Education News: August 31, 2007
Following are some of the top headlines from the world of education for the week ending August 31, 2007.
Comic Books Aim to Prepare Test Takers
(Source: The Boston Globe, 8/30/07): Test-prep company Kaplan has launched a line of comic books that contain more than 300 SAT vocabulary words in their texts, along with definitions in the margins. Titles include “Psy-Comm,” “Van Von Hunter”, and “Warcraft: Dragon Hunt.”
For Some Students, SAT Can Open College Doors
(Source: The Washington Post, 8/30/07): Nationwide, SAT scores are at their lowest in eight years, but, according to the College Board, this may not be a bad sign. The lower scores, they say, are the result of a more diverse group of students taking the test and considering college.
Report: Gulf Coast Schools Short-Changed
(Source: USA Today, 8/29/07): A new report by the Southern Education Foundation found that, two years after Hurricane Katrina, Gulf Coast schools still need a lot of aid. The foundation calculated that the hurricane caused $6.2 billion in damage to K-12 and secondary education that many reconstruction projects remain unfunded.
Rhee Seeks Authority to Terminate Employees
(Source: The Washington Post, 8/29/07): In response to longstanding disorganization and inefficiency, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is hoping to fire up to several hundred employees at the school system’s central office. Historically, central office employees who are removed from their positions have had the right to be placed at a lower-ranking job while maintaining their salaries, but Rhee plans to ask the D.C. Council to suspend this rule during restructuring.
No Child Architect Expects Revisions
(Source: St. Petersburg Times, 8/28/07): U.S. representative George Miller, who was one of the main lawmakers responsible for No Child Left Behind, said that as the law goes up for re-authorization next month he would like to see it focus more on tracking kids’ progress over time than on the “one test, one day” approach that the law has encouraged since its inception.
Charter to Repay $3 Million
(Source: The Rocky Mountain News, 8/28/07): Hope Online Learning Academy Co-Op, a Colorado charter school with learning centers around the state, will have to repay the state almost $3 million for failing to properly track students and provide adequate instructional time. A computer crash caused the errors in student tracking, and the online school’s mistaken belief that lulls between classes counted as instructional time caused the other error.
With Turnover High, Schools Fight for Teachers
(Source: The New York Times, 8/27/07): The departure of disillusioned young teachers and the retirement of aging baby boomers are causing a mounting crisis in schools across the nation, with low-performing schools getting hit the hardest. Around the country, schools are scrambling to fill teaching positions and are even offering cash incentives, but the problem is persistent and growing.
L.A. Unified Payroll a Lesson in Agony
(Source: The Los Angeles Times, 8/25/07): The Los Angeles Unified School District has been fraught with payroll problems ever since implementing a new, $95-million computer system six months ago. Tens of thousands of school district employees, including teachers, cafeteria workers, and others, are being overpaid, underpaid, or are not receiving paychecks at all.