June 19, 2013
WEBINAR: Next-Generation English Language Proficiency Assessments
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (ET)
July 25, 2013
WEBINAR: The Device Debate in Digital Learning
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Obama Announces “ConnectED” Plan to Provide Schools with High-Speed Internet Access
On June 6, President Obama announced “ConnectED,” a plan to provide 99 percent of the nation’s students with next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless in schools and libraries within five years. The plan would also ensure that every educator in America receives support and training to use technology to help improve student outcomes.
"In a country where we expect free wi-fi with our coffee, why shouldn't we expect it for our schools?" Obama said at Mooresville Middle School (NC). “We are living in a digital age, and to help our students get ahead, we must make sure they have access to cutting-edge technology."
In a statement, Alliance President Bob Wise said the effective use of technology is "the only way to put every student in the fast lane to college and career readiness." Noting that Mooresville is only 30 minutes north of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Wise said Obama's plan makes it possible for every school to build on the ‘Mooresville momentum’ and ensures that all students are on the same track, moving at the fastest possible speed, and heading toward higher standards and better learning outcomes.”
Wise also noted that the Alliance featured Mooresville in the first-ever Digital Learning Day and included Scott Smith, Mooresville’s chief technology officer on the Alliance’s Project 24 Team of Experts. (Learn more about Mooresville by clicking on the video above).
More details on President Obama’s ConnectED initiative is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/connected_fact_sheet.pdf.
One in four high school students do not graduate and just 12 percent of the nation‘s high schools produce nearly half of the nation‘s dropouts. Within these lowest-performing high schools (sometimes known as "dropout factories"), just 60 percent or fewer of entering freshmen progress to their senior year three years later.
Prioritizing the Nation's Lowest-Performing High Schools, an issue brief from the Alliance, notes that the lowest-performing high schools are located in every state; in urban, suburban, rural, and small-town America; in large high schools and small. Their one unifying characteristic is that they disproportionately serve our nation‘s poor and minority students.
In an era of diminishing financial resources, it makes good economic sense to target the nation's lowest-performing high schools and focus attention, commitment, and resources on improving them, the brief argues. Directing strategic efforts to turn around these schools could significantly reduce the nation's dropout rate.
"When emergency medical personnel arrive at an accident scene, they immediately deliver treatment to the most severely injured, said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. "Similarly, the nation must focus its attention on the lowest-performing schools with the largest number of ‘victims' in the national dropout crisis. The fact that these schools are so widespread and contribute so greatly to the national dropout crisis dictates making them an essential focus of any federal effort to improve the graduation rate."
While not a graduation rate, a school’s “promoting power” is a good indicator of how well schools are educating their students. See how high schools across the country perform by going to the Promoting Power database. High schools with promoting power less than 60 percent make up the nation's lowest-performing high schools.
Recent Posts from the Alliance's High School Soup Blog
Read more at the High School Soup Blog.
Cajon Valley Union School District Fosters Academic Growth, Student Leadership, Through Digital Learning
A new interactive video profile from the Alliance for Excellent Education shows how Cajon Valley Union School District (Cajon Valley USD) in California has paired digital learning with increased support for teachers and students to improve student outcomes, including tremendous improvement in student achievement, behavior, and engagement.
The profile, Cajon Valley Union School District: Changing the Culture of Learning to Empower Students, is the second in a series of interactive video profiles demonstrating how leading school districts use digital learning to improve teaching and learning.
“Cajon Valley USD demonstrates to thousands of school district leaders a successful model in strategic planning and digital learning implementation. This groundbreaking interactive profile is an asset to the Alliance’s Project 24, an initiative that helps school districts plan for twenty-first-century learning and teaching,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education.