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Afternoon Announcements: August 6, 2012

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August 06, 2012 08:07 pm

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It’s Monday, which means we’re here delivering some education announcements right to your computer. No tape delays on this coverage.

Some disheartening news out of Utah comes to us today from The Deseret News. Utah is withdrawing from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), one of two consortia involved in developing the Common Core State Standards. Although Utah will still adhere to the Common Core State Standards, officials are currently looking to partner with a developer who will produce state-specific assessment materials.

There are two interesting, and ironically related, stories from the Lone Star State today. The Texas Tribune reports that “the short answer to whether most Texas students leave public schools prepared for college” is “no.” In fact, “Less than one in two students met the state’s ‘college readiness’ standards in math and verbal skills on ACT, SAT and TAKS scores in 2010.” Contrast this article’s news with one from The Associated Press via Education Week  that Texas’s high school graduation rate has never been higher. The graduation rate for the class of 2011 increased 1.6 percentage points to 85.9 percent. Disappointing to say the least.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that a lawsuit and a bill in the state legislature are aiming to stop illegal fees in K-12 schools. Examples of these fees include, for example, “sports and field trips and textbooks and art.” The California Supreme Court ruled in part in 1984 that “Educational opportunities must be provided to all students without regard to their families’ ability or willingness to pay fees….”

Our last piece of news today is from the Mooresville Weekly, which on a recent visit interviewed Alliance President Bob Wise about digital learning. In the article, Governor Wise notes, “’In 1965, the American high school was in its ‘hey day,’ Wise said. ‘Just as I want a car with modern conveniences, I want a school system that reflects the needs of today.’”

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