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Weekly News Round-Up for June 30th
posted by: Melissa | June 30, 2017, 05:32 PM   

Each week, AAE brings its members a round-up of what’s happening in education. From big, eye-catching headlines to the stories most papers overlook, AAE finds what’s important for our members to know about. This week, we have religious playgrounds, a new superintendent in Detroit, dumping D’s, and more. 

Supreme Court Rules in Lutheran Playground Case: This week, the US Supreme Court passed down a ruling in favor of Trinity Lutheran School. The school had applied for a state-provided grant to upgrade their playground, but was denied because they were a religious school. The Supreme Court found that the playground itself was not promoting religion and providing the funds would not have violated the establishment clause. Further, the court said that since the school met all the secular qualifications for the grant, denying them for the sole reason that they were a church was religious discrimination. Many believe that this will have an impact on how school voucher laws are written.

New Detroit Superintendent Reorganizes District: Nicolai Vitti started his new position as Detroit’s new superintendent of schools this week. Among his first moves was to order a reorganization of the district. In the reorganization, Vitti cut administrative and support positions in order to move resources to classroom teachers and cut out mid-level positions that hampered information moving from district offices to teachers and vice versa.

WI Supreme Court Rules Against Appleton: The Wisconsin Supreme Court passed down a unanimous decision against Appleton School District. At issue was a committee meeting where the district reviewed classroom materials. The public was not notified of the meeting, and it was held behind closed doors, angering parents who felt they had a right to also provide feedback on classroom materials.

Santa Fe Schools Dump “D’s”: Santa Fe Public Schools are dropping ‘D’ as a grade. This new system means that students need to earn a ‘C’ in order to pass. The district argues that this will raise standards. Opponents point out that districts which implemented similar plans were forced to reverse them.

De Blasio Retains Control of NYC Schools: Last week, it seemed that New York State had removed mayoral control from NYC schools after the legislature left without extending the mandate. This changed when New York’s governor called the legislature back to the capital. The result was a deal that extended De Blasio’s control of city schools. De Blasio will maintain his oversight capabilities for two years.

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