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Afternoon Announcements: Senate Discusses Teacher Evaluations and Student Test Scores in NCLB Hearing

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January 28, 2015 12:05 pm

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The Senate continued its most serious effort to date to rewrite the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law with a hearing Tuesday that focused on improving the nation’s teachers. Lawmakers from both parties indicated that they would not seek to continue the Obama administration’s push to link teacher evaluations and teacher pay to student test scores. The Washington Post

Over the next six months, national experts will hop-scotch to a dozen cities to collaborate with school leaders in workshops on tough questions about how to make classrooms effective. These workshops are the next step in the Future Ready effort to encourage more schools to infuse technology into the classroom. The Hechinger Report

President Obama will drop his proposal to effectively end the popular college savings accounts known as 529s, but will keep an expanded tuition tax credit at the center of his college access plan, White House officials said Tuesday. The New York TimesStudent test scores could account for as much as 50 percent of teachers’ performance evaluation ratings under a proposal the Indiana State Board of Education is expected to consider next week. Chalkbeat IN

Maryland’s graduation rate has hit a record high, with more than 86 percent of students earning diplomas within four years, according to state data released Tuesday. The Washington Post

According to a new survey of 475 educators conducted by LightSail Education, a literacy advocacy organization, 94% of respondents expect that ebooks will increase as “a share of books read” in their school or district over the next two years, and a little over half of respondents prefer ebooks over print.

It has been nearly three years since the FCC and Education Secretary Arne Duncan rolled out the Digital Textbook Playbook and challenged schools to go digital within five years. Read what three early adopters of digital textbooks share their experiences, from conveniences and triumphs to pitfalls and setbacks. eSchoolNews

Communal support along with a growing variety of college-prep programs at the Sheridan School District in Colorado are what officials point to as driving forces behind a doubling of its on-time graduation rate during the last three years. Chalkbeat CO

In California, an after-school program is the only opportunity for students from rural communities to get help with homework, take part in extracurricular activities, and socialize outside of school. But school officials in rural districts say there is a shortage of programs in their communities because they struggle to provide transportation, find qualified staff, and enroll enough students to generate adequate funding. EdSource

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