Monday, September 19, 2011

The Day's Top Ed Lines

Tacoma School District Teachers Contract
A Pierce County Superior Court judge said in court this morning he might authorize the Tacoma School District to hire replacement workers if striking teachers do not return to work as he ordered Wednesday.

Chushcoff suggested such an authorization might convince the vast majority of the teachers, who have not shown up to work since Sept. 12, to return to their classrooms while their negotiators try to reach a contract agreement with the district.

“I’m seriously considering doing that,” the judge said. [...]

Seattle schools
Seattle's Loyal Heights Elementary has been named a national Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education — one of just 304 schools in the country to achieve the designation this year.

The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve at high levels, or where the achievement gap is narrowing. Since 1982, more than 6,500 of America's schools have received this award, according to the Department of Education.

The school will be honored at a conference and awards ceremony Nov. 14 and 15 in Washington, D.C. [...]

For years, the debate has been over what types of standardized testing students need to pass to get a high school degree.

This week, educators talked about what types of classes students need to take -- and those requirements may be changing.

The Washington State Board of Education discussed changing credits that students need to achieve in high school. If the changes occur, it would be the first time since 1985, and would affect students now in eighth grade.

The potential changes would keep the state-mandated number of high school credits at 20 but change the allocation of those credits. The number of English and social studies would increase while the number of elective credits would decrease. [...]

WASHINGTON – President Obama this morning laid out his vision for deficit reduction, calling for $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue and $583 billion in spending cuts during the next 10 years.

The president’s proposal would cut the deficit by $3 trillion overall, taking into account savings from troop draw-downs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The new tax revenue would come from closing loopholes and ending subsidies for oil and gas companies, among others, and from instituting minimum tax rates for Americans who earn $1 million or more annually.

“This is not class warfare, it’s math,” Obama said in an address in the White House Rose Garden. ``We can’t just cut our way out of this hole. It’s going to take a balanced approach.” [...]

Education policy
Educators and analysts are taking a hard look at whether the $55 billion K-12 portion of President Barack Obama’s nearly $450 billion jobs plan will provide the jolt to schools still feeling the pinch of a sputtering economy that the administration hopes.

The plan faces long odds on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are struggling to trim at least $1.2 trillion from the deficit over the next 10 years in a climate hostile to tax increases. But, if the plan does pass, some sympathetic analysts argue it would help school districts cover the cost of long-delayed school repairs and avert big layoffs and program cuts.

Others, however, question the White House’s prediction of 280,000 teacher layoffs this year—a key argument raised in favor of the need for $30 billion over two years in job-preservation aid. [...]

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