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Afternoon Announcements: November 17, 2011

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November 17, 2011 06:53 pm

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Today’s announcements are brought to you by Alliance Policy Intern Bill DeBaun:

Wednesday afternoon is here, and so are your afternoon announcements! As the days shorten and the weather gets colder, isn’t it encouraging to know that you can warm up with a little education news?

Education Daily discusses a study from Civic Enterprises that praises early-warning systems. The article notes that Dr. Robert Balfanz of Johns Hopkins University’s Everyone Graduates Center said at a recent Alliance for Excellent Education event, “In essence, these systems come down to a seemingly simple action: making a list of the students who are predicted to need support, and acting on the list.” In 2010, the Alliance had a part in establishing the Grad Nation campaign to address America’s dropout crisis. The Civic Enterprises report notes that the Grad Nation Civic Marshall Plan was an early adopter of early-warning systems.

Bill Tucker of Education Sector’s “The Quick and the Ed” blog brings us this handy post about recent digital learning reports. After checking out some of these reports, be sure to stop by the Digital Learning Day website to find out even more about this cutting-edge and very important topic!

Dual-enrollment programs are becoming increasingly popular as a way for Arizona students to save time and money, says the East Valley Tribune. Through dual, or concurrent, enrollment, high school students earn credit toward their high school diploma while simultaneously earning college credit. Rio Salardo College in Tempe, a community college, currently has more than 6,000 students from surrounding communities taking dual-credit classes.

Education Week discusses a new poverty measure from the U.S. Census Bureau that says federal social programs are keeping almost 2 million American children out of poverty. The measure, which is the first new poverty calculation in over 40 years, gives “a much more comprehensive picture of who is poor in America and how they are affected by housing, child care, and other daily costs.” Sheila Smith, the director of early childhood programs for the New York City-based National Center for Children in Poverty, is quoted saying, “The one very important message from the data is, although the number of children deemed to be living in poverty is reduced [compared to the official rate], it really is because the safety net programs are doing the job they were intended to do.”

Andrew Rotherman says in a recent Time column, “Forget Wall Street. Go occupy your local school district.” The column discusses the role of the American school system in providing equal opportunities and how it is currently failing to do so. “Depending whom you ask,” says Rotherman, “you’ll hear that the problem is too little money. Or it’s too much money and too little performance. Or poverty. Or lack of standards. Or lousy curriculum. Or teacher effectiveness. Or archaic rules and regulations. Or lack of innovation. Or lack of choice. Or too much power in the hands of the teachers unions. Or too little power in the hands of teachers. In fact,” he says, “in different places around the country, it’s all those things and others.”

Finally, the Sun Journal reports that Maine, in a move that shows just how influential Apple’s iPad has become as an educational device, will host a conference this week dedicated to how the iPad is being used to educate kindergarten students in reading and math. More than 100 attendees will be in Auburn this week for a three-day conference called “Leveraging Learning: The iPad in Primary Grades Institute.” The event is hosted by the Auburn School Department, which is among the first school systems in the United States to give iPads to such young students.

Have a great rest of the day and be sure to tune in tomorrow for more announcements!

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