Recess round-up: June 28, 2010

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

Common standards: Illinois “education officials set new expectations for what every public school student should know in math and reading, joining a national push to create one set of standards.” (Chicago Tribune)

Technology and education: Connecticut students can stay home and take summer school classes online. “That means rather than waking up early and climbing on a bus, summer school students can stay home and work on their laptops on their own schedule.” Of course, that assumes students are motivated and have laptops. (Hartford Courant)

Teachers and budgets: Teachers’ jobs will not be cut in El Paso, Texas, at this time, despite an $18 million shortfall over the next two years. Budget cuts will take aim at “the central office,”  according to El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Lorenzo García. (El Paso Times)

Transforming troubled schools: New York City has announced that 11 schools the state considers persistently low-achieving will experience intensive interventions this fall. They’re talking about schools with graduation rates below 60 percent… (WNYC Radio)

Tackling turnaround: “To understand what’s at stake and how quickly these educators must move, Education Week is following the turnaround experience” of Shawnee High School, in Louisville, Ky. Today, they published the first story in what will be an ongoing series. (Education Week)

Closing alternative schools: Alternative schools face closure because of budget cuts in Los Angeles County. “‘I don’t think I have a place to go,’ one student says.” (Los Angeles Times)

From boys to men: Of the 150 students who started boys-only Urban Prep Charter High School in Chicago’s South Side in 2006, 95 lasted four years. The good news is that one hundred percent of the school’s first class is college-bound. “It’s just a milestone,” saidTim King, Urban Prep President and CEO. “It’s not an endgame. This is not the fulfillment of our mission. (That) comes when we are able to see our students succeed in college and that may not be apparent for four or five years.”  (Washington Post)

Policy: Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat from West Virginia — as well as a defender and prolific sponsor of academic earmarks — died early this morning. He was the longest-serving senator in history, holding his seat for more than 50 years. (Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Susan Sawyers