Few States Respond to High School Summit, Strange Bedfellows Against NCLB, and Vouchers (National News)

Thirteen States Ain't Many: Thus far, at least, the state and national response to the high school crisis has been pretty underwhelming: More than a dozen states agree to raise high school standards (SD Union Tribune), Governors of 13 States Plan to Raise Standards in High Schools (New York Times), States Take Steps to Put More Rigor Into High Schools (EW), and Next Up, High Schools? (CSM) -- especially compared to estimates of what it would really take to revamp high schools: Plan Offered on U.S. Aid for High Schools (EW).

Anti-NCLB Bedfellows: Meanwhile, the effort by the NCLS and others to pile on against NCLB has created some strange bedfellows and twisted arguments. As the Washington Post points out, there is more than a little irony in the near-simultaneous rollout of the NCSL report and the Governors’ summit on high schools: Two Messages on Education (Washington Post).

But that's not all. True to form (and thankfully humorous), Mike Antonucci of the EIA mocks the NEA for its knee-jerk endorsement of the NCSL report (and the many Republican lawmakers who endorsed it): Fair Weather Federalists. To top it all off, add the Cato Institute to the list of anti-NCLB bedfellows: Education Law Encourages Fuzzy Math (Cato Institute).

Slow To Respond: The Achievement Alliance (a pro-NCLB network including Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, Just for the Kids/National Center for Educational Accountability, The Education Trust, and Business Roundtable) put out a strongly-worded (and woefully belated) rebuttal saying that the NCSL recommendations would:
“loosen accountability for our most vulnerable groups…whose schools are -- too often -- inadequately funded by their states, and whose teachers are – too often -- inadequately educated and trained."

Fine. But they're going to have to come up with something more quickly if they want to get into the news cycle next time.

What About Vouchers? While everyone's focused on high schools and NCLB, could it be that vouchers are a hot topic in state legislatures? It sure sounds like it from the Gadfly and others that are disposed towards vouchers: Vouchers, vouchers everywhere, but… (Gadfly ), and Choosing choice (National Review Online). Indeed, the Heartland Institute suggests that some would abandon NCLB in favor of vouchers and tuition tax credits: Fine-Tune NCLB, or Go Boldly for Choice? And in Chicago the Sun-Times wonders whether vouchers might have helped keep more Catholic schools open: Could vouchers have helped?. Don't forget about the Bush voucher plan, either: Bush again pushes vouchers (Oakland Press).

Best of the Rest:

The Textbook Adoption Mess DA
Bush spotlights 2-year schools The Washington Times
ETS to Enter Formative-Assessment Market at K-12 Level EW
Opinion: Charter Colleges Richmond Times Dispatch
Board backs off universal kindergarten Concord Monitor
Moving into Kindergarten:National Center for Learning Disabilities
Perata flunks teachers union loyalty test via EIA
Paper pied piper of education turns 10 CNN
Budget pigs Gadfly
OSEP SHAKE UP!! via EducationNews.org


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