Sunday, April 05, 2009

Quick Hits

Empower teachers to deal with unruly students - Don't spare the rod: Overwork, large classes and poor pay are issues that worry new teachers. But according to a recent Australian Education Union survey of teachers across Australia, the other issue at the forefront of their minds is classroom behaviour. (The Age -Australia)

Autistic boy's arrest at Oregon school fuels debate on discipline for disabled: Cindy Gaspard knew something was different about her son, Dylan, when he was 6 months old. Dylan, a sixth-grader enrolled in a special-needs program in Sumner County schools, was recently handcuffed, arrested and put in juvenile detention after an outburst in school. He was charged with two counts of assault for biting and scratching teachers. (The Tennessean)

Notre Dame sticking with Obama for commencement: The University of Notre Dame is sticking with its invitation to President Obama to speak at its May 17 commencement despite criticism from some Roman Catholics that his views on abortion and stem cell research run counter to Catholic teachings. (Chicago Tribune)

Transparency Time For Vouchers?: Aiming to "restart" the dialogue on accountability for publicly funded voucher programs, a Washington think tank argues in a new report that voucher proponents need to “wake up—and catch up to the educational demands and expectations of the 21st century.” (Ed Week)

California College students get $2-a-day lesson in poverty: A group of students at Point Loma Nazarene University is learning firsthand what Third World poverty can feel like – at least for a few days. From Wednesday through today, about 25 students are living on $2 a day: sleeping in a shanty village outside the campus gym, boiling their drinking water and eating only what their pooled dollars can buy. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Historian John Hope Franklin Dies: John Hope Franklin, who was a pioneer in chronicling African-American history and worked on the nation's landmark school desegregation case, died March 24 in Durham, N.C., of congestive heart failure. He was 94. In 1947, the historian wrote From Slavery to Freedom, which is considered a seminal text on the black experience in the United States. (Ed Week)

200 educators meet, discuss cyberbullying: A Chula Vista principal is falsely portrayed as a racist on a phony MySpace page created by a disgruntled student. A Carlsbad girl is forced to switch schools after a falling out with friends prompts threatening text messages and harassing phone calls. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

State Consortium to Update Standards for New Teachers: The Council of Chief State School Officers announced last week that its Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium will convene a committee to revise its core standards for what teachers should know and be able to do. The rewritten guidelines are expected to reflect new information about how students learn, media and technology literacy, the greater diversity in the student population, the growth of testing, and "21st-century skills," the Washington-based organization said. (Ed Week)

Colorado professor wins wrongful-firing suit: A jury ruled Thursday that the University of Colorado wrongly fired the professor who compared some 9/11 victims to a Nazi, a verdict that gives the professor $1 and a chance to get his job back. (Herald-Leader)

K-12 Taking Primacy in States' Targeting of Stimulus Dollars: Many states are targeting the new education aid at elementary and secondary schools, rather than toward higher education. (Ed Week)

Campus security bills for speakers challenged: When a UC Berkeley student group invited a speaker known for his hard-line pro-Israel stance, the university feared clashes with Palestinian supporters and billed the group more than $3,000 for police protection. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Stimulus Providing Big Funding Boost For Early Childhood: Advocates are betting that the billions of dollars for programs like Head Start are just a “down payment” on future expansion. (Ed Week)

Many college students face mountain of debt once they graduate: College costs are rising and students are borrowing heavily. And after they graduate, they're saddled with loan payments imposing a significant impact on their lives for many years. (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

Study questions use of drugs on children with A D D: Provoking a heated debate, data indicate drug treatment of children's hyperactivity doesn't help as much as once believed. (Miami Herald)

Arizona Voucher Programs Lose in State's High Court: Programs for students with disabilities and those in foster care violate a state ban on aid to private schools, the Arizona Supreme Court said. (Ed Week)

Dispute over state funds leads to closure of voucher school: A Milwaukee military-style academy could become prominent in a debate on rules that have allowed participants in Milwaukee's school voucher program to avoid making any kind of public report on student performance or academic activity. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Portland School Board denies renewal of popular charter school: The Portland School Board didn't renew the contract of three-year-old Leadership and Entrepreneurship (LEP) Charter High School on Monday night. But, after hours of discussion, board members encouraged officials at the popular school to file an appeal and keep strengthening the school's budget. (The Oregonian)

Schools Take Steps to Defuse Anti-Gay Group's Protests: Faced with demonstrations by anti-gay extremists, administrators at schools in the Baltimore and Washington areas worked with law-enforcement officials and took other steps in advance to maintain a peaceful environment for students and faculty members last week. Members of Westboro Baptist Church, classified as a hate group by the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center, picketed on roads near but not on school property at Fairfax High School in Fairfax County, Va., as well as on roads near Towson High School in Towson, Md., on March 30, denouncing those schools’ gay-straight alliances and diversity groups. (Ed Week)

Connecticut School Bans Physical Contact: East Shore M.S. Outlaws "High-Fives," "Hugging" And Horseplay Of Any Kind; Violators May Face ExpulsionMILFORD, Conn. A Connecticut middle school principal has laid down the law: You put your hands on someone -- anyone -- in any way, you're going to pay. A violent incident that put one student in the hospital has officials at the Milford school implementing a "no touching" policy, according to a letter written by the school's principal. (CBS News)

Court Upholds Little Rock Desegregation Order: A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a judge's ruling that the Little Rock School District has met terms of a long-standing desegregation order. "The judgment declaring the Little Rock School District to be completely unitary is affirmed," the court wrote. (Ed Week)

Deasy's former district Board Votes to Close 8 Schools: Eight Prince George's County schools, most of them inside the Capital Beltway or in the southern part of the county, will close next year under a revised plan the Board of Education approved last night, saving the school system nearly $6 million in a tight budget year. (Washington Post)

Parents lobby to spare gifted program: They were promised local control and better schools. But the new district's plans to pare down an Accelerated Learning Program (ALPS) for gifted elementary students has parents feeling blindsided and questioning the administration's commitment to excellence. (Salt Lake Tribune)

Private schools scramble to help families pay tuition: School administrators say everybody’s working overtime to keep children in school. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Admitting Top 10% to college has proved solid public policy: As they've done since 1996, when Texas' Top 10 percent rule became law, there is a drive in the Legislature to undermine the automatic admission to any public university for the top 10th of each high school graduating class. (San Antonio Express-News)

New ethics code would cover charter schools: Charter-school administrators would be barred from using school funds, school credit cards, or lines of credit for personal gain under a new ethics code being released today. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Behind the boom in AP courses: Participation in AP courses has skyrocketed in recent years as many school districts have adopted open-enrollment policies, allowing any student willing to take on the work a chance to try the college-level courses. (San Antonio Express-News)

Public money for private schools?: “You're damn right I'm hurting public education, because public education is hurting our kids,” S.C. State Sen. Robert Ford said. Ford is putting a new face on the long-running fight over whether to spend public education dollars to pay for private schools. To the dismay of his African American colleagues, the Charleston Democrat is hawking a bill that would give students a publicly paid scholarship or tuition grant to go to a private school. (Charlotte Observer)

More students get subsidized lunches: The number of Massachusetts families seeking free and reduced-price meals for schoolchildren is rising as economic hardships extend to school lunchrooms. (Boston Globe)

NYC Teachers Misbehaved in Record Numbers in '08: They watched porn on work computers, falsified records to pad their pockets, faked doctors' notes to go on vacations abroad. And they all worked for New York City schools. Misconduct accusations against teachers and other Department of Education employees hit a record high of 2,886 last year, according to a Special Commissioner of Investigation. (New York Post)

Education's Ground Zero by Nicholas Kristof : Michelle Rhee, the chancellor of schools, has high aims in Washington, D.C., including setting an example for education reform across the country. Education reform could be the most potent antipoverty program in the country, and Ms. Rhee represents the vanguard in this struggle to try new tools to revive American schools. Unless we succeed in that effort and get more students through high school and into college, no bank bailout or stimulus package will be enough to preserve America’s global leadership in the long run. (Washington Post)

1 comment:

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