High-tech cheating is meeting its match: a relatively new company analyzes answer sheets by computer and flags those with so many of the same questions wrong or right that the chances of random agreement are astronomically small, the New York Times writes. The technology already has helped curb students’ cheating on secondary tests in several states… The Washington Post reports on how Fairfax County, Va., one of the wealthiest and most diverse school systems in the nation, is dealing with a recent influx of homeless students The Post also reports on the efforts of the large and diverse T.C. Williams High School, scene of “Remember the Titans,” as it tries to recover from its recent label of “persistently low achieving” And Florida’s Sun Sentinel reports that a charter-school student who was suspended for posting derogatory comments about her teacher on Facebook has accepted a settlement from the school, ending a two-year, high-profile lawsuit.
School Board News Today, an online publication of NSBA, provides timely and relevant stories and analysis from NSBA and other news outlets to school board members, administrators, and all others interested in K-12 education.
Articles in the Announcements category
(Note: School Board News will not publish again until after the Christmas holiday).
Congress has passed a continuing resolution that will keep the government running and funding for programs at current levels until March. The Washington Post has a quick read of the process, read more details about what it will mean for K-12 education in this Education Week blog… The Los Angeles Times examines the impact of low-performing teachers, finding that some struggling schools have made marked improvement after layoffs And a recent government survey showed the teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. dropped a record 6 percent in 2009. The Christian Science Monitor writes that MTV’s hit series, “16 and Pregnant,” has helped teenagers better understand the consequences and tough times teenage parents face.
Yesterday, a Florida school board lived through a harrowing situation when a man who said his wife had been fired from the school district showed up at their meeting with a gun. All of the members escaped, the gunman shot at the superintendent but missed, then killed himself. The school board members were hailed as heroes on NBC’s Today Show and more video footage is on the Washington Post website…
NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant and Florida School Boards Association Executive Director Wayne Blanton said in a joint statement today, “There is no place for violence at a school board meeting or in our schools. This was an unfortunate incident and the school board and staff should be commended for handling it in a truly professional manner.” Read the statement, here.
In other news, a new poll shows that the majority of Americans want administrators to have more power to fire “bad” teachers, according to the Associated Press California Gov.-elect Jerry Brown has warned educators to expect more cuts when he presents his budget plan to the General Assembly, the San Francisco Chronicle reports… Meanwhile, the AP writes that a new study shows the number of public school teachers “has reached a decade-low in California, and the job is getting less attractive amid state budget cuts.”
NSBA is quoted extensively in Education Week‘s recap of the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization Also, NSBA President Earl Rickman’s editorial, There’s no Superman,’ but there are school heroes,” was published in the Detroit Free Press USA Today writes, despite growing concerns about obesity among young people, the number of states that allow students to waive or substitute physical education classes has grown And a new report by the Center for Education Policy examines the persistency of the achievement gap. The Christian Science Monitor provides summaries of six major findings in the report.
The latest results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) show Asian students particularly those from China, who participated in the exam for the first time in 2009 at the top of the pack, with the United States generally in the middle or, in math, toward the bottom, the Christian Science Monitor reports… Former D.C. schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee announced a new political organization that she says will spend $1 billion to bring change to school systems through areas such as teacher hiring and tenure. The Washington Post writes that the new group, StudentsFirst, will pressure elected officials and bankroll candidates at all levels of government who support Rhee’s controversial ideals… Already, Rhee has gotten involved in a movement by parents at one Los Angeles elementary school who are seeking to invoke a new California law allowing parents to force changes at low-performing schools, according to the Los Angeles Times And states’ budget cuts could lead to a new round of school funding lawsuits, according to Stateline news service.
The Associated Press reports on states that lost their bids for Race to the Top funding. While some have had to rethink their reform plans, others are planning to move forward, even without funds A story in the Los Angeles Times maintains that the district’s teacher layoffs do not consider a teacher’s qualifications or success in the classroom, and many of the teachers who most recently lost their jobs were some of the district’s rising stars at low-income schools A columnist for the Terre Haute, Ind. Tribune-Star takes on conservatives’ claims that the state’s schools are failing and debunks their demands that 65 percent of funding go to classrooms And a new study finds gay and lesbian teens are 40 percent more likely to be punished than their heterosexual peers, according to the Washington Post.
The NAACP is holding a national conference on education in Raleigh, N.C. to argue that schools around the country are, in essence, returning to Jim Crow-era patterns of segregation, citing Wake County, N.C.’s policies favoring neighborhood schools over diversity among socioeconomic levels as an example, the Associated Press writes Several newspapers, including the Denver Daily News, noted NSBA’s opposition to the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization, which is on its way to President Obama. USA Today, meanwhile, notes that the bill has new standards for training employees and new safeguards to identify and prevent contamination of school cafeteria food… And what’s next for controversial education reformer and former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee? The Miami Herald reports was named to Gov.-elect Rick Scott’s education transition team Thursday, fueling rumors that she may become Florida’s next education commissioner.
The New York Times chronicles the sweeping changes made by Baltimore Superintendent Andres Alonzo, which has made remarkable improvements in reducing the dropout rate and engaging students in a particularly tough city. (Baltimore won the annual prize for urban education from NSBA’s Council of Urban Boards of Education this year)… Are the so-called dropout factories on the decline? A new report by America’s Promise says the nation’s high school graduation rate may have hit bottom and begun to rise. The New York Times covers the story, the Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet” blog has more analysis… And USA Today reports on a growing number of parents protesting school books and library books that they feel have inappropriate content for young students.
The Wall Street Journal‘s opinion page features a commentary by Diane Ravitch, who writes that the newly elected GOP representatives should reinstate their party’s historic stance on local control for education and revamp the troubled No Child Left Behind law… Stanford University professor Larry Cuban tells why non-educator superintendents are not usually a good deal for urban school districts in the Washington Post More colleges are telling high schools to change their logos if those are deemed to be too close to a trademarked mascot, the New York Times reports
And New Jersey lawmakers have approved a measure to allow districts to sell advertising on their school buses to raise cash, although Gov. Chris Christie has not yet signed it. The Associated Press writes, “The measure was backed by the New Jersey School Boards Association, which noted that it’s optional for districts to participate and that local school boards will have the authority to approve ads.”