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Mom Congress: Education News Roundup

Check out the latest education-related news from around the web -- then be sure to enter to win a trip to Washington, D.C. for our first annual Mom Congress!

“State education plan makes parents responsible” (San Francisco Chronicle, 1/8/10)
Giving parents their choice of schools, making sure teachers are qualified, and forcing bad schools to improve is all tackled in the huge school reform package signed into law Thursday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and approved by state lawmakers this week, to give California a shot at winning $700 million in the national education competition called “Race to the Top.”

“Recession Fuels Shift from Private to Public Schools” (USA Today, 1/6/10)
The transition from private to public schools has been an education for parents feeling the financial strain of a struggling economy. In some cases, they’re saving about $20,000 a year in tuition, but like many former private-school families, they're coming face-to-face with larger class sizes and the public school bureaucracy as they push to get services for their children.

“Unions v. Race to the Top” (Wall Street Journal, 1/7/10)
Teachers unions in Minnesota and Florida are currently threatening to withhold support for their state Race to the Top applications, which are due later this month. So is the school boards association in Louisiana. This matters because the Administration has placed a premium on states garnering "local school district support" in order to win a grant.

“Teaching Green, Beyond Recycling” (New York Times, 1/14/10)

While plenty of New York City schools teach students about environmental issues like endangered species or global warming, places like the Green School put an overwhelming emphasis on civic involvement. The students are encouraged to delve into local issues that may affect them and their families, like contamination in waterways, water quality or the razing of low-scale housing.

“Maryland tops states on education report card” (Washington Post, 1/14/10)
The nation earned a C on the 14th annual Education Week report card, which measures how well states have delivered a high-quality education to all students, with Maryland earning the best overall grade of any state, followed by Massachusetts and New York, which both earned a B. Most states got grades of C or lower.