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Afternoon Announcements: LAUSD reports a huge rise in high school graduation rates

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October 06, 2014 01:00 pm

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The Los Angeles Unified School District on Friday reported a huge rise in its graduation rate – 77% for the 2013-14 school year up 12 percentage points from last year – but left out the students most at risk of not making it to commencement ceremonies. The LA Times

The schools in Washington State are caught in the political crossfire of a battle over education policy. Because the State Legislature has refused to require that teacher evaluations be based in part on student test scores, schools are being held to an outdated benchmark that is all but impossible to achieve. The New York Times

This month Utah schools will release the results from its first year of Common Core-aligned assessments. While the state expects to see a drop in test scores, officials say it’s important that the state is “finally being honest about the level of proficiency.” The Salt Lake Tribune

A computer program named Watson became famous after it won on Jeopardy in 2011, and it might soon be used to help classroom teachers, suggesting possible answers to questions posed by teachers by quickly pulling together education research, videos of master teachers and online connections to teachers with similar interests. The Hechinger Report

A new report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which details the acute global teacher shortage currently taking place in 93 countries, suggests the world would need 4 million additional teachers in order to get every child in an elementary school classroom by the year 2015. Check out the findings of the report, Wanted: Trained teachers to ensure every child’s right to primary education.

Teachers, parents and students can now see what the biggest changes coming to Indiana’s ISTEP tests in English and math will look like, as the test given to all students in grades 3 to 8 is being reworked this year and ramped up to include more challenging questions built on new standards that aim to assure kids finish high school ready for careers and college. Chalkbeat IN

Philadelphia’s public school system is suffering a severe budget crisis, leaving classrooms packed, faculty understaffed and the district in debt. What led to the shortage of funds and what lawmakers are doing to fix it? PBS NewsHour

Montgomery County’s kindergarten class is made up of more Hispanic students than children of any other racial or ethnic group for the third year in a row, a trend that school planners say is likely to continue in Maryland’s fastest-growing school district. The Washington Post

The Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of an Ohio public school science teacher who was fired for promoting the theory of creationism and refusing to remove religious materials from his classroom. The Associated Press

The Philadelphia School District canceled its teachers’ union contract Monday in order to take over the union-administered health care fund. The move follows a hastily called meeting of the School Reform Commission, which oversees the district, and nearly two years of labor talks. The Associated Press

Just days after a teenager unfurled a Confederate flag at a high school football game in Howard County, Md., teachers began reworking lesson plans to discuss the student’s display and the school’s decision to discipline him. It is a fine line to walk, they say, as they try not to offer their own personal views while provoking critical thinking in students. The Washington Post

Newly appointed Principal Chris Phillips hopes to apply the same discipline that led him through a stint in the Army and his work as an engineer-in-training to the inexact science of raising student achievement at one of DC’s most challenged schools. The Washington Post

Twenty students from across the United States received awards from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and the Entertainment Software Association as Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) Video Game Innovation Fellows for creating apps and video games that address math, science, and important social issues. eSchoolNews

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.