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Straight As: Highlights Deeper Learning, Education Spending, International Benchmarking, and more

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June 01, 2011 07:29 pm


Here’s a quick summary of the articles in the May 31 issue of Straight A’s, the Alliance’s biweekly newsletter.

Click on a title below to access the complete article or download a printer-friendly version of the entire newsletter here.

A TIME FOR DEEPER LEARNING: New Alliance Brief Says Deeper Learning Is Imperative for All Students: Policy and practice at the local, state, and national levels should support the concepts of “deeper learning” to help all students meet higher expectations and be prepared for college and a career, according to a new policy brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education. The brief, “A Time for Deeper Learning: Preparing Students for a Changing World,” argues that deeper learning provides students with the deep content knowledge students need to succeed after high school and the critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills that today’s jobs demand.

More Alliance for Excellent Education Resources on Deeper Learning: On May 26, the Alliance released its brief, “A Time for Deeper Learning” at an event on Capitol Hill.  At the event, panelists discussed the practice of deeper learning and the federal policy implications of preparing all students for the demands of a rapidly changing global workforce and the economy.

SETTING NEW PRIORITIES IN EDUCATION SPENDING: House Committee Passes First Education Reform Bill, Eliminates More than Forty Federal Education Programs: On May 25, the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed the first in a series of education reform bills designed to revamp the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The bill, “Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act,” which passed on a party-line vote of twenty-three to sixteen, would eliminate more than forty federal education programs, including Striving Readers, Smaller Learning Communities, High School Graduation Initiative, and Enhancing Education Through Technology (Ed-Tech).

COMMENCEMENT CHALLENGE: Obama Delivers Commencement Address at Memphis High School, Calls for NCLB Rewrite in Weekly Address: As the winner of the White House’s 2011 Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge, Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee welcomed President Obama on May 16, who delivered the graduating class’s commencement address.

STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS: NCEE Report Outlines American Agenda for Education Reform Based on Highest-Performing Nations: After examining the policy agendas of the most successful countries, a new report from the Nation Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) argues that the strategies driving the best-performing education systems in the world are rarely found in the United States. Additionally, the report, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: An American Agenda for Education Reform, finds that strategies now most popular in the United States, such as reduced class size and increased spending on education, are absent from the nations with the most successful education systems. It notes that only the effort to develop internationally benchmarked standards and high-quality assessments can be found on the policy agendas of the highest-performing nations.

Condition of Education 2011: Annual Report Includes Fifty Different Education Indicators and Special Analysis of Changes in Postsecondary Education: Released on May 26 by the National Center for Education Statistics, Condition of Education 2011 presents fifty different indicators of important developments and trends in U.S. education. The indicators focus on participation and persistence in education, student performance and other measures of achievement, the environment for learning, and resources for education. The report also includes a special section on changes in postsecondary education in the United States by institution level and control.

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