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Morning Announcements: October 7, 2011

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October 07, 2011 02:59 pm

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According to the Chicago News Cooperative, the gap between the number of minority teachers in Chicago’s public schools and minority student enrollment has widened over the last decade, but one school is working to change that by preparing the next generation of teachers. Wells Community Academy High School, where the racial breakdown of students is almost evenly split between African-Americans and Hispanics, more than 60 students are participating in a teacher training program that gets them to the front of the classroom years before most aspiring teachers.

The Huffington Post and Education Week both wrote about how Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Inc. who died Wednesday after a battle with cancer at age 56, help revolutionized technology in the classroom. In a time of educational debate and shuffling nationwide, a college dropout, businessman and paragon of technological innovation emerged as an inadvertent, but forceful, momentum for an educational revolution around the world.

Education Week reports the mantra of “not enough time in the day” continues to resonate in education, as the use of additional time pushes forward as a possible school reform strategy. The recent announcement that states can opt out of some of No Child Left Behind’s school accountability requirements if they have well-structured plans for school reform touches the out-of-school-time realm. The federal Department of Education listed “redesigning the school day, week, or year to include additional time for student learning and teacher collaboration” as one of the turnaround principles schools should look to when trying to improve.

Secretary Duncan sits down several times a month to answer questions he receives via his Facebook page. According to Ed.gov, this past week, Arne answered questions that had been received on Facebook’s Facebook in Education page. In the video, Arne responds to a question asking why we as a country allowed standards in schools to be “dummied down.” Secretary Duncan explains that dumbed-down standards are an unintended consequence of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), but that over the last two and a half years, 44 states have raised standards and are working to level the playing field for students.

The Patriot-News reports that children who were in the Harrisburg Preschool Program for at-risk children scored higher on Pennsylvania System of School Assessment literacy and math tests, even into the fifth grade, according to a study released Wednesday. “This is important data because it really shows if we improve the quality of education for young children and we begin early … we really can have long-term effects, even in very disadvantaged communities like Harrisburg,” said Mark Greenberg, one of the investigators from the Penn State Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Healthy Development.

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