High School Reform

After four years of high school most students are probably eager to put high school behind them. A study in Maine, however, could lead to students having the option to remain in high school for an extra year if they choose to do so.

Governor Paul LePage signed an executive order on Tuesday that will create a 19-member task force to study the idea of an optional fifth year for high school students. The concept is based on the idea of giving high school students more opportunities to earn...

This Act establishes a program to enable eleventh and twelfth grade high school students to attend postsecondary colleges and schools and get high school credit. It contains requirements for course credit and state funding.

The race to education reform in Tennessee was several years in the making, but broke into a sprint at the end. The Tennessee General Assembly convened for a special session Jan. 12 to consider education reforms in advance of an application deadline for the federal Race to the Top competition, a  $4.35 billion education grant program included in the 2009 stimulus package. Three days later, legislators approved the governor’s changes to improve the state’s chances for a first round award. The changes affect teacher evaluation and tenure, teacher preparation programs and the state’s authority to intervene in poorly performing schools.

The Obama administration is taking steps to engage the states in a new dialogue to address issues facing education in the U.S. today. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a former Chicago school superintendent is leading the charge to spark reform in the nation’s schools. He’s open to anything that will address underperforming schools and close the achievement gap, and that includes altering the way education funding is awarded as well as supporting changes states are already making. “My only goal is success,” he said. Capitol Ideas visited with Duncan about the issues.

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