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Afternoon Announcements: July 25, 2011

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July 25, 2011 08:13 pm

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A decade into his record-breaking education philanthropy, Bill Gates talks to the Wall Street Journal about teachers, charters—and regrets: “It’s hard to improve public education—that’s clear. … It’s been about a decade of learning.” Since 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has poured some $5 billion into education grants and scholarships.

Of more than 100,000 public schools in the United States, about 300 recently have faced suspicions, allegations and, in some cases hard proof, that teachers and administrators cheated to inflate standardized test scores. The Washington Post reports on questions raised in these incidents that have sent tremors through the movement to hold schools and teachers accountable for student achievement through annual testing.

According to an article in Education Week, South Korea plans to replace paper textbooks with digital content.

According to USA Today, the principal of New Milford High School in New Jersey is something of a social networking hero—he has nearly 12,300 Twitter followers. He and his teachers use Facebook to communicate with students and parents, and students use it to plan events. In class, teachers routinely ask kids to power up their cellphones to respond to classroom polls and quizzes.

The Houston Chronicle writes that Texas is bucking the U.S. trend on standardized scoring; multiracial students are being tallied for the first time in Texas history, but their standardized test scores will not appear as a separate group when accountability ratings are released Friday.

The Commercial Appeal reports that state officials are anxious to see how many students across Tennessee enroll in a public “virtual school” run by a for-profit Virginia company—and how much state taxpayer money automatically follows them.

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