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Your daily serving of high school news and policy.

Morning Announcements: November 1, 2011

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November 01, 2011 04:33 pm

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Grab a few pieces of leftover Halloween candy and settle in for the latest education news.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the latest test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released this morning show that American fourth and eighth graders took a small step forward in math achievement but stayed relatively stagnant in reading scores between 2009 and 2011.

Riverside, California’s Press-Enterprise reports on the continued battle to increase graduation and college-going rates saying, “A generation ago, a high school degree was enough to land a decent-paying job at the local steel mill or aerospace plant and gain entry to the middle class. In the years since, the job market has evolved into one that requires more brain power and less muscle. In the San Bernardino-Riverside-Ontario area, dropouts in 2010 totaled some 27,700 students, who, as underemployed workers, cost the region billions of dollars in lost purchases, investments and state and local tax revenues, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education.” The P-E’s staff artist put together this nifty graphic using Alliance data to show the economic benefits of improving high school graduation rates.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, educators on Monday cautioned Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration against rushing the implementation of a new law requiring the state to assign grades to rate the performance of public schools. Teachers, superintendents and others raised questions about the grading system at a hearing by the Public Education Department on proposed rules for evaluating schools.

Experts say half of foster kids quit high school, writes Education Week. “When Carey Sommer entered foster care in California, he left his mom, his high school and his friends. Bounced from home to home, he changed high schools nine times until the disheartened teen finally dropped out.”

Education Week covers a national study that shows that while more states and districts are developing “early warning systems” to target students most at risk of dropping out, many of those systems may still not be reaching students early enough.

New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney says he could support merit pay in classrooms so long as schools, not individual teachers, are rewarded, according to NJ.com.

The Kansas City Star reports that University of Kansas researchers want to know if the nation’s online schools work for students with disabilities; a $7.5 million federal grant will help them find out.

According to results of a survey released yesterday, Michigan residents overwhelmingly support giving parents whose children attend failing schools the option to send their kids to better schools, writes the Detroit Free Press.

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.