July 16, 2004 Edition

States Game AYP to Shorten School 'Failing' Lists This Summer: While the release of the big ECS report on states' implementation of NCLB dominated education news this week, the real impact story of the week is Education Week's look into the last-minute haggling between states and the U.S. Department of Education over AYP definitions, which will directly affect the number of schools on each state's 'in need of improvement' lists over the next couple of weeks and months when the spring scores start coming back. To be sure, the ECS report highlights important progress implementing NCLB as well as widespread problems for states in the area of teacher quality. However, the combination of states' growing creativity with AYP specs and the USDE's decision to soften some of the regulatory requirements likely means that there will be no giant increase in the number of schools identified under NCLB and a potential decrease in some places regardless of whether student achievement increased over last year. Will the public and the press understand that decreased numbers of schools not meeting AYP this summer don't necessarily mean that schools are doing any better? States Dicker Over Changes to AYP Plans (Education Week)

This Week In NCLB:
States lag in gearing up for No Child Left Behind law (Stateline.org)
Study: States Progressing With New School Law (CNN.com)
More states adopt No Child provisions (Detroit News)
ECS Report to the Nation: State Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (ECS)
Secretary Paige Comments on Opposition to NCLB (Wall Street Journal)
How school reform is altering classrooms (CSM)
Transfers frustrate Board (Orlando Sentinel)
School choice advocates launch awareness campaign (Indianapolis Star)
Humor not left behind in attacks on Bush law (Los Angeles Times)
Fed law designed to fail, say educators (Dartmouth Standard-Times)
State says city schools misused federal funds (Baltimore Sun)
Tests failed; students didn't, state says (Oregonian)

Election 2004:
Opinion: True reform calls for a plan (USAT)
Opinion: List Kerry as absent on school accountability (USAT)
Kerry to Appear Tomorrow Afternoon --But Which One? (Education Intelligence Agency)
Kerry Promises Teachers Big Spending (Boston Globe)

Other Notable News:
Teacher's Aides Filling Growing Gap (USAT)
'Dropout Factories' Identified In Hopkins Study (Education Week)
Typical teacher pay moves up modestly, nears $46,000 (CNN.com)
Grading Mistakes Caused More Than 4,000 Would-Be Teachers to Fail a Licensing Exam (New York Times)
When good isn't good enough (Washington Post)
Jackson wants amendment to equalize schools (Philadelphia Daily News)
Many charter schools not slated for evaluation until 2005 (Houston Chronicle)
Opinion: Tests are critical measures of school achievement (CSM)

Dismal Times for the AFT and CTU: The national conference of the AFT going on this week can't be a particularly upbeat event for most of the participants, given that Sandy Feldman is leaving the presidency for health reasons and two different sets of representatives from the Chicago Teachers Union decided to show up and make things awkward for everyone else. And, while claiming minor victories in their increasingly destructive dispute over rightful ownership of the CTU presidency, both sides continued to make themselves look fairly ridiculous: Lynch by being the sole AFT executive council member to vote against a motion to have the AFT look into the allegations of vote fraud that Lynch and others are relying on to call the June runoff into dispute, and Stewart by issuing a belated and weak comment on the Renaissance 2010 school restructuring proposal.
Stewart Statement on Board Initiative (UPC)
Both sides in teachers' union dispute claim small victories (WLS)
Stewart scores 1 in teacher dispute (Chicago Tribune)
Wins for both sides in dispute over control of teachers union (Chicago Sun Times)
National Union Weighing Teacher Delegate Status (Tribune)
AFT to Review Chicago Election Dispute (Education Week)
CTU votes won't count, yet (Daily Southtown)
CTU election results to be reviewed (Sun Times)
Contested teacher vote to be probed (Tribune)

Other Chicago News:
Chicago to 'Start Over' With Small Schools (Education Week)
South side faces school shake up (Tribune)
Activists seek say on city school plan (Tribune)
Teachers' average pay near $46,000 (Chicago Tribune)
Teachers Say $45,771 Isn't Enough Pay (Tribune)
Gov: leaders close to budget deal (Crain's)
Budget breakthrough in works (Tribune)

School Life
Instant cash -- at school? (CSM)
Offline and Still in Touch With Away Messaging (Washington Post)
Jenna (Bush) to teach in Harlem (NY Post)


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