When a gunman killed 26 children and staff at a Connecticut grade school, Missouri state Rep. Mike Kelley quickly proposed legislation that would allow trained teachers to carry hidden guns into the classroom as a “line of defense” against attackers, ABC OTUS News reports. Similar bills soon proliferated in Republican-led states as the National Rifle Association called for armed officers in every American school. Yet less than four months later, the quest to put guns in schools has stalled in many traditionally gun-friendly states after encountering opposition from educators, reluctance from some governors and ambivalence from legislative leaders more focused on economic initiatives. The loss of momentum highlights how difficult it can be to advance any gun legislation, whether to adopt greater restrictions or expand the rights to carry weapons……Read More
Teachers say they are grouping students of similar abilities with each other inside classrooms and schools are clustering pupils with like interests together — a practice once frowned upon — according to a review of federal education surveys, ABC OTUS News reports. The Brookings Institution report released Monday shows a dramatic increase in both ability grouping and student tracking among fourth- and eighth-grade students. Those practices were once criticized as racist and faced strong opposition from groups as varied as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to the National Governors Association.
“Despite decades of vehement criticism and mountains of documents urging schools to abandon their use, tracking and ability grouping persist — and for the past decade or so, have thrived,” said Tom Loveless, a senior fellow at the centrist Brookings Institute’s Brown Center on Education Policy, who wrote the report…
During her three years as Washington D.C. public schools chancellor, Michelle Rhee raised eyebrows with her tough-love approach to fixing a failing school system, ABC OTUS News reports. And when I sat down with Rhee on “This Week,” the controversial education reformer made no apologies for her rough-and-tumble philosophy.
“My style is very deliberative and very focused on doing what’s right for kids. And so I wouldn’t change that so much,” Rhee told me. “Should I have fired ineffective principals? Absolutely. Should I have done so on national TV? Probably not.”
Rhee’s tenure in D.C. was met with plenty of controversy: Unions and city residents criticized her for ending teacher tenure and closing 23 schools in one year alone……Read More
Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, said Thursday that Republican politicians are leading the way for better educational opportunities for poor and minority children through voucher programs for private schools, while Democrats passively stand by or obstruct their efforts, ABC OTUS News reports. The partisan framing of his education agenda is a bit of a departure from Christie’s earlier praise of President Barack Obama’s education reforms, and may hint at how the issue will play out in the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney said Wednesday that President Obama’s lack of support for the voucher program in Washington, D.C., is “inexcusable.” Christie made the remarks Thursday at the American Federation for Children and the Alliance for School Choice’s annual policy summit in Jersey City……Read More
Speaking to high school students in N.C., Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich put on a new face Monday when talking about his bid for the nomination, proving he knows a little bit about putting on makeup while trying to explain personalized healthcare to the group of 16 to 18 year-olds, ABC OTUS News reports. When asked by a student reporter what he thought about his chances at the nomination, Gingrich said, “I think it’s uphill. It’s a challenge. I think I have a shot at it, but it’s uphill.”
Gingrich recently changed his language when talking about winning the Republican nomination, no longer saying he was going all the way to convention. On Sunday, Gingrich said that Romney was the likely nominee…