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Everyone’s Getting Straight A’s: National Digital PISA Day Announced

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November 22, 2013 11:23 am


Every other week, the Alliance for Excellent Education posts a new edition of Straight A’s: Public Education Policy and Progress, an online newsletter. Here are excerpts from this issue. You can read the full articles in this volume online here. If you would like to receive Straight A’s in your inbox, send an email to

On December 3, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will release the latest results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a test of reading literacy, mathematics, and science given every three years to fifteen-year-olds in the United States and more than sixty-five countries worldwide. In conjunction with the release of the PISA scores and the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement of the U.S. results, the Alliance for Excellent Education, along with nine national education organizations, will host an extensive digital event that examines the results and their lessons for U.S. education policy. PISA Day

The reading and math results released on November 7 from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, were cause for celebration and concern. On the bright side, the average reading and math scores posted by the nation’s fourth- and eighth-grade students were at an all-time high. At the same time, however, only 36 percent of the nation’s eighth-grade students scored at a “proficient” level in both reading and math. Nation’s Report Card

With less than three months until Digital Learning Day 2014, the Alliance for Excellent Education today announced a collaboration with the Library of Congress on the hosting, promotion, and content development for the Washington, DC–based national celebration on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Digital Learning Day 2014

On August 29, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released guidance outlining how states could request a two-year renewal to extend their ED-granted waivers from certain requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In a November 14 letter to chief state school officers, however, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Deborah S. Delisle backed away from some of those requirements in favor of a more “streamlined” process that raised concern among civil rights organizations. A Time for Renewal

Two consortia of states, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, are developing assessments that are intended to measure student performance against the Common Core State Standards. On November 6, PARCC released new sample test items, making public exemplar test items across the grades in both mathematics and English language arts. PUBLIC PARCC

On November 8, the U.S. Department of Education announced the twenty-five highest-rated applications received as part of the fourth round of the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition, which will award more than $135 million to expand innovative practices designed to improve student achievement. To receive federal funding under the program, these potential grantees must secure private sector matching funds by December 11, 2013. Stellar i3 Applications Announced


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