1. The U.S. Department of Education handed out $53.6 billion in Obama’s stimulus money to help K-12 budgets as long was they publicly reported on numerous education indicators, such as the performance of charters and the percentage of high school grads completing college courses. Eventually some requirements were waived or delayed but still “shaped how states used and collected data, and what information they tracked … and the data requirements became embedded in future federal programs,” such as Race to the Top and NCLB waivers.
2. For the second time, the Obama administration will propose regulations for teacher training programs this summer in order to make them more accountable for how their grads perform in the classroom.
3. A University of Pennsylvania and USC study funded by the Gates Foundation–which supports value-added measures which use students’ test scores to evaluate teachers–found that such measures are NOT a valid way to judge teachers. Nevertheless it remains “a linchpin educational policy of the Obama administration.”
4. Michigan could be next on the waiver high-risk status list because it does not require that assessment data be used in teacher evaluations.
5. According to the 2013 NAEP–aka the nation’s report card–12th graders’ math and reading performance have stagnated with just 26% of them scoring at or above the proficient level in math and 37% at or above proficient in reading–about the same as 4 years ago.