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Afternoon Announcements: Obama Administration Highlights New Guidelines for English Language Learners

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January 08, 2015 01:30 pm

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The Obama administration released guidelines Wednesday that highlight the civil rights of students learning English as a second language, who under federal law are guaranteed targeted help and a high-quality public education. The Washington Post

Even as the population of non-native English speakers in public schools booms, districts and states have sometimes struggled to ensure that those students have the same access to school programs as their peers whose native language is English. Chalkbeat CO

Cue the hand-wringing about digital distraction: Fewer children are reading books frequently for fun, according to a new report released Thursday by Scholastic, the children’s book publisher. The New York Times

Arlington, VA Public Schools will outspend its counterparts in the Washington suburbs by at least $1,500 per student this year, with per-student spending above $19,000, just one of the findings in a recently released report that compared 11 area school systems in Maryland and Virginia, examining everything from test scores to teacher pay. The Washington Post

After eight years of work and $640 million in federal spending, state data systems that seek to link education and the workforce remain riddled with holes. Inside Higher Ed

Juniors in Michigan’s public high schools will be able to take the SAT college admission test for free starting in 2016, ending the dominance there of a rival test, the state announced Wednesday. The Washington Post

Exercises aimed at building empathy are common in classrooms across the nation, as educators seek to prevent bullying and improve students’ social-emotional skills. Chalkbeat TN

Minnesota’s $38 million contract with Pearson for online proficiency testing is just a few months old, but it already has technology staff in many schools scrambling to ensure their systems are compatible. eSchoolNews

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