FOUR MORE YEARS: Obama Wins Re-election, Plans to Continue Education Reforms Through Race to the Top, NCLB Waivers: By defeating former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on November 6, President Barack Obama earned a second four-year term in the White House. In the U.S. Congress, Democrats retained control of the Senate while Republicans kept their majority in the House of Representatives—a status-quo outcome that will force the two parties to work together to accomplish legislative goals.
DISPELLING THE MYTH: Duncan Defends NCLB Waivers in First Post-Election Speech: In his first post–Election Day remarks, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, by re-electing Barack Obama as president, the American people affirmed that education is “not just an expense on a budget line that can be sacrificed in tough economic times,” but that it is “an investment in the future of our nation and our children—all of our children.” Duncan pivoted from the election to equity and achievement gaps and devoted the majority of his speech to defending the waivers that the U.S. Department of Education granted to states from certain aspects of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
BACK TO BUSINESS: Averting “Fiscal Cliff” Next Priority for Obama and Congressional Leaders: With their re-elections secure, President Obama and leaders in the U.S. Congress quickly turned to the immediate business of preventing the so-called “fiscal cliff,” the informal name given to the mix of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that are scheduled to go into effect on January 2, 2013.
RAISING THE BAR: More Kentucky Students Prepared for College and a Career, According to New Tests Pegged to Common Core State Standards:More than 47 percent of Kentucky’s public high school students were prepared for college and/or a career in School Year (SY) 2011–12, based on results released on November 2 from the state’s new tests, which are tied to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The percentage represents an increase of nine percentage points compared to the previous year. In 2010, Kentucky became the first state to adopt the CCSS in English language arts and mathematics.
TALKING ‘BOUT THE YOUNG FOLKS: Record Shares of Young Adults Have Finished Both High School and College: In 2012, a record 33 percent of the nation’s twenty-five- to twenty-nine-year-olds completed at least a bachelor’s degree, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall, 31 percent of the U.S. population over age twenty-five holds a bachelor’s degree or more, according to the report, Record Shares of Young Adults Have Finished Both High School and College.
TEACHER ABSENCE AS A LEADING INDICATOR OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT: No Substitute for Teacher’s Presence in Classroom, Report Finds: Schools that serve high percentages of African American and Latino students are more likely to have teacher absences, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress. The report, Teacher Absence as a Leading Indicator of Student Achievement: New National Data Offer Opportunity to Examine Cost of Teacher Absence Relative to Learning Loss, bases its findings on the U.S. Department of Education’s biennial Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) survey on teacher absences, released in early 2012.