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Afternoon Announcements: April 9, 2012

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April 09, 2012 05:43 pm

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Mondays are a little busy (and sluggish). Since we’re bringing you the news a little later in the day today, that gave us ample opportunity to provide you with a little more. Enjoy!

Education Week poses an intriguing question regarding the potential effect of proposed budget cuts on your community’s K-12 program. If Congress forges ahead with big, giant across the board cuts set to hit (almost) every education program next January, the publication analyzes exactly what that would mean for you.

A way of gaging the expected impact of budget cuts in education programs in the look at schools in the state of Texas. The New York Times does just that and uncovers that budget cuts have increased class sizes, reduced services and supplies and thinned the ranks of teachers.

As the Associated Press reports, school vouchers are sparking a growing court battle in the United States. Students seeking better education elsewhere are at the heart of brewing political fights and court battles over whether public dollars should go to school vouchers to help make private schools more affordable.

PBS’s “Need to Know,” documents efforts to reclaim youth who have dropped out of school to reengage them with learning. Philadelphia in particular, is a city where roughly 40 percent of ninth-graders don’t mange to graduate in four years. Through their producers, you meet Justin Rudd, a high school dropout who lived on the streets and his determination to get his life back on track.

Technology tycoon Bill Gates, whose foundation has promoted education reform, caused some controversy earlier this year after speaking out against the public release of teacher evaluations. In an interview with National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Saturday’s, he further elaborates on his objection, acknowledging the overall benefit of evaluations but saying  that their public availability is “not conducive to openness.”

Reforming education can be a tough task, especially for school administrators and state lawmakers. The Los Angeles Times introduces you to John Deasy, the Superintendent for Los Angeles Unified School District. There are differing assessments of his leadership and effect. Some see him as a dynamic leader morally driven to give all students a quality education. Others see a relentless taskmaster intolerant of dissent. He admits impatience but otherwise has no apologies on his attempts to change the culture of the public school system.

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