Here are several stories in today’s news from across the nation:
Race is on to ready teacher evaluations in New York City
Administrators and teachers in New York City have just three months to adapt before the expectations of a new teacher-evaluation system kick in. State Commissioner of Education John B. King outlined the system’s criteria in an arbitration ruling issued last week, putting an end to years of bitter disagreement between city school officials and the local teachers’ union.
Chicago Charter Network specializes in dropouts
Last June, Chicago public schools officials announced that the district was on the cusp of setting a new record for graduation: Slightly more than 60 percent of students would earn a diploma in 2012. Chicago’s record high is still roughly 20 percentage points below the national four-year graduation rate, but some of the progress the city has made in driving down the dropout rate over the past five to 10 years is because of a network of charter schools around the city that for more than 15 years has provided small, alternative programs that specialize in serving recovered dropouts or students at high risk of becoming dropouts.
The New York Times
Tablets in Dutch schools usher in a new era
Some of Robin Smorenberg’s students were shooting aliens on their iPads. “Ooh, I almost died!” one of them exclaimed at De Windhoek, the only primary school in the small Dutch town of Egmond-Binnen. But Mr. Smorenberg did not mind. He had instructed his students to download the game, Math Evolve, which is part of the curriculum and which requires players to both shoot aliens and collect numbers that add up to a certain figure.
Michigan House approves changes to High School merit curriculum graduation requirements
The Michigan House approved two bills that expand the subjects which satisfy high school graduation requirements. House Bills 4465 and 4466 allow for career and technical education courses to count toward the Algebra II requirement, expand the foreign language requirement to include credits earned as early as kindergarten, and make other changes to science and physical education requirements.
The Washington Post
With ‘reconstitution,’ D.C. officials hope for school turnaround
D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson called it a “fresh start” and a “momentum-shifter” for Cardozo Senior High last month when administrators removed nearly half the staff at the school. Henderson had used her power to “reconstitute” the struggling school, requiring the entire staff to reapply for their positions.
The Chicago Tribune
Annual report card for parents part of new CPS education plan
Chicago Public Schools unveiled a five-year education plan on Monday that promises an annual report card to provide parents with information on the academic performance of schools and show how many principals and teachers are rated as high performers. The plan also aligns the entire district with the rigorous Common Core Curriculum by the 2014-15 school year.