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New Issue of Straight A’s Now Available

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October 18, 2011 05:30 pm


The October 17, 2011 issue of Straight A’s, the Alliance’s biweekly newsletter, is now available. Sign up to receive a free subscription to Straight A’s.

This week’s issue focuses on the Senate Health, Labor, and Pensions Committee’s bill to overhaul the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB); federal funding for education programs; new federal legislation that would combine rigorous coursework with workplace experience; NCLB waivers; and a new report comparing how U.S. students fare when compared to their international counterparts.

Links to individual articles are available below.

U.S. SENATORS HARKIN AND ENZI RELEASE DRAFT LANGUAGE TO REVISE NCLB: Senate Committee to Consider Draft Containing Important Provisions for Nation’s High Schools: On October 11, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) Committee, released draft legislation to revise the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The legislation reflects ten months of bipartisan negotiations between Harkin and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), top Republican on the HELP Committee.

Nearly 75 Percent of States Plan to Request Waivers from No Child Left Behind Requirements: Thirty-seven states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have notified the U.S. Department of Education (the department) of their intent to seek waivers from specific requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). According to the plan President Obama outlined on September 23, states will receive flexibility from specific provisions of the law in exchange for state-led reform efforts to close achievement gaps, evaluate teachers and principals, promote rigorous accountability, and ensure that all students are on track to graduate ready for college and a career.

WHAT’S THE SCENARIO?: U.S. Department of Education Releases Additional Details on Fiscal Year 2012 Funding Levels: Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education (the department) made available a table showing proposed funding levels in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 for all programs under its jurisdiction based on three scenarios: (1) President Obama’s budget request; (2) the Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education appropriations bill that passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on September 21; and (3) the draft Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill released by the House Appropriations Committee on September 29.

EDUCATION FOR TOMORROW’S JOBS: New Legislation Would Combine Rigorous College Prep with Workplace Experience: On October 12, U.S. Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Judy Chu (D-CA) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act, which would combine rigorous college preparation with workplace experience in an effort to improve student engagement, academic achievement, and success after high school. The legislation is under consideration as part of the ongoing effort in Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act.

GOV. BOB WISE ANNOUNCES DIGITAL LEARNING DAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2012: First National Day Around Digital Learning to Be Focused on Personalized Learning and Effective Teaching: Building upon a growing movement, the Alliance for Excellent Education, and its partners are calling on teachers, schools, principals, community leaders, parents, and students to participate in the first-ever national Digital Learning Day on February 1, 2012. Digital Learning Day will celebrate innovative teaching practices that make learning more personalized and engaging and encourage exploration of how digital learning can provide more students with more opportunities to get the skills they need to succeed in college, a career, and life.

EDUCATION AT A GLANCE: New OECD Report Finds That Education Pays in the United States More So Than in Most Countries: An individual with a college degree earns 79 percent more than a person with only a high school education in the United States, the sixth-highest “wage premium” among the thirty-four countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and significantly higher than the OECD average of 50 percent.  This is one of the key findings from Education at a Glance 2011: OECD Indicators. The report also finds that the penalty for not completing high school is highest in the United States—someone who has not completed high school can only expect to receive 64 percent of a high school graduate’s earnings, compared to the OECD average of 77 percent.

Download a PDF of October 17 issue of the Straight A’s newsletter.

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