Missouri Races Downwards, No Go for North Dakota, (NCLB News)

Rather than trying to get out of NCLB altogether, Missouri has recently taken the surprising– and seemingly unallowable – step of lowering its AYP requirements for 2005: Missouri lowers testing goals (Kansas City Star January 22). Missouri scales back student testing goals (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Lower MAP standards 'more realistic,' district official says (Columbia Daily Tribune). Can they do that? If they can, won't everyone do the same?

On the HQT hotseat, North Dakota has apparently lost out on its bid to retain existing provisions, which requires only a degree in elementary education and was deemed insufficient during an earlier USDE monitoring visit:
State must comply with federal education ruling (Bismarck Tribune), Federal officials give no ground on teacher standard ruling (Grand Forks Herald).

All this despite the involvement of powerful US Senator Byron Dorgan: Dorgan pushes for teacher standard to be accepted (Times Record). For more background, see: Dakota to appeal NCLB status (Freeport Journal Standard), N.D., Utah Dispute Federal Findings on Teacher Quality (Education Week), Federal Education Officials to Visit State (Bismarck Tribune), State officials confident ruling will be reversed (Bismarck Tribune).

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia board of education has loosened some of its requirements for special education and ELL teachers:
Education board votes to loosen some teaching standards (Philadelphia Inquirer). Thus far, no public response from the USDE, which is reportedly visiting all 50 states on monitoring visits. And not everyone is having a hard time with the HQT requirement: Most Bay County teachers already meet No Child Left Behind ..(The Bay City Times), No Educator Left Behind: Graduate Degrees (Education World).

Elsewhere in the world of teacher training/recruitment/retention/compensation: Pughsley plan would transfer teachers (News 14 Charlotte), City principal finds teacher by turning to private sector (Chicago Tribune),
UC boss emphasizes science, math needs (San Diego Union-Tribune), Racial Equity Requires Teaching Elementary School Teachers More Mathematics, Can't understand your teacher? (Arizona Republic), Absolute union power hurts ... (Providence Journal). And, on The West Wing, an independent-minded Democratic presidential candidate proposes an end to tenure for teachers: The West Wing (Television Without Pity).

Meanwhile, at least one voice in VA comes out against the state’s NCLB escape efforts: Don't abandon ''No Child Left Behind'' (Virginian Pilot). In Washington, DC, an education group’s challenge against the law was blocked: Challenge dismissed (UPI). School board members are rallying against NCLB: Federal Relations Network Conference to Rally Support for NCLB ...(U.S. Newswire). Some districts are considering suing the Feds: Princeton, Putnan County schools consider suing over No Child Left ... (LaSalle News Tribune). Others are finding it too costly: Suing too expensive (Northern Illinois News Tribune).

Best of the Rest:
Few expected to leave unacceptable schools Houston Chronicle
Test-Prep Firms Bribing Students Just To Show Up New York Sun
Options for Kids in Failing Schools New York Post
School districts scramble to meet new law standards News Journal
In Pa., racial gap in scores shrinks Philadelphia Inquirer
Test-score gaps persist despite academic gains Des Moines Register
43 Schools On Warning List Hartford Courant
Left behind? Fort Worth Star Telegram
Options for Kids in Failing Schools New York Post
District may join push for English San Jose Mercury News
Frequently Asked Questions about Assessment and Testing
Association of American Publishers
More Measured Approaches in Standards-Based Reform ETS via the Gadfly
Pilot test gets lukewarm reception Union Leader
Using Small Schools to District’s Benefit Education World
Mesa, Arizona: Reading First "Dramatically" Improves Students' Reading Skills
Social studies getting squeezed Chicago Sun-Times


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