Education gets its day in court

Healthcare stole the show, but don’t forget that the Supreme Court handed down a decision this session with education implications. Knox v. SEIU, which restricted public-employee unions’ ability to extract political contributions from non-members, was a narrow ruling. Here’s hoping it signals that the high court is open to further protections for non-union teachers against onerous union dues and other fees.

Speaking of SCOTUS, yesterday marked the ten-year anniversary of Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, the Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of school vouchers. Gadfly is glad to see Republicans in Pennsylvania honoring the occasion by pushing a budget that would double funding for the state’s tax-credit-scholarship program, while GOP legislators in Mississippi and New Hampshire commemorated it by passing new private-school-choice programs.

Governor John Kasich signed Ohio’s third-grade reading requirement into law on Monday. Requiring reading proficiency in order to get promoted into fourth grade has paid dividends in Florida; let’s hope youngsters in the Buckeye State reap similar rewards.

New York-based Relay Graduate School of Education is pioneering an innovative approach to educator education, trading in pedagogical theory for a super-practical and practice-based curriculum; other ed schools would do well to take note of this creative reimagining of teacher prep, rather than scrambling to shield their own methods and results from public view.

The Wall Street Journal devoted a special section on Monday to the “Big Issues of Education,” including important debates on national standards and teacher evaluation.

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