Top Stories From Around The Country for 4/16 2014

Are Contracts to Blame for Teacher-Quality Gaps?
Despite being widely known and universally condemned, the stark gap in teacher quality between schools serving large concentrations of minority students and those educating mainly white students has proved frustratingly difficult to address. Continue Reading Here >>

Gifted Ed. Is Crucial, But the Label Isn’t
Whatever we call them, there are students who are ill served by grade-level curriculum—some because they have already mastered it, and others because they are far behind. Continue Reading Here >>

U.S. Students Score Above Average on New Problem-Solving Test
U.S. 15-year-olds scored above average on a first-of-its-kind international assessment that measured creative problem-solving skills. However, their mean scores were significantly lower than those earned in 10 of the 44 countries and economies that took the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, 2012 problem-solving test. Singapore, Korea, and Japan top the list.

SC Education agency pulls out of testing program
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Education Superintendent Mick Zais has withdrawn the state from testing for new standards next year.

Final draft of new education standards released
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The final draft of Indiana’s proposed education standards is available online for public viewing. The state Department of Education on Tuesday morning released the proposed guidelines for what students should learn in each grade.

Maine bill to halt virtual charter schools fails
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A bill that seeks to halt the establishment of virtual charter schools in Maine has failed final passage in the House of Representatives.

Teachers unionize at state’s largest cyber charter
MIDLAND, Pa. (AP) — Teachers at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, the largest of its kind in the state, have voted to unionize.

In Tenn., school voucher bill fails for session
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to create a program that gives parents the option to move a child from a failing public school to a private school has once again failed to pass.

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