Education Briefs

Back to April 2013 Ed Reporter

Education Briefs

Cursive writing is not required by Common Core standards although elementary-level instruction in keyboarding is mandated. It is unknown how many states and school districts will devote time to teaching a skill that is neither mandated nor required to pass federal tests, or if a printed signature will be acceptable on legal documents for future generations.

A German family that has sought asylum in the U.S. since 2008 claims their own government persecuted them for homeschooling their children. The Justice Department now states that the parents have no right to educate their own children and should be returned to Germany, which mandates attendance at state-approved schools for all children. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association represents the family who hopes to get a reversal on appeal and to be allowed to stay in America.

In what Fox News calls “selective austerity,” Native American schools are facing painful sequestration cuts, while a new hire in a recently created job at the Department of Education will receive a salary of $123,758. On reservations that depend fully on the federal government for education funding, schools are “adding students to classrooms, slashing course offerings and leaving vacant jobs unfilled.” The new appointee to executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans at the DOE, whose job requires that he “identify evidence-based best practices to improve African-American student achievement from cradle to career,” is a former schoolteacher and aide to Rep. Charles Rangel, D-NY. (02-13-2013)

The Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has determined that, under the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, students with disabilities have a right to sports programs “supported equally, as with a school district’s other athletic activities.” The National Education Association teachers’ union supports the new interpretation, saying, “All students have the human and civil right to a quality public education with equal access that develops their potential, independence, and character.” The price tag and funding for this mandate are undetermined.