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Afternoon Announcements: January 26, 2012

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January 26, 2012 06:59 pm

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Don’t fret. It is Thursday and the incentive to Thursday is… it’s almost Friday. But since we’re not quite there take a break from the huslte and bustle and get up-to-date in the world of education and educational reform.

The Alliance for Excellent Education is highlighted in the New York Times as they pinpoint President Obama’s call during the State of the Union address for every state to require students to stay in school until they turn 18. This would be the federal government’s first direct involvement in an issue that many state and local governments have been reluctant to address. Alliance President Bob Wise in the article mentions that the policy is a tough sell but would ultimately benefit the economies of all states that comply.

In other news, underperforming schools are the topic of the day and around the country proposed measures to address these institutions are creating a lot of controversy. In Washington D.C, a new study commissioned by Mayor Vincent C. Gray recommends that the city increase the number of high-performing charter schools. But according to the Washington Post, this would result in the turn around or closure of more than three dozen traditional public schools in D.C.’s poorest neighborhoods.

Attempts to tackle failing schools in Florida are not sitting well with parents and educational advocates. As the Orlando Sentinel notes, Florida lawmakers want to give parents the power to dictate the future of poorly performing public schools. The measure is creating outrage among parent advocates and education professionals who contend that the effort is part of a continuing campaign to privatize education.

In support of school reform, New York City released results of a project that tracked the academic performance of more than 21,000 students who applied for ninth grade admission at 105 small high schools, mainly in Brooklyn and in the Bronx, from 2005 to 2008 as reported by New York Times . The study found that students in small public high schools perform better and are more likely to graduate, a conclusion that favors replacing underperforming schools with smaller ones.

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