PA Court Clears Path for School Funding Lawsuit

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reinstated a lawsuit challenging the state’s school funding system, an apparent victory for struggling districts opposed to what they assert is an unjust structure that relies too heavily on property taxes and doesn’t meet the needs of certain schools.

The lawsuit alleges that Pennsylvania’s school funding system violates the state constitution’s guarantee of a “thorough and efficient system” of education, as well as its equal protection provision.

The action by the court—which runs counter to past rulings and could impact districts across the state—is being monitored by other states, which may find their jurisdictions soon facing similar challenges.

ED to Provide $253 Million in Charter Expansion Grants

The U.S. Department of Education is giving Charter Schools Program grants worth $253 million to several state education agencies and nonprofit charter operators. The funding will be used for state grant competitions to scale up and expand current charter operators.

“Charter schools are now part of the fabric of American education, and I look forward to seeing how we can continue to work with states to help ensure more students can learn in an environment that works for them,” says Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

College Board Releases Results from Redesigned SAT

The College Board has released much-awaited data analyzing the performance of 2017 graduates on the redesigned SAT. According to the report, “46 percent of high school graduates who took the test met the nonprofit’s new college-readiness benchmarks.”

The new findings will set the baseline for tracking future students’ results.

Does Ninth-Grade GPA Predict Future Performance?

According to a new research study from the University of Chicago’s Consortium on School Research, the answer is yes.

The study analyzed eight data cohorts of Chicago high school freshmen, including the students’ school grades, test scores, and background information such as racial composition and the poverty status of their neighborhoods, and found clear achievement patterns based on freshman GPA.

Not only was ninth-grade performance highly predictive of GPA in the 11th grade, researchers said, but it was also predictive of whether students would actually graduate, enroll in college, and remain in college after one year.