This past month, nine policy analysts published reports about what occurred in the following states: Arkansas, California, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
California: Daniel Melzer reported that the Cal State System Proposed to End Placement Exams and replace them with high school grades and course work, SAT, or ACT scores. He cited faculty concerns over “lack of local autonomy regarding assessment and placement.” Daniel also shared that the Report on Acceleration Writing Models in California Community Colleges revealed student success.
Michigan: In University of Michigan Offers Free Tuition for Low-Income Students, Robert Rozema described the Go Blue Guarantee program for high-achieving, low-income students.
New Hampshire: Alexandria Peary explained the House of Representatives Bill Requiring Annual Report of Remedial Courses. HB 180 would require postsecondary institutions to submit annual reports delineating the number and subjects of courses offered, enrollment, and costs.
Arkansas: Similar to her report last month, Donna Wake notes in Charter School Saved by External Resources that the Walton Family Foundation provided the funding to allow a charter school, initially slated for revocation, to remain open.
Idaho: Darlene Dyer shares that Preschool Funding and Enrollment Climbs Nationally but No Funding for Idaho, concluding that “If 90 per cent of Idaho’s 3- and 4-year-olds do not have access to preschool (as current figures purport), the impact will be felt for decades in the local economy.”
Montana: Anna Baldwin explains the Scholarship Tax Credit now allowed for contributions to a scholarship organization and the conflict over monies going to religious schools.
Pennsylvania: Aileen Hower reported, [Governor] Wolf to Sign Law Granting Career-track Students Alternatives to Keystone Exit Exams. These students would be able to demonstrate competency through their grades and alternate assessments or industry-based certifications. In Report Reveals Eye-opening Data on English Learners in Philadelphia Schools, Aileen submitted an excerpt from Newsworks revealing how quickly immigrant students in Philadelphia learn English.
Washington: Barbara Ward described the state of Washington grappling with Funding Woes in a special session to address the high court’s demand that the state pay a fair share of costs for teacher salaries. Barbara also wrote about Possible Changes in State Testing Requirements for High Schoolers, allowing students who fail state-mandated tests in English language arts to show their proficiency in other ways.
Both PreK-12 and Higher Education
New Mexico: In State of New Mexico Sued for Inequities in Educational Opportunities, Erin O’Neill notes that the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty sued, “claiming that budget cuts and underfunding are preventing Native American students, ELL learners, and low-income students from receiving the necessary educational opportunities guaranteed by the state constitution.”