Policymakers Should Heed Condoleeza Rice’s Warnings

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Posted:
November 30, 2011 09:40 pm

policymakersSpeaking on “Meet the Press” about the nation’s education challenges, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice noted, “I think it’s gonna drive us into class warfare like we’ve never seen, because education, even in the segregated South, was always the way that you got out.”

Dr. Rice’s comments are an important addition to the national discussion on income equality that’s been happening over the last few weeks. This isn’t a matter of simple Thanksgiving guilt, but based on real analyses on the economy and what inequality means for the nation’s future. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a report showing that income inequality grew significantly in the last three decades. While the income of the top 1 percent and top 20 percent in the nation grew by 275 percent and 65 percent, respectively, between 1979 and 2007, the income of the nation’s lowest income quartile grew by only 18 percent. As the chart to above shows, when factoring in inflation, the actual disparity is even greater. This report was followed up by a 15-page response by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), which highlights that decreasing inequality should be driven by reducing the inequality of government transfer payments rather than taxes.

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Economic Impacts

Afternoon Announcements–November 30, 2011

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Posted:
November 30, 2011 07:13 pm

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Here are today’s top education headlines, brought to you by Alliance Policy Intern Bill DeBaun.

Good afternoon and welcome to your Wednesday edition of afternoon announcements! While you’re more than halfway to the weekend, you’re 100% of the way to arriving at today’s education news!

A town hall featuring U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and other local and state education leaders agreed that education is the key to fixing the nation’s economy, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Secretary Duncan noted, “Jobs are going to go to where the knowledge workers are.” Nevada, which faces a poor economy and an education system held in low esteem by many surveys, can improve quickly despite these hurdles, according to the Secretary. For a more national angle on this story, check out the Associated Press’s take, via the Las Vegas Sun.

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Dropout Factories, Economic Impacts, Homeless, North Carolina, State Budgets

Stats That Stick–November 30, 2011

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Posted:
November 30, 2011 06:34 pm

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Here are this week’s “Stats that Stick,” courtesy of Alliance Policy Intern Bill DeBaun:

Number of states that have made midyear cuts to K-12 education: 18. State budgets are improving, but not quickly enough to avoid cuts to education, says Education Week. In the 2010-11 school years, 39 states made overall reductions and 35 made midyear budget cuts. The article reports that “the total size of state general fund budgets in fiscal 2012, $666.6 billion, is still 3 percent below prerecession levels.”

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State Budgets
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Creating A School Culture That Supports And Sustains Digital Learning

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Posted:
November 29, 2011 10:54 pm

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The following is a guest blog submitted by Eric Sheninger, principal of New Milford High School in New Jersey, and a member of the Digital Learning Day Educator Working Group, which provides leadership on the Digital Learning Day toolkits and outreach development for teachers and administrators across the country. Read other blog posts from the Digital Learning Day Educator Working Group.

To learn more about Digital Learning Day, which is February 1, 2012, visit the Digital Learning Day website.

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Categories:
Digital Learning, Digital Learning Series, Education Technology, New Jersey, Teachers & Leaders, Technology

Afternoon Announcements–November 29, 2011

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Posted:
November 29, 2011 06:40 pm

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Good afternoon. Here are today’s top education headlines.

Stateline.org reports that states applying for waivers under President Obama’s plan to grant flexibility from No Child Left Behind requirements will have to make big changes fast. So far, eleven states have applied for waivers, including Iowa and New Jersey, where tight waiver deadlines have the states “scrambling to make major decisions about the future of education in just a matter of months.” The article also focuses on Kentucky, where the spokeswoman Lisa Gross says the state passed legislation passed in advance of its waiver application. “We’re very lucky that we had all of the basic infrastructure in place,” Gross says. “If you’re building this from the ground up, that’s going to be a struggle.”

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Categories:
College & Career Readiness, Common Core State Standards, NCLB Waivers, No Child Left Behind

Afternoon Announcements–November 28, 2011

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Posted:
November 28, 2011 05:50 pm

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Today’s top education headlines come to you courtesy of the Alliance’s policy intern, Bill DeBaun:

We have a veritable ton of education news to share with you today. We hope you made your Thanksgiving leftover sandwich extra big today, because it’s going to take you a while to sift through all the happenings from the past few days!

The New York Times and The Huffington Post both offer takes on what the Congressional super committee’s failure to strike a deal means for education. The long story short is that automatic cuts to a variety of education programs will trigger in 2013 unless Congress intercedes. Cuts to Pell grants, special education funding, and general Title I funding will all be made in the 2012-2013 school year. This will compound budget crunches in states across the nation.

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College & Career Readiness, Economic Impacts, Education Technology, Federal Education Reform

Morning Announcements: November 23, 2011

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Posted:
November 23, 2011 04:36 pm

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Happy Thanksgiving! After today, we’ll be taking a short break from the announcements for a few days, but the education headlines will return on Monday, November 28. On behalf of everyone here at the Alliance, we are thankful for your support of the Alliance’s mission and for reading “High School Soup.”

The “Quick and the Ed” blog reflects on important happenings in education over the past few months and offers up thanks.

Education Week reports  that education advocates and local school officials are nervously eyeing a series of draconian cuts set to hit just about every federal program next year—including Title I, special education, and money for teacher quality—now that a bipartisan panel tasked with making recommendations for trimming the nation’s deficit has failed to reach agreement.

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College & Career Readiness

Stats That Stick: November 23, 2011

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Posted:
November 23, 2011 11:15 am

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Here are this week’s Stats That Stick, courtesy of Alliance Policy Intern Bill DeBaun.

Consolation prize up for grabs for nine runner-up Race to the Top finalists: $200,000,000
Education Week reports that the U.S. Department of Education will accept proposals from nine runner-up states for a chance to win some of a $200 million prize dedicated to improving STEM education. This money is the third round in the Race to the Top series, which has been an education focal point for the Obama administration.

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Achievement Gap, California

Morning Announcements: November 22, 2011

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Posted:
November 22, 2011 04:20 pm

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The Huffington Post reports on a story of a Dallas elementary school that was given “exemplary” status for academic achievement only taught its third graders reading and math last year, and fabricated scores for every student in other subjects like social studies and science.

As the poorest U.S. city, Reading, PA also struggles with high dropout rates in its schools. Watch the latest edition to PBS NewsHour’s “American Graduate” series.

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Categories:
Achievement Gap, Economic Impacts, Low-Performing Schools, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas

Afternoon Announcements: November 21, 2011

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Posted:
November 21, 2011 08:29 pm

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Starting in 2014, the General Education Development (GED) test will make changes with the goal of encouraging adults to continue studying for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, reports U.S. News & World Report, which states that the test’s five subject areas—writing, social studies, science, reading, and math—will be revised to more closely reflect the set of English and math common core state standards and topics that students are expected to learn. According to the article, New York Times columnist and author Thomas Friedman is quoted in the article saying, “If you do not have a high school degree that allows you to get through college without significant remediation, there is literally nothing for you.” The article also cites this finding from an Alliance report: If half of the Class of 2010’s 1.3 million high school dropouts had graduated, America would have gained nearly $7.3 billion in annual potential earnings.

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Categories:
Achievement Gap, Common Core State Standards, Digital Learning, Education Technology, Elementary & Secondary Education Act, High School Graduation Rates, Teachers & Leaders, Technology