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Afternoon Announcements: December 7, 2011

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December 07, 2011 09:40 pm

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Congratulations! It’s the middle of the week, two days in and two more to go. Let’s make them productive shall we? Here are the top stories in education news.

Recess has long been the time to release the stress of class by playing kickball, soccer, or just running around on the playground. Now, elementary schools across New York City are opting to replace beloved recess with enrichment courses. The New York Times enlights us on the newest competition to a childhood pasttime.

Recess is often the times when children are most subject to bullying by their peers. In light of recent suicides by school-aged children and in an effort to combat bullying Lady Gaga paid a visit to the White House and met with members, pop artist of the Obama administration as report by the Associated Press. Additionally, the Huffington Post reports that anti-bullying efforts have escalated over the last decade. Based on a report released by the U.S. Department of Education, most states now have bullying laws that require schools to adopt bullying policies.

The National Governing Board also released a report and new information indicates that math scores are up while reading scores have remained stagnant. CNN highlights welcome news that math scores in urban school districts are improving at a faster rate than the nation as a whole.

Although positive attention is place on urban schools for improvements in math, the National Assessment of Education Progress notes that Washington D.C public schools maintain the largest achievement gap betweem white and black students among major urban schools systems. For example, the Washington Post points out that on the fourth-grade math test, black students in the District of Columbia scored an average of 212 points out of a possible 500 while their white classmates averaged 272, or 60 points higher. That difference is more than twice the national achievement gap for that test.

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