Roundup: What’s Next For Senate-Passed NCLB Rewrite?

Today’s news focuses on what might happen next for the Senate-passed rewrite of NCLB which has already passed the House. Plus also news about school crime increases, a new head for Chicago Public Schools, and drug testing in schools:

Senate Votes Overwhelmingly For Bipartisan No Child Left Behind Rewrite HuffPost: However, the bill’s next steps are unclear, since even its supporters concede President Barack Obama is unlikely to sign it in its current form. See also NYT, HuffPost.

Revising the No Child Left Behind Act: Issue by Issue PK12: Here’s a look at the Senate and House bills to rewrite the NCLB law, and how they compare to each other, current law, and the Obama administration’s waivers. See also AP, Washington Post, PBS NewsHour.

Senate tweaks formula for Title 1 funds to educate children from poor families Washington Post: Burr rewrote the amendment so that the formula changes would not take effect until Congress funds Title 1 at $17 billion annually. It is unclear when that would happen; the program is currently funded at $14.5 billion, an amount that has been steady since 2012. In addition, the change in formula would affect only dollars spent by Congress in excess of the $17 billion benchmark.

Testing Revolt In Washington State Brings Feds Into Uncharted Waters NPR: As Congress debates the future of No Child Left Behind, one state falls short of federal testing requirements.

Crime stats show troubling trend at nation’s schools SI&A Cabinet Report: A general decline in serious crime on K-12 school campuses nationwide appears to be reversing, perhaps reflecting an upswing in violence in some of the nation’s largest cities.

Some schools are still testing students for drug use APM Marketplace: Many schools are still testing students for drug use, despite the end of federal funding and mixed evidence on whether it’s worth the expense. Some are expanding their testing.Research shows that while drug testing is associated with a very modest decline in marijuana use, surveys sometimes find an increase in the use of other drugs. How? For one thing, drug tests aren’t always accurate. Case in point, Goldberg says, the athletes Marion Jones and Lance Armstrong. 

Lawsuit says SoCal schools among those breaking law in teacher evaluations KPCC: A lawsuit filed Thursday in Contra Costa County alleges that 13 school districts are violating state law because they aren’t using student achievement data when evaluating instructors. The suit was filed by four parents and two teachers. It’s backed by Students Matter, a nonprofit founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch. See also EdSource Today.

These Phone Notifications Could Actually Change Your Kid’s Life  HuffPost: A pilot of the text message program, called READY4K!, was conducted among mostly low-income families at 31 San Francisco schools during the 2013 – 2014 school year.  For example, a message might have said: “Tip: Say two words to your child that start with the same sound, like happy and healthy. Ask: can you hear the ‘hhh’ sound in happy and healthy?” It was such a success that researchers now plan to roll it out to 50,000 families in 16 states next year. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel names top aide to run Chicago’s schools WBEZ:  Claypool is the opposite, as he’s served at the head of multiple city agencies, like the Chicago Transit Authority and the Chicago Park District. He’s also been a mayoral chief of staff three times: Twice with Mayor Richard J. Daley, and most recently under Emanuel. See also District Dossier.

20-year study shows kindergarteners who play nice do better in life NPR: Researchers at Penn State University looked at teacher assessments of kindergarteners’ social skills and tracked them through high school and into their early 20s. They found that kids with better “social competencies” at age 5 — as rated by their kindergarten teachers — were more likely to go to college and hold full-time jobs as young adults.

Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at alexanderrusso@gmail.com.