Afternoon announcements: October 31, 2012

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October 31, 2012 04:30 pm

happy halloween

Sandy has wreaked her havoc, the federal government is back up and running, and we’re back with our daily roundup of #ednews. How’d you fare during Sandy? Share your stories with us in the comments.

Blended learning gets a push from last week’s Virtual School Symposium. The subject took precedent during the symposium, as the topic of many keynote speeches, presentations and more. Ed Week

The US Department of Education has officially extended the Race to the Top – District application deadline due to Hurricane Sandy. A new submission deadline is to be announced. US Department of Education

Students in the district are headed back to school today after two days off. Their parents were, understandably, ready and excited. Washington Post

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ACT Report Reveals Troubling Labor Outcomes from Achievement Trends

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October 26, 2012 07:39 pm

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Despite having once been the global leader in education, the performance of American students in K–12 schools has lagged behind their international peers for well over a decade. Further, the nation’s education system is being challenged by a technology-driven global economy that requires a skilled and highly literate workforce.

This new global economy requires that students acquire deeper leaning skills, including the ability to think critically and solve complex problems; communicate effectively; be self-directed and able to appropriately incorporate feedback; and know and master core academic content. Providing all students with deeper leaning skills that prepare them for college and a career is critical for these students’ futures and our nation’s economy, and yet too many students are currently underserved and, consequently, dropping out of high school or college. A recent ACT report titled Implications of Educational Trends for Labor Market Outcomes makes a compelling contribution to the case for substantially increasing efforts to reach students at risk of dropping out.

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Morning announcements: October 26, 2012

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Posted:
October 26, 2012 03:52 pm

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TGIF! Here in the mid-Atlantic, we’re all bracing ourselves for Hurricane Sandy, otherwise known as Frankenstorm. This weekend went from an expected 70 degrees and sunny to unpredictable storms. We’re hoping for the best so we can get out and enjoy this Halloween, fall weekend. What are your plans? Have a spooktacular weekend!

Around 6,000 middle- and high-school students are participating in PelPal News, an exchange program that allows the students to connect with each other to discuss election-related issues with their peers around the country. Edutopia

A new report finds that since 1950, public school enrollment is up 96 percent. Teacher employment has increased 252 percent. And incredibly, non-teaching staff employment has gone up 702 percent. Ed Choice

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Morning announcements: October 25, 2012

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Posted:
October 25, 2012 03:11 pm

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DC school enrollment has long been on the decline, but that trend is finally changing. This fall, the number of students enrolled in public and public charter schools rose more than five percent. The majority of the gain is in charter schools. Washington Post

Several states are looking to provide public school students with computers to increase learning. Both Idaho and Hawaii are currently trying to secure funding. Ventura County Star & Idaho Statesman

With the election quickly approaching, there’s not much more time to convince undecided voters of why to vote and for whom to vote. The federal government has an increasing amount of influence in education policy. Here’s where the candidates stand on education and why the topic matters in this election. Huffington Post

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Federal student financial aid: Success requires more than just access

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Posted:
October 25, 2012 02:23 pm

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In the coming weeks, you’ll notice more activity from the Alliance around the need to examine the way the federal government designs and delivers federal student financial aid. Why? Because the Alliance is deeply committed to ensuring success for all students, in high school and beyond.

We know that for many Americans, completing some form of postsecondary program or technical training is critical to achieving the American Dream. That’s why the Alliance works hard to transform high schools and make it possible for every child to graduate prepared for success in college. 

We also recognize that even for those high school graduates who are well-prepared for college, barriers still exist that could keep them from fully realizing their dream – the greatest of which is cost.

The good news is that the federal student aid system is designed to provide various forms of assistance to college-goers and their families.

The bad news is that the system is large and extremely complicated. It includes various grants, loans, campus-based programs, and tax benefits. The system has also grown to focus exclusively on student access, while doing little to ensure that students actually complete their programs. While we believe access is a necessary goal, it does not sufficiently serve individual students, their communities, or the country.

Focusing exclusively on access often results in once-hopeful college-goers leaving without a degree and being saddled with debt. It doesn’t have to be this way.

This is why the Alliance, along with several other organizations interested in student success, is participating in an endeavor to re-imagine aid design and delivery. For the past few months we have been closely examining the federal student aid system and looking for ways to improve it.

What we’ve learned has been deeply interesting, and we want to engage all of you in this fascinating dialogue. 

Next week, the Alliance will host a webinar with representatives from The Education Trust and the United States Student Association. Around that time, some of our preliminary thoughts on the federal student aid system will also be released. It’s essential that both the public and policymakers think about the way the system functions and to see how it can be improved. Join us for the October 29th webinar (you can register here), and stay tuned as we continue our work and explore how to help students even after we successfully get them to high school graduation.

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Morning announcements: October 24, 2012

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Posted:
October 24, 2012 02:28 pm

yell

A new report, scheduled to be released today, finds that women graduates earn less than their male peers just one year out of college. The research looked at the graduating class of 2007-8. Women earned an average of 82 percent of what the men made. The average woman earned $35,296 compared to the average man making $42,918. Washington Post

There’s good news this morning out of Virginia, where on-time high school graduation rates have risen to 88 percent. IT’s an increase of more than one percentage point from the previous year’s class. It has risen more than 7 percent since Virginia first reported graduation rates in 2008. Ed Week

I love good news, so I’ll keep it coming! Miami-Dade’s school district won the Broad Prize for Urban Education for its huge leaps in closing achievement gaps for black and Hispanic students, along with raising academic standards. The award will give “more than a half-million dollars in scholarships to Miami-Dade students graduating in 2013 who demonstrate need and show academic improvement.” Miami-Herald

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Afternoon announcements: October 23, 2012

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Posted:
October 23, 2012 04:32 pm

Morning

In the last debate, Obama raised education during a question on gun control. He brought it up in this debate, focused on foreign policy, in a conversation on how America can remain competitive in the global market. The jump doesn’t seem as wide as with gun control. Obama attacked Romney on teaching hiring. Huffington Post

It seems as though Obama does still have the teachers’ vote. A few teachers sound off on their thoughts on the president and what they like and dislike about his policies. Education Week

A new law in Ohio – the “Third Grade Reading Guarantee” – could hold as many as 10,000 students back. The state is reviewing this law in an attempt to raise their reading standards. Some lawmakers and teachers believe it’s a good idea. What do you think? Huffington Post

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Afternoon announcements: October 22, 2012

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Posted:
October 22, 2012 04:34 pm

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Wendy Kopp writes a convincing opinion piece on why education should be a topic in tonight’s foreign policy presidential debate. She tells the story of Malala Yousafza, the 14 year old Pakistani girl attacked by the Taliban in her pursuit of education. Time

Fairfax County’s population of homeless students is on the rise. They’re expected to rise above 2,500 by the end of this school year, school official’s have said. If that happens, it will mark a new record. Fairfax County is one of most affluent districts in the US. Reports say that the increase is likely due to the effects of the economic recession. Washington Post

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently gave remarks at the TIME higher education summit. You can read the full transcript at the Department of Education website. Education Department

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Afternoon announcements: October 19, 2012

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Posted:
October 19, 2012 07:19 pm

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We’ve heard a lot about what Obama & Romney’s surrogates have to say on education, and we’ve heard short blips from the candidates themselves, but what do they really think on education policy? Today we finally get to find out. Obama in Time. Romney in Time.

FDOTUS, First Daughters of the US, were recently evacuated from school after the school received a suspicious phone call. Sidwell Friends evacuated all students for a short time to investigate. Students and teachers returned to class after law enforcement ensured there was no threat. US News & World Report

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Finally, a living definition of ‘college and career readiness’

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Posted:
October 18, 2012 07:47 pm

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The education community constantly touts “college and career readiness” as the end-all, be-all of education policy, but what exactly does that mean? And how do we get there? How do we ensure that high school students receive their diploma fully prepared for college and/or a career?

What we need is a stronger, more comprehensive strategy that links education to workforce preparation, finds a new report from The Career Readiness Partner Council – a coalition of education stakeholders, policy influencers and organizations – that includes the Alliance for Excellent Education.

“We realized that what is needed is a broader approach that combines education and workforce preparation under one umbrella,” said Kimberly Green, Executive DIrector of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, the organization that spearheaded this effort. “With this document, the Career Readiness Partner Council has taken an important step toward that goal.”

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