November 2012

New graduation data shows lower rates, wide achievement gap

New federally-compiled graduation rates for 47 states and the District of Columbia left many states reeling this week as more rigorous and uniform standards highlighted wide achievement gaps and lower numbers than previously reported. While the U.S. Department of Education said the new rates can’t be compared to previous numbers, officials said the graduation rates […]

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No consensus on which skills should be included in teacher evaluations

At least 30 states are launching new systems to evaluate teachers using more rigorous criteria about what makes a good teacher, but so far there is little consensus on what the criteria should be. Can the quality of a teacher be measured by looking at just a few key skills, such as setting academic goals […]

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Survey: U.S. higher education must change to remain globally competitive

Nearly half of all Americans have a dim view of the quality of U.S. higher education, and most think it’s not only too expensive but also only a fair or poor return on their investment, according to the results of a new survey. Most of those surveyed—particularly college-aged Americans themselves—agree that U.S. higher education must change […]

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Mississippi pushes for literacy, merit pay over pre-k

Mississippi will probably not fund or create public pre-kindergarten opportunities next year, but will prioritize teacher merit pay, literacy, and dropout prevention, according to the proposed budget released Tuesday by Gov. Phil Bryant. The proposal asks for more than $3 billion in education funding, a $24 million increase over this year and addresses some of […]

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A second chance for Mississippi charter schools

Republicans in Mississippi intend to fight for charter schools during the 2013 legislative session, renewing a contentious battle from last year’s session. At a Mississippi Economic Council gathering in late October, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves vowed to support school choice legislation that would create more avenues for charter schools to open in the state, the […]

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Controversial new child care attendance system examined in Mississippi

Mississippi parents will have to scan their fingerprints every time they drop off and pick up their children at daycare when a new program goes into effect next year. But childcare providers have been protesting the system for months, saying that it stigmatizes low-income families and may ultimately take away income from already cash-strapped centers. […]

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A happy ending for a school hit hard by hurricane

It was chaotic and cold at many schools in the region hit hard by Superstorm Sandy as classes resumed for many on Monday, while thousands stayed home from schools that were too damaged to reopen. But staff and students at one school severely damaged in the storm will celebrate a happy ending on Wednesday after […]

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Ed in the Election: Education became an unexpected star in the campaign

Education may not have topped the average voter’s priority list this year, but that didn’t stop the presidential candidates from making it a focus throughout the long campaign season. As most Americans cast their ballot Tuesday worrying mainly about the economy and the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, both candidates are no doubt hopeful that voters […]

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Report: Excessive teacher absences hurt students and budgets

Too many teachers across the country are missing work too often, and their absences are taking significant academic and financial tolls on schools, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit analyzed teacher attendance rates at more than 56,000 schools across the country in “Teacher Absence as a […]

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School for troubled teens hit hard by Sandy

The students who attend Liberation Diploma Plus, which is only three blocks from the beach in Coney Island, are by definition survivors. They’re young people who have considered dropping out of school after dealing with the trauma of poverty, family troubles, gangs, violence and other problems that get in the way of academic success. Each […]

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