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September 6 Issue of Straight A’s Is Available

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September 08, 2011 03:07 pm

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The September 6, 2011 issue of Straight A’s, the Alliance’s biweekly newsletter, is now available. This week’s issue focuses on the Alliance’s new Center For Secondary School Digital Learning and Policy, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s testimony before a senate appropriations subcommittee, two new Alliance reports on deeper learning and digital learning, and more.

Individual articles from this week’s issue are listed below, or you can download a .pdf of the entire newsletter here.

ALLIANCE FOR EXCELLENT EDUCATION ANNOUNCES NEW CENTER FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL DIGITAL LEARNING AND POLICY: Center’s Work in Digital Learning to Be Integrated into All Alliance Policy Areas: Last month, the Alliance for Excellent Education announced the creation of the Center for Secondary School Digital Learning and Policy (the Center). The Center will focus on how digital learning can bring quality college- and career-ready education to secondary schools with a focus on improving outcomes for low-income students and low-performing schools.

PATH TO A STRONG FUTURE: Duncan Testifies Before Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the U.S. Department of Education’s Budget: On July 27, just a few days before the nation was expected to run up against the debt limit, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified before the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Committee. Given the timing of the hearing, spending priorities were a popular topic among senators from both parties.

SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITY: Alliance Report Offers Federal Recommendations on Digital Learning and Technology: Drawing upon promising educational practices already underway in several states, a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education connects how federal efforts can enable states, districts, and schools to maximize technology and digital learning to improve student outcomes. To ensure that all students have access to this advanced educational environment, the report recommends specific ways for the federal government to assist local and state educators to better utilize technology and digital learning to transform the American education system.

NEW ALLIANCE BRIEF CALLS FOR ASSESSMENTS THAT MEASURE DEEPER LEARNING: New assessments that measure a broader range of knowledge and skills than typical assessments measure are vital to ensure that students learn what they need to succeed in the future, according to a new policy brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education. The brief argues that such assessments would indicate whether students understand challenging content and are able to apply that knowledge to think critically, solve problems, communicate their understanding, and work with their peers.

MAPPING STATE PROFICIENCY STANDARDS ONTO THE NAEP SCALES: Most States’ Proficiency Marks Still Fall Below National Standards, Report Finds: The majority of U.S. states continue to have student proficiency benchmarks that fall well below national standards, according to a federal report released last month. Eight states increased the rigor of their passing marks on standardized exams between 2007 and 2009; however, when compared to the national exam, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the standards of these states and most others are still much lower than those at the federal level.

THE CONDITION OF COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS: Only One in Four High School Graduates Considered “Ready” for College, ACT Finds: Only 25 percent—an increase of 1 percentage point—of high school graduates from the Class of 2011 were considered “ready” for college courses in English, reading, mathematics, and science, according to results on their ACT exams released last month.

Enjoy being informed about education news and policy? Receive a free subscription to Straight A’s by filling out this form to add your name to the Alliance’s mailing list. There is no cost and the Alliance will not share or sell your email address to anyone else. First name, last name, home mailing address, and email address is required. If you have any problems, email Jason Amos at jamos@all4ed.org.

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