Department Of Defense Schools Await Furlough News; More Early Education Details From Obama Administration: Ed Today

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks to the press in front of a statue of George Washington at the Capitol Tuesday, Feb. 5, 201
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks to the press in front of a statue of George Washington at the Capitol Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 in Richmond, Va. McDonnell called for a yes vote on his transportation bill. The House approved the legislation. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

More Early Ed Details? Yesterday, President Barack Obama's education advisor Roberto Rodriguez addressed the Council of the Great City Schools legislative conference, and gave folks a few more details about Obama's early ed plans, according to Education Week. The program is apparently a full-day preschool program that is to be overseen by school districts, he said. "We want to go beyond the three-hour-a-day preschool model," Rodriguez said. But he still wouldn't provide any details on how much money the federal government would spend on the initiative.

Sequestration Nation? Department of Defense schools stillhaven't learned the extend of the effects of sequestration cuts, a fact that has rankled DoD teachers and families across the globe, we report. DoD schools across the globe could face up to 22 days of furloughs, but the body that governs these schools is still figuring it out. Some teachers want to find other cuts. "It seems odd that we're told we're mission-essential, but now, we can suddenly be furloughed," one teacher in the UK told me.

Middling Reform In Virginia? According to the Washington Post, Gov. Bob McDonnell's attempts to reform education have achieved "mixed results." Despite campaigning initially on a fully reformy agenda, only some efforts, like a voucher-like program and school grades, have panned out, whereas the state only has four charter schools and the teacher merit pay program is not fully funded. "His overall record has alarmed many of Virginia's Democratic lawmakers and educators, who say a shift toward private alternatives could undermine the state's public schools," the Post reports. "But nationally, reform activists say they are frustrated that despite an explosion of education innovations during the past four years, Virginia still lags behind other states."

No Respite For School Closures? On Monday, New York City rejected a proposal that would have halted the city's school closure plans, reports the New York Times. The panel voted to carry out a plan that would "phase out" 22 schools. The Times notes that the decision pushes "any hope" for a closure moratorium "into the next mayor's hands." "We're waiting for the next mayor -- I hope it'll be me -- who'll again believe in our children, believe in our communities," said Democratic candidate Bill Thompson.

**Extra Credit**
Massachusetts Early Education Chief steps down, but the Associated Press reports she says it's "unrelated to criticism of her participation in a school superintendent mentoring program."

Well, this is awkward. Pennsylvania has clarified that no, teachers don't have to pass a quiz in order to administer standardized tests.