K12 Headlines

9/25/2014

9/25/2014

The MCAS tests were never expected to be the last word in academic evaluation in Massachusetts. The Common Core and the PARCC tests are a reasonable attempt to take the state's standards and evaluation regime to the next level. Educators should give it a shot and make it work – while keeping a balanced perspective about the value and limitations of any standardized tests.

9/25/2014

A legal challenge to the state school voucher program was dismissed by a Florida judge. The lawsuit targeted a controversial law that both expanded the voucher program and created new scholarships for children with disabilities. The suit claimed the law violates a Constitutional requirement that each law be limited to a single subject.

9/25/2014

A new study published in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly found that delaying middle school might help girls remain free of body image issues until at least slightly later in life. They studied three different populations: junior high (grades K-6 together in one school and 7-8 in another), middle school (grades K5 and 6-8) and extended middle school (K4 and 5-8).

9/25/2014

Statistics released by the California Department of Education show the statewide average of students passing the California High School Exit Exam continues to rise. About 95 percent of California seniors of the class of 2014 passed both the English-language arts and math portions compared to 90.4 percent in 2006.

9/25/2014

The San Francisco school board decided to give students who attend the new Willie Brown Jr. Middle School for all three years their pick of city high schools. It’s a powerful enticement — a golden ticket — given the cutthroat lottery for the district’s most desirable high schools.

9/25/2014

Mayor de Blasio promised to lift the cellphone ban in schools that was implemented under his predecessor. He suggested that the ban is being unevenly enforced and pledged to develop a plan that will apply to all schools. Under current policy, students caught with phones on school property may have them confiscated for the day and may face detention.

9/25/2014

School board officials have approved Monroe Comprehensive High School for a $35 million construction and renovation project. School leaders initially planned to renovate the school, but determined it would cost less to rebuild most of the campus. The project is being paid for with SPLOST money and state funding.

9/25/2014

Portland Public Schools will hire about 25 new teachers and boost high school support staff by 8.35 positions, after the district school board voted to immediately spend $3.5 million of a recently discovered $16.8 million windfall on staffing up. The larger plan calls for spending $13 million while placing the remaining $3.8 million in savings.

9/25/2014

SST, Inc. launched SecureCampus, a gunfire detection system designed to provide both indoor and outdoor coverage at school campuses. SecureCampus instantly detects gunfire and notifies law enforcement, campus security personnel, on-site staff, and other first responders.

9/25/2014

American Graduate Day 2014 returns this fall with seven hours of national and local programming, live interviews and performances. Broadcast and streamed live with host Wes Moore on September 27, the multiplatform event is part of the American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen initiative, helping communities bolster graduation rates through local public media stations.

9/25/2014

This campaign season is consumed by the question of whether Gov. Tom Corbett actively cut school funding by $1 billion or passively allowed that amount in federal subsidies to expire without replacing it. Obscured by the debate are questions regarding school costs and governance, including pension reform, benefit costs and whether the state needs 500 public school districts.

9/25/2014

The U.S. Education Department has opened an investigation into charges that the Recovery School District's policy of closing and chartering New Orleans public schools violated the civil rights of African-American students.

9/25/2014

City officials agreed to spend $2 million on a design and feasibility study to determine whether Somerville High School should be renovated or rebuilt entirely. The high school became eligible for Massachusetts School Building Authority’s assistance last winter, which could cut the city’s tab to build or renovate the school by as much as 80 percent.

9/25/2014

In denying Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter's emergency petition for funds, the judge said that Philadelphia School District was not compelled to pay for students above the 675-student enrollment cap in its charter. The school has enrolled 1,300 students. The school district is moving to close the school due to financial irregularities and poor academics.

9/25/2014

ASCD has assembled professional development resources to help educators integrate literacy into their instruction with videos, courses and channels and webinars, including Vocab in Action, The Innovators and Reading in Meaning, among others.

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