It's time for another edition of Straight A's, the Alliance for Excellent Education's bi-weekly e-newsletter. You can read the entire issue online, pick from the article snippets below, or receive Straight A's in your inbox by emailing JAmos@all4ed.org. Here are the articles featured in this issue:
A spending plan being circulated by U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) would cut funding for the Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education appropriations bill by about $35 billion, or 22 percent less than the current level, in favor of protecting spending for the military and homeland security. Working within an overall spending limit of $967 billion, Rogers chose to allocate a total of $625 billion for the Defense, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security appropriations bills, a cut of $4 billion or less than 1 percent from the current level. Getting Defensive
In a May 9 speech at Manor New Technology High School in Austin, Texas, President Obama called on Americans to rally around what he called the “single-greatest challenge” facing the nation—reigniting the “true engine of economic growth”—a rising, thriving middle class. He listed three things necessary to create more jobs and opportunity for the middle class: (1) making America a magnet for good jobs; (2) ensuring that hard-working people can achieve a decent living; and (3) helping people earn the education and develop the skills they need to succeed in good jobs. Obama Sees Deeper Learning in Action
Originally signed into law more than a decade ago by President George W. Bush on January 8, 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) technically expired in 2007. On several occasions over the last few years, various attempts have been made by both political parties in Congress to rewrite the law, but they ultimately fell short. Since 2012, President Obama has granted waivers to thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia from some of NCLB’s requirements, including the one requiring that 100 percent of students be proficient in reading and math by 2014. Although Republicans and Democrats alike have expressed concerns about the waivers, they have been unable to pass legislation to replace them. ESEA in Play?
State education agencies (SEAs) must play a pivotal role in the implementation and performance of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)—adopted by forty-six states and the District of Columbia—if states are to see gains in teacher effectiveness and student learning outcomes, a new policy report from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the Aspen Institute finds. The report, Teaching to the Core: Integrating Implementation of Common Core and Teacher Effectiveness Policies, offers ten organization and functional recommendations to help state departments succeed in carrying out the new responsibilities necessary to see long-term improvements in teacher and student outcomes. Teaching to the Core