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Morning Announcements: August 30, 2011

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August 30, 2011 04:12 pm


Nearly 600 school districts or other groups applied for this year’s Investing in Innovation grant competition awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, according to Education Week. The deadline for the grant, which is in its second round, was Aug. 2 and is worth $150 million this year. The Department of Education is now tasked with reviewing the applications and selecting the most promising education improvement ideas.

An all-time record number of high school students are playing sports, according to the Annual High School Athletics Participation Survey released yesterday. The National Federation of State High School Associations released the data showing that in total, nearly 7,668,000 students participated in high school sports during the 2010-11 school year, an increase of almost 40,000 over 2009-10. The survey also finds that 55.5 percent of students enrolled in high schools participated in athletics, with 11-player football at the top of the list, Education Week reports.

The Los Angeles Unified School District has bought out the contract of its chief academic officer, Judy Elliott, the Los Angeles Times reports. The newspaper states that Elliot oversaw the selection of a new reading program and an early academic intervention initiative. In addition, she developed a controversial policy that limited homework to no more than 10 percent of a student’s grade.

Fresno County School Superintendent Larry Powell is giving back $800,000 of his salary to his school district. This amount would have been his compensation for the next three years, when his term expires. According to the Huffington Post, Powell is being praisedfor his generosity and said “There’s no reason for me to keep stockpiling money.”

The Columbus Dispatch reported on a Ohio teacher-retesting program that will take place next year. It will require some teachers to take tests on the information they teach. According to the newspaper, if the program were in place today, nearly 900 teachers in 41 struggling Columbus schools would have to take tests to prove they know their subjects.

Many students and teachers in Florida high schools are working in larger class sizes this year after a new law took effect, according to the Miami Herald. Last year, enrollment in nearly every high school course was capped at 25 students, as the final phase of Florida’s Class Size Amendment went into place. However, the legislative session resulted in state lawmakers reducing the number of courses under the mandate by two-thirds. This means that the caps still apply to core courses like reading, math and science that are required for graduatio but no longer apply to college-prep offerings, foreign languages and honors courses like precalculus.

A new task force in Colorado made up of educators and lawmakers is aiming to work on reforming remediation education. The Educational Success Task Force met for the first time Monday and began to determine how it will go about finding solution  to reduce the number of high school graduates who require remedial courses when they reach college and to improve the chances that those who do need remediation will complete their degrees, according to the Denver Post.

Nearly 7,000 Oregon seniors have failed to pass the state reading test, a requirement for graduation, according to the Associated Press. The class of 2012 is the first in the state with a reading requirement for graduation from high school.
However, about a sixth of all seniors have yet to pass the state test and won’t get their diplomas until they meet the requirement or pass an equivalent test at their school.


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