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Morning Announcements: August 23, 2011

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August 23, 2011 03:54 pm

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Many Missouri teachers are not happy with the state’s new law banning them from Facebook “friending” their students. And now they’re suing over it. Forbes Magazine reports the Missouri State Teachers Association filed suit, claiming the law is unconstitutionally overbroad and seeking an injunction against the law that is set to go into effect on August 28.

Philadelphia’s embattled schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman is being bought out of her multiyear contract with a combination of public and private funds for the amount of $900,000 in severance. The Associated Press reported Ackerman had a “tumultuous  tenure that included increased test scores and graduation rates but also clashes with community members, the teachers union, and elected leaders.” “This decision, as difficult as it was for Dr. Ackerman, is consistent with her history, as well as recognition that for the district to best move forward, it must do so with new leadership,’’ said Robert Archie Jr., chairman of the city-state commission that oversees the schools.

California will soon seen a lot more charter schools – 100,000 more to be exact. The Walton Family Foundation – a nonprofit founded by the Wal-Mart Corp – is giving the California Charter Schools Association $15 million to add 20,000 charter schools in the Los Angeles area and 100,000 across the state, according to the Los Angeles Times. This is the largest donation the charter school association has received to date.

Pennsylvania’s largest cyber school, Pa Cyber, has met state standards under No Child Left Behind for the third year in a row. Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley announced the news that the school met all 31 of its performance targets when he visited the school yesterday in Midland, according to the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review.

The New York Times reported on new census data relating to schools by breaking down interesting stats. For example, Americans spend about $7 billion on back-to-school materials. Other interesting statistics included: 55 million students will be enrolled in pre-kindergarten through high school this fall, 11 percent of them will be in private schools, and minority groups made up 43 percent of pre-kindergarten through high school students in October 2009.

Education Week reports on the mixed reactions from educators on the Obama administration’s plan to give waivers to states from No Child Left Behind under the condition that they improve their standards for proficiency marks. Some states see this as an opportunity to seek relief from the punishments doled out under the federal law, while other states are skeptical of what will be required of them in order to receive a waiver.

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