SENATE APPROVES $5.4 BILLION INCREASE FOR EDUCATION BUDGET: Large Differences in House and Senate Budget Resolution Versions Could Spell Trouble in Conference: On March 17, the House and Senate each passed versions of the fiscal year 2006 congressional budget resolution, but not before the Senate added $5.4 billion for education and stripped $14 billion in mandatory spending cuts to Medicaid. These changes are expected to make it difficult for conferees to agree on a compromise after Congress returns from its spring recess at the beginning of April.
COLLEGE DREAMS LIKELY TO FADE FOR MANY STUDENTS: High School Sophomores Have High Hopes but Low Math and Reading Scores: Nearly three-fourths of the nation's high school students plan to get a bachelor's degree or higher. But over 50 percent of students who held that expectation could not read at a proficient level, and over 80 percent could not perform intermediate-level math, according to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The NCES also found that only about half of students are enrolled in a college preparatory program. The report, A Profile of the American High School Sophomore in 2002, surveyed tenth graders during the spring term of the 2001-02 school year and examined the cohort's sociodemographic characteristics, school experiences, tested achievement in reading and math, and educational expectations and plans.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: New Report Finds Lack of Parental Involvement and Little Useful Information on No Child Left Behind: According to a new report by the Public Education Network (PEN), Open to the Public: Speaking Out on No Child Left Behind, Americans generally support the No Child Left Behind Act's (NCLB) objectives, but say that they lack useful information about school performance and improvement. In addition, they say that efforts to get involved in schools are regularly rebuffed by school officials. Such lapses, the report argues, threaten to erode support for the law.
FROM THE CAPITAL TO THE CLASSROOM: New Report Finds Encouraging Signs of Positive Impact, but Calls for Midcourse Corrections in Year Three of NCLB: In the third year of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), a majority of states and districts are reporting that students' scores on state tests are rising and that the law has focused greater attention on students who need extra help to learn, according to a new report from the Center of Education Policy (CEP). However, the report, From the Capital to the Classroom: Year 3 of the No Child Left Behind Act, also found that many states and districts lack the capacity to help all schools that were "in need of improvement" and that many officials believe the goal of 100 percent proficiency for all students by 2014 is unrealistic.