A COMMON UNDERSTANDING: Final K–12 Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics Released on June 2: On June 2, 2010 the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released the final version of the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics at an event held at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Georgia. The standards for grades K–12 were developed in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders including content experts, states, teachers, school administrators, and parents.
DIPLOMAS COUNT: New Report Finds High School Students Today Graduate at About the Same Rate as in the Early 1960s: Nearly 1.3 million students from the Class of 2010 will fail to graduate with their classmates, according to a new analysis from the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center. The report, Diplomas Count 2010: Graduation By the Numbers—Putting Data to Work for Student Success, pegs the national graduation rate at 68.8 percent, which represents a slight drop (0.4 percent) from the 69.2 percent graduation rate reported last year.
ECONOMIC IMPERATIVE: Alliance Study Finds that Fewer Dropouts Means Higher Spending on Homes, Cars, and Investments: Lowering the high school dropout rate will greatly increase the economic vitality for some of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, according to a dramatic new study that the Alliance for Excellent Education released on June 9. The results are the latest in the Alliance’s continuing work linking improved educational outcomes to economic returns. Combined with the study the Alliance released in January on the nation’s forty-five largest metro areas, the June 9 release brings the number of cities for which the Alliance has data to over eighty-five.
OPPORTUNITY AT THE TOP: New Report Finds that Concentrated Efforts to Retain and Expand the Reach of the Nation’s Top Teachers Could Vastly Improve Education: A new report from Public Impact, a national education policy and management consulting firm based in Chapel Hill, NC, finds that current reform efforts in the areas of teacher improvement are not enough to significantly improve the education for the majority of American children. The report, Opportunity at the Top: How America’s Best Teachers Could Close the Gaps, Raise the Bar, and Keep Our Nation Great, finds that one overlooked resource could raise the education bar, close achievement gaps, and improve the nation as a whole: the top 25 percent of U.S. teachers.