Morning Announcements: July 29, 2011

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Posted:
July 29, 2011 03:40 pm

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Education Week reports that during an interview on Wednesday with U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), he declined to be more specific about exactly when the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee would get around to marking up the very, very long-overdue Elementary and Secondary Education Act bill (renewal has been pending since 2007, back when President George W. Bush was in office).

While developing his positions on education policy, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), also a member of the Senate HELP Committee, told the Huffington Post that education reform is the “most important thing I’m working on.”

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Dropout Factories, Elementary & Secondary Education Act, Federal Education Reform, No Child Left Behind, State Budgets, Teachers & Leaders

Report Round-Up

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Posted:
July 29, 2011 02:40 pm

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Happy Friday, everyone. Here’s this week’s Report Round-Up. If there’s a report we missed, feel free to add it in the comments section.

This week’s reports are below…

Assessing Deeper Learning, Alliance for Excellent Education

New assessments that measure a broader range of knowledge and skills than typical assessments measure are vital to ensure that students learn what they need to succeed in the future, according to this new policy brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education. Such assessments would indicate whether students understand challenging content and are able to apply that knowledge to think critically, solve problems, communicate their understanding, and work with their peers. Federal policy can support the development and implementation of new assessments that measure deeper learning, the brief states. The federal government can require that assessments measure deeper learning competencies, support professional development for teachers, ensure that assessments fairly measure the performance of students with disabilities and English learners, and continue to provide support to states for ongoing operational costs of state assessments.

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Assessments, Digital Learning, Federal Education Reform

Afternoon Announcements: July 28, 2011

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Posted:
July 28, 2011 06:46 pm

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News outlets all over the nation are talking about states bracing for plummeting high school graduation rates as districts nationwide dump flawed measurement formulas that often undercounted dropouts and produced inflated results. According to CBS News, “experts hope the changes will draw attention to the dropout issue and lead to resources being focused on the problem. … ‘We’re going to take an honest look in the mirror and see how real our graduation rate is and where we need to cut the dropout rate,’ said former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, which has extensively studied the nation’s hodgepodge system of graduation rates. ‘You’ve got to know how deep the hole is in order to develop a strategy for getting out of it.’”

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Categories:
Digital Learning, Dropout Factories, Economic Impacts, Education and the Economy, High School Graduation Rates, No Child Left Behind, Teacher Evaluations, Teachers & Leaders

Stats That Stick: July 27, 2011

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Posted:
July 27, 2011 08:28 pm

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High school graduates earn a national average of $8,000 more annually compared to high school dropouts. (Alliance for Excellent Education)

Nearly 87 percent of New Mexico’s schools are not making adequate progress under the federal No Child left Behind (NCLB) Act. When it comes to student proficiency, only 42 percent of New Mexico students perform at grade level in math and science and only 50 percent are proficient in Reading. (New Mexico Public Education Department)

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Accountability, Dropout Factories

Morning Announcements: July 27, 2011

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Posted:
July 27, 2011 04:31 pm

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As states tally their standardized test scores and graduation rates this summer, they are feeling the squeeze of the 2001 No Child Left Behind law, which Congress has failed to revamp since it came up for reauthorization in 2007, reports the Huffington Post.

According to Maine’s Bangor Daily News, Gov. Paul LePage issued an order yesterday that takes a first step toward giving the state’s students the option of a five-year high school education.

In another Bangor Daily News article, author and education expert Tony Wagner is quoted from his keynote address at a conference at the University of Maine, during which he talked about the education system built in the past century and how it is failing today’s students.

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Categories:
Dropout Factories, High School Graduation Rates, No Child Left Behind

Afternoon Announcements: July 26, 2011

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Posted:
July 26, 2011 08:40 pm

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The Huffington Post writes that Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), a former superintendent of Denver’s public schools, sees the holdup on overhauling No Child Left Behind as having little to do with education and everything to do with politics: “I’ve learned more about how schools work than how the United States Senate works … For the life of me, it’s hard to see why we can’t make progress on this.”

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Categories:
Dropout Factories, Federal Legislation, No Child Left Behind, Teachers & Leaders

July 25 Issue of Straight A’s Is Available

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Posted:
July 26, 2011 05:23 pm

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The July 25, 2011 issue of Straight A’s, the Alliance’s biweekly newsletter is now available. This week’s issue focuses on President Obama’s Education Roundtable with key leaders from the nation’s businesses; a new Alliance study showing the annual income difference between a high school dropout and a high school graduate in every state (It’s an average of $8,000); and new reports on the economy’s need for more college graduates and the link between school discipline and high school dropouts in Texas.

Individual articles from this week’s issue are listed below or you can download a .pdf of the entire newsletter here

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Categories:
Education and the Economy

Afternoon Announcements: July 25, 2011

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Posted:
July 25, 2011 08:13 pm

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A decade into his record-breaking education philanthropy, Bill Gates talks to the Wall Street Journal about teachers, charters—and regrets: “It’s hard to improve public education—that’s clear. … It’s been about a decade of learning.” Since 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has poured some $5 billion into education grants and scholarships.

Of more than 100,000 public schools in the United States, about 300 recently have faced suspicions, allegations and, in some cases hard proof, that teachers and administrators cheated to inflate standardized test scores. The Washington Post reports on questions raised in these incidents that have sent tremors through the movement to hold schools and teachers accountable for student achievement through annual testing.

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Categories:
Teachers & Leaders

Morning Announcements: July 22, 2011

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Posted:
July 22, 2011 04:34 pm

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Another hot day across the nation gives way to another day full of education news. Grab an ice-cold drink and read on …

According to the Associated Press, at least three states are vowing to ignore the latest requirements under the No Child Left Behind law in an act of defiance against the federal government that demonstrates their growing frustration over an education program they say sets unrealistic benchmarks for schools.

Education Week writes about the new guidelines on crafting curriculum materials for the common standards in English/language arts that are reigniting debate about how to ensure a marketplace of good instructional materials for the new standards without crossing the line into telling teachers how to teach.

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Categories:
Common Core State Standards, Teachers & Leaders

Morning Announcements: July 21, 2011

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Posted:
July 21, 2011 04:36 pm

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In the aftermath of the Atlanta cheating scandal and recent cheating allegations in other school districts across the country, the Washington Post’s “On Leadership” convened a roundtable on how best to approach teacher incentives in the U.S. education system. Respondent U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan indicates despite the cheating scandals, testing and teaching are not at odds.

Education Week writes about how the fallout from the debt debate could affect education.

California has more homeless students than any other state in the nation. In 2009, nearly one-third of all homeless students nationwide lived in California, according to the U.S. Department of Education; and those students are struggling academically, reports California Watch.

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Categories:
High School Graduation Rates