Daily News Roundup, April 13, 2012

Perspectives: News You Can Use
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Some of the News Fit to Print

ABOUT K-12

LA. SCHOOL CHOICE OPTIONS EXPAND AFTER SWEEPING EDUCATION OVERHAUL
Over the objections of teachers’ unions and many Democrats, Louisiana’s Republican governor and GOP-controlled legislature have crafted one of the most exhaustive education overhauls of any state in the country, through measures that will dramatically expand families’ access to public money to cover the costs of both private school tuition and individual courses offered by a menu of providers. A pair of bills championed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, which he is expected to sign into law, will expand a state-run private-school-voucher program beyond New Orleans to other academically struggling schools around the state, give superintendents and principals direct control over personnel decisions, and set much higher standards for awarding teachers tenure. The article is in Education Week.

IMPROVE STUDENT TEST SCORES, AND TEACHERS MIGHT GET A $1,600 BONUS
By the end of this school year, teachers at Romulus Middle School could see a big payoff for their work in the last two years: bonuses of up to $1,600 each for raising student test scores, volunteering to tutor kids or developing training sessions for staff. The incentives are part of a broad approach to improve teaching -- a key focus of the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program that has invested more than $4.6 billion into the nation's lowest-performing schools since 2009, including $83 million for 28 Michigan schools in 2010. The article is in the Detroit Free Press.


ABOUT HIGHER ED

COUNTING ALL STUDENTS
Rachel Fishman writes in Education Sector’s The Quick and the Ed blog: On Wednesday, the Department of Education released an action plan to enhance postsecondary graduation rate data. If you’re not excited about this, you should be. For years, we’ve been using incomplete—woefully incomplete—completion data. And yet policymakers and researchers have had no choice but to use this untrustworthy data. But now that’s about to change. Given the inadequate picture we have about postsecondary attainment, the Department of Education’s announcement to improve graduation data is momentous. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “Better data across institutions is the basis for finding sound solutions to help students stay in school and complete their postsecondary studies. It is critical to their success and our nation’s economic prosperity.”

THE GOVERNMENT'S NEW WAY OF MEASURING STUDENT SUCCESS: IMPLICATIONS FOR BLACK COLLEGES
The federal government recently announced that it plans to change the way it measures student success. Instead of measuring graduation rates using first-time, full-time students, the new measurements will take into account part-time and transfer students. The Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System (IPEDS) has been outdated for several decades now and fails to take into account the changing landscape of students in the United States. This new change is good news for many of the nation's colleges and universities. Although community college leaders are the main force behind this change in measurement, the new strategy will also have a significant impact on the measuring of student success at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as well. The article is in The Huffington Post.

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