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Morning Announcements: August 31, 2011

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August 31, 2011 03:26 pm

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Chicago Public Schools officials announced they have agreed with teachers union to implement Common Core State Standards into the city’s curriculum beginning in the 2012-2013 school year. The more rigorous standards have been adopted by forty-five states, including Illinois, but have not yet been enacted in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune. The state standards curriculum is a national initiative to improve student performance in core subject areas such s math and reading by favoring comprehension and analysis over rote memorization.

President Barack Obama spoke about education issues in an interview on the nationally syndicated radio program the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Education Week reports some people in the education sector are hopeful Obama will include money to help avoid teacher layoffs and to revamp old schools in his job-creation package set to be unveiled in coming weeks.

The Detroit public school system, one of the most challenged in the country, is experiencing a re-branding campaign this year with the new optimistic slogan, “We’re in.” National Public Radio reports on the campaign to improve the district’s crumbling buildings, low achievement, and decline of enrollment. A key figure in this re-branding period is  Roy Roberts, former General Motors executive who came out of retirement to focus on improving the city’s schools.

A new report shows that roughly 90 percent of 2010 high school graduates think their high school diploma is not enough to compete in today’s society, and they believe college is important. The report, released by the College Board – which administers the SAT and Advanced Placement exams – surveyed roughly 1,500 students who graduated in 2010 one year later. Three-fourths of students said they had a “good” or “great” 2010, and only 9 percent said they were dissatisfied with their high school experience. However, nearly half said they wish they had enrolled in different classes in high school, especially more difficult science, math, and writing courses, according to U.S. News & World Report.

A new report card by the U.S. Department of Defense states that 40 percent of schools on military bases are either in poor or failing conditions with overcrowding. The latest report supplements what was described by a recent iWatch News investigation in the schools as undersized and dilapidated, according to the Huffington Post. The iWatch News investigation found that three in four Pentagon-run schools are either beyond repair or would require extensive renovation to meet minimum standards for safety, quality, accessibility and design.

The interim chief of the East St. Louis public schools, Jed Deets, has hope for turning around the district, the St. Louis Dispatch reports. But first, he says, officials must address the “fundamentals” such as placing the right number of teachers in schools and cutting back on high student absences – all of which must be done while dealing with a budget deficit close to$15 million.

Three-fifths of over 1,000 colleges analyzed in a new survey offered only three or fewer of seven core education subjects, such as science, math, and foreign language. The third annual report from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, “What Will They Learn?” attempts to illustrate the failures of American colleges to require students to learn essential subjects over the course of their education, according to the Washington Post.

Education Week reports on the debate within the community working to provide extended-learning opportunities for children. Some are divided on how federal grants should be given to programs that provide underprivileged students with extra hours of academic enrichment.

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