Recess round-up: July 13, 2010

A daily dose of education news around the nation – just in time for a little mid-day break!

Study abroad: A large research initiative looking at Georgia’s university system has found that studying abroad improves students’ grades and graduation rates. (Inside Higher Ed)

Stimulus money: Districts in Denver have been slow to spend their stimulus money. In total, the state has only spent just over a quarter of the funds available to it, reflecting a national trend. (Denver Post)

Standardized test: An audit is under way in Florida after five superintendents questioned “significant anomalies” in results on the state’s standardized test. All five districts did notably worse, some losing as many as 90 points in learning-gain components. (The Holmes County Times Advertiser)

Special education: Vermont has been placed in the “needs assistance” category for the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for two years running following an annual review. If the state doesn’t improve, it could face restrictions on federal grant money next year. (Burlington Free Press)

Head Start: Opposing views in USA TODAY consider whether Head Start should receive further funding.

School funding: The Ohio Department of Education recommends a $929 million increase in the next two-year state budget. But the price tag is really closer to $1.7 billion once stimulus money that will need to be replaced is accounted for. (The Columbus Dispatch)

Dropouts: Despite having district dropout rates below Mississippi’s average, two superintendents continue to push for improvement. (Hattiesburg American)

Sarah Butrymowicz