Public Spending Per Student Drops WSJ: U.S. public-education spending per student fell in 2011 for the first time in more than three decades, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data issued Tuesday. Spending for elementary and high schools across the 50 states and Washington, D.C. averaged $10,560 per pupil in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011. That was down 0.4% from 2010, the first drop since the bureau began collecting the data on an annual basis in 1977, the agency said Tuesday.
Oklahoma Tornado: Long Minutes of Desperation Inside School Razed by Storm WSJ: When the tornado-warning sirens blared, Kelly Law was already in the hallway of Plaza Towers Elementary School, huddled against the wall, shielding as many students as she could with her body. Another eight or 10 teachers did the same, she said. For the long minutes it took the tornado to pass, she shut her eyes and prayed. The roof was ripped away. "It sounded like rivets being pulled out by a monster," Ms. Law said.
Chicago School Closings May Leave Some Communities Without Old Lifelines NYT: And yet, the possible move to Gregory [a better-performing school] has generated a visceral reaction from Bethune families, underscoring broader fears about school closings that officials have found difficult to ease. By uprooting elementary schools like Bethune, where around 98 percent of the students are black and from low-income homes, parents say officials are uprooting the personal and academic lifelines of Chicago’s neediest communities.
House Panel Presses Arne Duncan on Loans, Waivers, Common Core PoliticsK12: Student loans are at the top of Congress' agenda this summer—and they were the number one topic when U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified today before the House Education and the Workforce Committee on President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2014 budget.
D.C. Bets Big on Common Core EdWeek: The District of Columbia, where she's taught for 11 years, was quick to adopt the Common Core State Standards. But putting them into practice demands a heavy lift: With their emphasis on mastery of complex text, the standards require far stronger literacy skills than most students here—and many in the 46 states that also adopted the common core in English—currently possess.
Oklahoma Schools Lacked Consistent Tornado Shelter Rules HuffPost: The two elementary schools leveled by the deadly tornado that swept through the Oklahoma City area Monday lacked designated safe rooms designed to protect children and teachers, despite state warnings that the absence of such facilities imperils lives. At least two other schools in Moore -- the epicenter of the disaster -- did have safe rooms. So far no fatalities have been tied to those schools, whose buildings were fortified after a devastating twister hit the area in 1999.