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MarylandCAN News Roundup: Top 10 Education News Stories of the Week

MarylandCAN's Top 10 News Stories of the Week

 

1. College Board launches education advocacy campaign with 857 desks on National Mall

June 19, 2012 | Associated Press, The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — 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.

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2. Frederick charter school principal search complicated by requirements

June 21, 2012 | Margarita Raycheva, Gazette.Net

Frederick Classical Charter School advocates have a new hurdle to overcome as they prepare to open in fall 2013.

Although building plans and a new opening date were approved last week by the Frederick County Board of Education, school officials denied a request to allow charter advocates to use requirements for hiring a principal that differ from what the school system uses.

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3. Auditors confirm: DC's pre-K, while laudable, is not universal

June 19, 2012 | Ken Archer and David Alpert, GreaterGreaterWashington


DC's Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) disputed our report last week that auditors believe the District has not reached universal pre-K. But parents are being turned away across the city, and the auditors confirmed that pre-K, while it has grown significantly, is still not universal.

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4. Obama push on mandatory attendance age stalls in states

June 19, 2012 | Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week



Various news outlets are highlighting an Associated Press report that despite President Barack Obama's call for states to raise their compulsory school attendance age to 18 in his State of the Union speech at the start of the year, officials in all but one state responded with an implicit, "No thanks."

In his Jan. 24 address, Obama specifically called on states "to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18," saying that it would directly lead to more high school students earning diplomas.

Read more here

5. Justices decline review of K-12 race case

June 18, 2012 | Mark Walsh, Education Week

 

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to step back into the issue of race-conscious actions by school districts to promote student racial diversity.

The justices refused without comment to take up the appeal of a federal appeals court ruling that upheld a Pennsylvania school district's attendance-zone plan that took neighborhood racial demographics into account but did not assign individual students based on race.

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6. Mayors back parents seizing control of schools

June 18, 2012 | Stephanie Simon, Reuters

 

(Reuters) - Hundreds of mayors from across the United States this weekend called for new laws letting parents seize control of low-performing public schools and fire the teachers, oust the administrators or turn the schools over to private management.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday unanimously endorsed "parent trigger" laws aimed at bypassing elected school boards and giving parents at the worst public schools the opportunity to band together and force immediate change.

Read more here

7. Hispanic community in Md. speaks out at summit

June 16, 2012 | Meghin Moore, WTOP 103.5 FM

WASHINGTON - One of Maryland's most multiculturally diverse counties hosted a White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Community Action Summit.

The meeting, held at Montgomery Blair High School in Montgomery County, focused on the achievement gap, small business owners and the DREAM Act.

Read more here

8. College Park charter school approved to open in fall 2013

June 15, 2012 | Abby Brownback, Gazette.Net

 

Three hundred Prince George’s County middle school students will have the opportunity to experiment with individualized plans for a mix of in-person and online learning when College Park Academy Public Charter School, approved Thursday afternoon by the county school board, opens in fall 2013.

“Times have changed. The way students learn has changed,” said College Park City Councilwoman Denise Mitchell (Ward 4), who is also a founding board member of the charter school. “A blended learning model will be an example for years to come.”

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9. Class size increases should focus on higher grades, smaller classes critical in early years: study

June 15, 2012 | Gregory Kristof, The Huffington Post

 

Small class sizes are crucial for learning at the younger grades, but may be less important as children mature, according to a new study.

The report, called "Smart Class-Size Policies for Lean Times" and released in March by the Southern Regional Educational Board, comes as state education departments have repeatedly cut costs by increasing class sizes, and when critics are questioning the significance of small classes and the success of liberal education reform policies.

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10. Senate Appropriations Committee adds School Improvement option

June 15, 2012 | Alyson Klein, Education Week

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill June 14 that would make some big changes to the $533 School Improvement Grant program.

The measure, which would provide about $68.5 billion for the U.S. Department of Education, would allow add a fifth option to the four highly-controversial choices spelled out in the original regulations for the SIG program. The bill would permit schools to use a "whole school reform model" that has at least as much research to back it up as programs that won a "validation" grant (the middle level) under the federal Investing in Innovation grant competition.

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