The Senate education committee passed a bill yesterday that, if made into law, would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and improve high schools across the nation. Jessica Cardichon, the Director of Federal Advocacy at the Alliance, writes more about the bill’s markup and what implications it could have. High School Soup
East Hampton School District in Middletown, Connecticut is finding ways to increase their budget for technology. Leftover money from this year’s budget will be used to make a commitment to new technology. The district currently has no wireless computer access in several schools and is functioning on outdated computers. The Middletown Press
In the last few years, the number of Americans graduating from college has increased, putting the number at a new high, according to recent federal data. The increase in college degrees comes after two decades of slow growth. New York Times Read Entire Post
On January 1, the U.S. Congress passed legislation to extend tax cuts for most Americans and temporarily avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” that was scheduled to go into effect on January 2, 2013. At the same time, however, it merely kicked the can down the road on “sequestration,” postponing until March 1 the billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts to the military and numerous domestic agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education. One Fiscal Cliff down, three more to go?
With less than one month until the second annual national Digital Learning Day on February 6, the Alliance for Excellent Education released initial details of the organization’s national effort to promote digital learning and spotlight successful instructional technology practice in the classroom. o date, forty-six states and the District of Columbia, and nearly 18,000 teachers have already signed up to participate in digital learning activities throughout the day and beyond. Digital Learning Day details
The federal student financial aid system, originally designed to increase access to higher education, must undergo a transformation to help more students earn a higher education degree or certificate and meet the increased demands of the twenty-first-century economy. A new Alliance for Excellent Education report, Repairing a Broken System: Fixing Federal Student Aid, outlines a comprehensive approach for revamping the student aid system into one that better supports students and institutions of higher education (IHEs) and focuses on access and completion. Repairing a broken system #fixfinaid
The Alliance will be dissecting every U.S. Governor’s State of the State speech for education policy news so you don’t have to. We’ll update you over the next few issues of Straight A’s on what the states are up to over the next few years. In this issue, we cover Connecticut, where Gov. Malloy is focusing on Sandy Hook Elementary and turning around underperforming schools; and New York, where Gov. Cuomo’s entire message is on jobs and education. State of the States
Read our full e-newsletter here. If you’d like to receive Straight A’s in your inbox, email JAmos@all4ed.org.
Increasing academic standards is leaving some students struggling, as one Virginia high school is learning. At Falls Church High School in Fairfax County, a school with a high percentage of low-income students, scores on the state math test plummeted – with the passing rate going from 92 percent last year to 75 percent this year, after implementing harder test standards. Washington Post
The Department of Education is narrowing the focus of the Investing in Innovation grant program, or i3 program. Instead of allowing competing schools and districts to propose innovation in any number of up to 10 areas, the Department will encourage schools to design programs focused on one area, such as improving low-performing schools. Politics K-12
If the government goes off the “fiscal cliff,” and automatic cuts are implemented, school districts will be negatively affected. Beyond that, some high schools will be forced to close due to the budget cuts. US News & World Report
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Five states announced this morning that they will be increasing learning time in the classroom by 300 hours. The states – Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York & Tennessee, made this decision with the intention of increasing student achievement. New York Times
In DC, 20 schools will face closure next year. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson notes that while the closings will be painful, it will allow the District to reallocate resources to improve the quality of education. Similar scenarios are happening in Tucson, Ariz., Chicago and Philadelphia. Wall Street Journal
A judge in Louisiana has declared Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher overhaul unconstitutional. Specifically, the diversion of public money to the voucher program for private schools was ruled unconstitutional. The Times-Picayune
A Q&A session with Education Secretary Arne Duncan last Wednesday morning gives insights into his thinking on many hot-button topics, including common core. Eduwonk Read Entire Post
For those of you who may not be familiar with the term, work-based learning opportunities integrate academic coursework with field training and include job shadowing, internships, apprenticeships, and service-learning, among other opportunities. When incorporated as part of a broader strategy, these experiences can ensure more students can graduate from high school ready for college and careers.
Recognizing these potential benefits, Connecticut and Kentucky have taken tangible steps to promote higher quality work-based learning opportunities. Both states have defined what it means to be engaged in a quality work-based learning. Both states have also removed key barriers students face in going this route. For example, Connecticut created a state-level worker safety team composed Connecticut’s Departments of Education, Labor, and Public Health that ensures students’ safety while they participate in work-based learning. Read Entire Post
It’s Wednesday, which means that in addition to being halfway through this week, it’s also time for your weekly dose of Stats That Stick! These are some statistics from the past week that caught our eyes. This week’s sticky statistics are brought to you by Alliance Policy Intern Shlon Smith.
Number of recent students who graduated from high school and are not enrolled full-time or working: 3 out 4.
Some recent high school graduates are not able to keep up with the rigorous college coursework and as a result end up taking time off from school. According to a study conducted by Carl Van Horn, Cliff Zukin and Mark Szeltner of Rutgers University's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, 3 out of 4 recent high school graduates are not enrolled full-time at a college and are not working.Read Entire Post
Good afternoon and welcome to your Tuesday edition of Afternoon Announcements here at High School Soup. Let’s get right into it today!
A success story from the New Haven Independent leads us off today. College Summit, a private group hired by the New Haven school district, has had some success implementing a culture where attending college is expected. The use of peer leaders and college readiness boot camps were some of the techniques employed in this district.
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Welcome to your Wednesday addition of Afternoon Announcements! We hope you’ve recovered by now from this weekend’s festivities because there’s a lot to share today.
The big news in national education is that eight more states have received No Child Left Behind waivers. According to the Associated Press and New York Times, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island have had their waiver requests granted. 19 states have now been granted waivers, and 26 other states and the District of Columbia still have waiver requests pending.
United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stopped into the Brennan/Rogers School in West Rock (New Haven), Connecticut to solicit some advice from the school’s teachers. The New Haven Independent covers (with pictures!) Duncan’s visit, where the topic of the conversation was how to motivate teachers to teach in low-performing schools.
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The US Supreme Court decided against hearing Connecticut’s challenge to the federal No Child Left Behind law yesterday, ending the state’s six-year lawsuit over how to pay for the stepped-up student testing considered one of the law’s cornerstones, the Associated Press reports.
In Rhode Island, Providence school district plans to send out dismissal notices to every one of its 1,926 teachers, an unprecedented move that has union leaders up in arms.
In Maine, lawmakers are considering legislation to lengthen Maine’s mandatory minimum school year by five days, according to the Associated Press.Read Entire Post
The St. Louis Dispatch writes about the inaugural class of the Ozarks Teacher Corps, a group of southwest Missouri teachers in training who receive $4,000 annual scholarships in exchange for a three-year commitment to work in rural school districts after graduation.
The director of the Public Education Research Institute at Queens University of Charlotte describes how reducing dropouts would provide an economic stimulus in an op-ed in the Charlotte Observer.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he wants to use new methods to evaluate and pay the state's public school teachers, according to the Associated Press.
The Grand Rapids Press editorial board writes, “With apologies to the Realtors who invented the original joke, nearly everybody agrees the three keys to success for Michigan’s economic future are: Education, education, education.”Read Entire Post