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Afternoon Announcements: ED Secretary Duncan Presses Congress to Continue Innovation Grants

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February 10, 2015 12:30 pm


As leaders in both the Senate and the House sets about rewriting the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan took to D.C. schools Monday to press his case that Congress should maintain competitive grant ‘Investing in Innovation Fund’, which are awarded to school districts and nonprofit organizations that want to expand promising programs that help close achievement gaps. The Washington Post

The achievement gap between students of different races has been well-documented, and the San Francisco Unified School District is trying something it hopes will address the disparities early on: Hiring more black teachers. The Huffington Post

More than nine out of 10 teachers in America report using technology in the classroom. Two-thirds said they support the idea of a blended classroom, where students spend part of the school day working with a teacher and part working on a computer, according to a recent an “internal poll” given to the members of the Association of American Educators. THE Journal

A radical new concept in school choice will come up for vote in at least a half-dozen states from Virginia to Oklahoma in the coming months, as lawmakers consider giving hundreds of thousands of parents the freedom to design a custom education for their children. Politico

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is proposing clear, sustainable, enforceable rules to preserve and protect the open Internet as a place for innovation and free expression opportunities for K-12. eSchoolNews

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam proposes using $100 million in next year’s budget for teacher pay raises, returning to a promise he once made that Tennessee teachers haven’t forgotten. The Tennessean  

D.C. Council member Mary Cheh is asking the Attorney General to investigate whether it’s legal for the city to move forward with plans to invest $20 million in extra supports and programs for minority male students. The Washington Post

For more than seven decades, the General Educational Development (GED) has reigned as the gold standard for high-school-equivalency certificates. But the new GED, which is more expensive in many states and harder to pass for test takers, has provided an opening for competing products. The Wall Street Journal

Comparing a suburban private school with an inner-city one provides an extreme example of the disparities in college counseling based on socioeconomic status. But it symbolizes a gulf so critical that the Education Commission of the States reports it’s hampering the ability of the United States to keep up with international economic rivals in the proportion of the population going on to college. The Hechinger Report

New York City Mayor Bill de  Blasio said Monday that the education department’s budget next year should go toward continuing to expand the city’s pre-kindergarten and after-school programs while also funding some new initiatives, such as more teacher leadership positions and extra help for struggling readers. Chalk beat NY

Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP), with the University of Alaska, is seeking to remedy a number of education issues unique to rural Alaska communities and villages: high annual teacher turnover rates and a lack of ethnic diversity within the teaching ranks. Alaska Business Monthly

On Monday, Khan Academy launched LearnStorm, a three-month pilot math competition in which students will be vying with each other by school, district, even city, as they master skills in math by plowing through Khan Academy’s extensive tutorials and quizzes. EdSource

Alabama’s Shelby County Schools are adopting new digital devices, providing 30 iPad Minis to each school with grades K-3 and 30 14-inch Chromebooks to all other schools in the 31-school district. THE Journal



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