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness News in Brief Mogul Pays Bright Minds Not to Go to College
The two dozen winners of technology tycoon Peter Thiel’s $100,000, “20 under 20” scholarships won’t be using that money at Princeton University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Mr. Thiel is paying them to not go to college and instead chase their entrepreneurial dreams for the next two years.
The Associated Press, June 7, 2011
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Jack Jennings Named to National Academy of Education
Jack Jennings, the president and chief executive officer of the Center on Education Policy, a Washington-based think tank, has been tapped to join the National Academy of Education, one of the National Academies.
Sarah D. Sparks, June 7, 2011
1 min read
Education News in Brief Teacher Academies Lose Out to Budget
Pittsburgh school district officials have scrapped plans for two teacher-training academies, saying they weren't able to reach an agreement with the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers to retain the teachers once layoffs become necessary. Under the terms of the teachers contract, staff reductions are based on seniority; the academies are for new teachers. The district faces a $68 million budget deficit in 2012.
McClatchy-Tribune, June 7, 2011
1 min read
Standards News in Brief States Building Teacher Resource for Standards
Five states that have adopted the common-core state standards are working to build an open-source, online platform that would help teachers access, download, and create resources tied to the standards.
Stephen Sawchuk, June 7, 2011
1 min read
Law & Courts News in Brief Idaho School Law Foes Leap Referendum Hurdle
Organizers of a campaign to repeal three education bills that passed the Idaho legislature this year say they have gathered more than 48,000 signatures, which, if verified, would be enough to put their three repeal measures on the November 2012 ballot.
The Associated Press, June 7, 2011
1 min read
John E. Deasy, head of the Los Angeles Unified School District, speaks to the media while students line up for a security check upon their arrival at Gardena High School in Gardena, Calif., earlier this year. Deasy is a graduate of the prestigious Broad Superintendents Academy, which has drawn sharp criticism from some observers who see it as a destructive force in schools and districts.
John E. Deasy, head of the Los Angeles Unified School District, speaks to the media while students line up for a security check upon their arrival at Gardena High School in Gardena, Calif., earlier this year. Deasy is a graduate of the prestigious Broad Superintendents Academy, which has drawn sharp criticism from some observers who see it as a destructive force in schools and districts.
Nick Ut/AP-File
School & District Management Critics Target Growing Army of Broad Leaders
As the number of influential school leaders trained by the Broad Superintendents Academy grows, so does the criticism surrounding the program.
Christina A. Samuels, June 7, 2011
16 min read
Teaching Profession News in Brief L.A. Teacher-Evaluations Complaint Dismissed
Los Angeles public schools can proceed with a new teacher-evaluation system—including using students standardized-test scores as one measure of teacher effectiveness—after state officials rejected a union effort to block the plan.
The Associated Press, June 7, 2011
1 min read
Joplin High School sophomore Landan Taylor makes his way across the wreckage of the school's theater in Joplin, Mo. At least 134 people were killed and hundreds more were injured last month when a tornado cut a path of destruction through the city. Classes at all Joplin schools were canceled for the rest of the school year as officials reassessed the district's plans for the future.
Joplin High School sophomore Landan Taylor makes his way across the wreckage of the school's theater in Joplin, Mo. At least 134 people were killed and hundreds more were injured last month when a tornado cut a path of destruction through the city. Classes at all Joplin schools were canceled for the rest of the school year as officials reassessed the district's plans for the future.
Mark Schiefelbein/AP
Education News in Brief Joplin Prepares to Rebuild After Deadly Tornado
The Joplin school district will be ready for classes to resume in August, despite the destruction of three schools and severe damage to six others by a massive tornado that plowed through the heart of the southwest Missouri city.
The Associated Press, June 7, 2011
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness News in Brief Gainful-Employment Rules for Colleges Released
The U.S. Department of Education released its final "gainful employment" regulations for for-profit colleges last week, setting performance standards for those colleges that wish to access federal student aid.
Caralee J. Adams, June 7, 2011
1 min read
Education Funding News in Brief IRS Opens In-Depth Audit Into Philadelphia District
The Internal Revenue Service has launched an in-depth audit of the Philadelphia school district's financial practices, personnel policies, and payments to contractors.
McClatchy-Tribune, June 7, 2011
1 min read
Teaching Profession News in Brief Eight 'Chiefs for Change' Endorse Ed. School Review
Eight state education chiefs belonging to the Chiefs for Change coalition have endorsed a controversial review of university-based teacher education programs now being conducted by the National Council on Teacher Quality and U.S. News & World Report.
Stephen Sawchuk, June 7, 2011
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Safe-Schools Chief Stepping Down
Kevin Jennings, the U.S. Department of Education's assistant deputy secretary for safe and drug-free schools, is leaving that role this week to become president and chief executive officer of the Boston nonprofit Be The Change.
Nirvi Shah, June 7, 2011
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Tennis Star, Bankers Team Up to Build Charter Schools
Former tennis star Andre Agassi and a group of investment bankers have joined forces to create an unusual for-profit fund dedicated to building up to $750 million worth of charter schools in urban communities. The goal of the Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund is to develop 75 schools over the next three to four years while earning money for the investors, which include Citigroup Inc. and Intel Corp.
McClatchy-Tribune, June 7, 2011
1 min read
School & District Management U.S. Reforms Out of Sync With Top-Performing Nations' Education Path
A new study urges the United States to shift its school reform course to achieve the results of high-performing countries.
Stephen Sawchuk, June 7, 2011
7 min read
School & District Management Panel Finds Few Learning Benefits in High-Stakes Exams
A 10-year study by a blue-ribbon panel of scientists concludes that high-stakes testing and other accountability measures have largely failed to translate to real improvements in student achievement.
Sarah D. Sparks, June 7, 2011
7 min read
School Climate & Safety Report Roundup School Safety
A study of middle schools that put into place violence-prevention programs over the course of three years found there wasn't a significantly different effect on the rates of violence or victimization reported by students.
June 7, 2011
1 min read
Education Funding Report Roundup Study Urges Revamp of Special Education
A report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute that looks at special education during the past decade concludes that the field needs to change dramatically.
Nirvi Shah, June 7, 2011
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Teacher Qualifications
A new statistical analysis finds the majority of high school teachers assigned to core subjects have both a postsecondary degree and a teaching certificate in their field.
Sarah D. Sparks, June 7, 2011
1 min read
Education Funding Report Roundup Community Organizations
A recent report calls on the nation's 19,000 community-based public education assistance organizations to better channel their resources to help schools cope with dwindling funding.
Nirvi Shah, June 7, 2011
1 min read
School Climate & Safety Report Roundup School Safety
The federal government's latest national school crime survey shows that during the 2009-10 school year, rates of violent incidents were higher in middle schools than in high schools.
June 7, 2011
1 min read
Education Funding Report Roundup Per-Pupil Spending
New U.S. Census Bureau data show that on average public schools spent $10,499 per student in 2009, up 2.3 percent from 2008.
Sarah D. Sparks, June 7, 2011
1 min read
Teacher Preparation Report Roundup Teacher Learning
Even intensive and well-designed professional development in a particular subject, such as mathematics, may not pay dividends in the classroom, a federally financed study has found.
June 7, 2011
1 min read
School Choice & Charters Annual Data Report Charts Private School Enrollment Dip
The U.S. Department of Education's annual "Condition of Education" report finds fewer students enrolling in private schools and increasing numbers of students in public charter schools and for-profit colleges.
Sarah D. Sparks, June 7, 2011
3 min read
Education Funding School Funding Poses Hurdles For Texas
After passing a budget, legislators are called back into special session over the state's school funding funding.
Sean Cavanagh, June 7, 2011
3 min read
Senior Leteidra Caples waves to friends in the hall at the Academy @ Shawnee on May 31. Caples and other seniors participated in the annual seniors march at the Louisville school.
Senior Leteidra Caples waves to friends in the hall at the Academy @ Shawnee on May 31. Caples and other seniors participated in the annual seniors march at the Louisville school.
Pat McDonogh for Education Week
School & District Management Passing Year-One Milestone on Improvement
A Kentucky high school takes stock after the first phase of its efforts under a federal School Improvement Grant.
Alyson Klein, June 7, 2011
7 min read
Education Letter to the Editor Gates Owes Students Whose Schools Were Closed
To the Editor:
I hope those at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation read over a recent report concerning small schools put out by the Urban Youth Collaborative in New York City and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. The report takes a closer look at school closures in New York City and the effect those closures have had on the student population (“School Closures,” April 27, 2011).
June 7, 2011
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor Likening Value-Added to 'McCarthyism'
To the Editor:
First the American Federation of Teachers, and then the National Education Association, caved in to the possibility that judging teachers by their student performance has any merit (“NEA Proposes Making a Shift on Evaluation,” May 18, 2011). I call it educational McCarthyism.
June 7, 2011
1 min read