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ECS Governance NotesMarch - April 2005

Governance Notes Archives


Welcome to ECS Governance Notes, a bimonthly e-mail publication with links to key information on education governance.

Michael D. Usdan, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership, examines school boards as a neglected component of SCHOOL REFORM. Watch for the next issue of Governance Notes, in which Ted Kolderie, Senior Associate at the Center for Policy Studies, will discuss a new model of governance that puts teachers in the management role.

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ACROSS THE STATES, legislatures are being hit with a surge in school choice plans. 2005 may be a banner year for private school choice in state legislatures.

UTAH, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. signed into law the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship bill on March 10. It provides $1.4 million in voucher money to help pay special-needs students' tuition at private schools, including religious schools. It is the country's second state voucher program for students with disabilities; the other is in Florida.

ARIZONA received permission Monday to take over the daily operations of 11 "failing" schools, including removing five principals, mentoring those allowed to stay, replacing teachers and even combining campuses.

CONNECTICUT'S attorney general announced that he was preparing to sue the federal government over the No Child Left Behind act, arguing that it forces Connecticut to administer new standardized tests at a cost of millions of dollars and that Washington refuses to pay for them.

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RAND offers an inside look into California's SB 740 and offers recommendations for the state in their new report, NON-CLASSROOM BASED CHARTER SCHOOLS in California and the Impact of SB 740. In April 2003, the California Legislative Analyst's Office commissioned a team of RAND researchers to perform the evaluation of the SB 740 oversight process and its impact on NCB charter schools.

According to EdWeek, the NCLB CHOICE OPTION is going untapped. Districts are paying scant attention to the provision of federal education law that allows students in low-performing schools to transfer elsewhere, though more are providing children with the supplemental services to which they are entitled.

Theodore Sizer resurrects his 1968 VOUCHER PROPOSAL in his latest book "The Red Pencil". According to Andrew Rotherham, the book is at once a memoir, a series of notes and observations about American education based on experience and a cri de coeur for change. Read Rotherham's review online.

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With the theme of "Education for a Creative Economy," the 2005 NATIONAL FORUM ON EDUCATION POLICY, July 12-15, in Denver, will focus on redesigning high schools; strengthening arts, science and math education; innovative leadership; increasing postsecondary access and participation; strengthening workforce development; improving teaching quality and more.

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To inform the process of implementing NCLB-mandated restructuring efforts, "Restructuring Schools in Chester Upland, Pennsylvania: An Analysis of State Restructuring Efforts" presents a summary of STATE-DRIVEN RESTRUCTURING efforts in the district. The case study examines Pennsylvania's experience with restructuring this low-performing district's schools and provides practical information that should be valuable to other state and district education leaders charged with the arduous task of restructuring schools under NCLB. A policy brief is also available on the ECS website.

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Education Evolving, a joint venture of the Center for Policy Studies and Hamline University, is a Minnesota-based project committed to helping education evolve and meet the challenges, demands, and opportunities of the 21st Century. Their website describes and advocates RADICAL CHANGES now appearing in K-12 public education.

CES ChangeLab is a program of CES National, the national office of the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES). The goal of CES ChangeLab is to provide educators with BEHIND-THE-SCENES access to the best practices, tools, and strategies of some of the most effective schools in the country, the CES Mentor Schools. This site aims to help educators envision what their school could be, provide easily accessible, useable resources for teachers and principals to put into practice in their own schools and classrooms, and allow educators across the country and around the world to interact on pertinent educational issues. CES ChangeLab is a part of the CES Small Schools Project, which is generously funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

You may not be aware that ECS tracks STATE POLICIES for charter schools and state policies for school restructuring. To access these databases, check out the ECS Charter School Projects & Centers page.

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To read more about Education Governance, visit the ECS Issue Site on Governance.


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