Quality K-12 Education

Voters Across Nation Push Back Against Right-Wing Overreach in the States

Exactly one year ago, conservatives swept the states on Election Day, thanks to promises to focus on jobs and the economy. But in states where conservatives were able to advance their agenda in 2011 sessions, voters only saw attacks on workers, the middle class, women, immigrants, and historically disenfranchised communities. This week, voters from every corner of the nation - form Ohio to Maine to Arizona to Mississippi - sent a striking and direct message in response, rejecting the overreach of right-wing legislatures and governors in 2011 on a range of issues.

MO: Report Shows Statewide Dropouts Decrease

Missouri ranks 31st nationwide in the 2010 Kids Count databook, a report released today that rates the status of children in each state based on statistics from 10 key areas.

Missouri improved in four categories, with its most significant improvement in the high school dropout rate. The other areas in which Missouri improved were child and teen death rates and teen birth rates. Conditions worsened in the areas of children in poverty, low birth weights and infant mortality.

State Job Creation Strategies for 2011

The fundamental challenge in this recession is that the growth that preceded it was a mirage. Bubble era borrowing created a network of financial jobs, real estate jobs and construction jobs that collapsed with the end of the bubble. Many of those jobs will never return.

An extremely high proportion (75%) of job losses in this recession are permanent rather than temporary. States will need to nurture completely new industry sectors and the infrastructure to support those jobs, while the jobless will need retraining in new skills to participate in those sectors.

IL: Gov. Quinn Signs Anti-Bullying Legislation 

Chicago (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation into law that aims at reducing bullying in Illinois schools.

Quinn signed the bill Sunday at a Chicago school and the law goes into effect immediately. His office says the measure expands the definition of bullying to include communications via e-mail, text message or social networking Web sites.

Quinn says the new law "helps schools protect students so they can succeed both inside and outside of the classroom."