Roundup: Washington State’s Inequitable Funding, Sesame Street Goes To HBO

Today’s news (excluding the Sesame Street move to HBO) includes a $100,000/day fine levied against Washington State for its inequitable funding system, along with a handful of second-day stories about the implications and ramifications of new (still low) test score results from New York state (and high parent opt-out numbers in the outlying areas):

Washington State Faces $100,000-a-Day Fine Until Schools Plan Is Reached NYT: The state’s highest court “encouraged” Gov. Jay Inslee to call the Legislature into a special session to find a way to close the gap in spending between rich and poor schools. See also  Seattle TimesState EdWatch, AP.

A look back in time at Washington’s education lawsuit AP: The Washington Supreme Court has been involved in state education spending for many years. The 2012 McCleary decision started the newest round of discussion, but the debate in Washington goes back nearly 30 years. Here are highlights…. 

New York Schools With Many Opting Out of Tests May Be Penalized NYT: The state and federal education departments had warned that districts with high refusal rates risked losing funds. But it is far from certain such action will be taken.

Team From New York Education Dept. to Study Troubled East Ramapo Schools NYT:  The three-member group, which will offer recommendations to the school board and the state, will be led by Dennis M. Walcott, a former New York City schools chancellor. See also WNYC.

Test scores highlight the challenge ahead for city’s ‘Renewal’ turnaround program ChalkbeatNY: The average English pass rate for the 63 Renewal schools where students took the grades 3-8 state exams this year was 7.5 percent, compared to the city’s 30 percent average. In math, the Renewal pass rate was about 7 percent, compared to 35 percent for the city. 

Mass. Schools Get $14 Million To Extend Learning Time Boston Learning Lab: Schools in 11 Massachusetts school districts will receive $14 million in state grants to extend the time of the school day this year. In 2006, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to develop a specific grant program for extended days.

Causes, potential consequences of testing opt-out movement AP: New York is facing a growing rebellion against Common Core-aligned standardized tests. About 20 percent of the state’s third- through eighth-graders refused to take the tests this spring, up from 5 percent a year earlier. As state education officials consider the possibility of sanctions against districts with large numbers of students opting out, they also promise a plan to boost participation.

More student diversity, less integration as school restarts KPCC LA: The percentage of white students is expected to continue to decline at least through 2024 with increasing enrollments of Hispanics, Asians/Pacific Islanders, and students of two or more races.  But then consider this: despite 60 years of Supreme Court mandated desegregation in schools as established in the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, a lack of classroom integration remains pervasive.

Detroit Union Head Ousted After Internal Trial District Dossier: DFT President Steve Conn was booted from his position Aug. 12 after the union found him guilty of failing to follow procedures for meetings, among other infractions.

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.