Morning Announcements: November 11, 2011
November 11, 2011 03:40 pm
This morning’s announcements come to you courtesy of Alliance Policy Intern Bill DeBaun:
Good morning and happy Veterans Day, everyone. Before I get into the announcements, we here at the Alliance for Excellent Education want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our veterans and men and women in uniform. We remember your personal sacrifices on behalf of the United States of America and her citizens and are grateful for the freedoms and opportunities those sacrifices have earned for all of us.
It’s a relatively light day in the world of education news, but let’s get down to it.
And Montana makes 47. The Billings Gazette reports that Montana has adopted the common core state standards. With Montana now on board, a total of 46 states and the District of Columbia have adopted a common set of educational standards for K–12 English language arts and mathematics that are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to succeed in college and a career.
Alabama’s State Board of Education has decided to keep the state involved in the Common Core Standards Initiative. The Montgomery Advertiser describes the 6–3 vote in support of the national set of math and English standards for students.
Education Week details the rough path ahead for the Harkin-Enzi Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization. Despite having held a hearing this past week that was intended to satisfy committee members who felt more discussion about how to improve on No Child Left Behind was warranted, many Republican committee members remain lukewarm about the bill. EdWeek notes that it does not look like the bill will be approved in time to head off the U.S. Department of Education’s NCLB waivers, for which 39 states and the District of Columbia have signed up.
The Badger State has cut over 3,000 positions this year, which is three times the number cut last year, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The bad news doesn’t stop there, however. Two-thirds of respondents to a Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators survey said that they think next year’s staff cuts will be as bad as this year’s or worse. A representative for Gov. Scott Walker said, “Schools are staying the same or getting better, and (that’s happening) while the state will hold the line on property taxes over the next two years. All of this was done without massive public employee layoffs or any tax increase unlike in other states.”
Via the Los Angeles Times, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson’s criticism of obtaining a statewide waiver from No Child Left Behind combined with the $2 billion, minimum, it would take to meet a waiver’s requirements appear to have California officials steering away from getting the state out from under NCLB’s accountability provisions.
Finally, the Baltimore Sun reports that school leaders spent more than $5 million over the past few years to buy outdated textbooks and curriculum materials as part of an overhaul to the English curriculum. The article notes, “The system spent about $2.2 million on a 27-year-old grammar textbook with outdated references to encyclopedias and almanacs, both barely used by today’s students, according to school system documents.” Some parents and councilmembers have been critical of the move and questioned whether it was the wisest financial choice.
That’s it from us for today. Thanks for reading High School Soup and have a great weekend!