Roundup: States Turning To SAT/ACT Testing

States turn to college-prep tests for federal reporting SI&A Cabinet Report: New Hampshire has joined a growing number of states opting to use college-prep entrance exams rather than standardized testing to assess high school juniors’ academic progress and meet federal accountability requirements. Maine, Wisconsin and Kentucky are among the states currently using either the SAT or ACT to assess students in 11thgrade. Nearly half of states cover the costs of the tests for all students – even those who would normally pay a fee of $50 or more to take the college-readiness exams.

Rep. John Kline anticipates new education law Pioneer Press: Rep. John Kline says the chances are “far better than 50-50” that Congress will hammer out a bipartisan bill this fall to replace the No Child Left Behind law.

Report: Chronic school absenteeism is contributing to academic gaps Washington Post: Absenteeism rates among kindergartners are nearly as high as those among high school freshmen, according to the report. An estimated 1 in 10 kindergartners misses at least 18 days of school, or nearly a month of class, per year. Many of those absences are excused: Young children often miss school not because they’re skipping class but because they or their parents are suffering from mental or physical health problems. See also KPCC LA.

Children Don’t Have Constitutional Right to Switch Schools, Appeals Court Rules WSJ: The parents, who are white, sued for violations of due process and equal protection, claiming they had a constitutional right to move their kids. A lower court last year dismissed the parents’ complaint.See also Associated Press. 

Teachers’ Unconscious Biases Contribute To Gender Disparity NPR: Girls often outperform boys in science and math at an early age but are less likely to choose tough courses in high school. An Israeli experiment demonstrates how biases of teachers affect students.

2011 Budget Cuts Still Hamper Schools, Data Shows Texas Tribune: Three years later, as the state prepares to argue an appeal before the Texas Supreme Court, a Texas Tribune analysis shows that schools still are grappling with the fallout from the lean budget times even as the Legislature has restored a majority of the cuts. See also Associated Press. 

Arne Duncan’s Back-to-School Bus Tour to Focus on Preschool through Career PK12: The theme is “Ready for Success” with a lot of emphasis on the bookends of the edu-spectrum: early and higher education.

Even Later Start Times For Montgomery County Students Requires More Funding WAMU: Montgomery County’s middle and high school students start class 20 minutes later this school year, but to start at the suggested time of 8:30 a.m. would require funds the county just doesn’t have.

NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña Praises Charter on Visit WSJ: The visits by Chancellor Carmen Fariña and New York City Charter School Center CEO James Merriman followed a sometimes contentious year in education circles. See also ChalkbeatWNYC

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.