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Your daily serving of high school news and policy.

Afternoon Announcements: May 21, 2012

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May 21, 2012 07:59 pm


Good afternoon! We hope that your weekend was great. Time to find out what’s notable in the news on this Monday!

U.S. News and World Report kicks us off today by reporting on teachers who develop applications that fill gaps in their lessons. The article features Jeff Scheur, a Chicago English teacher, who developed a web application to help his students avoid repeatedly making the same writing mistakes.

Alliance President Bob Wise wrote an editorial for the Detroit Free Press yesterday about the benefits of blending technology into classrooms and promoting digital learning. “Digital hardware by itself does not bring change, but combine teachers and technology with proper leadership, vision and planning, and watch schoolhouses become transformed learning environments,” Wise writes.

The Kansas State Legislature has passed a bill prohibiting state funds from paying for remedial courses and supporting students who fall below minimum admissions requirements, reports the Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas). The bill will now go to Governor Sam Brownback’s desk. The Alliance for Excellent Education previously examined the costs of remediating high school students in Paying Double.

Here’s more news from the state level; this time out of Georgia. The Athens Banner-Herald (Georgia) reports that state funding on education has been declining since 2001. For example, Georgia “has cut funding to the University System of Georgia by 19.8 percent since 2009, and slashed spending on the state technical college system by 11 percent in the same time period.”

“Many college seniors say they had not thought much about their debt until they received summaries just before graduation,” reports the Los Angeles Times. This article talks with students who graduated  to get their thoughts about post-graduation plans and preparations for paying off their loans.

Another article from the Los Angeles Timesannounces that the United States has “reached a historic tipping point, with children born to Latino, Asian, African American and mixed-race parents now constituting a majority of all births” according to the Census Bureau. Because of the challenges that minority students face across the country, this is an important development that has been a long time in coming that should be kept in mind when thinking about education reforms and demographic shifts.

Speaking of minority students, The Huffington Post takes a look at “Hispanics, Broadband and the Digital Textbook Revolution” and how access to digital technology may be key to enhancing college and career readiness in all populations, but especially among Hispanic students, who lack broadband access more than other groups. The article raises Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and FCC Chairman Gene Stenachowski’s goal of every student using tablets and digital textbooks in schools within five years.

The Washington Post reports that despite pledging to reduce its “graduation gap” by half five years ago, the graduation rate gap between minority and low-income students in the Maryland state university system has widened.

Business Week details President Obama’s economic talks with world leaders at Camp David this past weekend. A joint statement issued from the convening called for more “investments in education” among other things as a way to spur economic recovery.

Lastly, this video from Voice of America showcases a Washington, D.C. school that focuses on media and communication arts in order to engage students and prepare them for college and a career.

Have a great rest of the day, and be sure to check back in with us tomorrow for even more announcements!



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