Our favorite national initiative may be history, but education is alive and kicking in the good ole states. A whopping fifteen of them will have an array of legislative referendums, constitutional amendments, and citizen initiatives on their ballots this November. These ballot addendums address varied subjects and are of varied import, although none has garnered the attention of last year's school voucher hoopla in Utah. Colorado and Nebraska will endeavor to restrict affirmative action in education while Colorado, Maine, Maryland, and Missouri will look to gambling for more education dollars. But Oregon is the one to watch; amongst other issues, the Beaver State is contemplating a crack down on how long students may spend in bilingual education classrooms, plus a version of merit pay based on teacher "classroom performance." Suffice it to say that Oregon's teachers unions are livid. Such emotional response to education issues is rare this year, however; with the globe's financial system melting down, it's hard for school policy to garner much more than a shrug from most voters. Maybe Ed in '12 will have more luck.
"Education in Spotlight on Statewide Ballots," by Katie Ash, Education Week, October 6, 2008