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Afternoon Announcements: October 17, 2011

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October 17, 2011 06:25 pm

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A recent Charlotte Observer article agrees with the Alliance that the best economic stimulus is making sure students graduate: “According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, an estimated 11,200 students dropped out of Charlotte, Gastonia, and Concord area schools last year. This group of students is eight times as likely to wind up incarcerated, three times as likely to raise a child as a single parent, twice as likely to be unemployed and 50 percent less likely to vote. If just half of the students who dropped out had graduated, they would have collectively earned as much as $63 million more in an average year. If those 5,600 students had graduated, they would have contributed $6.5 million per year in additional tax revenue. If they had crossed the graduation stage, they would have likely spent more than $150 million more on home and vehicle purchases than they would spend without a diploma.”

“These days everyone is for education reform. The question is which approach is best. I favor the Steve Jobs model. … Just as the iPod compelled the music industry to accommodate its customers, we can use technology to force the education system to meet the needs of the individual student.” Read an adaptation of Wall Street Journal Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch’s remarks during an education summit in San Francisco last week.

As public schools in Chicago have shifted their focus to online learning, the benefits have been blunted by the fact that home access to the internet costs too much for some students, leading districts to look for different approaches to bring internet access to the city’s poorest families. (New York Times)

Education Week reports that two years ago, Tennessee’s Putnam County school system adopted an online-learning graduation requirement for its high school students. But district officials realized that not all students had high-speed internet access at home, or even computers, so they came up with a variety of options to allow students to fulfill the requirement.

A recent Education Week “Politics K–12” blog says that the Council of Chief State Schools Officers—the folks who will have significant responsibility for implementing a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act—are weighing in on Sen. Tom Harkin’s bill, which will be considered on Wednesday, October 19 by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

The Los Angeles Times reports that for the first time, Los Angeles school principals will see previously confidential ratings that estimate teachers’ effectiveness in raising students’ standardized test scores.

Jones County Junior College hopes new program will help students be ready for college, writes the Republic (Columbus, Indiana).

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.