News Roundup

NPR’s Juan Williams writes in the NYT that Democrats should not take the black vote for granted and cites school vouchers as one reason writing:

It’s worth noting that for this group [young African-Americans], the president has an issue with considerable appeal: school vouchers. Despite strong opposition from civil rights leaders (and Democrats), 66 percent of blacks and 67 percent of Hispanics favor vouchers, according to a recent Newsweek poll. That is higher than the 54 percent of whites who say they want to see vouchers used to give students access to better schools.

Wouldn’t this particular issue lose much of its salience if Democrats vigorously embraced public charter schools as a serious choice alternative? Clinton did.

Newsday reports that some principals in New York City want to hold back even more kids than Klein – Bloomberg saying that the current promotion policy is too rigid.

Samuel Freedman writes in the NY Times that this country needs more Arabic speakers to help in the fight against terrorism but that the Bush Administration isn’t doing enough to get higher education into the game.

Interesting charter school article from North Carolina about the impact of charter schools on school district budgets. Lots of complaints but Jim Causby, executive director of the N.C. Association of School Administrators says, “I don’t think the financial argument holds up when you’re a growing system”

In systems with stagnant or shrinking enrollment, student defections to charters hurt because they leave behind half-empty schools…But in a growing district like Durham’s, charter schools actually can help by reducing the pressure to add expensive new classroom space. “That’s classrooms you don’t have to build, mobile units you don’t have to buy.”

This is exactly the reason some urban districts are embracing chartering, a good way to create more seats in potentially good schools…and a good way to increase cooperation around charter schools.

In Georgia state officials are refusing to release some pretty basic information about the state test there and it’s understandably creating suspicion. Transparency anyone?

Hercules in New York? California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says that New York Governor George Pataki’s proposal to force colleges to turn student loan processing over to the state is against the law. Rod Paige recently warned of the same problem.

More residency back and forth from the D.C. area.

Apparently context really does matter — even more than you probably thought — according to this story about the ongoing football scandal at the University of Colorado.

Karen Arenson writes in the NYT about efforts to make GED classes more than test prep. And, NYT readers respond to the pledge decision.

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