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Afternoon Announcements: June 18, 2012

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June 18, 2012 07:49 pm

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Happy Monday! In response to your question, yes, we are in the business of leading off blog posts oxymoronically. We hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend and are all set for a busy week of education news. Before we get into the announcements, you should know that the Alliance is hosting a briefing on Early Warning Indicator Systems with the Association for Middle Level Education, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, along with Honorary Cohosts Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Representative  Raúl Grijalva (AZ-7). More information about that event can be found here. If you can’t make it to the briefing, we’ll have a video of it a few days later! Alright, off to our announcements for the day!

The Associated Press via The Huffington Post has a report that President Obama’s State of the Union call to raise the dropout age to 18 hasn’t found much momentum since January. Only one state (Maryland)  has changed its dropout age to 18, and that won’t go into effect until 2017. 29 states allow students to leave school before they turn 18.

The New York Times offers up this feature on Public School 257, a magnet school for the performing arts in Brooklyn, which has taken a very delicate, but seemingly successful, approach to integrating students of other ethnicities its majority Hispanic school. School diversity, magnet schools, and desegregation in particular, can be difficult topics to discuss in public education. This feature delves into the issue through the lens of one particular school.

Even being Teacher of the Year for the Sacramento City Unified School District wasn’t enough to save Michelle Apperson from California’s “last in, first out” policy. Apperson recently received a pink slip, due to budget cuts, from the district; she was joined by almost 400 colleagues. In the Huffington Post article, Apperson is quoted as saying, “It hurts on a personal level because I really love what I do, but professionally, politically, I get why it happens.”

Reuters makes an infrequent appearance in our announcements today with a story about how “hundreds” of U.S. mayors this past weekend called for “parent trigger laws.” These laws are “aimed at bypassing elected school boards and giving parents at the worst public schools the opportunity to band together and force immediate change.” The decision came out of the a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which unanimously endorsed parent trigger laws.

Lastly, from the state of Georgia, comes this story about the distribution of $436 million from a state grant program to school districts. Although the funds were intended to go to the state’s poorest districts, some rural districts will receive smaller grants than they did last year, much to their residents’ consternation, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

That’s it for us today. Enjoy the rest of your Monday and see you tomorrow for more announcements!

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