The Christina School District in Delaware has decided not to participate in the state’s Race to the Top plan. This follows in the wake of several other school districts in Ohio who considered dropping out of the state’s grant because the costs weren’t worth the federal grant money. Politics K-12
Georgia’s graduation rate increased from 67.4 percent for the class of 2011 to 69.7 percent for the class of 2012. The rate is calculated under the new federally mandated formula. Online Athens
Americans overall have more bachelor’s degrees than international rivals, but the gap is narrowing, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education. The Hechinger Report Read Entire Post
For the first time, the nation is on track to meet the goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by the Class of 2020, according to a new report from Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance, and the Alliance for Excellent Education. The report, Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, finds that the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) increased from 71.7 percent in 2001 to 78.2 percent in 2010. It also finds that the number of “dropout factories” fell from 2,007 in 2002 to 1,424 in 2011. Building a Grad Nation
A new report from the California Dropout Research Project at the University of California–Santa Barbara finds that English learner (EL) students make up 11 percent of students nationally, a percentage that climbs to 20 percent when students who were once classified as EL students are included. The report, The English Learner Dropout Dilemma: Multiple Risks and Multiple Resources, examines the consequences, causes, and solutions to the high school dropout crisis among EL students and argues that the social, economic, and health consequences of dropping out threatens both the general population as well as EL students. The English Learner Dropout Dilemma
On February 26, the Alliance for Excellent Education conducted a webinar on the transition to Common Core State Standards and Next-Generation Science Standards and the opportunities and challenges for the growing number of English language learners (ELLs). During the webinar, panelists discussed numerous initiatives underway to help ELLs access grade-level content while building their language proficiency, including Stanford University’s Understanding Language initiative and the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) Framework for English Language Proficiency Development Standards. Building on Common Core State Standards to Improve Learning for English Language Learners
In this issue of Straight A’s, we wrapped up our recaps of state of the state addresses given by the state governors. We highlighted Maryland, where Governor O’Malley is pushing for digital learning; Mississippi, Governor Bryant is working to reduce high school dropout rates; Missouri, where Governor Nixon proposed $150 million in additional education funding; Tennessee’s Governor Haslam announced a goal for 55 percent of Tennesseans to earn an associate’s degree or higher by 2025; and West Virginia, where Governor Tomlin praised the Alliance’s Project 24 initiative. State of the State Addresses
You can read the full articles online here. If you’d like to receive Straight A’s in your inbox, please email JAmos@all4ed.org. Read Entire Post
Come Monday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will announce a new initiative that will extend kindergarten to a full day in all of the city’s public schools. The current system allows schools to choose whether to meet the by-law minimum of a half day. Chicago Sun-Times
Education Secretary Arne Duncan participated in today’s Building a Grad Nation Summit. In his remarks, he announced a $15 million grant over three years that will place AmeriCorps volunteers in underserved schools around the nation. Politics K-12
Are public schools the new charter schools? A growing trend shows urban public schools are rebranding themselves as accessible charter schools. Education Week Read Entire Post
"These days everyone is for education reform. The question is which approach is best. I favor the Steve Jobs model. … Just as the iPod compelled the music industry to accommodate its customers, we can use technology to force the education system to meet the needs of the individual student." Read an adaptation of Wall Street Journal Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch’s remarks during an education summit in San Francisco last week.
As public schools in Chicago have shifted their focus to online learning, the benefits have been blunted by the fact that home access to the internet costs too much for some students, leading districts to look for different approaches to bring internet access to the city’s poorest families. (New York Times)Read Entire Post
It’s early June and that means that the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center has released its latest edition of Diplomas Count—an independent source for high school graduation rate estimates that the Alliance and many other organizations rely on for comparable calculations across states and districts.
The news this year is quite good: the national graduation rate has increased to nearly 72 percent compared to 69 percent last year and 66 percent ten years ago. Even better, the graduation rates for each student subgroup have also improved over last year.
Of course, the good news comes with some bad. The graduation rates of American Indian (54 percent), Hispanic (58 percent), and black (57 percent) students still remain under 60 percent and far below those of their white (78 percent) and Asian (83 percent) peers.
Nevertheless, the results are a shot in the arm for education reform advocates who are struggling to beat the drum for reform policies in a new era of fiscal austerity and often find themselves facing the tough question “why should we invest in education when several decades of reform have not moved the needle?”Read Entire Post
According to the Washington Post, Obama’s plan for No Child Left Behind is more a revision than an overhaul.
No funeral yet for federal ‘Striving Readers’ Program, according to Education Week. Ed Week also reports that federal officials plan to overhaul the reporting requirements for higher education-based teacher preparation in favor of leaner, outcome-based indicators of program quality.
The Los Angeles Times covers how schools are weighing the benefits of more classroom time.Read Entire Post
The Kansas City Star reports on the opportunities and challenges in implementing the common core state standards.
The Orlando Sentinel reports on why it’s a tough time to be a public school teacher in Florida right now, writing, “Gov. Rick Scott wants to make public employees contribute to their pensions, which would amount to a 5 percent pay cut for teachers. Lawmakers are again pushing to adopt a merit-pay bill that would overhaul how teachers are evaluated and paid — relying heavily on tests to judge their quality — and end tenure for new instructors.”
Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist wants to push back the deadline for more rigorous high school graduation requirements and is backing off her proposal that Rhode Island establish a three-tier diploma system, according to the Providence Journal.Read Entire Post