Sunday, February 01, 2009

Yes, Even on a Sunday. The song "Never on Sunday" (the Oscar-winning song in 1960 recorded later by Connie Francis) doesn't mention anything about blogging, so I feel free to blog a bit during the first quarter of the Super Bowl.

There must be something going on with education funding and policy these days, because the Sunday Star Tribune had two education-related stories. The lead story in Sunday's paper deals with the Governor's proposal to expand Q-comp to all districts. I was a bit surprised by some of the comments in the story, but the article does get to the heart of the issue with the proposal.

Q-Comp Story:

The front page of the Metro section featured a story regarding the federal stimulus package and how districts may use revenue generated by that package. 3 SEE member districts--White Bear Lake, Forest Lake, and South Washington County--provide examples for the story. The story mainly focuses on the facilities portion of that proposed legislation, but comments are also provided regarding the Title I and special education increases.

School District Reactions to Federal Stimulus Story:

I found both of these stories useful in describing what is happening in conjunction with education policy and funding proposals thus far this year and I hope we continue to get this type of coverage throughout the session.

Great Hearings Last Week. Kudos to House K-12 Education Policy Chair Carlos Mariani (D-St. Paul) for setting up two great informational meetings in his committee last week. The subject was testing policy, with special attention given to the GRAD test. The witnesses were great, ranging from MDE Commissioner Alice Seagren to district testing directors to University of Minnesota professors. A number of viewpoints were expressed and the discussion really centered around the value of a high-stakes graduation tests.

Professors from the University of Minnesota again provided solid testimony. Dr. John Warren testified regarding the value of high-stakes test on Wednesday and Dr. Stuart Yeh did a great job on Thursday describing how "rapid assessment" is more effective than a number of other education quality initiatives, including the high-stakes tests, in contributing to student achievement.

Below is the link for the video of both hearings. I will post video of other hearings that are taped.

House K-12 Education Policy 1/28 and 1/29 Video Links:

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