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Afternoon Announcements: August 1, 2011

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August 01, 2011 09:50 pm

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Education Week reports that the debt ceiling fix could mean problems for schools, citing Rep. George Miller, the top Democrat on the House education committee, who warned that the reductions contained in the debt ceiling legislation are “going to make life much more difficult” for public schools.

The Los Angeles Times reports that after a particularly brutal budgeting season this summer, states and school districts across the country have fired thousands of teachers, raised college tuition, relaxed standards, slashed days off the academic calendar and gutted pre-kindergarten and summer school programs.

The Save Our Schools march on Saturday called for teacher-backed reform, reports the Huffington Post. And the Washington Post shares Matt Damon’s speech during the rally. In his opening remarks, he says, “I landed in New York a few hours ago and caught a flight down here because I needed to tell you all in person that I think you’re awesome.”

The Atlantic reports that according to Missouri Senate Bill 54, just signed by state Governor Jay Nixon, any social networking is prohibited between teachers and students; this includes not only Facebook, but any social network “that is exclusive and allows for private communication,” according to ABC News.

“Asked and Answered—A Progress Report on Geography”: In the New York Times yesterday, Arnold Goldstein, program director for the assessment division of the National Center for Education Statistics, and David P. Driscoll, chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board, which administers the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), discuss the good news and the bad news of the U.S. Department of Education’s recently released results of its national geography survey of students in grades 4, 8, and 12.

This fall, New York City will open P-Tech, a unique six-year high school where students can earn a diploma and an associate’s degree in a computer-science-related field and then first crack at a job with IBM. (Wall Street Journal)

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, students in metro Atlanta head back to class today for another year of academics, hanging with friends and getting to know new teachers.

And in Rhode Island, tougher teacher evaluations are about to start, reports the Providence Journal, stating that starting this fall, every one of the state’s 12,000 public school teachers will undergo a painstaking new evaluation process.

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