Another week, another Friday. *high fives*
Here’s a look at what’s happening in the education world this week. There’s a little bit of everything so let’s start with local news.
– In Roanoke County last night officials took a look at the system’s proposed budget, which doesn’t include layoffs or the closing of Fort Lewis Elementary School. Down in the New River Valley, Giles High School was closed earlier this week and not just because of winter weather. Vandalism forced the school to close Monday. And in Montgomery County, school will open late next school year (much later than here in the Roanoke area).
– Gov. Bob McDonnell will serve on the board of directors for Step Up for Virginia’s Kids, a new foundation that will provide “ voucher like scholarships” to students who want to attend private schools.
– In Richmond the the state’s only elementary charter school gets the green light for five more years. This article in the Times Dispatch notes, the discussion surrounding the school this go round was pretty different than during its inception.
– Old Dominion University (a.k.a. arch rival to my beloved Rams) will be the first school in the state to have a program geared toward increasing high-quality, middle and high school, math and science teachers. (High quality math teachers are needed? Where have I heard that before?)
– Also out of the Tidewater area, this bizarre story about a high school teacher who told police he “had been preparing his wife to see him on the news,” which was perceived as a threat. The teacher was later taken to a local hospital for an evaluation.
And remember the Suffolk fifth grader from last week who brought pot to school in an effort to stop his father from using it? Well he won’t be expelled, but will be transferred to a middle school alternative program.
– In California this week high stakes school board races there attracted attention (and lots of money) from outside the state. It has all the makings for a good drama: charter schools, teachers unions and money, oh the money.
According to NYT, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg kicked in cash to the race, $1 million. Michelle Rhee’s Students First group also contributed money, about $250,000. Bloomberg and Students First backed a coalition helping to elect candidates that support the superintendent there.
The article says spending from outside groups, including the teachers union, was at $4.4 million as of last week.
– What does pre-K in Oklahoma look like? As this WSJ article explains President Obama used Oklahoma as a model for pre-K when he unveiled a proposal to drastically expand early learning last month so what does THE model look like?
– And finally some interesting news out of my former stomping ground Montgomery, Ala. and its a doozy. The powerful teachers union, the Alabama Education Association, has filed a lawsuit against some lawmakers over a bill that would give tax credits so students attending failing school to go to either private schools or different public schools. The governor was all set to sign it before a judge issued a temporary restraining order.
The lawsuit contends lawmakers violated open meetings laws when they significantly changed the bill and voted on it. Check out this amazing video from my former colleague Sebastian Kitchen as lawmakers tried to vote.