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Budget Blues and RTTT Redux

February 17, 2012

The latest from the Feds: hardly any new money but more competitions! According to an article in Education Week Obama’s request for 2.5% in new education money flatlines Title I and other longstanding programs while asking for new funds for RTTT-like grants. It DOES seek $25 billion to prevent teacher layoffs, which ISN’T chump change: at $50,000 per teacher (a reasonable figure given the lay-offs go to the last hired), would save 500,000 positions. In so many words the Education Week article declares the requests DOA… a sentiment echoed by ASCD’s community blog. Too bad, because the money to save jobs might prevent some of the shenanigans in California, Texas, and Ohio (see below).

It seems that in California Jerry Brown’s budget includes an opportunity for districts to require only one year of science to graduate… this being done in the name of flexibility. In Ohio, the legislature is considering a bill that would shorten the school year to help the tourist industry! So much for our commitment to being a global economic leader in the future… but at least we’ll be able to host our global competitors in Ohio!

Meanwhile, in Texas, naming rights and bus ads are reaping revenues in some districts but causing headaches in others according to this NYTimes article by Morgan Smith. While big districts can sell logos on their football stadia, others require middlemen to do the legwork and get little in return and still others try to do the work themselves and get disappointment. Where is Chico’s Bail Bonds when you need them most 😉

But fear not, school’s will be improved in NYC where teacher’s evaluation ratings will be publicly posted as a result of a lawsuit lost by the UFT. As reported in the NYTimes education blog teacher ratings, based entirely on student test scores, will be released despite the somewhat mild misgivings expressed by the current education commissioner who said he was “…worried about the effect it might have on teacher morale”. I think that publicly posting performance ratings will be GREAT for morale and a wonderful recruiting tool for prospective teachers…

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