North Carolina's superintendent of public instruction is alleging that more than 70,000 third-grade students have been wrongly promoted since 2014 even though they did not meet mandated reading requirements. News outlets, including our partners at WTVD, report State Superintendent Mark Johnson in a memo released last week criticized the State Board of Education and former staff members of the Department of Public Instruction for “aggressive work-arounds" that he claims have “gutted” a program meant to ensure students can read proficiently before advancing to fourth grade. view article arw

Turning down millions of dollars in federal money is not a usual occurrence, but that is what Democratic members on a key legislative committee in New Hampshire just did. They voted to block the first installment of a $46 million grant that the Education Department recently gave the state to double the number of charter schools over the next five years.  Members of the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee voted 7 to 3 on Friday to table the grant from the federal Charter School Program (CSP), with the majority Democrats saying they were concerned about the effect that the expansion of charter schools could have on traditional public schools at a time of decreasing enrollment. view article arw

Three of the nation’s fastest growing and most prosperous cities are in Texas, according to a new ranking.  Denton, New Braunfels and Round Rock are considered American “boomtowns” in a study by financial advisory firm SmartAsset. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the firm examined 500 cities and ranked them based on positive trends in employment, business creation, population growth, housing growth and household income.  Denton came in second, trailing only Longmont, Colo. It’s known as a college town, serving as the home of the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University, and often praised for its music culture. view article arw

Taking aim at the majority of charter schools in the state, the California Democratic Party has included language in its platform declaring that these schools should be overseen by publicly elected boards, in contrast to the self-appointed boards that run most of them. The new language, adopted at the state party’s annual convention in Long Beach over the weekend, was promoted by the 120,000-member California Federation of Teachers and strengthens an already strongly worded section of the California Democratic Party’s platform on charter schools. view article arw

“Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe said in a Thursday interview that the death of shop class is to blame for the country’s $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. Rowe joined Stuart Varney on Fox Business to discuss his new book, The Way I Heard It, and was asked why there are “seven million unfilled jobs in our country.” “Are we just not training people for these jobs? Is that the problem here?” asked Varney. view article arw

AUSTIN (Oct. 30, 2019) – Texas 4th graders taking the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in mathematics improved from two years ago, outpacing the national average yet again. Statewide performance in 4th grade reading was also up slightly.  For 8th grade students, mathematics scores declined slightly, dropping below the national average for the first time since 2003. 8th grade reading scores showed the largest decline, mirroring a large decline across the nation.  Statewide reading performance in 4th and 8th grade remains well below the national average. view article arw

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) unveiled a broad pre-K-12 education plan Monday that calls for spending hundreds of billions of dollars to improve public schools, eliminating the use of test scores for high-stakes decisions and ending federal funding for new charter schools. She wants America’s wealthiest people to pay for it. Warren, who in some recent polls has topped the other 18 candidates running for the Democratic nomination, would steer U.S. education policy away from that of President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who have said their top priority is expanding alternatives to traditional public schools. view article arw

One of Georgia's largest school districts could owe hundreds of millions of dollars to employees after the state Supreme Court ruled it stopped making retirement contributions without proper notice. The 7-0 decision , released Monday, finds the DeKalb County district broke its bylaw requiring a two-year notice before ceasing contributions, upholding an earlier ruling from the Georgia Court of Appeals. A teacher and a school counselor sued the district in 2011, but the suit will likely become a class-action covering the more than 10,000 affected employees. view article arw

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It's the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility. Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, says in an article in the Washington Post, "Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans' rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism."  view article arw

A Mississippi school district has been ordered to desegregate its schools after what the Justice Department called a five-decade-long legal battle. The Cleveland School District, about two hours northwest of Jackson, was told that it must consolidate its schools in order to provide real desegregation for students in the city of about 12,000. view article arw