Some of the News Fit to Print
‘DIGITAL BADGES’ WOULD REPRESENT STUDENT SKILL ACQUISITION
For many adults, the thought of earning badges evokes childhood memories of sewing Boy Scout or Girl Scout patches onto sashes and vests. But some educators are hoping that the current generation of children will associate the word with something new: digital badges. In this vision, electronic images could be earned for a wide variety of reasons in multiple learning spaces, including after-school programs, summer workshops, K-12 classrooms, and universities. And once earned, the badges could follow students throughout their lifetimes, being displayed on websites or blogs and included in college applications and résumés. The article is in Education Week.
OHIO LEGISLATION FOR SCHOOLS, WORKFORCE
Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed wide-ranging education and work-force development legislation yesterday that will implement a third-grade reading guarantee, a tougher evaluation system for schools starting next year and a requirement that schools provide tutoring and other intervention to struggling readers. The new law also will change the way teachers are evaluated and tested. The article is in the Columbus Dispatch.
NEW JERSEY LAWMAKERS PASS TEACHER TENURE BILL
TRENTON, NJ — A bill to make teacher tenure harder to get and easier to lose was sent to Gov. Christie's desk on Monday after both chambers of the Legislature approved it unanimously. The Republican Christie administration worked on crafting the bill, and the governor's spokesman praised the effort, indications that the governor will sign it. For many education reformers, finding ways to remove ineffective teachers is a key to improving schools. The New Jersey Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, says the problem is not as bad as adversaries say. But the union still found reasons to support the bill. The article is in The New York Post.
ABOUT HIGHER ED
A NEW TYPE OF ED SCHOOL
Relay, which aims to transform teacher education to fit the needs of urban schools, links the success of its students to the success of their students. During their second year in Relay’s two-year masters-degree program, elementary-school teachers are asked to show that their own students averaged a full year’s reading growth during the school year. They must also set a reading goal for each child, perhaps two years’ growth for a child who is three years behind, for example. Students can earn credit toward an honors degree if 80 percent of the children they teach meet their individual reading goals. The article is in Education Next.
WHAT’S DRIVING UP COLLEGE COSTS?
Just days before student loan rates are set to double for millions of Americans, President Obama and congressional leaders haven't reached an agreement on legislation to keep those rates at 3.4 percent. The debate reflects the growing concern over the debt burden many take on to get a college education. About two-thirds of bachelor's degree recipients borrow money to attend college, and collectively, student debt has topped $1 trillion. The piece was on NPR’s Fresh Air.
SENATE LEADERS SAY THEY HAVE AN AGREEMENT
WASHINGTON — The Senate’s top Democrat and Republican said Tuesday that they’ve reached a deal that would prevent interest rates on college loans from doubling beginning this weekend for millions of students. But House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has yet to decide whether the pact will be acceptable to his Republican-run chamber. The agreement, if approved by Congress, would spell an end to one of this election-season’s higher profile conflicts between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans. Even so, the battle has been a bitter one, with Republicans accusing the White House of dragging out the fight to score political points and Democrats accusing the GOP of blocking action on the issue. The article is in The Washington Post.
UC, CAL STATE TUITION PLAN SEEN AS A GAMBLE
California university leaders on Tuesday were warily watching a last-minute tuition freeze plan that would cost the schools -- and students -- dearly if voters reject November's state tax initiative. Legislators were scheduled late Tuesday to debate giving $125 million each to the University of California and California State University systems in 2013 if they freeze tuition, which has risen sharply -- sometimes twice in one year -- since 2007. But the universities would lose that money if they raise tuition for the 2012-13 school year or if the tax initiative fails. The article is in the San Jose Mercury News.