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Morning Announcements: July 29, 2011

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July 29, 2011 03:40 pm

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Education Week reports that during an interview on Wednesday with U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), he declined to be more specific about exactly when the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee would get around to marking up the very, very long-overdue Elementary and Secondary Education Act bill (renewal has been pending since 2007, back when President George W. Bush was in office).

While developing his positions on education policy, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), also a member of the Senate HELP Committee, told the Huffington Post that education reform is the “most important thing I’m working on.”

According to another article in the Huffington Post, Microsoft founder Bill Gates told the National Urban League on Thursday that education reformers must “end the myth” that poverty needs to be eradicated before reforming education.

Accurate dropout figures are very hard to find because most states do not adequately collect or analyze the data, and part of the problem is that every state has had a different definition for dropout, says NPR.

CNN writes about one good teacher’s decision to quit after a successful thirteen-year teaching career.

The Economist reports on New Orleans’s long turnaround with charter schools and why the city has gone the farthest with the charter experiment.

As strapped public schools try to squeeze every possible dollar out of their budgets, parents will most likely have to pay for programs and services that schools once provided free, reports the New York Times.

According to a different article in the New York Times, the new leadership at Chicago Public Schools is taking another crack at one of the district’s thorniest problems—involving parents in their children’s education—and parents, administrators, and critics, who are skeptical and frustrated by past failures, say they hope the effort pays off this time.

CNN raises the question, “If students fail history, does it matter?.”

According to the Denver Post, young students in Colorado schools can face ticketing or charges for scrawling doodles on a desk, accidentally hitting a teacher with a beanbag chair, or swiping a stick of gum from a teacher’s purse.

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