Normally, I try to limit these posts to just one subject, but the week has been so busy I figured I should give you just a taste of some of the stories that have been making news on the education front around the country.
In Michigan, state officials this week ordered Detroit to close half of their schools in order to eliminate a $357-million shortfall. The decision will reportedly increase class size to nearly 60-children per class.
In Connecticut, The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the state's case opposing the Bush Administration's No Child Left Behind. Calling NCLB an unfunded mandate they couldn't afford, Connecticut had challenged the federal government over how to pay for standardized tests mandated under the law.
In North Carolina, Wake County school board members are thinking about ending "busing for diversity" in favor of educating children at schools nearer their homes. The proposal, similar to Seattle's new neighborhood assignment plan, has drawn protests from civil rights leaders who liken it to "modern day segregation."
In Florida, that state's equivalent to Child Protective Services, DCF, is investigating a Tampa mother's decision to force her son to stand on a street corner with a placard reading, "G.P.A. 1.22. Honk if I need education." In a story that has gone viral throughout social media, Rhonda Holder admits she never helped her son with his homework. She defends her actions saying she only wanted him to get an education so he can have a shot "at a real future."
And finally, in New Mexico, lawmakers are voting today on a proposal to end "social promotion." Governor Susana Martinez sent "fans" a Facebook message yesterday asking them to contact legislators and urge them to support a measure that would prohibit parents from standing in the way of having their children held back in school if they cannot read. Under the bill, students who do not pass a third grade reading proficiency test would be forced to repeat the grade. Proponents of the measure cit research that indicates those kids who cannot read when they're in the third grade are apt to drop out of high school later.