Senior Senate Democrat Tom Harkin of Iowa released a draft of a sprawling revision of the No Child Left Behind education law on Tuesday that would dismantle the provisions of the law that used standardized test scores in reading and math to label tens of thousands of public schools as failing. The 865-page bill, filed by Senator Harkin, who heads the Senate education committee, became the first comprehensive piece of legislation overhauling the law to reach either Congressional chamber since President George W. Bush signed it in 2002. Mr. Harkin made his draft bill public 18 days after President Obama announced that he would use executive authority to waive the most onerous provisions of the law, because he had all but given up hope that Congress could fix the law’s flaws any time soon. Read Entire Post
The Washington Post reported that Harkin’s plan to revamp the main federal education law immediately drew fire from civil rights groups that argued it would ease pressure on schools to provide quality education to all children, regardless of race or income. Further, Education Week reported the accountability system at the heart of the No Child Left Behind Act would be completely reinvented under the draft reauthorization proposal.Read Entire Post
Education Week reports Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., a former Denver schools chief, arrived in Congress hoping to bring his on-the-ground expertise working in a large school district to ESEA reauthorization. This week, he'll have the chance when Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, introduces his ESEA reauthorization plan.
According to Education Week, Race to the Top, the competitive grant program first created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, would become an authorized part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, under a draft of Senate education leaders' reauthorization proposal circulating around Washington. So far, states have split a total of $4 billion in Race to the Top grants, which further some of the Obama administration's top school reform priorities The draft language would allow grants to go to high-need districts in addition to states, and also to groups of states, or groups of high-need districts.Read Entire Post
According to the Chicago News Cooperative, the gap between the number of minority teachers in Chicago’s public schools and minority student enrollment has widened over the last decade, but one school is working to change that by preparing the next generation of teachers. Wells Community Academy High School, where the racial breakdown of students is almost evenly split between African-Americans and Hispanics, more than 60 students are participating in a teacher training program that gets them to the front of the classroom years before most aspiring teachers.
The Huffington Post and Education Week both wrote about how Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Inc. who died Wednesday after a battle with cancer at age 56, help revolutionized technology in the classroom. In a time of educational debate and shuffling nationwide, a college dropout, businessman and paragon of technological innovation emerged as an inadvertent, but forceful, momentum for an educational revolution around the world.Read Entire Post
Individual articles from this week's issue are listed below, or you can download a .pdf of the entire newsletter here.Read Entire Post
Despite new momentum lately, it doesn't look like Congress will get around to renewing the No Child Left Behind Act by the end of this year, according to Education Week. But it's (almost) a sure bet that lawmakers will be looking to reshape the programs in the U.S. Department of Education, either by eliminating some, or by consolidating smaller programs into broader funding streams.
The Huffington Post reports that when Secretary of Education Arne Duncan presented the Obama administration's reforms to teacher training programs before the D.C.-based think tank Education Sector last Friday, he was joined by an unlikely partner: Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association. The National Education Association, the largest teacher's union in the country, has warred with the Obama administration in the past, going as far as adopting a resolution this summer that took on the title, "13 Things We Hate About Arne Duncan."Read Entire Post
After months of negotiations, it's finally happening: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has set a date to take up a bill reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act., according to Education Week. The markup is scheduled for Oct. 18 at 2:30 p.m. No details yet on the actual legislation, but it's the product of 10 months of negotiations between U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the committee chairman, and Sen. Michael Enzi of Wyoming, the top Republican. Read Entire Post
On Friday, Education Sector is hosting the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at 9am at the Capital Hilton in DC, where he’ll announce a new plan for teacher education reform.
According to Education Week, several high-profile teacher-training and -professional-development groups that recently lost federal set-asides—from Teach For America to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards—will have an opportunity to recapture some of that funding under the terms of a newly unveiled $25 million federal competition.Read Entire Post
That being said, when I saw the new movie Moneyball this weekend I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between the film and education. The movie is based on the true story of Billy Beane, a Major League Baseball general manager played by Brad Pitt who built a winning team on a tiny budget by using statistical data to find the best and cheapest players.Read Entire Post
Over objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill, President Obama is making it clear he will proceed with his blueprint education reform and an overhaul of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. And this time, Mr. Obama will have some bipartisan cover, as many Republican governors are backing his approach, according to the Washington Times.Read Entire Post