WATCH: In Every Super Tuesday State, A Big Education Story
WATCH: In Every Super Tuesday State, a Big Education Story
As of March 1, the Next Generation Science Standards have not been implemented in Wyoming.
This is the fifth installment in a series of EDlection2016 films that examine the top education issues in early primary states. You can find our videos from Nevada, New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina below, as well as our archive of 30 state dispatches.
Thirteen states, along with one U.S. territory, will hold primaries on Tuesday to select their preferred presidential candidates for the November election. This presents an ideal opportunity to look beyond poll results and endorsements and explore the key education issues that impact millions of voters across these regions.
Taken together, our survey of Super Tuesday states provides a comprehensive view of education successes, failures, innovations, and crises.
After years of stalled legislation, Texas is now considering ways to bring more quality classrooms to underserved communities. The Speaker of the House is open to studying the issue of school choice. Additionally, Alaska is investing millions of dollars to improve Internet connections in its schools, and educators in Wyoming continue to have varying opinions on the Next Generation Science Standards. The state initially banned NGSS due to climate change language, but later allowed the new guidelines to move forward. However, the state Board of Education rejected the new approach.
In many Super Tuesday communities, parents and policymakers are grappling with underperforming schools. For example, in American Samoa, 90 percent of high school students require remedial classes before being prepared for community college. In Alabama, 76 schools were listed as "failing schools," marking a 15% increase from the previous year. Georgia is considering options such as merging or closing 26 low-performing schools in Atlanta.
Certain states have seen notable victories in education recently. Arkansas made history by becoming the first state to mandate computer science courses in public high schools. Denver Public Schools in Colorado have been recognized as the top large school district in offering parents school choice through the SchoolMatch system. School choice advocates in Massachusetts argue that the success of Boston’s charter schools indicates that the state should remove its existing charter cap.
Minnesota recently made headlines due to a segregation lawsuit, alleging that the state’s charter schools, which deliberately serve specific communities, are hindering classroom integration. Oklahoma is facing a severe teacher shortage, leading to an increase in emergency teacher certifications. Tennessee appeared to be on track to approve vouchers for low-income families, but the legislation unexpectedly stalled.
As always, school funding remains a major issue in most states. A recent study reveals that Virginia has not adjusted its school funding formulas since the Great Recession, resulting in an annual underfunding of $800 million. Lawmakers in Vermont are exploring creative ways to maintain education funding by using owner income instead of property value in property tax calculations.
In previous installments, we explored the concerns of desperate families in Nevada regarding education savings accounts, New Hampshire’s battle against the heroin epidemic, how South Carolina is incorporating technology into classrooms, and Iowa’s reevaluation of high school as on-the-job training.
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