Throughout the month we scour the headlines from around the nation and prepare brief executive summaries of the top education stories.
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Education News May 19th - 30th
Increased School Spending Leads to Student Success (Education Week, May 29, 2014) A study done by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that students in school districts that substantially increased their spending due to court ordered changes in school finance were more likely to graduate from high school, earn livable wages, and avoid poverty in adulthood. These results provide new information in the ongoing debates over whether more education spending creates improved outcomes for students. The study found that the reformed school finance systems had limited consequences for students from higher income families, but they had large positive effects on the lives of low income students.
State Lawmakers Oppose Common Core State Standards (he New York Times, May 29, 2014) In Oklahoma and South Carolina, the governors are considering signing bills that will repeal the Common Core State Standards and replace them with locally written versions. Lawmakers in Missouri have already passed a bill that would require a committee of educators to come up with new standards within two years. Republicans have recently been arguing that the standards amount to a federal takeover of public schools and those on the left are upset by new standardized tests and the high stakes associated with them. Jenni White of Restore Oklahoma Public Education stated, "When you have national standards, it becomes very hard for a state school board to control what exactly your child is learning. Local control really produces the best educational results."
California Students Want More Time in Classroom (The Huffington Post, May 29, 2014) Eighteen students from seven of Californiaís lowest preforming schools filed a lawsuit against the state and education officials for not having enough time in the classroom. The lawsuit cites multiple reasons for insufficient learning time, including high teacher turnover, and teacher vacancies and absences. Students at these low preforming schools lag behind their peers in literacy and math skills and donít receive the same opportunities. Mark Rosenbaum, an ACLU attorney, stated, "This is the first case that addresses the question of meaningful learning time. We looked at seven schools - all high poverty, urban communities served by these schools, which have been historically at the bottom."