Policy Issues

New Mexico Teacher Eval Criteria Rejiggered for Some

Instructors in New Mexico who teach subjects with no standard testing attached to them may no longer have to worry about being evaluated based on improvements in the high-stakes test scores of students in their district.

Minnesota ED Renegotiates Pearson Contract in Face of Testing Outages

A testing provider has had to reduce the value of its contract and kick in some free services for shoddy server performance during a major assessment period in Minnesota.

Federal Student Loan Repayments for Teachers May Get Reboot

A new bipartisan bill in Congress would streamline loan repayment for teachers in high-need schools.

One-Size-Fits-All Financial Aid Form Has To Go

Concerned that a bill from two United States senators proposing the use of as few as two questions to determine financial eligibility for college will gain traction, a national organization of financial aid professionals has presented an alternative for simplifying the process of applying for financial aid.

National Student Financial Aid Profile Finds Dramatic Increase in Need

As Congress debates reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a national organization of financial aid professionals has issued its latest "National Student Aid Profile" to help policymakers understand what they're making decisions about.

Survey: Professors and Employers Find High School Grads Unready for College or Work

A new study found that in two-year colleges, only 4 percent of instructors found students "most generally able to do what is expected." The number was slightly higher in four-year schools: 12 percent. The rest reported that students had arrived to higher ed with at least some gaps in preparation.

Report Recommends Changes to Educator Preparation Programs

All students, particularly those with disabilities, would benefit from stronger licensure standards for teachers and principals, identification of key skills for new teachers and more rigorous educator preparation programs, according to a new report from the University of Florida and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

AYP Gets the Boot in Every Child Achieves Act

The potential successor to No Child Left Behind — the Every Child Achieves Act — passed in the United States Senate Thursday in a bipartisan vote of 81-17. This bill is a proposed replacement for the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which funds public education in this country.

Senate Privacy Bill Puts Constraints on Student Data Use

New legislation introduced today in the United States Senate aimed at curtailing the use of student data for commercial purposes and requiring vendors to secure data and provide access to parents.

Report: Professional Development Related to Anti-Bullying Policies Lacking in American Schools

Three in 10 school districts lack anti-bullying policies, including addressing cyberbullying. Only two in 10 require professional development for their educators on bullying or have district accountability for reporting of bullying incidents. Those results come out of a new comprehensive survey of anti-bullying policies in place at school districts across the country as of March 2011.