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Afternoon Announcements: June 21, 2012

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June 21, 2012 07:51 pm

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Hellooooo, Thursday! Welcome to your afternoon announcements! Although today’s introduction is peppy, some of the news we have today is less than chipper. Bear with us as we walk you through your education news for the day.

First up, Gallup says that “confidence in America’s public schools has hit a record low, with only 29 percent of respondents expressing ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ of confidence in them.” The previous low was 33 percent in 2007 and 2008. The Huffington Post has the news. How confident are you in America’s public schools? Let us known in the comments!

The Education Law Center recently released the second edition of their National Report Card, “Is School Funding Fair?” The answer to the report’s main question? That would be a no. According to The Huffington Post (which today is the bearer of bad news), “the report found that only 17 states have progressive funding systems, according to which the state allocates greater funding to districts buckling under poverty.”

Good data are an extremely important part of building effective education systems, and two states are taking steps to improve the data available to them. First, from the Idaho Statesman, comes word that Idaho will use a $3.1 million grant from the federal government to link workforce data with the state’s system of tracking student achievement. Next from Vermont’s Burlington Free Press is the news that a $5 million federal grant will allow the Green Mountain State to create a “centralized data collection system that is expected to be up and running in three years.”

The final bit of news today comes from The Atlantic, which reports that a new study from a team of economists, including one of the authors of Freakonomics, finds that “Chicago students in low-performing schools did better on tests when they were promised money or trophies for their good grades.” Just throwing money at students wasn’t effective though, “How much money and how you present the rewards [made] all the [difference].”

That’s it for us today, we’ll check back in tomorrow to finish your week up right with more announcements!

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