DA Daily

First Lady at odds with GOP over school lunch plan

First lady Michelle Obama stepped into the political/policy arena, criticizing House Republicans over a plan to permit exceptions to new federal nutrition standards for school lunches. House Republicans said the proposal would be a temporary, one-year waiver for schools that are having financial trouble meeting the new food standards.

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Tough times continue for Chicago schools

The tight budgets, coupled with another policy change that requires principals to make the difficult decisions on program reductions and staffing cuts, have led to heightened frustration, which boiled over recently with a handful of principals lashing out publicly against the Chicago mayor's administration.

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Kicked out of school: Disparities are a looming crisis for all districts

A student kept out of the classroom three times by ninth grade is virtually guaranteed not to graduate. In addition, 95 percent of exclusions are for disruptive or disorderly conduct reasons. A group of classroom teachers in Minnesota banded together to request changes to the St. Paul School Board's policies regarding discipline and the mainstreaming of many special education students.

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All school meals free for Indiana district students

All Indianapolis Public Schools students will get a free breakfast, lunch and snack of fresh fruit or vegetable starting this fall and continuing for the next four years under a federal program the School Board voted to join.

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New civil rights suit calls school closures discriminatory

The civil rights group Advancement Project and the national community group network Journey for Justice Alliance filed three federal complaints with the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice. The lawsuits allege that school closures in Newark, Chicago and New Orleans discriminate against African American students.

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Maryland city votes to fully fund gifted programs

The Baltimore school board voted to fully fund programs for gifted students, which were originally slated for cuts next year, and to tap its rainy-day fund to avoid layoffs and cuts to central office operations. The $1.3 billion budget will restore over $30,000 in funding cuts to the International Baccalaureate programs.

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Congress should start school reform with No Child Left Behind

Congress is taking up a large number of education bills this year. Unfortunately, the issue it is ignoring is the one that most needs its attention: an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act. It would be an understatement to say that school reform is in a state of disarray because of this legislative inaction.

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Iowa schools implement controversial emergency response plan

About half of Iowa's 30 largest school districts have updated their emergency response policies. However, some critics say the national ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) program being implemented focuses too much on active shooter scenarios, neglecting more common dangers such as violent crime.

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Illinois approves school funding overhaul

The Illinois Senate approved sweeping changes to the way the state funds public education. The measure would require distributing public education funding based on each district’s level of financial need. The change would direct more state assistance toward high-poverty areas, with wealthier districts having to rely more on local funding.

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New guide released on 3D printing in the classroom

Constructing Modern Knowledge Press announced the publication of The Invent To Learn Guide to 3D Printing in the Classroom: Recipes for Success. The book covers a variety of step-by-step classroom projects, 3D printing technology, new design software and advice on purchasing a 3D printer.