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

News & analysis

States act on pensions in 2011, and teachers pay more

States churned out a lot of new laws affecting the pension plans for teachers and other public workers this year, and the bottom line is this: In several states, educators and other government employees are being asked to pay more toward their retirements. (State EdWatch)

Obama administration sets rules for NCLB waivers

The Obama administration on Thursday afternoon said it will waive the cornerstone requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, including the 2014 deadline that all students be proficient in math and language arts, and will give states the freedom to set their own student-achievement goals, and design their own interventions for failing schools. (Politics K-12)

Minnesota: Schools leader attends rollback of “No Child Left Behind” law

President Barack Obama is set to announce the details of his plan to roll back parts of the No Child Left Behind law, and Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius will be there. (Star Tribune)

New York: Experiment in high-dose tutoring takes shape in inner-city schools

In the past, it would have been a challenge for [Aisha] Chappell to circle her classroom at the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School and address each of her students’ needs during individual or group work time. But this year Chappell has three teaching assistants to navigate the room with her. The teaching assistants come through a year-old nonprofit called Blue Engine, which trains recent college graduates to help teachers push their students with more personalized attention. (Gotham Schools)

New York: 3,000 students missing from Buffalo Schools

At the end of the second week of school, more than 3,000 students still had not shown up in the Buffalo Public Schools. Where are all these students? Some have enrolled in charter schools or private schools. Some have moved. Some have dropped out. This happens every year. (Buffalo School Zone)


Richard Kahlenberg reviews “Class Warfare”

Brill’s portrait of school reform in America is highly seductive. It would be very nice to believe that if only unions would get out of the way, we could make enormous strides with fairly simple changes in school governance and human capital policies. But like the film Waiting for Superman before it, Class Warfare is highly misleading and often simplistic. (The New Republic)

Rick Hess: Why achievement gap mania isn’t cost-free

As with so much of the “achievement gap” agenda, mixed-ability instruction is not a bad idea per se. But it does impose costs. The gap-closing gospel holds that it is improper or out-of-bounds to discuss such things. That’s bad for kids, bad for school improvement efforts and, as I’ll talk about next week, likely to undermine the kind of middle-class and suburban parental and political support needed to sustain improvement efforts. (Straight Up)

Eduflack thinks we’re cool

The website and 50CAN’s twitter feed (@fiftycan) are well worth the look if you are serious education reform.  And the work being done through the CAN network is where the lasting state-based school improvement work will be percolating first and offering real longevity. (Eduflack)



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