Congress is heading back to work after the summer recess, and they have some unfinished business to attend to: Education funding, Duncan's No Child Left Behind waiver plan, and the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) reauthorization are all on the docket.
'You Made A Difference' Campaign Thanks Teachers (Huffington Post - September 5)
The "You Made A Difference" campaign was launched by Huffington Post Education blogger Scott Janssen to celebrate the work teachers do through videos posted by former students. So far, videos have been made by "Extra" host Jerry Penacoli, creator of the comic strip "Speed Bump" Dave Coverly, and Grammy Award winning producer Narada Michael Walden.
Michele Bachmann Suggests Axing the Department of Education (Huffington Post - September 5)
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told a forum Monday that she would consider cutting programs and institutions, including the Department of Education, which she previously said was an agency "we can live without."
CALIFORNIA: Cheating on State Tests Found at Two Los Angeles Schools (Los Angeles Times - September 5)
Three teachers from Short Avenue Elementary - a top-performing L.A. school - are accused of correcting answers, coaching students to the right answers, or both. And at Animo Leadership Charter High School, one of the Green Dot charter schools, a science teacher is accused of correcting wrong answers.
MASSACHUSETTS: A Shift in State College Grants (Boston Globe - September 6)
Massachusetts is awarding some of its grant money for public colleges and universities based on their proposals to improve academic performance, rather than on how many students they enroll. The amount of grant money is relatively small at $2.5 million, but, "This is a sea change in the way we think about higher education funding and a harbinger of important changes to come," according to Paul Reville, the Massachusetts education secretary.
NEW YORK: Elite Schools Rethink Saving Seat for Little Sister (New York Times - September 5)
Some elite schools are questioning long-held policies of giving the upper hand in admissions decisions to siblings and legacies, both to encourage diversity and to increase the number of families at the schools.
OHIO: Toledo Teachers Union to Host U.S. Education Leader (Toledo Blade - September 6)
Education Secretary Arne Duncan will visit Toledo on Wednesday as part of his back-to-school bus tour, which kicks off in Pittsburgh. Duncan will make stops in Erie, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee and Chicago during the trip this week.
TEXAS: Troubled Schools Try Mimicking the Charters (New York Times - September 6)
Some Houston public schools are testing out techniques proven successful in high-performing urban charter schools, as part of an experiment known as Apollo 20. The methods include longer school days and years, selective hiring, frequent quizzes, numerous tutors and a "no excuses" culture.
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