Ben Wieder

Can Better Organization Produce More Graduates?

By: - March 20, 2013

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, left, and Rudy Crew, Oregon’s first Chief Education Officer, chat with a preschool student in Portland, Ore. Crew oversees Oregon’s entire public education system, from early childhood services through K-12 and post-secondary education. (AP) Salem, Ore. — To improve this state’s abysmal dropout rate, Gov. John Kitzhaber wants to make sure […]

Higher Ed Cuts Mean Major Tuition Hikes

By: - March 20, 2013

Tuition at public colleges has spiked, especially in Arizona and California. (iStock) Tuition at public colleges in Arizona and California hasspiked more than 70 percent over the past five years, the result of massivecuts to state higher education funding in those states and most others, accordingto a reportreleased Tuesday. While enrollment grew by nearly 1.2 […]

States Tackle School Safety After Sandy Hook Shootings

By: - March 5, 2013

A fourth-grade teacher aims a 40 cal. Sig Sauer during concealed-weapons training for the teachers in West Valley City, Utah. (AP) In recent weeks, the South Dakota legislature has been rattled over a bill that aims to make schools safer by introducing “school sentinels” — teachers, administrators, security guards or community volunteers who would carry guns […]

Report: State School Funding Unfair

By: - February 20, 2013

A recent report (PDF) commissioned by Congress found that states don’t fund education fairly across jurisdictions, need to do a better job intervening in struggling school districts and encouraging better-qualified teachers to enter the profession — and stay. “In far too many communities, in far too many cities, in far too many states, there are inequities,” […]

States Struggle To Keep Online Schools Accountable

By: - February 15, 2013

(AP) Online classes have exploded in popularity, with more than six times as many students enrolled in electronic K-12 courses now as compared to a decade ago, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Advocates say online classes offer a more flexible and personalized form of education, allowing students to progress at their own pace […]

Will Moderation Win in Texas?

By: - February 7, 2013

Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, left, talks with Speaker of the House Joe Straus. (AP) AUSTIN, Texas – Newly elected to his third full term, Texas Governor Rick Perry was at the peak of his powers when the state’s last legislative session began in January 2011. Widely viewed as a front-runner for the Republican presidential […]

Governors Kick Off Legislative Sessions

By: - January 9, 2013

Two of the country’s most prominent Republican governors opened their states’ legislative sessions with state of the state speeches from different vantage points. One day after a strong revenue projection for the upcoming two years, Texas Governor Rick Perry looked forward, cautiously optimistic about the state’s fiscal future but warning lawmakers against spending freely and giving in […]

State School Funds On Trial, Again

By: - December 21, 2012

(AP) Next month in an Austin courtroom, two-thirds of the school districts in Texas will resume their argument that the state’s school finance system is inadequate and inequitable and that it creates a de-facto statewide property tax, forbidden by the state constitution. The school districts filed their lawsuit in October 2011, but Texas has been here […]

Florida Hires Outgoing Indiana Ed Chief

By: - December 13, 2012

When Indiana voters chose last month not to renew the tenure of the state’s top education official, Tony Bennett, it was seen as a blow to the “education reform” community nationally. Now, Bennett will operate on a larger stage, as the newly hired commissioner of education in Florida, the fourth most populous state in the […]

States Nervous About New Common Core School Standards

By: - December 12, 2012

Terri McCarter teaches common core mathematics to third grade teachers during TNCore training at William Blount High School in Blount County, Tennessee. (AP Photo/The Daily Times, Mark A. Large) In Kentucky this year, the percentage of elementary and middle-school students who rated “proficient” or better on statewide math and reading tests declined by about a third. […]

Best of #StateReads: California Leads U.S. Pay Giveaway

By: - December 12, 2012

This week’s collection of #StateReads highlights ballooning state payrolls, how the natural gas boom in Pennsylvania has transformed one town there and a “university” in Georgia that provides free college courses to immigrants in Georgia who were denied access to the state’s top colleges because of their immigration status. These examples of extraordinary journalism about […]

States Challenge ‘Secret’ Campaign Money

By: - November 15, 2012

Gary Winuk, an attorney for California’s Fair Political Practices Commission, argues in Sacramento Superior Court that Americans for Responsible Leadership should be required to disclose its donors. (AP) When an Arizona group called Americans for Responsible Leadership donated $11 million in mid-October to a California political action committee, it aroused the suspicion of California’s Fair […]