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Countdown: 20 Must-Read Education Stories from This Week

20. NC Legislation Would Require Personal Finance Class for High School Diploma

North Carolina high school students could be required to learn more about financial literacy, but it could come at the cost of learning less about U.S. history. Read Now

19. Indiana Online School Cites Key Ingredient that Drove Turnaround: Being Honest about Failures Early On

The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, on the west side of Indianapolis, has gotten a fair amount of attention for personalizing the professional development it gives to teachers in its virtual high school and blended learning programs. Read Now

18. Lawsuit: Teachers Joined In on the Bullying of Chicago Fourth Grader, Leading to Suicide Attempt

Two months after her 11-year-old son tried to hang himself with a bed sheet, a South Side mother has filed a federal lawsuit against the Chicago Board of Education and the elementary school administrators and teachers who she claims ignored — and sometimes joined — the chronic bullying that pushed the boy to attempt suicide. Read Now

17. Less Than 60 Percent of Vermont School Spending Goes to Classroom Teaching

In the 27 years that Amy Rex has worked in Vermont schools, she’s noticed students behave differently.

“I don’t ever remember a student running out of a building or running away,” said Rex, who is in her first year as superintendent of the Milton Town School District.

Read Now

16. Los Angeles Mayor, In Yearly Address, Pushes New Tax to Support Higher Education Spending

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti used his annual State of the City address Wednesday to make an extended sales pitch for Measure EE, a new tax for public schools that faces sharp opposition from the region’s business groups. Read Now

15. You’ve Heard about Rewarding High Performance with Educational Freedom for Schools — How about for Students?

Sebastian Griffin is graduating from Nampa High School this spring, but he hopes his idea will help Nampa sophomores and juniors. Years down the road, Griffin hopes his own kids will put his idea to use. Read Now <

14. Columbus Teachers Union to March Next Week Over Pay, Tax Abatements

The Columbus teachers union will hold a march Downtown next week that its leader says will focus on ending city property-tax abatements to wealthy corporations and developers. Read Now

13. Video Shows Chicago Cops Dragging, Punching and Tasing CPS Student Inside School

A new surveillance video shows Chicago police officers pushing and dragging a student down a set of stairs at Marshall High School on the West Side before punching her and shocking her with a stun gun multiple times. Read Now

12. TN Lawmakers at Odds over School Voucher Bill Details, Including Homeschooler Eligibility and Program Caps

The Tennessee General Assembly is at odds over what do with Gov. Bill Lee’s controversial school voucher program. Read Now

11. Inside Maine’s Disastrous Roll Out of Proficiency-Based Learning

This past fall, Ragan Toppan, 16, walked out of her Algebra II class at Deering High School to protest her school’s recent switch to standards-based grading. Read Now


Countdown Halftime — #CommentaryOfTheWeek:

WHITMIRE: Why the Media’s Pendulum Swing Against Charter Schools Has Consequences — and Why Journalists Must Keep Their Spotlight on the Trajectory of Students

The last time I had this queasy feeling about where education is headed, it was 2010 and I was midway through a book about Michelle Rhee’s turn as superintendent of D.C. Public Schools. When I started the book, she was flying high in the press; before I was done, her media stock had plummeted. Read Now


10. Voters in Louisiana Parish to Decide on Property Tax Increase for Armed Guards and Mental Health Counselors in All 55 Public Schools

Following the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school last year, the St. Tammany Parish public schools placed an armed school resource officer and mental health provider on each of the district’s 55 campuses. Read Now

9. How the Case of a Coach Accused of Sex with a Student Has Become a Campaign Issue in the Fort Worth School Board Election

The case of a former Eastern Hills High School football coach accused of an improper relationship with a student — who later recanted her allegations — has emerged as a campaign issue in the District 2 race for Fort Worth school board. Read Now

8. As High School Sports Begin to Resemble Collegiate Athletics in Training Regimen and Intensity, Teen Athletes Struggle with Depression

When Isabella started playing lacrosse in the first grade, she would wake up before sunrise and count the minutes until she could hop the chain-link fence that separated her house from the field where her team practiced. Read Now

7. Education Post Leader Peter Cunningham Steps Down, Chris ‘Citizen’ Stewart Named as New Executive Director

Five years ago, I was invited to create a communications organization to foster dialogue around the need for improving public education, especially as it applied to low-income students. Read Now

6. Charter Networks KIPP and IDEA Win Big Federal Grants to Fund Ambitious Growth Plans

Two prominent charter school networks, KIPP and IDEA, netted huge grants from the federal government to fuel their expansion. Read Now

5. Vaping in Schools: Oklahoma Governor Signs Ban

Vaping in Oklahoma schools will soon be illegal. Gov. Kevin Stitt signed legislation Tuesday aimed at preventing teenagers from vaping. Read Now

4. Most Parents Believe Schools Have Become Less Safe, New Poll Shows

Twenty years after the Columbine High School shooting made practicing for armed intruders as routine as fire drills, many parents have only tepid confidence in the ability of schools to stop a gunman, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Read Now

3. Connecticut’s Homeschoolers Are Unregulated, and They Want to Keep It That Way

On a recent morning, Lina Schlotter sat at her granite kitchen counter in Simsbury, reading a child’s version of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” aloud to her 10-year-old son, Tucker. Read Now

2. Kentucky Governor Praises Betsy DeVos’ School Choice Proposal During Visit by Education Secretary

Seated alongside President Donald Trump’s education secretary and Kentucky’s most prominent charter and private school supporters, Gov. Matt Bevin called a federal school-choice proposal a “gift” to states — while shrugging off criticism that not a single public school employee had been given a seat at the table. Read Now

And Now for the Top Story of the Week…
1. Believing in Neighborhood Schools, Just Not for My Child

Joe Weedon plans to prolong the decision as long as he can. He wants to attend just one more school open house. Talk to just a few more parents and teachers. Wrestle with the choice while he coaches just one more youth baseball game. Read Now

Photo: Choice Media
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