Scott Walker's Voucher Fight; School Safety Questions: Ed Today

In a Dec. 12, 2012 photo Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks to Virent workers at a Talk With Walker event in Madison, Wis. Wal
In a Dec. 12, 2012 photo Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks to Virent workers at a Talk With Walker event in Madison, Wis. Walker became a conservative darling when, as a new Republican governor, he waged a high-profile battle to break the power of public employee unions in his traditionally pro-labor state, and then survived a recall election. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, M.P. King.)

Walker-Style Voucher Fight? Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker first tangled with his state's teachers union when he signed a bill that upended collective bargaining. Now he's at it again, and this time, the fight is over school vouchers. "The debate over Walker's public education funding proposal and desire to grow alternatives such as private school vouchers is likely to be one of the fiercest in the Statehouse this year, even dividing Republicans who control the Legislature," the Associated Press reports.

NY Teacher Fight Spills Onto Airwaves Educators 4 Excellence, a New York City teachers group often referred to as a union alternative, is airing a TV advertisement that weights in on the teacher evaluation fight, reports the Daily News.

"Gifted Or Just Well-Prepared?" When New York City announced changes to its admissions exam for the "Gifted and Talented" program intended to shift emphasis away from test-prep companies, those companies immediately tried to adapt to the new test -- leaving parents with the question of whether the new system can judge kids on aptitude versus preparedness (and financial background), reports the New York Times.

Bringing Work To School? While many educators and policymakers talk about the importance of an education that prepares kids for both college and careers, very few public school systems offer tangible ways for those two pieces to mesh. Now, Providence, Rhode Island, is offering students "badges" for their real-world learning, reports Education Week. "The Providence, R.I., school district is in the middle of an initiative that appears to be breaking new ground in giving academic credit and recognizing skills and achievements out of school," EdWeek reports.

School Safety? Are simulated gun games interesting for kids, or do they breed problems for school safety, USA Today asks. Some schools are "suspending or threatening to suspend small children over behavior their parents consider perfectly normal and age-appropriate -- even now, with schools in a state of heightened sensitivity following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December," USA Today writes. One example: a school district warned a five-year-old who made a gun with his building blocks and chased students down with it.