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Everyone’s getting Straight A’s: The State of the Union

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February 27, 2013 07:35 pm


President Obama focused on a growing economy in his February 12 State of the Union address; one featured way he aims to improve the economy is through improving education for all students. The President outlined several education proposals – including high-quality preschool available to every child, greater access for high school students to take college courses, and a new competition to redesign America’s high schools. State of the Union

The sequester is mere days away, and the White House, in an effort to encourage Congress to stop it from happening, released a report with state-by-state funding tables detailing how sequestration will affect federal programs, including educational programs such as Title 1 and special education. The across-the-board cuts would total $85 billion. Sequestration to hit March 1

An extensive analysis by the Alliance for Excellent Education shows that recent progress in holding schools accountable for how many students they graduate from high school—the ultimate goal of K–12 education—may be slowed in some states based on waivers recently granted under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The Alliance’s findings are contained in a new report, The Effect of ESEA Waiver Plans on High School Graduation Rate Accountability, which includes a review of approved waiver plans submitted by thirty-four states and the District of Columbia. Turning back the clock? 

During a February 7 hearing on “Early Lessons from State Flexibility Waivers” under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), both Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN), said Congress should go back to work on a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as NCLB.

In his opening statement, Harkin said that in October 2011 the HELP Committee passed a bipartisan reauthorization of ESEA with “robust participation” from Alexander and other committee members. Harkin noted that the bill did not move beyond the committee, but he said in the new Congress, “we are redoubling our efforts to reauthorize ESEA.” Help on NCLB

You can read the full articles, and all of our bi-weekly newsletter, “Straight A’s,” online here. If you would like to receive Straight A’s in your inbox, please email


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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.