July 28 K-12 Round-up

  • The National Opportunity to Learn campaign, a coalition of seven major civil rights organizations, “[today] called on U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today to dismantle core pieces of his education agenda, arguing that his emphases on expanding charter schools, closing low-performing schools, and using competitive rather than formula funding are detrimental to low-income and minority children.” [Education Week]
  • A state judge in Texas has upheld the state’s so-called “truth in grading” law. The law prohibits schools from adopting grading policies that incorporate minimum scores on classwork and, by extension, on report cards. Thus, if a student receives a grade of 30/100 on an assignment, schools cannot ’round up’ the failing score to a 50 or 60, which critics complain makes it nearly impossible for students to make up failing grades.  [Dallas Morning News]
  • Education Week has published this interesting op-ed piece by J. William Towne, a high school dropout who subsequently graduated magna cum laude from U. of Southern California. Towne argues that effective teachers can trump even the worst socio-economic challenges that K-12 students face.

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