DA Daily

Washington district picks top leader

Calvin J. Watts, an assistant superintendent for Gwinnett County Public Schools in Suwanee, Ga., will be the Kent School District's next superintendent. He will succeed Edward Lee Vargas, who stepped down in October after six years in Kent to accept a nonprofit position.

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Alabama county's school board approves plan for reductions in force

In a move meant to address inequities in staffing and stall the county board's reliance on its fund reserves to cover operating costs, the Jefferson County Board of Education approved a financial recovery plan that will lay off more than 160 positions and switch many employees on 12-month contracts to 10-month contracts.

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Connecticut rethinks school suspensions

The state Legislature’s education committee will vote on a bill prohibiting out-of-school suspensions or expulsions for students in preschool through the second grade. The issue has sparked debate between advocates who say the disciplinary measures are ineffective, and some superintendents who say schools need to be able to remove potentially violent students.

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New Orleans charter school principals tried to pick students, study says

One third of the 30 New Orleans public school principals in a new study admitted that they tried to choose the best students for admission, despite most charter schools professing to enroll all applicants. Of those 10 schools, eight had no official entrance requirements and were supposed to admit all.

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Senate panel kills school district takeover proposal

An amendment to an Indiana bill designed to overhaul the state’s process to try to improve schools that consistently rate a D or F removed a section that would have empowered the state to takeover entire school districts, not just individual schools.

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Tennessee bill would let parents initiate school reform process

For the second year in a row, the state legislature is reviewing a bill that would enable parents to initiate major reforms at a low-performing public school. The bill would enable parents of students enrolled in a public school in the bottom 10 percent to petition their local school board to reform their school.

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Changes to Ohio House’s charter-school bill

A move to clamp down on expensive building leases is among the latest changes to a bill that would overhaul state charter-school laws. In addition, a provision was removed that poorly performing schools could not change sponsors without approval by the Ohio Department of Education.

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Senate Education Committee convenes hearing on private school tax credits, vouchers

The Texas bill would create a $100 million private school tuition program that would let lower-income students attend private or religious schools. Funding would come through donations by businesses, who would in turn receive credits on their state business taxes.

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New instructional professional development tools offered by Texthelp

Texthelp launched Teach for Google, a comprehensive professional development solution that offers a library of short courses with instructional videos, strategy overviews, templates, checklists and more through Google Apps for Education.

Software AG grows relationship with California teachers’ pension fund

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, America’s second largest public pension fund, expanded their relationship with the implementation of Software AG’s zIIP Enabler for Natural. The transaction platform takes advantage of IBM’s specialty processors to lower the total cost of ownership of operating a mainframe.