1Teacher prep programs hoping for approval must now show that candidates in districts are satisfied with the quality of their training and document that their grads then boost student achievement. Plus, entering candidates must carry a 3.0 GPA with college admission scores in the top 50%.
2. Oregon kindergartners must now take a new statewide assessment that’s supposed to help gauge how prepared they are to learn.
3. Public D.C. charter schools are now giving new standardized tests to 3, 4, and 5-year-olds to assess their academic progress, and then ranking schools according to the results. Evaluating children’s social-emotional learning is optional.
4. The U.S. Department of Education finds that Teach for America teachers lead low-income students in impoverished middle and high schools to higher achievement in math than traditionally-trained teachers, moving their students up from the 27th percentile to the 30th.
5. More than 50% of states don’t have adequate disaster plans in K-12 schools and child-care facilities; only 22 states meet the standards.
6. Regardless of income, a federal program now feeds all Boston students a free breakfast and lunch, ditto in 10 states and D.C.
7. Some states are quitting the $11 billion “healthier” National School Lunch Program because of financial losses.
8. Pennsylvania is now rolling out a new grading system for its public schools. The School Performance Profiles provides academic ratings for all 3,200 schools based on a 100-point scale. Scores above 70 are deemed satisfactory.
9. Requiring that students pass Pennsylvania’s Keystone Exams in algebra, literature, and biology for graduation is coming under increasing fire.