Statistic of the Week
Schools and Students with Disabilities
Source: Charter Schools: Additional
Federal Attention Needed to Help Protect Access for Students with Disabilities,
U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, D.C., June 2012.
Charter schools enrolled11 a lower percentage of students
with disabilities than traditional public schools in both school years
2008-2009 and 2009-2010. For example, in school year 2009-2010, there was
about a 3 percentage point difference between the percentage of students with
disabilities enrolled in traditional public schools and charter schools. The
percentage of students with disabilities in charter schools increased slightly
between the 2 school years examined, while the percentage of students with
disabilities in traditional public schools stayed about the same. In most
states, charter schools enrolled a lower percentage of students with
disabilities when compared to traditional public schools.
Relative to traditional public schools, the proportion of
charter schools that enrolled high percentages of students with disabilities
was lower overall and generally tapered off the greater the enrollment of
students with disabilities. Specifically, the enrollment of students with
disabilities was 8 to 12 percent at 23 percent of charter schools and 34
percent of traditional public schools. Further, when the enrollment of students
with disabilities reached 12 to16 percent, about 13 percent of charter schools
compared to 25 percent of traditional public schools had these enrollment
levels. However, when compared to traditional public schools, a higher percentage
of charter schools enrolled more than 20 percent of students with disabilities.
DREAM Act stalled, Obama halts deportations
for young illegal immigrants
The Christian Science
administration issued a politically charged policy directive Friday that will
make about 800,000 young people who were brought to the United States illegally
as children safe from deportation proceedings, and may make them eligible for
The administration has
been under considerable pressure to take action on the behalf of young
immigrants, as Congress has been sharply divided about the DREAM Act, proposed
legislation that grants conditional residency to select young people brought to
the US illegally.
The policy comes as a
relief for thousands of young people who are caught in a difficult situation
where they consider the United States home but don’t have legal residency. It
also should help President Obama – locked in a difficult reelection battle –
with Latino voters, who have criticized the administration’s deportation
(MO) Missouri to work with employers to improve job
training by schools
The Jefferson City
Missouri is one of six states
selected to participate in a new national education initiative to better
prepare students for today’s jobs.
Missouri Commissioner of
Education Chris L. Nicastro said Tuesday the state
was chosen to become a part of the Pathways to Prosperity Project created by
the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Jobs for the Future.
The aim of the program is to
link educators with employers to develop realistic training that creates
graduates who meet qualifications for today’s jobs.
The five other states chosen
to participate in the national initiative are Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts,
North Carolina and Tennessee.
Louisiana officials are still working on how to assess private schools
Anyone hoping to learn this month how the state's top
education official is planning to hold private schools accountable for their
academic results with students in Louisiana's new voucher program will have to
wait. Until when isn't clear. Debate over the new voucher program, one of the
more controversial components of a sweeping education overhaul led this spring
by Gov. Bobby Jindal, has centered on whether private schools will have to produce
concrete academic results to keep accepting students on the public dime.
In the pilot, which includes about 1,800 students from Orleans
Parish, private schools have to test their students with the same exams public
schools use, and the state reports overall results. But private schools don't
get the same letter grades that public schools receive, or face the possibility
of losing public funding for subpar scores.
Mayors Back Parent-Trigger Laws for “Drop-out Factories”
The nation’s mayors have endorsed an approach that gives
parents more say in how to run failing schools, an issue that has divided state
Led by a posse of mostly Democrat mayors, including Los
Angeles’ Antonio Villaraigosa, Sacramento’s Kevin
Johnson and Newark’s Cory Booker, the city leaders on Saturday (June 16)
threw their support behind “parent trigger” policy initiatives, which would
allow parents to demand changes in chronically troubled schools that the
politicians dubbed “drop-out factories.”
Meeting in Orlando, Florida for the United Mayors Conference,
the mayors unanimously called for legislation that would allow “parents to
choose from one of at least four intervention options to improve their child’s
school: turnaround, restart, school closure, or transformation.”
curriculum approved for 6th-graders
The Jackson Clarion-Ledger
The Natchez-Adams County School District Board of Trustees has
voted to adopt an abstinence-only sex education curriculum for the school
district's sixth-graders beginning in the fall.
Mississippi schools have until June 30 to decide how to incorporate
sex education classes into the curriculum for the 2012-13 school year.
The state is requiring every district teach abstinence plus -
which includes information about birth control and sexually transmitted
diseases - or abstinence only.
Ky. panel to examine middle school sports
The Bowling Green Daily News
A state panel has been tasked with studying the lack of
regulations on middle school sports and making recommendations before the next
The move comes after Kentucky High School Athletic Association
director Julian Tackett suggested that not having "minimum
requirements" for health and safety could put students at risk.
The KHSAA oversees high school athletics, but there's no panel
that oversees safety, coach education and play regulations for middle school
S.C. lawmakers: public schools can charge tuition for 4-year-old preschool
The Columbia State
House lawmakers had included a provision in the state’s $6.7
billion general fund budget that would have banned public school districts from
charging tuition for 4-year-old preschool programs. The Senate removed that
provision, and Monday a committee of three House members and three Senators
voted to eliminate the provision for good.
Four-year-old kindergarten is not mandated by the state, so school
districts are offering it at their discretion. And parents are not required to
send their children to those programs. Sen. John Land, D-Clarendon, said in
some rural counties there is no private school alternative for 4-year-old
BESE OKs less restrictive state oversight of public schools
The Baton Rouge Advocate
Four troubled public schools in the East Baton Rouge Parish
school system will operate under less restrictive state oversight under a plan
approved Tuesday morning by Louisiana’s top school board.
The sites are Capitol Elementary School, Capitol Middle
School, Park Elementary School and Winbourne Elementary School.
All four operate under legal agreements with the state called
memorandums of understanding.
The agreements are one step short of a total state takeover of
a public school, which means they enter the Recovery School District to try to
improve student achievement.
College Board launches education advocacy campaign with 857 desks on National
The Washington Post
While schools across the country are letting out this week,
class is in session on the National Mall. That is where the College Board set
up 857 student desks in the blazing sun Tuesday.
The empty desks — one for each student who drops out each hour
of every school day, according to the College Board — are part of its “Don’t
Forget Ed!” campaign. For the launch Wednesday, College Board representatives
including college-aged students will circle the seats on the Mall, asking
passersby to sign petitions urging the presidential candidates to say more
about education reform.
Elementary and middle school STAAR results seen as encouraging
The Dallas Morning News
State officials have released the first look at how elementary
and middle school students did on new standardized tests, though the passing
standards still have not been set.
Students in third through eighth grade took the newly
implemented State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exams, or STAAR
On average, students answered about two-thirds of the
questions correctly in reading. Elementary students answered more questions
right in math than did middle schoolers. The highest
percentage of correct answers on average was in seventh-grade science, a
subject many schools traditionally struggled with in the former TAKS system.
State legislators give teachers raises but little else to public schools
The Raleigh News and Observer
Legislators are expected to vote Thursday on a $20.2 billion
budget that gives state employees and teachers raises and shrinks the amount
that school systems would have to cut from their budgets next year.
Legislative leaders praised their work, but school
administrators, school board members and Gov. Bev Perdue reserved opinions
until they could look at the numbers.
A possible veto by Perdue, a Democrat, looms over the
discussions. The House schedule for finishing its work for the year takes into
account a potential veto.
Most Florida universities ask for full 15 percent tuition increase
The Florida News-Press
All but two of 11 state universities will ask the Florida
Board of Governors for a 15 percent tuition increase this year, bucking Gov.
Rick Scott's push to hold down the cost of a college education.
In filings with the board, every institution except the
University of Florida asked the governors for the maximum increase allowed
under the state's "differential tuition" law. UF decided to ask for a
9 percent increase after President Bernie Machen and
some of the school's trustees expressed unease with going to the full 15 percent.
The University of South Florida initially told the board it
would seek a 15 percent increase, but later trustees decided it will instead
ask for an 11 percent increase.
Technical college program sees effect of HOPE cuts
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
When Georgia lawmakers overhauled the popular HOPE scholarship
they knew smaller award amounts could create financial hardships for some
It's done that and more, college officials say. Enrollment in
commercial trucking programs has plummeted at a time when there is a driver
shortage across the state and country.
Under the old HOPE, students in the Technical College System
of Georgia's trucking program paid $408 to earn the certificate. When that rose
to $1,150 this past fall -- under a revamp supporters say was necessary to
prevent HOPE's financial collapse -- enrollment dropped by 39 percent to 411
students. Enrollment could plunge again, college leaders warn. HOPE award
payouts could be cut as soon as mid-2013, meaning students will have an even
larger out-of-pocket expense.
At Public Ed Hearing, "15 Percent Rule" Criticized
The Texas Tribune
Parents, superintendents and students confronted lawmakers
Tuesday over issues in the rollout of the state’s new standardized testing
regime at a hearing of the House Public Education Committee.
Discussion centered on a rule that calls for high school
students’ end-of-course exams to count for 15 percent of their final grades,
which will go into effect next year, with committee members largely agreeing
with witnesses that the rule should be done away with.
The “15 percent rule” will probably be permanently reversed,
said outgoing chairman Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands,
who lost his primary election in May.
Governor urges state universities to lead nation in affordability
The Gainesville Sun
In case state universities hadn’t gotten the message yet, Gov.
Rick Scott on Tuesday hammered home his concern about rising tuition before the
university system’s governing body considers another round of tuition
Scott told the Florida Board of Governors that state
universities have made an “unbelievable increase” in tuition in recent years.
He noted that Florida ranked 45th in the United States this year in average
tuition and fees but challenged officials to keep those costs among the lowest
in the nation.
The board votes Thursday on university tuition increases. UF
is seeking a 9 percent increase, while all but two other universities are
pursuing the maximum 15 percent increase allowed under state law. The proposals
come as the state has slashed university funding by $300 million in the coming
Trustees approve University of Kentucky budget that brings 'gut-wrenching'
The Lexington Herald-Leader
A budget that brings "gut-wrenching" change to the
University of Kentucky was approved Tuesday by a 17-2 vote of the UK Board of
The $2.6 billion budget reflects drastic cuts in revenue, the
likes of which are unprecedented, said Angie Martin, vice president of
Tuition increases of 6 percent for 2012-13 and 3 percent for
2013-14, coupled with anticipated enrollment growth, are expected to take care
of about half of the $43 million deficit, caused by a $20 million cut in state
funding and $23 million in increased costs. Program and personnel cuts will
cover the rest.
Universities Feel the Heat Amid Cuts
The Wall Street Journal
A panel of business and academic leaders warned funding cuts
to higher education are hurting the global competitiveness of U.S. research
universities, the latest sign of financial strain that is intensifying battles
over school leadership and has led to several high-profile departures of
U.S. research universities "are in grave danger of not
only losing their place of global leadership but of serious erosion in
quality," the committee of 22 academic, business and nonprofit leaders
warned in a 250-page report issued Thursday. The report, commissioned by
Congress, called for a combined effort among the schools, governments and
corporations to reverse the decline.
Overkill on Remediation?
Inside Higher Education
Complete College America is on a crusade to improve remedial
education, which it says is hopelessly broken and failing students. The group
has had big successes in a campaign that is gathering steam, but some community
college leaders say its rhetoric and proposed fixes go too far.
That dissent is usually voiced privately. The two-year-old
Complete College America is a savvy political operator, having persuaded
lawmakers in 30 states to sign on to its completion goals. And the group
receives support, both fiscal and, sometimes, on policy, from both the Lumina
and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations.
However, Hunter R. Boylan, director
of the National Center for Developmental Education and another top expert on
remediation have publicly challenged some aspects of Complete College America’s
campaign, which pushes for students to be placed into credit-bearing courses
with extra academic support, rather than in the typically noncredit remedial
pathway. They argue that research remains somewhat flimsy on how to improve
remediation, and said the group’s support for a proposal to completely eliminate
remedial education in Connecticut was a mistake.
Federal Activities & Issues
Dept. Launches College-Savings Plan
A new College Savings Account Research Demonstration Project
was unveiled by the U.S. Department of Education last week that is designed to
help disadvantaged students pay for higher education.
The $8.7 million needed for the initiative will come from
federal funds in Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate
Programs, or GEAR UP, a program that aims to improve college readiness among
low-income middle school and high school students.
About 10,000 GEAR UP students will receive $200 in seed money
to start accounts as freshmen in high school. Students then will have the
opportunity to earn $10 a month, which would be matched by the government over
the next four years, with the chance to save more than $1,000 by the end of
high school. GEAR UP will follow the outcomes of students receiving savings
accounts with a control group of peers who did not. Research suggests that
savings accounts can be a factor in students enrolling in college.
Reports & Publications
Schools Still Enroll Fewer Disabled Students
The New York Times
Charter schools in most states continue to enroll
proportionately fewer students with disabilities than traditional public
schools, a new government report shows.
Across the country, disabled students represented 8.2 percent
of all students enrolled during the 2009-10 year in charter schools, compared
with 11.2 percent of students attending traditional public schools, according
to a Government Accountability Office analysis of Department of Education data.
In the previous year, 7.7 percent of students in charter
schools had disabilities, compared with 11.3 percent in traditional public
schools. Data covered students ages 6 to 21 in the 40
states that have charter schools.
Shallow Grasp of Science
Elementary, middle, and high school students failed to
demonstrate a deep understanding of science concepts when they performed
activity-based science tasks and investigations, concludes a study released today
from the first national assessment of both hands-on and interactive
computer-based science activities.
The hands-on tasks, which required students to use materials
and laboratory equipment to perform science experiments, and the new,
interactive computer tasks, which simulated an environmental or laboratory
setting and asked students to solve scientific problems, were administered as
part of the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress in science for
4th, 8th, and 12th graders. The report follows on the heels of the 2011
traditional pencil-and-paper science NAEP results released last month.
Outside the Region
Need Too Much
Inside Higher Education
Sometimes good intentions can blind one to the realities that
something might not be sustainable.
In the face of financial pressures, Wesleyan University is
moving away from its blanket need-blind admissions policy. Instead, the college
is planning to peg increases in the size of its financial aid budget to the
size of its overall budget. As long as that money meets need, it will consider
students irrespective of their ability to pay. Once the aid runs out, however,
the college will start factoring in family income and ability to pay. This
effectively means that, unless the college can raise enough money, the last
students admitted to the class each year (possibly 10 percent of the class)
will not include those who need aid.
Much More EdNotes Headlines
(click here to see summaries)
Miss. officials look into limiting short school days
Trying to Reduce Head Injuries, Youth Football Limits Practices
schools to focus more life skills
Change.org Drops Michelle Rhee Group Under Pressure
State workers’, teachers’ raises could be delayed
Gov. Jindal signs bill allowing school boards to transport students to
The Enlightened Classroom
Teacher furloughs divide House, Senate
Charter school teacher certification questioned
NC House adds private tuition break to Senate bill
High schools cracking down on end-of-the-year pranks
Teachers’ Union to Open Lesson-Sharing Web Site
Will Happier Adjuncts Mean More Graduates?
Education board hammers USF over grad rates
'Political interference' led UF to lower tuition request
College Students Bridge Chasm Between Medical Care And
House overrides veto of community college bill
University of Alabama System finance committee recommends tuition increases at
USC recommends decade-low tuition hike
Florida's universities, wrestling with funding cuts, to seek tuition hikes
despite governor's opposition
Amendment Restores Aid for Career Pathways Programs
urges students, parents to pressure Congress on student loans issue
gives Florida higher education high marks