Several Cabinet officials, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, have been asked to join a White House task force to look at gun violence, mental health services and other issues that related to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last week. Politics K-12
The White House has a plan to avoid going over the so-called “fiscal cliff.” The GOP has a very different plan. What would these plans look like in action, and, importantly, how would they each affect K-12 education budgets? Politics K-12
With the unemployment rate still hovering around 8%, it’s critical to get Americans back to work. One way Maine Democrats are working to do this is by understanding and narrowing the “skills gap” – matching businesses with labor. Maine Business
Arne Duncan visited Newtown, Connecticut on Wednesday this week, and spoke with teachers and school district staff. Here’s a video of the message he gave them. Washington Post
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Monday is the undisputed* best day of the week. To celebrate that fact, High School Soup is giving you an extra large heaping helping of Afternoon Announcements today to feast on. You might even have leftover announcements to take home and have for dinner. That’s great education news value!
The Associated Press leads us off with an article on a new report that shows a growing divide between low-income Kentuckians and their moderate- and high-income peers in terms of graduation rates. The report from the Council on Postsecondary Education says that from 2008 to 2010, low-income students saw their college graduation rates fall from 46 percent to 35 percent. In the same period, moderate- and high-income students dropped only four percent from 57 to 53 percent.Read Entire Post
Stateline.org reports that Delaware Governor Jack Markell defended the new Common Core English and math state standards at a meeting in Philadelphia on Thursday. The article says Markell dismissed the contention that national benchmarks for what students should be learning are part of a “high-level conspiracy from the federal government” to impose its standards on states.
The Philadelphia Public Schools Notebook reports on the city's broken pipeline to college. It notes that only seventeen of the 145 students who started ninth grade at North Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin High School in fall 2005 enrolled in a four-year college. Citywide, only 25 percent of students who started 9th grade in one of Philadelphia's neighborhood high schools that year enrolled in any postsecondary education, compared to almost 80 percent of students who started at the city's most selective magnet high schools. Of those 145 students, seventy-two earned a high school diploma--seventy-three have not.
The New York Times reports that New York City officials have have abandoned plans to negotiate with the union for the removal of some 830 teachers who do not have permanent jobs, but are still salaried, costing the city millions of dollars each year. Instead, Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott proposed on Thursday to offer buyouts to those teachers to leave the system.
The PBS NewsHour spotlights a journalism program in Florida that gives students a reason to stay in school.
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Here are this week’s Stats That Stick, courtesy of Alliance Policy Intern Bill DeBaun.
Consolation prize up for grabs for nine runner-up Race to the Top finalists: $200,000,000
Education Week reports that the U.S. Department of Education will accept proposals from nine runner-up states for a chance to win some of a $200 million prize dedicated to improving STEM education. This money is the third round in the Race to the Top series, which has been an education focal point for the Obama administration.
Number of students the average school counselor was responsible for in 2009–10, according to the American School Counselor Association: 459
Ed Sector's "Quick and the Ed" offers this post about the importance of guidance counselors in high schools, especially for helping to ensure students are college and career ready. Randy A. McPherson, 2011 ASCA Counselor of the Year, says, “In some aspects, my role looks like a college recruiter or a career placement director.”
Wednesday afternoon is here, and so are your afternoon announcements! As the days shorten and the weather gets colder, isn’t it encouraging to know that you can warm up with a little education news?
Education Daily discusses a study from Civic Enterprises that praises early-warning systems. The article notes that Dr. Robert Balfanz of Johns Hopkins University’s Everyone Graduates Center said at a recent Alliance for Excellent Education event, “In essence, these systems come down to a seemingly simple action: making a list of the students who are predicted to need support, and acting on the list.” In 2010, the Alliance had a part in establishing the Grad Nation campaign to address America’s dropout crisis. The Civic Enterprises report notes that the Grad Nation Civic Marshall Plan was an early adopter of early-warning systems.
Bill Tucker of Education Sector’s "The Quick and the Ed" blog brings us this handy post about recent digital learning reports. After checking out some of these reports, be sure to stop by the Digital Learning Day website to find out even more about this cutting-edge and very important topic!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.
When it comes to education, reports the Washington Post, “the republican field of presidential candidates has a unified stance: Get the federal government out of schools.”
The Huffington Post writes that minority students will likely outnumber white students in the next decade or two, but the failure of the national teacher demographic to keep up with that trend is hurting minority students.
In a MetroWest Daily story, experts say social media isn't hurting today's teens.
The Wall Street Journal writes about those who are for cyberschooling and those who have other opinions on it.
The Bangor Daily News reports that businesses in Maine have jobs to offer, but job applicants don’t have the skills.
Teachers facing low salaries opt to moonlight, reports the Associated Press.Read Entire Post
A group of key U.S. Senate Republicans—led by Sen. Lamar Alexander, of Tennessee, a former U.S. secretary of education—are going their own way on reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, according to Education Week. Back in January, the top lawmakers on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee pledged to work together on a bipartisan, comprehensive bill to fix NCLB, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. But almost eight months later, those talks haven’t resulted in a bill.Read Entire Post
The Washington Times reports further on the PDK International/Gallup poll on Americans’ views and attitudes toward public education. More specifically the newspaper noted American’s general support for digital learning. Bob Wise, president of the Alliance and former governor of West Virginia, calls for an increased focused on “blended learning” – pairing innovative technology and high-quality teachers. “The public understands and is willing to move forward on blended learning. It’s not either/or. High-tech requires high-teach,” Wise said. “You’ve got to have good teaching in order for the technology to be effective.”
Fifty-one percent of jobs in the American South require “middle-skills” – such as medical technicians or computers support workers – and the region has a shortage of people able to fill the positions. According to the Associated Press, the National Skills Coalition presented these figures during the Southern Governors Association meeting in Asheville. While over half of the jobs in the South require middle-skills, highly skilled jobs make up 29 percent of the market and low-skill jobs make up 20 percent. The South is finding it difficult to fill these positions even when four-year graduates face difficulty finding a job and paying off their student loans.Read Entire Post
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