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Afternoon Announcements: US Dept. of Ed. Secretary Duncan says ‘standardized tests must measure up’

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October 20, 2014 12:30 pm

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In a weekend editorial for The Washington Post, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan discussed how necessary it is that high-quality” standardized testing measure up and meet the needs of students, teachers, schools, and school districts. He adds all policymakers – himself included – bear the responsibility to provide support and assistance to state and district leaders as the work to make quality assessment available for all students.

With the implementation of the Common Core, College Board is making changes to most science and history AP courses in an effort to emphasize teaching college critical thinking in high school. The Hechinger Report

Federally owned schools for Native Americans on reservations are marked by remoteness, extreme poverty, few construction dollars, and are among the country’s lowest performing. The Obama administration is pushing ahead with a plan to improve the schools that gives tribes more control. The Associated Press

This election season, both Republican and Democratic candidates alike have made education issues a major part of their platforms for the mid-terms. But Republicans in some states including Florida, Kansas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are on the defensive about education. Politico

In ousting former LA Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, some leaders of the nation’s second-largest school district feel can set aside their differences and focus instead on educating 650,000 students in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Daily News

In the diverse and ever-changing world of educational technology, the term “personalized learning” seems to be everywhere, though there is not yet a shared understanding of what it means. A number of education and technology organizations are seeking to forge a clearer understanding of what this concept really means. Education Week

For teens who desire a unique learning experience, a vocational high school program may be a good fit.  In vocational high school programs – which are also known as career and technical education programs – students study a skill or trade, such as engineering or plumbing, in addition to completing academic core requirements. High School Notes – US News & World Report

An October 2014 report from the research arm of the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks college students, reveals that a quarter of low-income urban high schools are doing better than a quarter of their high-income counterparts. Education by the Numbers – The Hechinger Report

Responding to complaints from dozens of Hispanic children who said they had been barred from public school classes on Long Island, the state on Friday issued new legal guidance regarding enrollment procedures, exhorting school districts to comply with federal law by allowing undocumented immigrant children to begin classes. The New York Times

The winter testing window for thousands of Oklahoma students seeking high school diplomas was delayed a couple of weeks Friday at a special meeting of the state Board of Education. Board members on Friday approved a $3.4 million contract with vendor Measured Progress, and state Education Department officials said the tests now will begin in December. The Oklahoman

State officials announced Friday that the Social Security numbers, names and birthdates of 210 students were left on at least two laptops sold at auction Oct. 11. Those laptops were surplus equipment from the Future Is Now charter group sold after the organization ended its program at John McDonogh High in New Orleans. The Times Picayune

A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities suggests that at least 30 states are providing districts with less funding than they were prior to the Great Recession. While state funding for students improved slightly in the 2014-15 school year, that additional funding has not completely restored budgets to their previous levels. The Huffington Post

School leaders gathered at Discovery Education to discuss strategies to involve all stakeholders in a district’s digital transition during an all-day summit and roundtable discussion held in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Area Superintendents. A handful of clear strategies and approaches emerged as discussions turned to cultivating positive and productive relationships between district leaders and teachers’ unions. eSchoolNews

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