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Afternoon Announcements: July 16, 2012

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July 16, 2012 08:04 pm

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Monday is the undisputed* best day of the week. To celebrate that fact, High School Soup is giving you an extra large heaping helping of Afternoon Announcements today to feast on. You might even have leftover announcements to take home and have for dinner. That’s great education news value!

The Associated Press leads us off with an article on a new report that shows a growing divide between low-income Kentuckians and their moderate- and high-income peers in terms of graduation rates. The report from the Council on Postsecondary Education says that from 2008 to 2010, low-income students saw their college graduation rates fall from 46 percent to 35 percent. In the same period, moderate- and high-income students dropped only four percent from 57 to 53 percent.

Education Sector just released an important report on the benefits of a unified data system that “could provide high schools with timely information about their graduates.” The report, “Data That Matters: Giving High Schools Useful Feedback on Grads’ Outcomes” looks at systems that can help to tell schools if their students are “college- and carer-ready.”

As if fears about the Mayans’ predictions in 2012 aren’t enough, governors across the country are now worried about sequestration (across-the-board cuts that will be triggered by the Budget Control Act of 2011) and “taxmageddon,” according to Politico. “The level of “uncertainty” — a word that came up repeatedly during interviews with 13 chief executives at the summer meeting of the National Governors Association — has left the governors with a sense of impotence, derived from their frustration that so much is beyond their control right now,” according to the article.

The Associated Press makes a repeat performance today with a reporting on an annual study from Sallie Mae that says that “Families have implemented more cost-saving strategies to cut college spending in the past academic year, choosing less expensive schools and finding more economical ways for students to attend.” Parents, make room, because “more students also are living at home in order to help afford college.”

Here at the Alliance, we’ve known that chronic absenteeism has a devastating effect on students and schools for quite some time. In Baltimore, that fact is being demonstrated yet again. According to The Baltimore Sun, “For the third year in a row, Baltimore’s scores on state tests show a double-digit achievement gap between chronically absent students and their peers who attend school regularly, and the system’s recent spike in suspensions has created a similar disparity.”

From Baltimore all the way up the east coast to Maine, we hear from the Bangor Daily News that school just isn’t very challenging for a lot of students. A 2011 survey had 39 percent of fourth graders say that their math work is “often” or “always” too easy. State Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen said, “This shows we have more work to do and we are working on it.”

Well, while Maine works on their class difficult, we’re done working on this edition of Afternoon Announcements! Have a great evening, we’ll see you tomorrow!

*This sentence uses the lesser-known definition of the word “undisputed.” undisputed (adj.) – something with which no one actually agrees

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