Providence, Massachusetts received a $5 million prize in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, and they plan to use it to study the “word gap,” or how the difference in the amount of language a baby is exposed to advances their academic success. They’ll give low-income families recording devices to calculate how many words the children hear, compared to higher-income families, and coach parents on how to boost language exposure. The Boston Globe
The U.S. Department of Education will pre-screen applications for the fourth round of the Investing in Innovation grants. The awards are worth $3 million and are part of the larger $150 million contest. The deadline to apply is April 26th, and the contest looks for innovative ideas to solve problems in education. Politics K-12
New analysis shows that teachers may be some of the happiest professionals, despite recent debates on teacher pensions, salaries, and performance reviews. The research examined teachers’ “well-being,” measured by physical and emotional health, job satisfaction, and feelings of community and safety. Physicians ranked second after teachers. New York Times Read Entire Post
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.
In a recent Huffington Post op-ed, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan comments on a new teacher pay study, saying it asks the wrong questions, ignores facts, insults teachers, and demeans the profession.
Education Week reports that in the second round of the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition, the U.S. Department of Education has identified 23 finalists.
In a republican debate on CNBC last night, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that when he gets into office, he would get rid of three federal agencies, though he could only name two: “Commerce, Education, and the—what’s the third one there?” and then Perry trailed off—this according to Education Week and the Washington Post.Read Entire Post
A National Council on Teacher Quality report released Wednesday identifies Maryland as a leader in teacher evaluations, writes the Baltimore Sun.
The common core state standards in English/language arts and mathematics are generally aligned to the leading state, international, and university standards at the high-school-exit level, but a new report says they are more rigorous in some content areas, writes Education Week.
The Chicago Tribune offers four tech tips for parents to embrace digital education.
The MinnPost reports that in a recent visit to Patrick Henry High, Sen Al Franken mixed “math, mirth, and education-bill backing.”Read Entire Post
The Huffington Post recaps last Monday night’s Republican primary debate: “There were 15 questions (and answers) on tax reform, 2 on energy and jobs, one heated back-and-forth on health care, 12 questions and responses on immigration, 5 on the home-mortgage crisis, 3 on the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, 4 on religion and values, 4 on the budget deficit, one on terrorism, 4 on foreign policy and a final question on who is the best candidate in general to win the race. How many questions and responses were there on the public education crisis and education reform? Zero.”
The New York Times reports on new A-through-F high school report card that finds only one in four students who enter high school in New York City are ready for college after four years, and less than half enroll.
Education Week reports that in less than three weeks, states will begin turning in their applications for waivers under No Child Left Behind, and then it will be up to a cadre of peer reviewers to help Education Secretary Arne Duncan decide who gets a waiver, and who doesn’t.Read Entire Post
Sign-up for the Alliance's Oct. 25 Webinar: Looking Back at the Current Congress and Looking Ahead to the New Congress of 2011
Early this year, President Obama, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and key leaders in Congress were saying all the right things to urge policymakers to make 2010 the year that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind, would be reauthorized.
Unfortunately, that did not happen. But a lot of major positive events occurred in the education policy world over the last two years. For one, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sent additional billions of stimulus dollars to states for education, by creating Race to the Top and the Investing in Innovation program, and providing further funding for existing programs such as School Improvement Grants and Title I. Another sweeping development was a state-led initiative—spearheaded by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers—to develop common standards in English language arts and mathematics.
Much more work, especially around ESEA, remains to be done. In a recent video chat, Secretary Duncan said the goal is to reauthorize ESEA “early in the next year” and “in a bipartisan way.” But how likely is education reform when pollsters are predicting major changes in the Congress, including possible shifts of power from Democrats to Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate? Will divided government force the two parties and the Obama administration to work together on ESEA reauthorization?
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Yesterday the U.S. Senate cleared the way for a $26-billion aid package for cash-strapped states; $10 billion would go towards retaining teachers while $16 billion would help states close budget deficits, the New York Times reports.
The U.S. Department of Education announced yesterday that 49 districts, schools, and nonprofits won a total of $650 million in Investing in Innovation (I3) grants. Education Week reports that the winners will focus their work in 250 different project locations spanning 42 states plus the District of Columbia, and 37 percent say they intend to serve rural school districts.
An editorial in the Montgomery Advertiser calls for Congress to change not scrap No Child Left Behind.
The Billings Gazette editorial staff calls for community members to come together to prevent high school dropouts.
In North Carolina, the Chamber of Commerce is holding an education summit on how to promote public schools through businesses.
High school students in Utah have the opportunity to take the ACT college admission test this school year free of charge. The Salt Lake Tribune reports this is part of a state pilot program to promote college and career readiness.Read Entire Post