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Afternoon announcements: October 4, 2012

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October 04, 2012 04:23 pm

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Confession time: who didn’t watch the debate last night? Don’t worry, if you missed it, we’ll get you caught up. The highlights were Big Bird, KitchenAid and, of course, .gifs. The candidates also had some words of substance, and when it comes to education, we’ve got several stories to get you in the know in today’s #ednews roundup.

Romney had the quote of the night for those of us in the education sector: “I’m not going to cut education funding.” What exactly does that mean? Is it too good to be true? Education Week has the full quote, along with some analysis. Obama had a few things to say on education, as well; he hinted at his support for Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and referenced his Race to the Top competition several times. The LA Times fact-checks the candidates’ remarks on education.

In non-debate news, the Chicago teachers approved their new contract in a larger margin than ever before. The Chicago Tribune reports that 79.1 percent were in favor of the contract.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden have expanded their “Joining Forces” outreach again with a new initiative for military kids. Launched today, it’s intended to better prepare educators for the unique task of teaching military kids. These students move often and can struggle to fit in, make friends and adapt to new curriculum. The initiative will “Help military children as they face social, emotional and learning challenges in the classroom while having an active-duty parent.” Education Week has the full story.

Do virtual schools help or harm students’ learning? Like most things, it’s probably somewhere in the middle. Reuters looks at the growing backlash among “public officials and educators” who question whether virtual public schools are truly effective.

If you’re in the D.C. area and interested in the growing role that education policy is taking in this presidential election, you might want to consider attending an event to be held Andy “Eduwonk” Rotherham during the next debate, Oct. 16. He’ll moderate a discussion on the two candidates’ education platforms before the debate begins. See Eduwonk for more details, including time and location.

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