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Afternoon Announcements: September 20, 2012

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September 20, 2012 08:03 pm

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We’ve seen First Lady Michelle Obama do the “dougie,” former President George W. Bush join in a traditional African dance and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton jam to beats in South Africa. It’s only fitting that this week we add Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to that prestigious list of dancing politicians!

While we can all wish Sec. Duncan had danced Gangnam Style on his Back to School bus tour, he did hold his own in a line dance with kids and fellow cabinet Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (Department of Health and Human Services).

If that’s not enough news for you, here’s your daily roundup of #ednews highlights.

Speaking of Sec. Duncan, he made remarks this week on closing what he calls the “opportunity gap” for disadvantaged kids while in Topeka, Kan. at the historic Brown v Board of Education historic site. He remarks, “In America, in 2012, children of color not only confront an achievement gap, they confront an opportunity gap that, too often, is unacceptably wide.” Read his whole speech at the Department of Education.

With the teachers strike in Chicago over and kids back in class, it’s time to handle the details. For instance, how will the city of Chicago pay for the new teachers’ contract? Mayor Rahm Emanuel hasn’t offered anything on where the money will come from, only that the government will continue to look for savings in the Chicago Public Schools budget. The Chicago Tribune has more on the story.

After the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released their report last week on how sequestration will affect individual federally-funded programs, we know its impact on a national scale. But what is the impact for the states? The education cuts have sparked public concern, in particular. States are slated to receive more than $15.7 billion in “basic elementary and secondary education dollars” from the Fed. If sequestration is implemented, that would be cut by almost $1.3 billion. Read more from Stateline on how the stats will be affected.

A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that student motivation and choice are directly correlated. This seems self-evident to me, but it’s hard research and facts that drive change! Read the paper here.

See you tomorrow? We’ll be here!

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