Friday, May 08, 2009

Quick Hits

Duncan Gets Earful on NCLB 'Listening Tour': Special education teacher Lynn Reichard has a problem with the federal No Child Left Behind law: Some of her kids cannot read, never mind pass its required state test. Reichard told Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday that she works all year long to boost the self-esteem of mentally impaired students at Bunker Hill Elementary, only to see them fall apart over standardized tests. "They feel so good about themselves, and then they look at a two-paragraph reading passage, and they know six words," Reichard said. "I have one child here that's a nonreader, and she's going to have to take the test, and she's going to cry. "There's just got to be another answer for that," Reichard said. (Ed Week)

Nearly 40 percent of Kentucky school districts ask state for disaster days: Nearly 40 percent of Kentucky’s school districts have asked the state to let them waive as many as 10 makeup days for time lost during January’s ice storm and last September’s winds from Hurricane Ike. (H-L)

Going to school is good for your health, a new national report concludes: The study, released Wednesday morning, says that adults with less education consistently are in poorer health than are those who have more education. And it says that the link between schooling and health holds up at all levels of educational attainment, regardless of racial or ethnic background. (H-L)

A Larger Kindle Could Upend Textbooks, Periodicals: Inc. is widely expected to unveil a new Kindle electronic book device with a larger screen Wednesday, which would be geared for textbooks, magazines and newspapers and possibly shake up the economics of multiple industries at once. The ... company has not disputed widespread reports that a larger Kindle is on tap... That Kindle, which costs $359 and can wirelessly download books to be read on its grayscale screen, already includes several features that could aid textbook reading, like the ability to highlight and bookmark passages. Users can tap the Kindle's typewriter-layout keyboard to look up words and annotate text. (Ed Week)

Texting’s troubling side: Technology that’s used to abuse: May 8, 2009During court-mandated private therapy sessions, teenage victims of domestic violence sit across from social worker Lora Watkins with cell phones in their hands — still sending dozens of text messages to their abusers. (Las Vegas Sun)

Early retirement offer to San Diego teachers called successful: After a rush of teacher retirements this week, the San Diego Unified School District is calling its golden handshake offer a success. As of yesterday, 541 teachers submitted papers for early retirement. That's 92 shy of the district's goal of enticing 633 educators to leave their jobs early. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Obama meets with Sharpton, Gingrich, Bloomberg: President Barack Obama on Thursday discussed ways to improve the education system with the unlikely political trio of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Rev. Al Sharpton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The independent mayor, the liberal Democrat and community activist, and the conservative former Republican congressman said their partnership shows that the issue cuts across political and ideological lines. (AP/Newsvine)

Program helps man on 40-year college plan finally graduate from UK: As a former high school dropout who started college decades ago, Patrick Rowan will cross the stage at the University of Kentucky's commencement ceremony Saturday to collect a diploma for the first time in his life. (H-L)

The New School’s Kerrey Is to Step Down in 2011: As president of the New School, Bob Kerrey raised the university’s national profile but repeatedly clashed with faculty members and students. (NY Times)

Many Teachers in Advanced Placement Voice Concern at Its Rapid Growth: A survey found that many teachers are concerned that the program’s effectiveness is being threatened as districts loosen restrictions on who can take the rigorous courses. (NY Times)

Congress Adopts Budget, Proposes Increased Education Funding: On April 29, Congress approved the final adoption of the federal budget for FY 2010, which includes an increase of $5.6 billion over FY 2009 for the Function 500 federal budget account, under which education funding falls.Although the Congressional budget is nonbinding, the increase for Function 500 lays the groundwork for later actual increases in federal education funding in the appropriations process, which will occur over the next several weeks and months.Although it is clear that education funding will be increased for the coming fiscal year, it is not clear how much that increase will amount to. However, federal policymakers may have already begun tipping their cards to their overall strategy, made apparent by the fact that the overall non-defense discretionary funding put forth in the budget is $10 billion less than what was requested by President Barack Obama. (NASSP'S Principals Policy Blog)

Congress Passes Service Bill With Eye on Community Engagement: A newly passed bill, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (H.R. 1388), will engage middle level and high school students in community service through a new Summer of Service program that would allow them to earn up to $1,000 for college costs. (NASSP's Principal's Policy Blog)

No comments: