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Afternoon Announcements: November 21, 2011

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November 21, 2011 08:29 pm

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Starting in 2014, the General Education Development (GED) test will make changes with the goal of encouraging adults to continue studying for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, reports U.S. News & World Report, which states that the test’s five subject areas—writing, social studies, science, reading, and math—will be revised to more closely reflect the set of English and math common core state standards and topics that students are expected to learn. According to the article, New York Times columnist and author Thomas Friedman is quoted in the article saying, “If you do not have a high school degree that allows you to get through college without significant remediation, there is literally nothing for you.” The article also cites this finding from an Alliance report: If half of the Class of 2010’s 1.3 million high school dropouts had graduated, America would have gained nearly $7.3 billion in annual potential earnings.

While more students from all backgrounds are finishing college, the difference in graduation rates between the top and bottom income groups has widened by nearly 50 percent over two decades, reports CNN.

The Washington Post writes that failure of the congressional supercommittee tasked with reducing the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion could lead to across-the-board budget cuts, which would have a serious impact on already-distressed public education funding.

Californians support making teachers’ reviews public Los Angeles Times November 20, 2011
According to the Los Angeles Times, a new poll finds that California voters want teachers’ performance evaluations made public. y. In another story from the LA Times, however, the Los Angeles Unified District would not release names and teachers and their scores indicating their effectiveness in raising student outcomes.

New York Times’ op-ed columnist Thomas L. Friedman writes that although there’s no question that a great teacher can make a huge difference in a student’s achievement, some new studies also show that better parents are needed.

Listen to Bloomberg EDU’s November 18 podcast hosted by Jane Williams as she interviews U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about GOP candidates, ESEA, and Penn State.

According to the Huffington Post, a new report confirms that a child’s academic performance is likely higher if he or she has highly educated parents, and lower if the child has less educated parents, but it also finds that that American children of poorly educated parents do a lot worse than their counterparts in other countries.

The New York Times reports that about 30 seniors will graduate in June from an online high school called the Education Program for Gifted Youth, but their diplomas will show a different name: Stanford Online High School.

According to State Impact of Ohio (a reporting project of local public media and NPR), Digital Learning Now!, a national group advocating for technology in the classroom, says “Ohio is leading the nation ‘in transforming education for the digital age.’ But not everyone thinks laptops belong in the classroom. Some Ohio schools are deliberately shunning technology.”

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