Curtis Whatley is a past member of the 50CAN team. 

Here’s what educators, advocates and wonks are talking about today:

News & analysis

Parent trigger law to reform school faces challenges
In essence, the law creates a parents’ union, which advocates say will provide powerful and needed counterweight to teachers’ unions and district bureaucracies. If 51 percent of parents in a persistently failing school sign a petition, they can force the school to change into a charter, close it entirely or replace the principal and teachers. Similar legislation has passed in Texas, Ohio and Connecticut and is being considered in nearly a dozen more states — but California, the earliest adopter, is furthest along. And with opponents and skeptics arguing that parents lack the expertise to make important policy decisions better left to career educators, the Compton case is a prime example of how challenging it can be to create change. (New York Times)

Rhode Island: RI higher education board to vote on in-state tuition for undocumented students
Cristian Giraldo, 16, plans to be in the crowd Monday night as the state Board of Governors for Higher Education votes on whether to make undocumented students eligible for in-state tuition at state colleges and universities. The Central Falls resident attends Blackstone Academy Charter School, a college-preparatory school. The Board of Governors meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Vin Cullen Field House behind the main building at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Warwick campus. Public comment will be allowed. (ProJo)

Maryland: Parents join effort to push for renovated schools
A campaign called Transform Baltimore has been taking shape as city activists make the rounds of back-to-school nights around the city to get parents to join a coalition that has been building to get the city’s schools renovated or rebuilt. So far Transform Baltimore has gotten a warm reception at 49 of the first 50 schools they have gone to around the city, according to Bebe Verdery, the ACLU of Maryland’s education director. (InsideEd)

New York: Number of NYC public schools hit with failing grades on city’s annual report card doubles
The number of public elementary and middle schools scoring low marks on the city’s annual school report cards increased by nearly 100% this year. In all, 111 schools scored a D or F in the 2010-11 school year, up from 57 a year earlier. Bad grades – a D, F or three C’s in a row – put schools in danger of being shut down. (Daily News)

New York: New Buffalo superintendent starts off by cutting back on food and travel
During her first week as interim superintendent, Amber M. Dixon let central office administrators know the time had come for them to start cutting costs. Specifically, during Dixon’s first day on the job, she sent out a memo indicating that out-of-state travel would pretty much be a thing of the past. A few days later, she sent out a memo telling administrators to stop buying food for staff meetings. (Buffalo News)

New York: State says it analyzed test erasures for cheating; 62 schools proved suspect
…officials revealed this week that the State Education Department had quietly been conducting erasure analysis on some high school Regents exams for more than three years, a process that red-flagged 64 incidences of possible problems, including one that led to the ouster of an assistant principal in the Bronx. (New York Times)

New York: School Book has your school’s grade (School Book)

New Jersey: Zuckerberg grant begins to have effect on Newark schools
So far, at least $9 million of Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift have been spent, according to reviews of financial records and interviews with city officials. In addition, $48 million has been raised from private donors, with the goal of matching the Facebook money. Four experimental high schools have opened. Two new charter schools are in place. The school day has been extended by up to two hours for thousands of students. A new call center to answer parents’ questions is up and running. New school playgrounds are in the works. (Star Ledger)


Delay kindergarten at your child’s peril
The first six years of life are a time of tremendous growth and change in the developing brain. Synapses, the connections between brain cells, are undergoing major reorganization. Indeed, a 4-year-old’s brain uses more energy than it ever will again. Brain development cannot be put on pause, so the critical question is how to provide the best possible context to support it. For most children, that context is the classroom. Disadvantaged children have the most to lose from delayed access to school. For low-income children, every month of additional schooling closes one-tenth of the gap between them and more advantaged students. (Sam Wang and Sandra Aamodt)

The secrets of a good principal who makes things work (Michael Winerip)

America’s teachers on America’s schools
As part of the NBC News 2011 Education Nation, Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released a first look at select findings of the 2011 Primary Sources study. The complete results will be released to the public in January of 2012. (Scholastic)

A Buffalo parent argues that trigger law gives parents real power
The idea is simple but powerful: Give us, the parents, the chance to turn around failing schools. The parent trigger, as it’s known, allow the parents of students at a chronically underperforming school the ability to determine, via a majority vote, when and how school reform can come about. In other words, the parent trigger takes educational decision-making away from politicians and bureaucrats and empowers those who have the most at stake. (Daily News)


Recent Posts

More posts from Today in Education

See All Posts