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Afternoon Announcements: FCC Votes “Yes” on Expanding High-Speed Internet Access in Nation’s Schools and Libraries

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December 12, 2014 01:00 pm

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 The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday adopted a broad expansion and overhaul of its program to bring high-speed Internet into schools and libraries. The E-Rate program will grow by $1.5 billion, to a spending cap of $3.9 billion, the first change in the base spending cap since it was set in 1997. The New York Times

Overall retention rates for grades 1 through 9 declined by almost half from 2.9 percent in 2004-05 to 1.5 percent in 2009-10, according to “Patterns and Trends in Grade Retention in the United States, 1995-2010,” a report released Thursday by the American Educational Research Association (AERA). EdSource

Pearson has won a competitive tender from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to develop the framework for 2018’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which is widely used as a benchmark for evaluating education systems worldwide. The Journal

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio wants state lawmakers to support a bill that would allow the three oldest specialized high schools to consider multiple criteria when admitting students, something he, Chancellor Fariña, and civil rights advocates say could increase diversity at those schools, where black and Hispanic enrollment has steadily fallen in recent years. Chalkbeat NY

The San Francisco school board voted unanimously on Tuesday to require all of the city’s 19 public high schools to offer ethnic studies courses, becoming the third California city to offer such courses. The Huffington Post

Chicago mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia vowed Thursday to reduce class size at the Chicago Public Schools, hold standardized tests to the “barest legal minimum,” and revisit the mayor’s controversial proposal to build another selective enrollment high school on the Near North Side. The Chicago Sun Times

The Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education approved a waiver Thursday which would allow the district to exceed maximum class size requirements. The decision was made quickly, and brought a firestorm from parents in the audience. WSB-TV Atlanta

Prince George’s County, MD Schools Chief Kevin M. Maxwell announced Thursday night that all schools and departments will be told to limit discretionary spending as the school system braces for possible revenue shortfalls. The Washington Post

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