AM News: Obama's Proposal Raises Issue of Pre-K Teacher Qualifications
Obama Proposal Raises Issue of Pre-K Teacher Prep EdWeek: Amid the attention stemming from President Barack Obama's focus on early-childhood education in his State of the Union address, some advocates are wondering what the proposal will mean in the way of expectations for teachers.In particular, they are zeroing in on the president's call for "qualified" teachers—a term that carries baggage in a field where debates loom large about how to simultaneously improve the quality of instruction, increase the number of children served, and raise the prestige and pay of pre-K's approximately 1.8 million teachers.
Democrats in Massachusetts Push to Remove Limitations on Charters WSJ: Massachusetts lawmakers are considering eliminating a cap on the number of charter schools that can operate in the lowest-performing school districts, including here in the capital city. While other states also have weighed lifting caps, charter advocates point to left-leaning Massachusetts as a somewhat unlikely model for the movement. "This demonstrates that charter schools are a viable reform," said Nina Rees, president of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, a nonprofit aimed at advancing the movement. "If it can happen in Massachusetts, it can happen anywhere."
Alabama's Contentious Education Bill In Limbo As Courts Review Cases NPR: A week after a sweeping and controversial education bill was adopted by the Alabama Legislature, the measure is on hold, with a circuit judge and the state's supreme court reviewing separate lawsuits filed over it. Democrats say Republicans broke the rules when they inserted school choice language into a bill that was originally meant to give school districts flexibility in meeting standards.
Rational Decisions and Heartbreak on School Closings NYT: “In my heart, I didn’t want to accept it,” said Glen Casey, 18, a senior, at the end of the school day Friday. “It broke my heart, it hit me hard.” Wrenching though the decision was, William R. Hite Jr., the superintendent, said it was simply a matter of math in a district where more than a quarter of the schools’ 195,000 seats are now empty.
South Dakota Law to Allow Teachers to Be Armed WSJ: South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a bill Friday allowing the state's school districts to arm teachers and other personnel with guns. Supporters say the so-called sentinels could help prevent tragedies such as the Connecticut school shooting in December. The law will go into effect July 1. Several representatives of school boards, school administrators and teachers opposed the bill during committee testimony last month.