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from the Education Commission of the States
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Friday, Dec. 19

Community Colleges
A call for big changes to meet a big challenge
More than a decade of efforts to propel low-income and underserved students through community college have fallen short because colleges haven’t made systemwide commitments to strategies like streamlining degree requirements, accelerating remediation and rewarding colleges for raising graduation rates, according to a new report. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 18)

Distance Education
Sustaining SARA
Leaders of a national movement to ease the regulatory burden on colleges and universities that offer distance education say the effort has passed its tipping point after more than a third of the states have joined in less than a year. (Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 18)

English Language Learners
CA schools step up efforts to help 'long-term ELLS'
Students struggling with English are receiving more attention under a new California law and initiatives by L.A. Unified and other school districts. The law requires the state to define and identify a "long-term English learner," the first effort in the nation to do so. (Los Angeles Times, Dec. 17)

Obama Administration to unveil college ratings plan
The Department of Education will release a much-anticipated outline of its college ratings system on Friday. Department officials have indicated that they will publish a draft framework that includes the metrics on which colleges would be rated by the federal government. (Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 18) 

Special Education
Rates vary wildly in MI by school district, race, gender and income 
In Michigan, the likelihood of your child being identified as needing special education services can vary dramatically. And experts say some children in special education could have avoided the designation had they received more educational support in early grades. (Bridge Magazine, Dec. 18)


Thursday, Dec. 18

MD teachers union wants kindergarten tests suspended
The Maryland State Education Association is calling on the State Board of Education to suspend its Kindergarten Readiness Assessments, arguing that teachers lose too much instructional time administering the new computer-based tests and are not receiving useful data to improve teaching and learning. (Washington Post, Dec. 16)

Common Core
NC commission IDs priorities for new standards
Members of a state commission have identified their top priorities for revising the Common Core academic standards used for North Carolina’s public school students. They said they want to focus on increasing flexibility for teachers and school districts, rewriting the standards so they’re clear and understandable and identifying standards that are developmentally inappropriate. (WUNC, Dec. 16)

Is the admissions office part of the problem of college access?
Access to college is a hot issue these days, with policymakers and colleges looking for ways to enroll more low-income, first-generation and minority students. Many people see the admissions office as a key part of the solution. But many believe that the admissions office, especially at highly selective institutions, is the agent that keeps these students out of college in the first place. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 17)

TX higher ed commissioner: Increase focus on students
Texas’ next long-term higher education plan will be more ambitious and will refocus attention on the needs of students, said Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes. The current plan, Closing the Gaps by 2015, is likely to meet its enrollment goals and has surpassed its goals for increasing the number of degrees and certificates awarded annually. (Texas Tribune, Dec. 9)

School Grades
CO group releases school grades for parents
Colorado parents looking for more user-friendly information about their school’s academic performance last year can now search an updated online database that ranks schools on a familiar A-F grading scale. (Chalkbeat Colorado, Dec. 16)


Wednesday, Dec. 17

A quarter of OH third-graders must retake reading test
More than 31,000 third-graders will have to retake their state reading exam to ensure passage to the next grade, but the students who barely passed their fall exams might be of bigger concerns to districts this year. (Marion Star, Dec. 15)

Common Core
OH bills to rein in testing, Common Core are dead
Bills to block the Common Core standards in Ohio and to limit testing of students have both died in the state legislature. (Plain Dealer, Dec. 15)

Repeating algebra can do more harm than good
A growing body of research is showing that when you march a teenager through the same algebra class again, it doesn’t help much. Without addressing a child’s underlying learning issues or missing foundations, repetition alone is rarely effective and sometimes harmful. (Hechinger Report, Dec. 15)

NV education reform talks stress money
A lot of plans and not enough money. That was the message running throughout conversation for improving Nevada’s public schools, as stated by some of Nevada’s leading education officials and a reform-minded state lawmaker. (Las Vegas Review-Journal, Dec. 16)

WY bill would repeal science standard ban
A Wyoming bill would eliminate a budget footnote that prohibited the State Board of Education from spending money to review or adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, in part because the guidelines indicate humans have contributed to global climate change. (Casper Star-Tribune, Dec. 15)


Monday, Dec. 15

Common Core
Do teachers need to teach differently?
The Common Core wasn’t necessarily supposed to change how math is taught, but in many schools that’s exactly what’s happening. (Hechinger Report, Dec. 12)

Competency-based Education
Study: States need to reexamine policies
If states are serious about implementing competency-based education in the hope that it will prepare students for college and career, policy makers had better be ready to update their rules and regulations, according to a new report. (THE Journal, Dec. 11)

Education Funding
In MS, money gap grows to $1.5B
Since 2008, Mississippi legislators have spent $1.5 billion less on education than what's required. Across the country, state spending is lower than before the recession in 35 states, yet it hits Mississippi harder because the state's per-pupil spending levels were already among the nation's lowest and its percentage of students in poverty is the highest of any state. (Associated Press, Dec. 13)

Education Reform
Khan: Two big ideas for overhauling higher education
Khan Academy founder Sal Khan has a few ideas for how to radically overhaul higher education. First, create a universal degree that’s comparable to a Stanford degree, and second, transform the college transcript into a portfolio of things that students have actually created. (Venture Beat, Dec. 14)

Accreditation panel issues Higher Ed Act suggestions
The federal panel tasked with advising the Department of Education on accreditation issues released a draft set of recommendations for changing accreditation during reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. (Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 12)


Thursday, Dec. 11

Campus Safety 
What about the police?
A Congressional hearing on campus sexual assaults focused on finding ways to inspire campus sexual assault survivors to have more confidence in law enforcement. (Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 10)

Dual Enrollment 
More KY high school students could earn college credits
More Kentucky students could earn college credit while still in high school under recommendations presented to the General Assembly's Interim Joint Committee on Education. (Lexington Herald-Leader, Dec. 8)

Federal Government
Budget deal unveiled
Congressional leaders agreed on a spending bill that would avoid a government shutdown and provide modest increases to student aid programs and scientific research. (Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 10)

School Staffing
OH Board of Ed backs ending '5 of 8' staffing rule
The Ohio Board of Education moved ahead with a plan to abolish school-staffing requirements that critics contend would allow districts to eliminate art teachers, librarians, counselors and other staff members. (Columbus Dispatch, Dec. 10)

DE to text students college application advice
Starting soon, Delaware students could be getting texts from the state Department of Education giving them help with applying to college. (Delaware Online, Dec. 6)


Wednesday, Dec. 10

Cyberbullying prevention bill passes MI Senate
The Michigan Senate approved legislation that would require school districts and academies to modify existing anti-bullying policies to address electronic or online harassment. (MLive, Dec. 9)

College Completion
Few Chicago students earning a timely degree, it at all
About 14 percent of ninth-graders in Chicago Public Schools will earn a four-year college degree within 10 years of starting high school, according to a report. (Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 9)

Rethinking low completion rates in MOOCs
Completion rates in free online courses are low — to critics, laughably so. But exactly how low are they? The answer might be a matter of interpretation. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 8)

School Calendar
ID officials see benefit in shorter school week 
An Idaho school district switched to a Monday-through-Thursday schedule to save money after facing severe funding cuts. Twelve years later, teachers and families have found that having Friday free means more time for lesson planning and other duties. (Associated Press, Dec. 8)

Teacher Pay
NM eyes teacher merit-pay pilot programs
The New Mexico Public Education Department is giving Santa Fe Public Schools $3.8 million to increase teacher salaries as part of a pay-for-performance pilot program for the 2014-15 school year. (New Mexican, Dec. 8)


Tuesday, Dec. 9

At-risk Populations
Plan aims to improve confined juveniles' education
Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday unveiled new guidance aimed at improving the quality of education for roughly 60,000 confined juveniles. (Associated Press, Dec. 8)

Common Core
Educators question future progress if MS backs away
Educators across Mississippi say the already-lagging state will “move backwards” if Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves throw out the Common Core academic standards and create new ones. (Hechinger Report, Dec. 7)

Minority Populations
U.S. education department to probe NY school funding
Federal education officials have granted a year-old request from two upstate school districts to investigate whether New York's school aid system shortchanges districts with large minority populations. (Associated Press, Dec. 8)

Salaries of private-college presidents draws attention
Three dozen private-college presidents earned more than $1 million in 2012, analysis has found. Among private-college leaders, some paychecks stood out not for the total amount but for how much they differed from those of others on the campus. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 7)

MN school receives $10,000 tech grant
A Minnesota elementary school will be able to invest $10,000 into new technology for computer science after the non-profit awarded the technology grant for 'Hour of Code,' a global effort to increase computer science education. (ABC News, Dec. 8)


Monday, Dec. 8

Will OH’s change hurt art education
A proposed Ohio rule change will be the beginning of the end for school music and art — or a simple bureaucratic update with no real consequences — depending on which side of the debate to believe. (Marion Star, Dec. 7)

Education Reform
IN's battle for control of education continues
The 2012 election was more than two years ago, but ballot results appear to have settled little in Indiana’s ongoing education war between Democrats and public school supporters and conservative education reformers. (Associated Press, Dec. 7)

Outcome of AK education funding ruling unclear
A Superior Court judge has created a $220 million question for Alaska and, so far at least, no one seems to know the answer. (News Miner, Dec. 7)

Graduating later in life doesn't hamper income
Data suggest that individuals who graduate college around the same time but at different ages are currently faring equally well in terms of personal income. (Gallup, Dec. 7)

CO commission signs off on new funding model
The Colorado Commission on Higher Education gave unanimous approval to a new formula that would fund state colleges and universities based partly on performance factors such as student retention and graduation and service to low-income students. (Chalkbeat Colorado, Dec. 4)


Friday, Dec. 5

At-risk Youths
'Invisible' homeless kids challenge states
A reported all-time high of 2.5 million of American children are homeless. But these kids are often invisible, crashing with their families on friends’ couches, sleeping in all-night diners or hopping from motel to motel from week to week. (Pew Charitable Trusts, Dec. 3)

Common Core
CA rethinks how to report test scores
California policymakers say they intend to create a different system for reporting results of the upcoming tests on the Common Core standards than parents and schools have become used to in the era of the No Child Left Behind Act. (EdSource, Dec. 3)

Early Learning
New TX study shows impact
The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce released new findings Thursday showing how big of an impact early childhood education has on the economy. (KSAT San Antionio, Dec. 4)

Low-income Students
White House makes new commitments
The Obama administration is once again gathering hundreds of college presidents for a second White House-run summit that will promote new commitments to help low-income students. (Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 4)

Is there too much of a focus in the U.S.?
Some critics say the recent obsession with science and tech compromises other parts of kids' education. (The Atlantic, Dec. 3)


Thursday, Dec. 4

At-risk Students 
Extra funding boosts programs at D.C. schools

New staffing, updated technology and longer school days are thanks to an infusion of funds that D.C. schools received this year for the city’s most at-risk students. (Washington Post, Dec. 2)

School Finance
Facing cuts, more schools charge for busing

As school districts across the country continue to face budget cuts, the practice of charging parents a fee to let their kids ride the bus is becoming more common. (USA Today, Dec. 2)

Student Life 
Why students avoid academic help

Depending on the context, the rate at which students sign up for SAT prep can be dramatically different, and students indicated that they’re willing to turn down a free course just because their classmates would find out, according to a new findings. (The Atlantic, Dec. 2)

Teacher Pay
Report considers teachers' earnings trajectory

Teachers in some parts of the country reach the top of the pay scale later in their careers, making it difficult for them to reach middle-class status, according to a report. (New York Times, Dec. 3)

Teacher Prep
TN classroom results to factor into program grades

A policy adopted by the Tennessee State Board of Education in October will make programs that develop and train teachers in Tennessee the subject of new annual reports that measure the outcomes of their graduates. (The Tennessean, Dec. 3)


Wednesday, Dec. 3

Report: Schools spend $2.5B on testing technology
For the 2012-2013 school year, sales in the testing and assessment category reached almost $2.5 billion, according to a report. (T.H.E. Journal, Dec. 1)

Career Readiness
Guidance offered on career preparation
Ensuring schools are adequately preparing students for careers is just as important as ensuring they prepare students for college, says a new paper that proposes districts add specific career-readiness measures. (EdSource, Dec. 2)

College Completion
Louisville college-education effort falling short
In 2008, Louisville set out to boost its college-educated workforce — setting the goal for half its working-age adults to hold associate or bachelor's degrees by 2020. But at the current rate, the goal won't be reached until 10 years later. (Courier-Journal, Dec. 2)

Common Core
PARCC shares lessons learned from field tests
During the spring of 2014, more than 1.1 million students in approximately 16,000 U.S. schools took field tests of a Common Core assessment developed by PARCC. So how did the field tests fare, according to the test administrators, test coordinators, and students who tested the test? (EdSurge, Dec. 1)

A flexible future
As some of the country’s most rigorous research universities are contemplating a more modular future, experiments with blended learning may provide an early glimpse at their plans. (Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 2)


Tuesday, Dec. 2

Civic Education
IL group pushing to overhaul civics
With a few adjustments, an Illinois high school classroom became a political stage, with a lectern, microphone and students debating over taxes, education, guns and same-sex marriage. (Chicago Tribune, Dec. 1)

College Affordability
Colleges break pledge to help poor families
As institutions vie for income and prestige, the net prices they’re charging the lowest-income students, after discounts and financial aid, continue to rise faster on average than the net prices they’re charging higher-income ones. (Hechinger Report, Nov. 30)

Common Core
Sen. Vitter of LA reverses course
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., has joined Gov. Bobby Jindal in changing positions from support of Common Core educational standards to opposition. (Times-Picayune, Dec. 1)

NC school board hears about new take on US history
North Carolina's State Board of Education joined a building national debate over whether high school students should be taught that America is exceptional despite its faults, or whether the country's history should be explained more objectively. (Associated Press, Dec. 1)

Teaching international students
As U.S. campuses have dramatically increased their international student populations in recent years, more and more faculty members are encountering a different demographic of student than they are used to – or at least they’re encountering that demographic more frequently. (Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 1)


Monday, Dec. 1

College Completion
Students' long paths carry major financial consequences
Bloated curricula, remediation roadblocks and students’ meandering path through college are contributing to a completion crisis that is costing students and their parents billions of extra dollars a year, according to a report. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 1)

Common Core
Stanford teams with CA teacher union to train
Stanford University is joining with the state’s largest teachers union to prepare schools for new learning goals that will change the way California students are taught and tested. (Los Angeles Times, Nov. 30)

Online Education
Private companies want to scoop up your child's data
Massive open online courses, first envisioned as a way to democratize higher education, have made their way into high schools, but Washington is powerless to stop the flood of personal data about teenage students from flowing to private companies, thanks to loopholes in federal privacy laws. (Politico, Nov. 29)

College discipline system findings trouble officials
Lawmakers are calling for greater transparency in college discipline systems after a joint investigation revealed deep problems. (Columbus Dispatch, Nov. 30)

Fight continues over WA’s NCLB waiver
Washington lost its waiver from onerous parts of the education accountability law in April, after the Legislature declined to bring the state’s teacher evaluation system in line with federal requirements. Now, the state schools chief and some state lawmakers plan to try again in hopes of regaining the state’s exemption from No Child Left Behind. (News Tribune, Nov. 30)


Tuesday, Nov. 25

Charter Schools
IN lawmaker orders review of failing schools
An Indiana lawmaker, alarmed by the increasing number of charter schools receiving a D or F from state regulators, is calling for a halt in new charter schools until problems with existing ones are addressed. (Associated Press, Nov. 22)

College Completion
TX goal: 60% should have a degree by 2030
Texas has made strides under a long-range plan implemented by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2000, but the number of degrees is not keeping pace with the state’s rapid growth. (Austin-American Statesman, Nov. 21)

Minority Issues
The impact of Obama's action on immigration
President Obama’s decision to extend limited legal status to up to 5 million of the nation’s 11.4 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally will open the doors to college to more people. But Republican governors who are fuming on the sidelines may try to stand in the plan’s way. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 21)

Signs of hope for state funding
States are starting to reinvest in higher education, but they are not making up for the big cuts during the recent recession, according to a new study. (Community College Daily, Nov. 20)

MO tries alternatives to repeating grades
In many cases, holding back students to repeat a grade hasn’t worked. Neither has social promotion. So what would it take to get a pupil the needed help without the stigma of repeating a grade? Two schools in Missouri are shaking up schedules and class structures in an effort to find out. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nov. 16)


Monday, Nov. 24

Testing in CO costs up to $78 million
Colorado state government and school districts spend up to $78 million a year on testing, and some kind of standardized testing takes place during every week of the school year, according to a new study. (Chalkbeat Colorado, Nov. 20)

Common Core
Common Core battle heats up in ND
Groups representing North Dakota businesses and school administrators are speaking out against proposed legislation that would require the state to dump the Common Core and craft its own standards for K-12 students. (Bismarck Tribune, Nov. 19)

Early Education
OH reading results show few retentions
Despite fear of widespread retention, more than 98 percent of third-grade students passed Ohio's new Third Grade Reading Guarantee -- earning a stamp of approval from the state and, at least in reading, clearance to move on to fourth grade. (Newark Advocate, Nov. 21)

Sen. Harkin offers Higher Education Act rewrite
With just weeks left before he retires from Congress, Sen. Tom Harkin has finalized his proposal to rewrite the Higher Education Act. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 21)

Teacher Shortages
International teachers fill AZ district shortages
More Arizona school districts are searching internationally to find candidates for difficult-to-fill math and science positions. (District Administration, Nov. 21)


Friday, Nov. 21

Does selectivity matter?
Survey findings suggest that the average student experience can vary widely from one college to another. The results suggest that a college's enrollment size and level of selectivity "bears little relationship" to student engagement and experiences with faculty. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 20)

University of California showdown
University of California administrators are prepared to raise tuition 27 percent by the end of the decade, despite the objections of students. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 20)

School Finance
CA board approves school funding rules
After soliciting input for over a year, the State Board of Education approved final regulations governing how California districts spend funds they receive through the Local Control Funding Formula. (EdSource, Nov. 17)

Student Discipline
Suspensions a problem in MN school district
Students in Minnesota’s Rochester School District are being suspended at a staggering rate for relatively minor offenses, with minorities and the disabled faring the worst. (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Nov. 18)

Teacher Certification
Passing rate declines as N.Y. uses new certification
New York State saw a 20 percent drop in the number of candidates who passed teacher certification tests last year as tougher exams were introduced. (New York Times, Nov. 19)


Thursday, Nov. 20

Performance-based funding
Colleges may look to 'game the system'
Performance-based funding is increasingly popular among policymakers who want public institutions to graduate more students, more efficiently. Yet colleges may cope by using grade inflation or admitting fewer at-risk students. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 19)

Riskier majors could payoff
Students’ choice of academic majors can be influenced heavily by how information about their potential earnings is framed. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 19)

Reading Skills
Students read way below important measuring stick
American students are reading more nonfiction, but not as much as Common Core standards recommend, and their reading tends to be far less challenging than it should be to prepare them for college or careers. (Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 18)

Teacher Compensation
OH measure connected to merit pay advances
Ohio is one step closer towards repealing the law that mandates a minimum salary schedule for teachers — opening the door to a merit-based pay system. (StateImpact/NPR, Nov. 18)

Workforce Development
Employers, educators, policymakers must work together
The conversation about the skills gap and national talent shortage has risen in volume over the last several months, as the conundrum of open jobs and unemployed Americans persists. (Forbes, Nov. 18)


Wednesday, Nov. 19

College Completion
Flood of students at recession’s peak, discouraging results
Only 55 percent of the students who entered college in the fall of 2008, at the peak of the Great Recession, had earned college degrees or certificates by May 2014, according to a report. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 18)

Postsecondary Revenue 
Colleges and universities charge more, keep less
Forced to keep discounting their prices as enrollment stagnates, U.S. universities and colleges expect their slowest growth in revenue in 10 years, the bond-rating company Moody’s reports. (Hechinger Report, Nov. 17)

Poverty Issues
CA students in high-poverty schools lose learning time
California high schools with high-poverty students lose nearly two weeks of learning time annually because of teacher absences, testing, emergency lockdowns and other disruptions compared with their more affluent peers in other schools. (Los Angeles Times, Nov. 17)

Student Discipline
Schools moving away from zero tolerance
Many schools are beginning to rethink zero-tolerance discipline policies and adopt more measured approaches instead. (The Atlantic, Nov. 17)

Controversial TX textbooks headed to classrooms 
Did Moses influence the Founding Fathers? Was slavery not a key contributor to the Civil War? These are questions scholars say are raised by social studies textbooks headed for classrooms that are misleading, racially prejudiced and, at times, flat-out false. (USA Today, Nov. 17)


Tuesday, Nov. 18

Charter Schools
Public charters failed to meet TX standards, still operating
The Texas Education agency revoked the charter of the Honors Academy Charter School District for not meeting state academic standards, but the schools are still open. (New York Times, Nov. 15)

Common Core
TN moves to repeal new standards
Two Tennessee state senators filed legislation to repeal the state’s Common Core standards even though Gov. Bill Haslam has called for a public review of the higher benchmarks in English and math. (Associated Press, Nov. 17)

Early Learning
Helping language skills by texting parents
Educators have puzzled over how best to reach parents and guide them to do things like read to their children and talk to them regularly. A new study shows that mobile technology may offer a cheap and effective solution. (New York Times, Nov. 15)

English Language Learners
Some parents lie on CA survey to ID ELLs
California education officials say it's tough to know how many parents lie on the home language survey they are required to fill out before their children start public school, but it’s clear that some parents are untruthful. (Associated Press, Nov. 16)

International enrollment climbs 8%
The number of international students enrolled at U.S. universities increased by 8.1 percent, to 886,052 in 2013-14, according to a report. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 17)


Monday, Nov. 17

CO H.S. seniors protest new tests
Thousands of Denver-area high school seniors are refusing to take new state standardized tests, saying they're a distraction as they work to get into college and a waste of time and money. (Associated Press, Nov. 13)

High School Graduation
S.C. on-time grad rate climbs again
South Carolina’s on-time high school graduation rate is at an all-time high with more than 80 percent of students graduating within four years, new report cards show. (Associated Press, Nov. 15)

Student Debt
Average college grad has $28,400 in debt
Student debt has hit another record — with the typical 2013 college grad who borrowed commencing post-collegiate life with loan bills totaling $28,400, according to a Project on Student Debt report. (Time, Nov. 13)

Teacher Recruitment
DE’s bonus program draws few teachers
Despite the lure of an extra $20,000, Delaware’s controversial bonus program for teachers attracted only nine highly rated educators to low-scoring schools in its third year. (Delaware Online, Nov. 13)

Ed Department to extend NCLB into 2018
The Department of Education is letting states apply to renew their waivers from No Child Left Behind for three and in some cases four more years, but they'll have to do more to show they're turning around low-performing schools and closing student achievement gaps. (U.S. News & World Report, Nov. 13)


Friday, Nov. 14

Common Core
Portland, OR, board approves 'achievement compact' goals
After at first refusing to file state-mandated goals for subject areas linked to new Common Core standard tests, the Portland Public Schools board voted to set state-mandated “achievement compact” targets at 100 percent student proficiency. (The Oregonian, Nov. 11)

CA program sees surge in associate degrees
The number of community college students who earned an associate degree through the California Community Colleges and California State University “A Degree with a Guarantee” transfer program more than doubled to 11,673 in 2013-14. (Lake County News, Nov. 11)

Tuition and borrowing growth slows
College prices are still climbing, but they’re doing so at a slower pace than they were for the past several years, and the amount of money borrowed for higher education last year fell for the third straight year. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 13)

School Equity
SC Supreme Court finds for poor districts
In a legal decision that could redefine South Carolina’s public education system, the state Supreme Court ruled that the state has failed in its duty to provide what it says is a “minimally adequate” education to children in the state’s poorest school districts. (The State, Nov. 12)

Student Debt 
It rises again for Class of 2013
Students in the Class of 2013 who took out loans to attend public and private nonprofit colleges graduated with an average of debt of $28,400, a 2 percent increase from the previous year. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 13)


Thursday, Nov. 13

Higher Education
New amendments likely to hurt LA
Louisiana voters passed three new constitutional amendments that will further constrain the state budget and leave higher education more vulnerable to funding cuts starting next year. (Times-Picayune, Nov. 12)

Communities struggle to reach students
More than 1.1 million public school students in the United States do not have permanent homes. It is a problem in both rural communities and large cities — children and youth who have become the hidden homeless. (NPR, Nov. 11)

Military Issues
Veterans' college enrollments swell in WA
The number of veterans on Washington’s college campuses have increased dramatically in recent years. More than half are enrolling at community colleges, which are trying to beef up support to help them succeed in school. (Seattle Times, Nov. 10)

Remedial Education
CA seeks overhaul to curb dropouts
Boosting graduation rates of community college students who need remedial coursework has been a long-standing challenge, but a team of community college professors are gaining followers to their efforts. (EdSource, Nov. 11)

Teacher Training
Rigorous or rigor-less?
Education departments systematically award higher grades than do other academic departments at their universities. A new report links those high grades with a certain type of low-caliber assignment commonly found on the syllabuses of education courses. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 12)


Wednesday, Nov. 12

Financial Aid
Another college-access issue: Aid jargon
Should families really have to learn a new language to figure out how to pay for college? (Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 11)

Low-income, minority students losing ground in KY
Low-income and minority students are losing ground at Kentucky's colleges and universities after repeated funding cuts by state lawmakers. (Lexington Herald-Leader, Nov. 10)

OH Board of Ed. weighs on staff-student ratio
The Ohio State Board of Education is examining a proposal to change the standards for school faculty ratios in several departments ranging from art to physical education. (NBC, Nov. 11)

Coding education programs expand in U.S.
Hundreds of continuing education programs have cropped up across the country to train (or in some cases re-train) workers whose jobs had either been innovated or rationalized out of existence during the recession in 2008. (Tech Crunch, Nov. 10)

TN's free-tuition program not for the undocumented
Undocumented high school students will not be able to take advantage of Tennessee Promise, the state’s new free community college program. (Associated Press, Nov. 10)


Tuesday, Nov. 11

College Readiness
MS makes progress preparing students for college
Mississippi has taken important steps to help prepare students for success in higher education, but more needs to be done to address disparities (Hechinger Report, Nov. 7)

Financial Aid
Aid doesn't cover rising costs for low-income CA students
Low-income students are facing sticker shock at California colleges and universities as financial aid has fallen behind the rising cost of higher education, a new report shows. (Los Angeles Daily News, Nov. 6)

Districts, parents sue PA over education funding
School districts, parents and others filed a lawsuit against Gov. Tom Corbett, state education officials and legislative leaders, saying that Pennsylvania fails to uphold its constitutional obligation to educate children adequately. (Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 10)

Social media gains momentum in online education
There isn't much precise data available on social media's presence in the realm of online education, experts say. But what does exist indicates that professors of both online and in-person classes are more open to incorporating social media into class material. (U.S. News & World Report, Nov. 5)

FL county goes digital
Miami-Dade County schools has launched an ambitious program to get portable, digital devices into the hands of all 350,000 students in the district — part of a state mandate to bring more technology into classrooms. (Miami Herald, Nov. 7)


Monday, Nov. 10

Grades, attendance matter for middle schoolers
Schools that want to prepare their students for college had better focus on getting their middle schoolers to class every day and on helping children raise their grades instead of their standardized test scores. (Chicago Sun-Times, Nov. 7)

Mental Health
KY to use $8.1M grant to respond to youth mental health
The Kentucky Department of Education is receiving $8.1 million through a five-year federal grant to help teachers, schools and communities recognize and respond to mental health problems in young people. (Associated Press, Nov. 6)

Short-term certificates boom, but don’t lead to jobs
Short-term community-college certificates, which have been growing rapidly in popularity as a way to get students quickly and cheaply into jobs, do not, in fact, help most recipients land employment or earn more money. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 6)

School Calendars
More IA schools count by hours
This year, Iowa law allows schools to base their calendar year on either 180 days or 1,080 hours, an average of six hours per day. Given that option, 299 of Iowa’s 338 school districts, or 88.5 percent, switched from days to hours-based calendars. (The Gazette, Nov. 9)

School Start Times
IN group takes time zone debate to state educators
A group that wants all of Indiana to move into the Central time zone is again taking its push to the State Board of Education, armed with a report that says schoolchildren are being harmed by the decades-long embrace of the Eastern time zone and its adoption of daylight saving time. (Associated Press, Nov. 6)


Friday, Nov. 7

Civic Education
Missed chance to teach kids about midterm elections
Schools across the country are being used as polling stations, but the students who attend them may not understand why these elections matter. (The Atlantic, Nov. 4)

Common Core
Ohio House committee votes to repeal
A bill to repeal Common Core education standards in Ohio passed a House committee — but there is doubt about whether it has the momentum to go further. (Columbus Dispatch, Nov. 6)

Competency-based Education
Texas to go big with CBE
The University of Texas System’s plans to make its first foray into competency-based education will be limited to the medical sciences, for now. But the new, curriculum will involve multiple institutions around the state, with a track that eventually will stretch from high school, or even middle school, all the way to medical school. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 6)

Early Learning
Crisis brewing in MS among early learners
A report revealed that two-thirds of Mississippi’s youngest students enter school unprepared to learn and are, in fact, well below where they should be in terms of literacy. (Cabinet Report, Nov. 5)

Boards putting higher education at risk
Inattentive college and university governing boards are putting American higher education at risk, according to a new set of guidelines for trustees issued by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 6)


Thursday, Nov. 6

Half of IL students considered low-income
Numbers released by the Illinois State Board of Education show that — for the first time ever — low-income children now outnumber middle-class students in the state’s schools. (Chicago Public Radio, Nov. 3)

What the GOP's win means for education
The final midterm election results are still being tallied, but Rick Hess and Mike McShane attempt to discern the outlines of what the results mean for education. (U.S. News & World Report, Nov. 5)

Ballot measures, bonds and colleges
Governance change rejected in North Dakota and new student aid fund nixed in Oregon. Elsewhere, voters approved bond measures sought by higher education. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 5)

School Grades
IN approves schools' key 'A-F' grades
The State Board of Education approved "A-F" school grades showing that more than half of Indiana's 2,000-plus schools earned an A under the key school rating system. (Associated Press, Nov. 5)

Teacher Tenure
MO voters reject measure
Missouri voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to limit state teacher-tenure protections and tie educator evaluations to student performance data. (Associated Press, Nov. 4)


Wednesday, Nov. 5

College Textbooks
Open, but undiscovered
Faculty members see open education resources as just as good as the products produced by traditional publishers, according to a survey, but few have actually heard about OER. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 4)

Competency-based Education
UT system spearheads 'mobile-first' courses
The University of Texas system announced it is creating a competency-based education program that will offer courses students can take on mobile devices, for fields that most need graduates statewide, such as medical sciences. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 4)

Education Reform
What's big business got to do with it?
There are hopes that businesses can play a role in changing the broken "pipeline" from schooling to career, including the concept of building an "education highway" where students can enter and exit depending on where they want to go professionally. (EdSurge, Nov. 3)

Non-traditional Students
IN commission looks to help
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education says the state should make more resources available for non-traditional adult students and issued recommendations. (Inside Indiana Business, Nov. 3)

Teacher Evaluations
N.Y. teacher files suit over 'ineffective' label
A Long Island teacher has filed a lawsuit against the state Education Department charging the teacher evaluation system is statistically flawed. (Washington Post, Oct. 31)


Tuesday, Nov. 4

AZ selects new standardized test
Arizona education officials awarded a $19 million contract Monday for a new set of standardized tests that students will start taking this spring. (Capitol Media Services, Nov. 3)

Minority Issues
Wealthy towns secede from impoverished districts?
If a California effort works, it could offer a template for wealthy districts around the country that have sought independence from their less well-off partners but have been stymied by allegations that they are looking out for their own children at the expense of other people’s kids. (Hechinger Report, Nov. 3)

Minority Ph.D.s missing in STEM fields
Most black and Latino doctoral students in STEM fields are not earning their degrees within seven years, and many are leaving their programs. (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 3)

AL students, teachers adjust to iPad initiative
Students, teachers and administrators are negotiating the learning curve involved with an ambitious iPad initiative launched by an Alabama city school system. (Dothan Eagle, Nov. 2)

Student performance better in Louisiana
Performance is improving a bit for Louisiana students attending private schools at taxpayer expense, but only about 44 percent of those students have reached a “basic” achievement level. (Associated Press, Nov. 3)




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