Competitive grant programs have received the lion’s share of the federal government’s K-12 budget under President Obama, in large part because Senate Democrats have continued to finance it. But what about formula grants that every school district receives for Title 1 and special education? They have been flat-funded in Senate appropriations bills. Politics K-12
An Alabama bill that could repeal the adoption of the Common Core State Standards made headway this week. State Republicans are behind the bill that got voted out of committee. Alabama.com
Philadelphia School District plans to launch an online school this summer called the Philadelphia Virtual Academy. They would adopt a blended learning approach where students learn both online and in-person from teachers. The Notebook Read Entire Post
Hello and happy Monday! Neck-deep in TPS reports and playing catch-up? Let’s see if we can lighten that load for you by providing you with a short list of stories from this weekend and today that deserve your attention.
First, The Washington Post offers up this feature on “flipped” classrooms where students do their reading (or watch teacher-prepared lessons) at home and do their “homework” in class. This type of classroom set-up has found success with some students who do better having a teacher and classmates around to assist with applications of lesson concepts. Overall, if you haven’t heard of flipped classrooms yet (and we hope you have), then this article is a good primer.Read Entire Post
It’s Friday. You made it. Let us be the first to congratulate you! Although this Memorial Day Weekend will likely be filled with cookouts, bumper-to-bumper traffic, and celebrating the start of summer, be sure to take the time to think about all of the men and women in the armed forces who have served or continue to serve our country both at home and abroad and especially those who gave their lives in the line of duty. With that said, there are just a few afternoon announcements to share with you today.
First, The Washington Post looks at high schools that are promoting a college-style learning environment. Whether it’s “fewer scheduled hours of class, more independent work and less hand-holding from instructors,” these high schools are trying to prepare their students for postsecondary education and make the often-difficult academic transition from K-12 to higher education a little bit easier.
Next, The Associated Press reports that more high school students are enrolling in math and science classes according to the Department of Education’s recently released Condition of Education: 2012. This is good news because the STEM fields are in demand in the job market, and the skills needed to succeed in them are key to competing in the 21st century global economy.Read Entire Post
Here are some quick stories to smoothly transition you from a busy work week to a stress-free weekend. Enjoy!
From National Public Radio- Alabama is near the bottom of the country's academic rankings. The state has problems with test scores, school improvement ratings and dropouts. But the district in Birmingham has a different kind of issue. The state recently took over the school board because of infighting on the board. The move has triggered cries of racism.Read Entire Post
In just a matter of hours you can kick back and relax for the weekend; you've earned it. In the meantime, enjoy the winding down of the work week with the latest in education news.
Schools around the country are venturing away from requiring students to "test out" of a grade or graduate in general. According to Education Week, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee are changing their policies so that students will no longer be required to take those tests, according to a new report by the Center on Education Policy.
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Here are this week's Stats That Stick courtesy of our policy intern, Bill DeBaun:
Number of finalists receiving 2011 Investing in Innovation (i3) grants from the U.S. Department of Education: 23
587 applicants were competing for almost $150 million in funding. This is the second year of the i3 grant competition, which funds innovative and promising education strategies that have a good record of success. Last year, 49 grants worth approximately $650 million were awarded. The largest grant awarded this year is likely to go to Old Dominion University Research Foundation, which asked for almost $25 million for a grant “providing high-need middle schools with increased access to challenging math courses.”
Number of states (including DC) that have signed on to the Common Core State Standards Initiative: 47
Montana became the 47th state (including the District of Columbia) to support the English/language arts and math common core state standards on November 4. That number almost dropped back to 46 less than a week later, but Alabama’s State Board of Education passed a resolution by a 6–3 vote reaffirming its commitment to the standards.
Price poor families will pay for broadband internet service under an initiative from the FCC: $9.95 per month
One-third, or approximately 35 million, of American households do not have access to broadband internet. Starting next summer under the Connect-to-Compete initiative, homes with children eligible for free school lunches will also be eligible to receive broadband internet at a discounted rate for two years. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “cobbled together” the deal, which includes all of the nation’s major cable companies. "The broadband adoption gap in the U.S. is very large, and the costs of digital exclusion are high and getting higher," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said.
This morning's announcements come to you courtesy of Alliance Policy Intern Bill DeBaun:
Good morning and happy Veterans Day, everyone. Before I get into the announcements, we here at the Alliance for Excellent Education want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our veterans and men and women in uniform. We remember your personal sacrifices on behalf of the United States of America and her citizens and are grateful for the freedoms and opportunities those sacrifices have earned for all of us.
It’s a relatively light day in the world of education news, but let’s get down to it.
And Montana makes 47. The Billings Gazette reports that Montana has adopted the common core state standards. With Montana now on board, a total of 46 states and the District of Columbia have adopted a common set of educational standards for K–12 English language arts and mathematics that are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to succeed in college and a career.
Alabama’s State Board of Education has decided to keep the state involved in the Common Core Standards Initiative. The Montgomery Advertiser describes the 6–3 vote in support of the national set of math and English standards for students.Read Entire Post
A much-anticipated hearing was held yesterday on a Senate bill that would reauthorize the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Education Week blogs that the hearing had “one of the bill's chief sponsors casting it as an important but imperfect compromise, while republicans were saying the bill wouldn't do enough to rein in the federal role in education.” The Associated Press writes that although lawmakers in Washington, DC are in agreement that NCLB needs to be fixed, finding the fix hasn’t been easy.
In Education Next, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush talks about the importance of giving every student a digital learning experience.
Some lawmakers and educators want the Alabama state school board to retract its decision to adopt a set of national core standards for teaching math and English, reports the Associated Press.Read Entire Post
This past week I spent a few days with district teams in Florence, Alabama to learn about the state’s ACCESS (Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide) Program and how it is changing high schools throughout Alabama. These dedicated state and local professionals are undertaking major transformation of middle and high schools in the face of declining fiscal revenues and concerns about improving student performance in the shadow of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Dr. Melinda Maddox, director of technology initiatives for the Alabama Department of Education, orchestrated a series of regional meetings with superintendents, principals, local board members, and information technology specialists to coordinate and support profound changes in the way secondary schools do business. It is becoming increasingly clear that effective classrooms in the twenty-first century will depend on engaging learners in acquiring, refining, and applying deep content knowledge to analyze and solve problems in a digital, connected world. By providing flexible time, pace, and place for instruction, educators can customize the educational environment so every student learns in his or her own style and at his or her own pace.Read Entire Post
On July 21, the Alliance held a webinar examining how successful schools and states are using digital learning to improve student outcomes. The webinar featured Alliance President Bob Wise, Ryan Imbriale, principal at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts in Dundalk, Maryland, and Melinda Maddox, director of technology initiatives at the Alabama Department of Education.
A short teaser video from the webinar is available below. To watch the complete webinar, go to http://media.all4ed.org/webinar-jul-21-2011.
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