News & Announcements
News & Announcements
News You Can Use

Saki Ikoma, currently a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Education Policy Studies (EPS) at the Pennsylvania State University created weekly education news brief before beginning her studies at Penn State. The weekly education news brief began as one of the resources provided by department student association, Education Policy Studies Student Association (EPSSA). During her first year of graduate studies, the news brief greatly helped Saki as an international student better understand the education policy processes in the U.S. and keep up with the latest news in education. She became the EPSSA secretary in her second year, and worked to institutionalize the news brief as part of her graduate assistantship work for the EPS department in her third year. Her goal was to expand its distribution to faculty and colleagues outside of EPS, and to the alumni network. Now it has been expanded more than expected, and generates email messages from various higher education institutions across the U.S.


The purpose of the EPS Education News Brief is to deliver to scholars the latest education news every Friday during fall and spring semesters. Every week, more than 500 news articles from emails, websites, blogs and subscriptions are scanned and sorted into five categories: Policy and Politics, Evaluation and Assessment, Higher Education, Education Leadership, International Education, and Blogs and Opinions. Each news headline includes a brief quote from the article and the direct link, so that subscribers can scan that week’s news easily and quickly.



The EPS Education News Brief would be useful for scholars interested in school choice and charters because news related to the field appears almost every week not only in the Policy and Politics section, but also in Evaluation and Assessment, Education Leadership, and Blogs and Opinions portions of the update. If you are interested in subscribing, please email Saki Ikoma at 


We hope the brief will be helpful for Charters & School Choice SIG members! Saki would appreciate any suggestions and/or comments you might have to make the brief better.



December 4, 2015 Sample News in Each Category


Policy and Politics


‘No Child Left Behind’ Replacement Plan Shifts Power to States on Education: “Bipartisan group of lawmakers backs compromise that would curb the federal role in defining school quality”


Chicago Public Schools reverses special education cuts: “Chicago Public Schools officials have reversed course and will add dozens of teacher and aide positions for students with special needs”


 [New York] No easy options for Cuomo on coupling of tests and teacher evaluations: “[New York] Gov. Andrew Cuomo's reported plan to retreat from a politically fraught linkage of test scores and teacher evaluations could turn out to be pretty complicated, too”


New Jersey Task Force’s Report on Special Education Reforms Calls for Changes: “Recommendations include return to state aid based on individual students’ needs, not ‘census-based’ method”


Ohio's 'Parent Trigger' Law Doesn't Work: “If the state of Ohio's transition to new proficiency tests didn't kill the "parent trigger," it's put it on life support”


[Nevada] State seeks dismissal of lawsuit against Education Savings Accounts: “As thousands of families continue to apply for Nevada's new education savings accounts, a Las Vegas judge next month will decide whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the controversial school choice program”


[Kansas] AG Derek Schmidt tells court not to ‘second guess’ new school funding law: “Earlier this year, the Legislature eliminated the state’s school funding system and temporarily replaced it with block grants…They say they plan to create a new, permanent school finance formula in the next two years”


 Evaluation and Assessment


 New findings: U.S. squarely in middle on many global education indicators: “From pre-kindergarten through graduate school, the education system in the United States faces tough competition from the rest of the world, a new study found”



NCES Releases Statistics in Brief on Public School Teacher Autonomy in the Classroom Across School Years 2003–04, 2007–08, and 2011–12: “This Statistics in Brief examines a construct of teacher autonomy based on teachers’ responses to six questions regarding perceptions of influence over classroom instruction and classroom management”


Higher Education


Major overhaul planned for Tennessee colleges: “[Tennessee] Gov. Bill Haslam on [12/1] announced plans to overhaul the state's public higher education system by creating independent governing boards for the six universities currently managed by the Tennessee Board of Regents”



Educational Leadership


To Measure What Tests Can't, Some Schools Turn To Surveys: “[R]esearchers are becoming increasingly convinced that students' attitudes about learning, their ability to control themselves and persevere, and their proficiency in working well with others account for more than half the picture of their long-term success”


Pennsylvania’s Education Plus Closes 2 Cyber Learning Centers: “The Education Plus Academy Cyber Charter School in Pennsylvania has closed two of its learning centers after claiming difficulties due to a state budget impasse. Some of the school’s staff were laid off, and students were encouraged to watch classes from home or choose to relocate to different learning centers”


Campus Libraries Rethink Focus as Materials Go Digital: “Sari Feldman, president of the American Library Association, sees a coming transformation of academic libraries thanks to technology. She says they are taking on greater roles in creating teaching materials and scholarship — and preserving tweets as well as books”


International Education


Education at a Glance 2015 OECD Indicators is Available: “Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators…provides data on the output of educational institutions; the impact of learning across countries; the financial and human resources invested in education; access, participation and progression in education; and the learning environment and organisation of schools”


Making quality education accessible to children with disabilities:“According to the International Labor Organization, between 785 and 975 million persons with disabilities are estimated to be of working age, but most do not work. While there are many examples of their individual success, as a group they often face disproportionate poverty and unemployment”


Debate Over Brazil's [National High School] Admissions Exam: “A controversial question is both praised and criticized, drawing attention to the powerful role of a single test”


Austrade launches interactive data visualization tool: “MIP Orbis, a world-leading online data visualisation tool, has been developed by Austrade and now enables Australian stakeholders to create interactive dashboards, visualising student enrolments and visa grants for particular markets, for example”



Blogs and Opinions


ESEA Reauthorization: A Look at a Draft of the Bill


Some Kids Have To Fail: A History of Labels (Part 1)


Restoring Humanity to Teaching, and Delight to Our Classrooms


OECD Chooses Northwest Evaluation Association for Testing Contract, Platform


Working When Your Brain Isn’t:







SIG Newsletters