Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News & analysis:
Tony Bennett to Resign as Florida Education Commissioner
Tony Bennett will announce today that he intends to resign as Florida’s education commissioner, per the Tampa Bay Times and the Associated Press. This follows a series of stories about steps Bennett took while Indiana’s K-12 chief last year to boost the grade of a charter school run by a political donor by tweaking the state’s A-F accountability system. (Education Week – State Ed Watch)
In Missouri, Race Complicates a Transfer to Better Schools
When the Missouri Supreme Court upheld a law in June allowing students from failing school districts to transfer to good ones, Harriett Gladney saw a path to a better education for her 9-year-old daughter. (New York Times)
NCLB Waiver Implications From Indiana Grade-Changing Controversy
Regardless of what you think about Florida state chief Tony Bennett’s decision to change the grading scale for schools when he held the same post in Indiana, there are some important questions from a federal policy perspective. (Education Week – Politics K-12)
Head Start Shake-Up Generates Few New Providers
The first competition for federal funds in Head Start’s history was a sea change for the more than 120 grant recipients deemed low-performing that were asked to go through the process—but it didn’t result in many new organizations entering the program. (Education Week)
Teach For America is good for Minnesota
This Friday, the Minnesota Board of Teaching faces the critical decision of whether to empower principals to hire the educators they believe will meet the needs of students in their schools. (Star Tribune)
Do the Math: Christel House’s Grade Doesn’t Add Up
Mel Horowitz: You mean to tell me that you argued your way from a C+ to an A-?
Cher: Totally based on my powers of persuasion, you proud?
Mel Horowitz: Honey, I couldn’t be happier than if they were based on real grades.
Turns out we’ve all been Clueless when it comes to Indiana’s A-F school grades. Former Indiana (and current Florida) schools’ chief Tony Bennett has been under fire for released emails that show he and officials at the Indiana Department of Education altered the grades for certain schools prior to the very-public release of the new accountability measures last fall. What’s particularly worrisome is that the change to the grading methodology wasn’t so public. In fact, it was never announced. And from the emails obtained by AP reporter Tom LoBianco, it’s clear that Christel House’s initial grade set off a firestorm of panic at the IN DOE. (New America)