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Kate Casas, State Director, Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri
With the 2011-2012 school year just underway around Missouri, the amount of education reform related news has significantly increased. As a result, I decided to post a few of this weeks’ hottest education-related stories rather than just one. There are likely others that could have made my list, but these are the ones that I heard the most chatter about, and the ones that I feel will most directly impact Missouri students:
Dr. Covington resigns as Kansas City Superintendent-As most stories that appeared about Dr. Covington’s resignation pointed out, this puts the Kansas City, Missouri School District in serious jeopardy of losing its accreditation and/or undergoing a state takeover. This article from Education Weekly does a great job of avoiding all the speculation and blame and focuses on the facts.
The Facebook Law- While I agree with many of my education reform colleagues that there are other, more significant, education issues that should be addressed in Missouri right now, it is obvious that the law banning teachers from online, private interaction with students has captured much of the state and nation’s attention. As a result, I couldn’t deny this as one of the week’s hottest stories. However, even with all the chatter on social media and on news sites around this law, it was hard to find a story that was unbiased. However, I think that Dale Singer of the Saint Louis Beacon did a good job of explaining the story. What this story by Singer doesn’t say, because it was just announced today, is that Governor Nixon has gone ahead and asked the General Assembly to fix this law in the Legislative Special Session that will be begin on September 6.
The School Reform Deniers-Steven Brill, who first became famous among education reformers for writing this story in the New Yorker about the rubber rooms in New York City where bad teachers go when they can’t be fired, wrote an op-ed published by Reuters laying out his case for Education Reform. Since it was published, Reuters has had several prominent education reformers and some anti-reformers publish their responses. It has been fascinating to watch as people from all sides of the reform world engage in a very public debate. I encourage you to curl up with a good cup of coffee and your computer and read the back and forth that has unfolded as a result of Brill’s piece from last Sunday. Some of the stories are linked below (although you can find more if you Google), starting with Brill’s original piece.
I would love to hear what you think about these stories or other of the week’s hottest stories. Let me know at @ceamofficial on Twitter.