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Morning Announcements April 23, 2012

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April 23, 2012 03:02 pm

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Good Monday Morning, but if you’re following the national forecasts, it’s probably not so good of a morning. After an unusual heat wave that had much of the nation experiencing above-average temperatures, old-man winter decided to have one more rendezvous with our winter coats. Bundle up, bring an umbrella, and don’t forget to get caught up on the latest education news of the day.

The Boston Globe that low-income school districts in Boston are most likely to place students in special education programs for mild and sometimes questionable disabilities, a practice that has swelled Massachusetts’s special education population to one of the highest levels in the nation. According to a study commissioned by the state, the finding debunks a long-held belief that it is the well-heeled parents in wealthier districts that have been pushing up special education rates as they demand advantages for their children.

From the Washington Post, the U.S. Department of Education is seeking to bring test-based assessment to teacher prep programs. The Obama administration wants to expand the use of standardized test scores as an accountability tool from K-12 into higher education.

The Alliance for Excellent Education has been chronicling the battle over school days in Chicago. Now National Public Radio provides you with more in depth coverage of the split between parents and educators who want longer school days and those who don’t. Most Chicago public schools have less-than-six-hour school days — some of the shortest in the country. And many have no recess. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing to lengthen the day to at least seven hours. But critics say some crucial details are missing — especially, how much a longer school day would cost.

According to Education Week, another $60 million in grants for the Promise Neighborhoods program will be made available by the U.S. Department of Education, both for existing grantees and for a new round of grants, the department announced. The Promise Neighborhoods program provides support to a range of youth services, from K-12 education and early-learning programs to health and safety initiatives in neighborhoods, and access to learning technology.

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