Tim Weldon's blog
The U.S. Department of Education approved three additional waivers for No Child Left Behind this week, bringing to 37 the number of states that have been granted federal waivers since fall 2011. Alaska, Hawaii and West Virginia are the latest states to be granted flexibility from provisions of NCLB, which has been due for reauthorization since 2007.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan took his case for $75 billion to expand pre-kindergarten to the House Education and Workforce Committee on Tuesday. Duncan called the plan to make preschool available to more four-year-old children, "the smartest use of our education dollars.”
Effective teaching is the cornerstone of student achievement in our classrooms. Around the country the call has gone out to strengthen standards for teacher preparation in colleges and universities. Delaware’s legislature has responded, enacting a bill on Thursday that, if signed by Gov. Jack Markell, will raise the bar to qualify for admission to a state teacher education program. Markell praised the passage of Senate Bill 51 in a press release.
The 2011-2012 school year was the worst in a decade for progress in access to high-quality pre-K for America’s children, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). The organization reached that conclusion in its annual State of Preschool report. NIEER’s 2012 Yearbook, released Monday, concludes state funding for pre-K decreased by over half a billion dollars in 2011-2012, the largest one-year drop ever. The organization blames in part the lingering effects of the recession on state budgets.
The Arizona Senate on Monday approved a bill along party lines that would allow teachers in rural school districts to carry concealed firearms. Arizona’s Senate Bill 1325 would apply to employees in schools with fewer than 600 students, that are located more than 30 minutes and 20 miles away from the closest law-enforcement facility, and do not have their own school resource officers. The bill, which passed the Senate on a 17-11 vote, now moves to the House.