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Morning Announcements: July 14, 2011

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July 14, 2011 04:11 pm

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Education Week reports that the list of delays states are encountering in implementing their Race to the Top plans keeps getting longer; every state but Georgia has now amended its Race to the Top plan in some way, usually to push back a timeline or scale back an initiative.

Yesterday, the House Education and the Workforce Committee approved the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act , which would provide states and school districts with maximum flexibility to shift federal dollars now aimed at particular populations—such as children in poverty—to other programs. Education Week reports that Republicans say the measure, part of a move to begin reauthorizing the ESEA piecemeal, would make it easier for districts and states to direct federal money to where it is needed most, while Democrats argue that the Republicans are proposing too much leeway, and that it would allow districts and states to ignore the students most at risk—poor and minority kids—and trample on students’ civil rights.

The Huffington Post writes about a 2007 study by the National Summer Learning Association at Johns Hopkins University, that states “all young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activity during the summer.” The report finds that, on average, students lose about two months off their grade level mathematical skill during the summer months and that “more than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.”

According to the Connecticut Mirror, low-income and minority students continued to lag on statewide achievement test results released this week, but financially strapped public schools may have less help to attack the problem this year.

The state Board of Education has voted to relax requirements for hiring superintendents in the state’s most troubled school districts, opening these jobs to noneducators for the first time, reports the Star-Ledger (Newark).

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