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Morning Announcements: August 29, 2011

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August 29, 2011 04:44 pm

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Here are your Monday morning announcements!

TIME Magazine released a “back-to-school” special with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The interview with Duncan includes topics on his plans to use waivers to No Child Left Behind, the next Race to the Top competition, and budget cuts schools are facing across the country.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune analyzed public records that show more than one third of black, Latino, and Native American students in the city’s public school system do not graduate from high school, even after nearly a decade with No Child Left Behind in place. Even though the federal education law called for a decreases in the achievement gap between white and nonwhite students, the newspaper reports that the gap on state test scores has widened as Minneapolis’ white students continue to outperform their peers around the state.

The Star Tribune also reported on an interesting new trend of businesses in Minnesota move away from “checkbook philanthropy” and become more involved in education by helping to write curriculums for schools, design or teach classes, and help train principals. The newspaper noted as an example 3M, which has helped schools develop science curriculums and lessons.

In other NCLB news, California Schools chief Tom Torlakson sent a letter to Duncan last Thursday with complaints about the federal law. He said California’s schools need relief from “inappropriate labels and ineffective interventions.” He also is the law’s requirement that 100 percent of stduetns reach proficiency by the 2013-2014 school year is unrealistic and will mean more schools will be deemed failures even with rising test score, according to the Press Democrat.

Hurricane Irene swept through the East Coat over the weekend. The storm did less damage than many feared it would, but many schools are closed today as a result of power outages, downed trees, and fear of more flooding, according to the Associated Press.

Some teachers in Delaware are taking to the streets to help improve their students’ learning experiences. A new initiative is getting educators out into the community to see where their students live and play. Last week, a group from Pulaski Elementary visited their students’ homes to deliver information about the first day of school and offer donated backpacks to kids who didn’t yet have one, Delaware Online reports.

In line with what national leaders attest, the Associated Press reports that Kansas City-area manufactors maintain that there are plenty of jobs open but not enough skilled workers to fill them.

The Michigan Legislature is set to discuss next month a new requirement for all public school districts to participate in the state’s schools of choice program, which allows students to enroll in schools outside of the district they live in. Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan sto expand education choice face opposition in some communities and support in others, according to the Associated Press.

The Indiana Department of Education is releasing its most recent school accountability data today in a new report card form that gives schools an A, B, C, D, or F. The change is meant to make evaluations easier for parents to understand, according to the Evansville Courier & Press.

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