Brushfires in Utah, Texas, Connecticut, and California (NCLB News)

Utah: Perhaps the biggest news this week is about something that didn’t happen: the Utah legislature’s decision to hold off on bypassing NCLB, thanks in some part to the USDE’s apparent flexibility on HQT issues: Utah Teachers OK’d as ‘Highly Qualified’ (EW), Utah teachers OK under No Child Left Behind (Salt Lake Tribune).

Still, Utah lawmakers are keeping the pressure on by scheduling a special session later this Spring: Special session for ed bill (Salt Lake Tribune), Utah Gov. Sets 'No Child' Special Session, Utah Delays a Challenge to Federal Law (New York Times).

And not everything has been resolved: Utah educators face challenges despite new 'No Child Left Behind' ... (BYU Newsnet), Utah Must Confront Inequities in Public Education (Education Trust).

Texas: Over in the Lone Star State, things aren’t going so smoothly: Texas defies No Child law on special ed (Dallas Morning News), State defies U.S. rules on grading schools (Houston Chronicle), Consequences for Texas' defiance of law are unclear (Houston Chronicle), There's more to the story of Texas defying NCLB (blogHOUSTON), and The state isn't obeying part of the No Child measure, but policy ... (Houston Chronicle).

To find out how most other states are working with districts, take a look at the new report from the Center on Education Policy: Identifying School Districts for Improvement. PDF

Connecticut: Some Ct. folks aren’t happy with the notion of annual testing, either: State loses testing appeal (Hartford Courant), Feds Are Willing To Listen To State's NCLB Concerns (TheDay), Federal officials won't do more than listen (Waterbury Republican American), Feds: State Must Abide By NCLB Testing Mandate (TheDay), Report: Education law will cost state $41 million (Newsday), U.S. REJECTS REQUEST FOR "NO CHILD" WAIVER (Hartford Courant).

California: Let’s not leave out California: Let's Try 'No State Left Behind' (Los Angeles Times), A look at No Child Left Behind (Sacramento Bee).

As usual, Checker sums up the state of play pretty accurately:
Playing chicken on NCLB.

Best of the Rest:

BISD wins appeals, meets AYP standards Brownsville Herald
Livonia Public Schools garners AYP status after all Livonia Observer
School retesting policies stir debate Philly.com
Lagging schools face change Honolulu Advertiser
In 3rd grade, students pushed to read Det. News
Nebraska's Largest District Stuggling Yankton Daily Press
A school on the brink: Campus races to catch up Sacramento Bee
Dist. 21 may change transfer policy... Chicago Daily Herald
Student transfer costs rise under No Child Left Behind KRQE


Anonymous bruce hunter said...

"As usual checker sums up the state of play pretty accurately"?

Blogging is about personal opinions cast as expert knowledge so reading blogs is about sorting out how expert we think opinion is. You missed the boat pretty badly on that opinion. My favorite Checker opinion from when he headed OERI was that we know about all we need to know about reading so professional discussions about the topic wouldn't be very beneficial. That opinion was cast in response to my request for reading meeting for to help superintendents sort out the knowledge base at a meeting at AASA headquarters. Alexander you can do a lot better than Checker as a source of insight into public education.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Alexander Russo said...

bruce -- thanks for posting a comment on the site.

i know that checker is ridiculous at times, but he's also prolific and quotable.

is there anyone else out there that i should be reading and linking to more often?

a bruce hunter blog, or something near as good? i'd love to have more things to link to and quote in the update.

as to the substance, please let me know if my take on things, or the take i have gathered from others, is woefully out of line with what you see. -- alexander

1:18 PM  
Anonymous bruce hunter said...

I agree that checker is quotable, and about one half of the time I agree with him, on nclb though checker simply rejects any criticism.

There has never been a perfect bill. When democrats were in control particularly in the house every major bill was followed by technical corrections that really erased errors either in the bill or the regulations.

The 1 % rule for special education is an example of what would have been corrected in an earlier era. Checker, along with a lot of other smart people, either doesn't know or won't acknowledge that perfect legislation is a goal not a state of being and that mid-course corrections are a historical fact.

In fact the last time this occurred was after the 1978 reauthorization when the parent involvement provisions and the supplement not supplant provisions were interpreted in such a strange and restrictive way that as soon as the GOP captured the presidency and the Senate they blew up ESEA and created the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act.

Putting the clamps on reasonable requests for relief from the field will inevitably cause the pendulum to swing too far in the opposite direction when change comes.

If you like the goal of universal proficiency and want to see progress then help your former colleagues at least listen to the people in the school business who do not want to turn back the clock but do want to be able to succeed.

The tension within systems between the rules for all and the fact that teachers teach each child is real and must be balanced. Universal proficiency requires being able to respond to each child as a unique learner, as much as possible while pushing for ward for all students. The each and all tension is only addressed in IDEA at a federal level, but mediating the tension is a large part of what Principals and superintendents do on a daily basis.

NCLB will have to balance each and all or get blown up as unworkable it's that simple.

1:21 PM  

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