Roundup: 22 Percent Child Poverty Rate, Plus ESEA Conference

Today’s news include the annual KIDS COUNT report, showing that more kids are poor than in 2008 before the recession, and some looks ahead at the House-Senate conference to come up with a new version of ESEA/NCLB.

More children are in poverty today than before the Great Recession PBS NewsHour: Today, 22 percent of children live in poverty, up from 18 percent in 2008. Minnesota led the United States in children’s overall well-being, followed by New Hampshire and Massachusetts. It’s the first time in nearly a decade that a state outside of New England has ranked first nationwide.

ESEA Rewrite: What to Expect From House-Senate Conference PK12: Representatives from both parties and both chambers will attempt to find common ground between their dueling reauthorization bills, which contain some stark policy differences. See also Washington Post.

ESEA Rewrite and Waiver Issue: When Should ELLs Count for Accountability? PK12: The House and Senate bills to write the Elementary and Secondary Education Act go in different directions when it comes to testing English-language learners.

Pat Toomey background check amendment: Why the No Child Left Behind rewrite won’t include it. Slate: Among the more unfortunate casualties was Sen. Al Franken’s Student Non-Discrimination Act, which proposed extending federal protections against bullying to LGBT students. Other amendments were adopted in extremely watered-down form.

Judge Rules Against Miss. Districts in K-12 Money Lawsuit as Ballot Duel Looms State EdWatch: A lawsuit and two opposing ballot initiatives over school spending in Mississippi promise to create a complicated picture for K-12 spending in the state.

Chicago Public Schools Propose Selling $1.16 Billion In Bonds Reuters via HuffPost: Proceeds would be used to improve school facilities, refund outstanding bonds, and pay banks to terminate swaps used to hedge interest-rate risk on variable-rate debt, according to documents posted on the CPS website.

‘Breaking Bad’ Actor Runs for Albuquerque Seat AP: Actor Steven Michael Quezada (keh-ZAH’-dah) is jumping in a heated race for county commissioner in Albuquerque. Quezada is a member of the Albuquerque school board.

The Test That Can Look Into A Child’s (Reading) Future NPR: Researchers say they’ve come up with a 30-minute test that can predict a child’s language skill and diagnose learning disabilities.

Chicago Teachers Union unhappy with Claypool’s appointment to head of CPS WBEZ: Forrest Claypool is a longtime city official. Now Claypool will take on what he calls the biggest challenge of his career — running the schools during a time of serious financial hardship. So, what do teachers think about the changes at the top? We speak with Jesse Sharkey, Vice President of the Chicago Teachers Union.

Parents’ push to remake school validated by judge OC Register: In his July 16 ruling, Judge Banks not only rejected the district’s argument that it was exempt from the law, but also granted the parents’ quest to restart the chronically underperforming campus as an independent charter school.

Editorial: Students score surprisingly well on Common Core Democrat Herald (OR): About 55 percent of students have met the nationwide standard in reading and writing and about 45 percent met the standard in math, according to the preliminary numbers.

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.