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Your daily serving of high school news and policy.

Morning Announcements: August 26, 2011

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August 26, 2011 04:12 pm


Happy Friday everyone! Here are your morning announcements.

The Chicago Teachers Union has rejected the 2 percent pay raise offered for elementary school teachers in exchange for working longer school days. Chicago Public Schools officials announced this week they intend to extend the school day by 90 minutes and the school year by 2 weeks, and the teachers union is negotiating to get educators more money for more time on the job. “We fully support a better, smarter school day for our children, but teachers are now being asked to work 29 percent longer for only a 2 percent pay increase,” union President Karen Lewis said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “To that we say, ‘Thanks but no thanks.'”

A new study called “Reaching the Goal,” aimed to evaluate if instructors of entry-level college courses believe the Common Core State Standards – adopted  by all but five states — are a good reflection of skills students need to be prepared to take their classes post-high school. Education Week reports the study found these teachers indeed do believe the Common Core standards in mathematics and English/language arts are accurate representations of what students need to be successful in beginning college coursework

The Los Angeles Times reports that a New York state appeals court ruled Thursday that performance ratings for thousands of teachers can be made public. The New York City school system and its teachers union had been fighting against their release. The evaluations are a “value-added” analysis that links teacher’s to student test scores, and while the district has compiled these for several years, it does not use them in performance evaluations.

The state of Indiana plans to take over four Indianapolis public schools — if the state Board of Education agrees – in order to restore them to better serve students, according to the Indianapolis Star. State officials said they will recommend the takeover so the schools can enter a “transition” year in which the management organizations, working under one-year contracts, will learn about them and prepare to take control in 2012. They will then run the schools over the next four years while  receiving the tax dollars that otherwise would have gone to the district, the newspaper reported.

A subcommittee of Idaho’s State Board of Education voted Thursday to require this year’s eighth-graders to complete two online courses before they graduate form high school in an effort to “start Idaho students down the road to digital education” and provide the students will job skills,” according to the Spokesman-Review.

The Los Angeles Times reports that California’s top school official has requested a waiver from the federal law No Child Left Behind which, if unchanged, would label roughly 80 percent of the state’s schools serving large numbers of low-income students as failing. State Supt. Of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson joins dozens of other states seeking an exemption from the law, which requires nearly all students to be “proficient’ by 2014.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced he plans for the state to compete in the upcoming $100 million Race to the Top grant that is focusing on improving the nation’s preschools. To apply for the grant, states must improve the education of young children, including by implementing federal home-visiting program aimed to prevent child abuse, according to Education Week.


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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.