Tutoring Showdown, Restructured Schools, Teacher Quality, and Standards (NCLB News)

Perhaps the biggest news this week is the showdown between the USDE and the folks at the Chicago Board of Education, who insist that they should be allowed to continue providing SES tutoring even though they have been declared in need of improvement. Thus far, neither side has blinked, and there are lots of questions about the impact and implementation of tutoring and choice programs nationwide:
Illinois seeks way to maintain tutoring program Chicago Sun-Times
No Educator Left Behind: Time Limit for Choice, Services EducationWorld
Tutoring Accountability Missing FairTest.org
Shuffling schools Rocky Mountain News

As the year progresses, more districts are having to consider what to do about persistently low-performing schools, which, according to the law, are eventually supposed to be restructured:
Cole takeover Denver Post
District to study charter status as cure for ailing schools San Diego Union Tribune
Underperforming schools: New front in today’s struggle for civil rights SF Gate
Raising the bar at struggling schools Miami Herald
Basics bumping the extras at schoolsMiami Herald
Ponderosa Elementary tackles No Child rules Billings Gazette
Tests Are History at This High School Los Angeles Times

In the meantime, there seem to be more and more questions about whether states and districts are making progress on the teacher quality front:
New Requirements for Highly Qualified Special Education Teachers WrightsLaw.com
Report: States lack urgency in pursuing "highly qualified" goals Education Week
Rules put teacher's aides to the test Baltimore Sun
States Rate Poorly on Ensuring Veteran Teachers Are Qualified
Aides play growing role in classrooms Washington Post

Meanwhile, there are bunch of pieces out there this week highlighting the disparities among state standards, and disparities between many states’ standards and what kids really need to know:
State Standards Fail to Meet NCLB Challenge Fordham Foundation
Proficiency goals hurt by disparities in state standards Los Angeles Times.

On a related note, another report notes that student course-taking is not up to par, either: New study (pdf)


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