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Afternoon Announcements: FCC Chairman Wheeler set to strengthen access to #Internet4Schools

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November 17, 2014 12:26 pm

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Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is expected on Monday to propose a 62 percent increase in the amount of money the agency spends annually to wire schools and libraries with high-speed Internet connections in efforts to increase students’ access to the internet and provide a Wi-Fi connection in every classroom. The New York Times

Today, the Alliance and the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission released a new report which finds inequities in students’ access to high-speed broadband. Namely that African American, Latino, low-income, and rural students are more likely to be in schools with slow internet access than their peers and less likely to be in schools with high-speed broadband internet.

The Department of Education and advocates have said “tracking” – designating students for separate educational paths based on their academic performance as teens or younger – perpetuates a modern system of segregation that favors white students and keeps students of color, many of them black, from long-term equal achievement. Now, the Department’s Office for Civil Rights is trying to change the system, one school district at a time. Quartz

Georgia’s Fayette County Schools are offering mobile broadband coverage to students in the district’s Title I schools to ensure that students have a level playing field for academic success. eSchoolNews

The head of the New York State Board of Regents vowed Sunday to shut down the city’s worst schools if they do not shape up. Chancellor Merryl Tisch said that 94 of New York City’s lowest-performing schools — which Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to fix — will be shuttered by this spring if they aren’t fixed by the city. The New York Post

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam told reporters after a speech to business leaders in Nashville on Friday that Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman’s departure wasn’t aimed at cleaning the slate with critics of the commissioner for his lead role in the state’s education overhaul that has included to the implementation of Common Core standards and changes to teacher tenure rules. The Leaf-Chronicle

Over the past two decades, hundreds of elementary and middle schools across the country have embraced an uncompromisingly stern approach to educating low-income students of color. More recently have some of the charter networks that helped popularize strictness opened high schools—an expansion that has tested the model in new, and divisive, ways. The Hechinger Report

Backers of the Common Core say it’s important for kids to tackle complex texts. Critics argue that reading shouldn’t be a struggle for kids. NPR’s series on reading with the Common Core visits one classroom that borrows from both sides.

Washington state’s top education official wants to stop requiring students to pass high-stakes exams before they can graduate from high school, a proposal that would reverse years of standardized testing policy in the state. The News Tribune

A law firm contracting with Seattle Public Schools improperly released confidential information about thousands of students as part of a lawsuit over special-education services, prompting an apology from the district and a request for the man who received the records to delete or return them. The Seattle Times

Receiving a mandate to support Common Core assessments can be challenging enough for a district IT team, but what happens when your state is going back and forth on the standards Common Core and debating whether it will continue to embrace them or implement its own approach? eSchoolNews

One of the largest public school systems in the United States is dropping all mention of religious affiliations for days off on its official calendar. NPR

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