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Morning Announcements: June 20, 2011

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June 20, 2011 03:47 pm

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States seeking relief from the requirements of the 9-year-old No Child Left Behind Act are taking a wait-and-see approach to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s plan to offer those that embrace his reform priorities wiggle room when it comes to the law’s mandates, Education Week reports.

In the Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson writes about the great jobs mismatch:

One puzzle of this somber economy is the existence of unfilled jobs in the midst of mass unemployment. You might think (I did) that with almost 14 million Americans unemployed — and nearly half those for more than six months — that companies could fill almost any opening quickly. Not so. Somehow, there’s a mismatch between idle workers and open jobs. Economists call this “structural unemployment.”

Just how many jobs are affected is unclear; there are no definitive statistics. Economist Harry Holzer of Georgetown University thinks the unemployment rate might be closer to 8 percent than today’s 9.1 percent if most of these jobs were filled. That implies up to 1.5 million more jobs. Economist Prakash Loungani of the International Monetary Fund estimates that 25 percent of unemployment is structural; that’s more than 3 million jobs. A recent survey of 2,000 firms by the McKinsey Global Institute, a research group, found that 40 percent had positions open at least six months because they couldn’t find suitable candidates.

In the Huffington Post, Campaign for High School Equity Executive Director Michael Wotorson writes about a Plan for Success of America’s Students.

As state keeps slashing money for education, cuts fall to counties and rural areas fare worst, according to the Charlotte Observer.

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