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Education Reporter
NUMBER 308 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS SEPTEMBER 2011

Education Briefs 
Dozens of Pennsylvania schools face charges of cheating on state assessment tests. A study was prepared for the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) in 2009 showing statistical irregularities, including large numbers of erasures on answer sheets and suspicious jumps in student achievement. The PDE decided not to investigate any further at that time. Now that further investigation is underway, the Philadelphia School District claims it never saw the original study. (www.thenotebook.org, 7-8-11 and 7-9-11)

The AFT boasted at its convention this year that it kept Connecticut from passing "parent trigger" legislation that would allow parents to use petition drives to make positive changes in their schools. The AFT explained that it successfully pressured union-sympathizing legislators to strip the reform of its power by requiring parents to appeal to school governance councils, which, despite the name, are only advisory bodies with no real authority. (The Wall Street Journal, 8-4-11)

Taxpayers are unwilling to dish out more money for education, as President Obama suggests, after considering the cost. A recent survey suggested that 65% of Americans want to spend more on education. However, after being informed that the government already spends $12,922 per student, per year, on education, and that an increase in funding would necessitate an increase in taxes, 65% said that spending should decrease or stay the same. (The Wall Street Journal, 8-5-11)

The nation's 2nd largest school system squanders 25% of its teacher payroll on an ineffective measure of teacher quality, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality. The Los Angeles Unified School District, like many around the country, gives automatic raises to teachers who complete graduate coursework, yet such training does not improve student performance. Council president Kate Walsh said the money would be better spent on paying teachers who deliver real results. (edweek.org, 6-8-11)

September 2011 Education Reporter
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