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Afternoon Announcements: Arne Duncan Touts Common Core State Standards in Arizona

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September 12, 2013 03:23 pm

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On his back-to-school bus tour stop in Arizona, Education Secretary Arne Duncan talked to students about the benefits of the Common Core State Standards. “We think a lot of the tests you take – fill in the bubble tests – are not that great,” he said. “Our hope is that the new tests will test more of your critical thinking skills. More thinking, more problem-solving, working together and less rote memorization.” The Washington Post

California lawmakers pushed ahead Tuesday with a new state testing plan despite a threat by the Obama administration to withhold federal education funds unless substantial changes are made.The state Senate approved an overhaul of standardized exams by a 25-7 vote, with Democrats overwhelmingly in support. The Assembly is expected to take up the bill later this week. Los Angeles Times

The state Department of Education awarded $1 million from its federal Race to the Top funds on Tuesday to 14 of Hawaii’s top performing public schools as evaluated by the new “Strive HI” campaign. This follows another $1 million given to 32 public schools in March that have shown progress in achieving annual progress goals tied to the No Child Left Behind Act. Pacific Business News

A new report by the Economic Policy Institute finds big flaws in the Race to the Top program and questions how much the $4 billion spent to spur education improvements in the states will actually narrow achievement gaps and improve student outcomes. Politics K-12

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