Recess round-up: August 2, 2010

A daily dose of education news around the nation – just in time for a little mid-day break!

Budgets: California schools have less money than most other states, but their teachers are the most highly paid in the nation.  At the same time, per-pupil spending in the Golden State trails the national average by about $2,500. (Oakland Tribune)

Charter schools: New Orleans schools have gone from an “F” to a “C” in five years. What will it take to get from a “C” to an “A,” and can schools save NOLA?  (EduWonk and GOOD)

Common standards: Today is the deadline for states to adopt the common standards as a condition for receiving 20 points in their latest Race to the Top bids. Round 2 finalists Colorado and California have yet to decide. (The Denver Daily News and San Francisco Chronicle)

Reform for reform’s sake: Although Iowa and Maine lost out in their bids for Race to the Top funding, both states will adopt the common standards.  (The Des Moines Register and The Portland Press Herald)

Education wages — and the crisis of the American middle class. Author Matthew Yglesias weighs in on skills as they relate to income and the greater good. (Financial Times and Think Progress)

EduJobs: The Senate is scheduled to vote this evening on a $10 billion measure to prevent education layoffs. (Education Week: Politics k-12)

Higher ed: The U.S. Department of Education released the full text of its proposed regulations to define “gainful employment” amidst concern that the rule would limit minority students’ access to postsecondary education. (InsideHigherEd)

School ratings: Last year, the Texas Education Agency implemented a new “growth measure” to reward schools for improving student performance — even if students fail state tests. School-performance ratings were released last week, and one analysis suggests little improvement.  (The Texas Tribune)