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Afternoon Announcements–November 29, 2011

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November 29, 2011 06:40 pm

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Good afternoon. Here are today’s top education headlines.

Stateline.org reports that states applying for waivers under President Obama’s plan to grant flexibility from No Child Left Behind requirements will have to make big changes fast. So far, eleven states have applied for waivers, including Iowa and New Jersey, where tight waiver deadlines have the states “scrambling to make major decisions about the future of education in just a matter of months.” The article also focuses on Kentucky, where the spokeswoman Lisa Gross says the state passed legislation passed in advance of its waiver application. “We’re very lucky that we had all of the basic infrastructure in place,” Gross says. “If you’re building this from the ground up, that’s going to be a struggle.”

The Huffington Post reports on former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s appearance on a special Thanksgiving edition of Face the Nation during which she told CBS’s Bob Schieffer that the U.S. public school system is the nation’s largest problem. “Because with the failing public schools, I worry that the way that my grandparents got out of poverty,” Rice said. “The way that my parents became educated, is just not gonna be there for a whole bunch of kids.” The article also reports on attitudes on public education held by Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry, Ron Paul, and Michele Bachmann, all of whom believe in a more limited federal role in the nation’s education system.

The Los Angeles Times covers a new report from the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA finding that colleges should examine a wider set of social, economic and personal characteristics to determine how they can help students remain in school and graduate. Aside from SAT scores and high school grade point averages, students’ success in college relies on a number of other factors – often overlooked – that more accurately predict whether they will stay in school, the report finds.

The Argus Leader (SD) focuses on the state’s move toward common standards in math and English language arts. It quotes Harrisburg Superintendent Jim Holbeck who says that teachers will need a lot of time to align their lessons to the new standards, including professional development time during the summer. “This is an investment we can’t afford not to fund,” he said. The article also discusses other preparations that South Dakota is making in its move toward higher standards.

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