Friday, April 17, 2009

Quick Hits

Oregon dropout rates improve with efforts to aid at-risk teens: Just 3.7% of Oregon high-school students dropped out during the 2007-08 school year, the lowest rate in at least 20 years, state officials say. Schools have been aggressive in their efforts to persuade dropouts to return to alternative schools while also working to personalize high school for all students, educators say. (The Oregonian)

Individualized plans aim to personalize education for all: A New Jersey pilot program will allow some sixth- and ninth-graders to develop individualized education plans even though they are not enrolled in special education. The plan is part of the state's efforts to revise its middle and high schools and eventually may spread to all the state's districts. (The Gloucester County Times)

$600 million deficit could result in more than 5,000 layoffs in L.A.: More than 5,000 Los Angeles educators and other school staff may be laid off to balance a $596 million budget deficit for the 2009-10 school year, the district's school board decided on a 4-3 vote Tuesday. "Anger is appropriate and outrage is appropriate," said board President Monica Garcia, who voted for the layoffs. "Nobody wants to do these layoffs." (Los Angeles Times)

Tally of pink slips at Ariz. school districts passes 4,000: The number of Arizona teachers and other school personnel being told they may not have a job next school year because of the state’s budget crisis now exceeds 4,000, according to a preliminary tally of districts’ notifications to workers. (Arizona Daily Star)

Alaska legislators dismiss Palin's plan for education stimulus funds: Educators and prominent Alaskan legislators oppose Gov. Sarah Palin's plan to use $93 million in economic-stimulus funds, instead of state funds, for education. "Supplanting is not a good idea," said state Senate President Gary Stevens. "We have an opportunity to really do some good things for our districts. I think we should take advantage of it." (KTUU-TV Anchorage)

Study says hazing isn't going away at high-school level: Nearly half of college students say they were hazed while in high school, according to a study that also says such hazing may be getting more severe. "We're still having hazing incidents in this country in high schools. They're getting more brutal. They're getting more sexual. And they're being pushed down into middle schools," said education expert Elliot Hopkins. (MSNBC)

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