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Morning Announcements: Senate and House Committees Focus on ESEA Rewrite

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February 05, 2015 11:45 am

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Outnumbered by Republicans, Democratic lawmakers are working to get their views heard as Congress moves ahead on revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  With votes anticipated in the House and Senate, House Democrats plan their own Capitol Hill forum on Thursday for changing the law — a protest of Republicans’ handling of the issue. The Associated Press

Chairman of the Senate Education Committee Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) called Wednesday for more federal programs that give parents the opportunity to choose schools they think best fit their children. Alexander questioned the logic behind limiting school options in local schools when popular and successful federal programs support other choices for families. Chalkbeat TN

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Wednesday proposed the “strongest open Internet protections” the Web has ever seen. Wheeler said by placing broadband Internet providers such as Comcast and Verizon Wireless under a stricter regulatory regime, consumers would be ensured an open Internet. The Washington PostThe Indiana Senate Education Committee today discussed a bill that would require all Indiana graduates to pass the same civics test that new U.S. citizens are required to pass. The Senate also held off a decision to ask school districts to count test scores and other “objective” measures of teaching as bigger factors in annual teacher ratings.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration provided the first look yesterday at the reports that will be made available to parents and schools under the new PARCC exams that will be starting next month. The administration also released its new code detailing how teachers are to be trained and licensed, which drew mixed response from those representing the colleges who will be doing the training and from the teachers themselves.

To break down the isolation that many teachers experience in their classrooms, California schools are using instructional coaches as a key tool to help teachers adapt their instruction to implement the Common Core standards in math and English language arts. EdSource  

New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña told principals, superintendents, and nonprofit leaders Wednesday that the stakes are high as they work to grow the city’s number of community schools. Chalkbeat NY

D.C. Council member David Grosso’s first bill as Education Committee chairman — seeking a partial ban on suspensions and expulsions of preschool students in public programs — got a strong response from advocates who urged him to push for more sweeping reforms of student discipline practices. The Washington Post

Acer has expanded its line of Chromebooks for the education market with two new models, the Acer Chromebook C910 and Acer Chromebook C740. The new models have a durable design and provide an affordable, easy-to-manage and proven platform for student learning. eSchoolNews

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