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Morning Announcements: June 24, 2011

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June 24, 2011 04:13 pm

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Happy Friday!

Here are today’s morning announcements.

First, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline challenged U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s plans to override provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act and said he would “use a House rewrite of it this year to rein in the secretary’s influence on America’s schools,” the New York Times reports. The article adds that Kline sent Duncan a letter on Thursday demanding that he explain by July 1 the legal authority that he believed he had to issue the waivers.

National Public Radio has a great article on the Khan Academy. Salman Khan, former hedge fund analyst, started creating videos to help tutor his cousin in math. Those videos became so popular, he quit his job with the hedge fund to work on them full time. Now his online Khan Academy offers more than 2,100 videos and attracts scores of teachers and students.

In Education Week, former U.S. Secretary of Education Richad Riley, a member of the Alliance’s President’s Policy Council, writes about the “skyboxing” of education. A phenomenon in which students, like their socioeconomic peers at sporting events, are “buffered from realities most students face by their well-appointed educational accommodations.” At the same time, Riley writes, the vast majority of students “sit in the equivalent of bleacher seats, or they are stuck behind a pillar, squinting to see their teachers in overcrowded classrooms.”

The Associated Press reports on new data from the U.S. Department of Education finding that the achievement gap between Hispanic and white students is the same today as it was in the early 1990s, despite two decades of accountability reforms.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Joel Klein, former chancellor of New York City’s public schools and current CEO of News Corporation’s educational division, and Jeb Bush, Republican governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007 and co-chair of the Digital Learning Council with Alliance President Bob Wise, make the case for common standards.

Not necessarily education-related, but it’s Friday so I’ll allow it. The Wall Street Journal reports that the average American aged 15 or older spent just under 4 hours working on weekdays, a six-minute decrease from 2009 and down 26 minutes from 2007. The article blames the decrease on the recession, but notes that Americans are sleeping more and watching a lot more television with their spare time rather than working on the next great American novel.

Any headlines that we missed? Feel free to include them in the comments section.

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