MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST
Volume V, No. 28
July 15, 2003
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/med/


-----------------------------------------------------------------
Contents of this issue:
-----------------------------------------------------------------
* Hundreds returned to list of failing schools in Michigan
* School districts across the nation contract out services to
  save money
* Teachers union relaxes opposition to "No Child Left Behind"
* Governments often take huge bites out of lottery money for
  schools
* House revises teacher college standards
* Editorial: More money for schools ineffective without reform
-----------------------------------------------------------------
HUNDREDS RETURNED TO LIST OF FAILING SCHOOLS IN MICHIGAN
-----------------------------------------------------------------
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan officials returned 554 schools to the
state's failing schools list after federal officials corrected a
reporting error.

The state reported in April that 216 schools were not making
adequate yearly progress as required by the federal "No Child
Left Behind" Act of 2002. However, federal officials informed the
state that hundreds more schools should be on the list because,
although they met progress requirements this year, they did not
do so in the previous year. Schools must meet progress
requirements two years in a row in order to be taken off the
failing list.

State officials will update the list after results are tallied
from the 2002-03 Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP),
the state's achievement test.
_______
SOURCES:
Detroit News, "544 schools are added to problem list,"
Jul. 15, 2003
http://www.detnews.com/2003/schools/0307/15/d10-218113.htm

Michigan Education Report, "No Child Left Behind law demands
'adequate yearly progress' and offers school choice options for
parents," Fall 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/4846


----------------------------------------------------------------
SCHOOL DISTRICTS ACROSS THE NATION CONTRACT OUT SERVICES TO SAVE
MONEY
----------------------------------------------------------------
WALDPORT, Ore. – School districts around the country are
contracting services out more than ever as a way to save money
during budget shortfalls.

Contracting out services, or privatization, can save districts
thousands or even millions of dollars without sacrificing quality
of service. For instance, the Lincoln County School District in
Oregon recently voted to outsource its support staff for a
savings of $1.5 million.

Ron Beck, Lincoln County school board chairman, said the move was
justified to keep as many teachers as possible. "It is downright
criminal that we had to protect one member of our team by selling
off another member," he told the Associated Press. "But with the
budget forecast, we needed to look at every little piece of what
we're doing."
_______
SOURCES:
CNN, "Strapped school districts contracting out for services,"
Jul. 11, 2003
http://www.cnn.com/2003/EDUCATION/07/11/contracting.out.ap/index.html

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "The Six Habits of Fiscally
Responsible Public School Districts," December 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/4891

Michigan Privatization Report, "Survey Says: Privatization Works
in Michigan Schools," September 2001
http://www.educationreport.org/3721


----------------------------------------------------------------
TEACHERS UNION RELAXES OPPOSITION TO "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND"
----------------------------------------------------------------
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Officials from the nation's second largest
teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT),
announced that they will work to implement the "No Child Left
Behind" Act of 2002 rather than attempt to eliminate it.

Union president Sandra Feldman said in an interview that her
organization would work with the federal government to make the
implementation of the law "good for schools and good for kids and
good for teachers." Instead of fighting the Act itself, said
Feldman, they will work to tweak it in a cooperative manner.

The announcement contrasted sharply with a threat made last week
by the nation's largest teachers union, the National Education
Association (NEA), which plans to sue the federal government on
behalf of states, school districts, and teachers in an attempt to
strike down the law.
_______
SOURCES:
USA Today, "No. 2 teachers union softens stance against No Child
Left Behind law," Jul. 10, 2003
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/usatoday/20030710/en_usatoday/5311720

Michigan Education Report, "No Child Left Behind law demands
'adequate yearly progress' and offers school choice options for
parents," Fall 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/4846

Michigan Education Report, "President signs 'No Child Left Behind
Act,'" Winter 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/4082


-----------------------------------------------------------------
GOVERNMENTS OFTEN TAKE HUGE BITES OUT OF LOTTERY MONEY FOR
SCHOOLS
-----------------------------------------------------------------
BOSTON, Mass. – New research shows that state lotteries don't
always deliver on their promises to bring money into state
departments of education.

Popular since the 1970s, 22 state lotteries now earmark dollars
for education – but that money may not be reaching its intended
target. "The fact that you vote for a lottery that's going to add
$100 million to education doesn't mean that education will get
$100 million," John Augenblick, president of a consulting firm in
Denver, told the Christian Science Monitor. For instance, he
says, "The government may take back $75 million in property
taxes. There's probably a net gain, but it's not large."

Other times, states decrease education funding and make up for
the cut in lottery proceeds. For instance, Ohio cut spending on
education from 42 percent of its budget in 1973 to 29 percent of
its budget in 1994 after promising to dedicate all lottery
earnings to education in 1974.
_______
SOURCES:
Christian Science Monitor, "Lottery isn't always a boon to
schools," Jul. 15, 2003
http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0715/p14s01-lepr.html?learningNav

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "State Lotteries vs. Truth-in-
Advertising," May 2002
http://www.mackinac.org/4379


-----------------------------------------------------------------
HOUSE REVISES TEACHER COLLEGE STANDARDS, LOAN FORGIVENESS
-----------------------------------------------------------------
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House passed bills last week strengthening
teacher training requirements and increasing student loan
forgiveness for new teachers.

The bill, called the "Ready to Teach" Act, requires colleges of
education to measure the success of their graduates by the gains
the graduates make for student achievement at the schools in
which they teach. Legislators hope the requirement will focus
colleges on providing quality teacher education programs. "The
majority of colleges of education are not preparing the teachers
we need ... who deeply understand content and what it means to
teach a child," said Lisa Graham Keegan, chief executive officer
of Washington, D.C.-based Education Leaders Council.

A second bill will forgive up to $17,500 in student loans to
teachers who choose to teach in high-risk or high-poverty areas,
more than triple what had been forgiven in the past. Rep. Joe
Wilson, R-S.C., hopes the measure will increase the number of
quality teachers in at-risk areas.
________
SOURCES:
Washington Times, "Teacher-college standards passed,"
Jul. 10, 2003
http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030709-110130-2998r.htm

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Must Teachers Be Certified to
Be Qualified?" February 1999
http://www.mackinac.org/1651

Michigan Education Report, "Subject matter courses should drive a
teacher's schooling," Spring 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/4375


-----------------------------------------------------------------
EDITORIAL: MORE MONEY FOR SCHOOLS INEFFECTIVE WITHOUT REFORM
-----------------------------------------------------------------
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Comparing state education spending with
national test results shows that giving schools more money will
not increase student achievement, according to Greg Forster and
Marcus A. Winters of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

The researchers cite as one example the state of Pennsylvania,
which spends more than $4 billion per year on education – third
highest in the nation when adjusted for the cost of living.
However, the state's test score results rank in the middle when
compared to other states.

Forster and Winters' results show that reform-minded states that
add accountability standards such as high-stakes testing
outperformed states that simply increased funding for education.
Massachusetts, which has a tough accountability system, led the
nation in fourth-grade reading scores and was second in eighth-
grade reading scores – yet has an education budget that ranks
36th in the nation in per-pupil spending.
________
SOURCES:
Philadelphia Inquirer, "Throwing money at education,"
Jul. 14, 2003
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/opinion/local2/6298494.htm

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Will More Money Improve
Student Performance?" June 1998
http://www.mackinac.org/527

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "More Spending Not the
Solution to School Woes," December 1993
http://www.mackinac.org/137


#################################################
MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education
Report (http://www.educationreport.org), a quarterly newspaper
with a circulation of 130,000 published by the Mackinac Center
for Public Policy (http://www.mackinac.org), a private,
nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.

Contact Managing Editor Neil Block at
[mailto:med@educationreport.org]

To subscribe, go to:
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/mer/#subscribe.
#################################################

Share More …