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November 14, 2012 02:36 pm

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The question on everyone’s mind: the election is over… what next? For the Obama Administration, the answer might be “stay the course” when it comes to education. Obama plans to continue his education reform initiatives – Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waivers. The President has committed to keeping education as a top priority in his second term.

The man at the forefront of Obama’s education initiatives, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, defended NCLB waivers in his first post-election speech . “Contrary to what you may have read, these waivers will push states to dramatically accelerate achievement and attainment for disadvantaged students and students of color.” He also importantly noted that education is not “just an expense on a budget linet hat can be sacrificed” – it’s an “investment for all our children.”

In 2012, a record 33 percent of the nation’s twenty-five- to twenty-nine-year-olds completed at least a bachelor’s degree, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall, 31 percent of the U.S. population over age twenty-five holds a bachelor’s degree or more , according to the report, Record Shares of Young Adults Have Finished Both High School and College.

At the end of each school year, students with perfect attendance often receive recognition, and maybe even an award. There’s a strong emphasis placed on ensuring students’ presence in the classroom. But what about teachers? A new report from the Center for American Progress analyzes data on teacher absences that shows a disconcerting trend: schools that serve high percentages of African American and Latino students are more likely to have higher teacher absences. Findings show that teacher absences slow student learning.

See other articles and read the full Straight A’s newsletter here . If you’d like to join our e-newsletter mailing list and receive Straight A’s in your inbox, email jamos@all4ed.org .

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