With his declaration on Friday that he would waive the most contentious provisions of a federal education law, President Obama effectively rerouted the nation’s education history after a turbulent decade of overwhelming federal influence, reports Education Week. Obama decried the state of American education, calling the law an admirable but flawed effort that has hurt students instead of helping them.Read Entire Post
President Announces Waivers For No Child Left Behind, Time For Congress To Get Back In The Boxing Ring
President Barack Obama announced today sweeping changes in his administration’s plan for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, commonly known as Child Left Behind. He unveiled that the Department of Education will begin to issue waivers to states from NCLB if they follow general guidelines.
In his latest video, Alliance President Bob Wise — former governor of West Virginia — compares Obama’s latest move to a punch in a boxing ring. Obama said he is allowing waivers because Congress has refused to act.
Wise said waivers are a step forward but the only real solution is for Congress to pass full legislation necessary for education reform.
“The Executive Branch has chosen to move forward with waivers because Congress hasn’t acted,” Wise said. “So here's the challenge — Congress, climb back in the ring, duke it out. Pass the legislation that truly leads to education reform and takes away the need for waivers. When you do that, you score a knock out for our kids. There's still time'
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U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander wants Education Secretary Arne Duncan to show restraint in granting waivers to states on the No Child Left Behind Law, according to the Republic. Duncan announced the waivers last month and said in order to get one, states must agree to education reforms the White House favors — from tougher evaluation systems for teachers and principals to programs helping minority students.Read Entire Post
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced it will fund more charter school-district collaborations, benefiting schools in Boston, Central Falls, R.I., and Sacramento, Calif, among others.The districts still have to formally apply for the Gates funding, but they can win up to $100,000 once they do, according to Education Week.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
Education Week took a look at who in the education world has given a lot of money to the legislative supercommittee, made up of Democrats and Republicans who are tasked with coming up with finding at least $1.2 trillion in savings over the next decade. The nation's largest teachers' union, the National Education Association, comes in 32 for biggest donors to the supercommittee members – giving $297,650 between 1989 to 2011. The American Federation of Teachers wasn't far behind at 68th on the list of top 100 donors. While hefty, these donations are tiny in comparison to other organizations, including more than $1 million in campaign contributions from the Club for Growth, a political action committee that supports candidates who favor low-taxes and slimmed down government.
The Chicago Tribune reports on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel angering the city’s teacher’s union by offering teachers a bonus pay if they waive union contract provisions and agree to lengthen the school day at their schools. City officials and the teacher’s union have been battling over pay in relation to a longer school day for the past month.Read Entire Post
A group of key U.S. Senate Republicans—led by Sen. Lamar Alexander, of Tennessee, a former U.S. secretary of education—are going their own way on reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, according to Education Week. Back in January, the top lawmakers on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee pledged to work together on a bipartisan, comprehensive bill to fix NCLB, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. But almost eight months later, those talks haven’t resulted in a bill.Read Entire Post
This past week I spent a few days with district teams in Florence, Alabama to learn about the state’s ACCESS (Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide) Program and how it is changing high schools throughout Alabama. These dedicated state and local professionals are undertaking major transformation of middle and high schools in the face of declining fiscal revenues and concerns about improving student performance in the shadow of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Dr. Melinda Maddox, director of technology initiatives for the Alabama Department of Education, orchestrated a series of regional meetings with superintendents, principals, local board members, and information technology specialists to coordinate and support profound changes in the way secondary schools do business. It is becoming increasingly clear that effective classrooms in the twenty-first century will depend on engaging learners in acquiring, refining, and applying deep content knowledge to analyze and solve problems in a digital, connected world. By providing flexible time, pace, and place for instruction, educators can customize the educational environment so every student learns in his or her own style and at his or her own pace.Read Entire Post