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Morning Announcements: September 27, 2011

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September 27, 2011 03:57 pm

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According to the New York Times, a report that is set to be released on Tuesday shows the percentage of students making it to the finish line at college is barely budging despite ever-increasing enrollment in college. The group, Complete College America, is a nonprofit founded two years ago with financing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation and others. Its report, which had the cooperation of 33 governors, showed how many of the students in states completed their degrees, broken down into different categories, including whether enrollment is full- or part-time, or at a two- or four-year institution.

Over objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill, President Obama is making it clear he will proceed with his blueprint education reform and an overhaul of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. And this time, Mr. Obama will have some bipartisan cover, as many Republican governors are backing his approach, according to the Washington Times.

Hundreds of players in the education debate hunkered down in a tent staked over Rockefeller Center’s ice skating rink this week for NBC’s multi-million dollar, three-day panel fest “Education Nation.” This year marks the second iteration of Education Nation, which launched in 2010 on the heels of “Waiting for Superman,” a popular documentary that increased the focus on education policy, while also drawing criticism for presenting charter schools as the ultimate solution, Huffington Post reports. Check out the event here.

EducationNext reports the first ever comparison of math performance in virtually every school district in the United States finds that even the most elite suburban school districts produce results that are mediocre when compared to those of international peers.  According to the study, entitled “When the Best is Mediocre,” the math achievement of the average student in Beverly Hills, California, is at the 53rd percentile relative to the international comparison group.  White Plains, New York, is at the 39th percentile; Evanston, Illinois is at the 48th percentile; Montgomery County, Maryland is at the 50th percentile; and Fairfax, Virginia is at the 49th percentile.

The Huffington Post reports on a New Haven School Program that starts to prepare students for college as early as kindergarten. Officials unveiled that ambitious plan Monday at a press conference in the Hill Regional Career High School auditorium.

Students from Georgia to Los Angeles got an opportunity to hear some top African-American luminaries speak on Friday about the importance of education in urban communities, according to the Huffington Post. The second annual Back to School with the HistoryMakers program, dispatched some 500 trailblazers to schools across the country to recount their own school experiences and the struggles they encountered on their paths to success.

NPR reports on a New York high school that helps immigrant children adapt to life and schooling in America. Brooklyn’s International High School is a public school for recent immigrants. Some of its students have trekked across deserts or fled war and persecution to get to the U.S., and many start their first day of school speaking little or no English.

While on the subject, the Union Leader reports The Board of School Committee voted on Monday to end the federally mandated standardized testing of newly arrived immigrants with poor English skills. The proposal passed unanimously and without debate. It is a policy board members have said in the past they support.

The Los Angeles school district and a union representing non-teaching employees have announced a tentative agreement that could restore hundreds of jobs, according to the Associated Press. In a statement Monday, the district says the agreement with the California School Employees Association would restore $8 million worth of positions which could include library aides, school financial managers and clerical staff. The statement says the district will designate the positions to be restored.

In a bid to give young viewers a leg up in math and science, the producers of Sesame Street this fall want to help the very young think like scientists, according to USA Today. It’s a response to international rankings that show U.S. kids slipping when it comes to basic math and science knowledge.

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