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Afternoon Announcements: August 9, 2011

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August 09, 2011 08:01 pm

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Education Week reports that the reviews are pouring in on the administration’s announcement … that it will definitely offer states wiggle room in meeting parts of the No Child Left Behind Act—in exchange for embracing certain reforms-to-be-named-later.

The Obama education waiver plan could result in individual state accountability systems, writes the Huffington Post.

Lots of states are talking about waivers from the federal No Child Left Behind law, including Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah , Virginia , and Wisconsin.

According to the Augusta Chronicle, Gov. Nathan Deal announced yesterday that he’s giving out $19 million in grants aimed at improving science and math education in Georgia as part of the state’s “Race to the Top” program.

In a “White House Blog” post yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan writes about providing schools relief from No Child Left Behind. He says, “Our job is to support reform that is good for students at the state and local level. We need to get out of the way wherever we can. We need to be tight on the goals but loose on the means of achieving them—providing as much flexibility as possible, while maintaining meaningful accountability for improving student outcomes and closing achievement gaps. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) got it backwards—it was loose on the goals but tight on the means—and today it’s forcing states into one-size-fits-all solutions that just don’t work.”

The Bellingham Herald in Ohio reports that 42 percent of the state’s first-time full-time students at public colleges and universities take at least one remedial course in English or basic math to prepare them for college-level work. “The cost to get [these students needing remediation] up to speed was $189 million in 2007–08 … according to the nonprofit Alliance for Excellent Education in Washington, D.C. That included $126 million in direct costs and $63 million in lost lifetime wages, because remedial students are more likely to drop out of college.”

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