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Friday, Nov. 21

Postsecondary 
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)

Postsecondary
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)

Postsecondary
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)

Textbooks
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)

Postsecondary
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

Assessments
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)

Waivers
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)

Postsecondary
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)

Postsecondary
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)

Homelessness
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)

Postsecondary
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)

Standards
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)

Technology
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)

Tuition
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)

Funding
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)

Technology
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)

Textbooks
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

Attendance
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)

Postsecondary
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)

Governance
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

Demographics
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)

Elections
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)

Postsecondary
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

Assessments
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)

Postsecondary
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)

Technology
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)

Vouchers
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)

 

Monday, Oct. 3

Administration
Replacing a principal can cost districts $75K
A report say it costs about $75,000 to recruit and train a new principal, and the cost to student achievement is higher, with studies showing that both math and English test scores drop when a principal leaves. (Marketplace Education, Oct. 30)

College Admissions
Colleges explore alternative to Common App
Admissions officials at some of the nation’s most-selective colleges seek to create a new online application system, a platform that would rival the Common Application. (Chronicle of Higher Ed, Oct. 31)

School Funding
States cutting education spending
State-level K-12 education spending has fallen dramatically in many states since 2008. In that time, 29 states cut per pupil spending, shifting the burden of financing education to local school districts and, in many instances, forcing schools to cut costs and even teachers. (USA Today, Nov. 2)

Student Performance
3 common practices in turnaround efforts
The use of data to personalize instruction and increasing technology access for teachers or the use of computer instruction are two of the most common practices adopted by low-performing schools in a turnaround situation. (The Journal, Oct. 30)

Teacher Turnover
N.C. teachers leaving for other states
More teachers left North Carolina to teach in other states last year than the year before, and more reported leaving the profession because they were dissatisfied or wanted to make a career change. (News & Observer, Oct. 30)

 

Friday, Oct. 31

College Readiness
Report compares CA to other states' policies
A new report and online database provide a national snapshot of how states are working to prepare students for college, showing how California's college readiness policies stack up against those in other states. (EdSource, Oct. 29)

Common Core
Poll takes teachers' temperature on standards
The large majority of U.S. public school teachers, 76 percent, react positively to the primary goal of the Common Core, but this positivity fades when the topic turns to using computerized tests to measure student performance. (Gallup, Oct. 30)

For-profit Colleges
U.S. Department of Ed introduces new regs
The U.S. Department of Education released the latest set of regulations to clamp down on for-profit colleges. But this second iteration of "gainful employment" rules will fail to please either advocates for the for-profit sector or its critics. (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 30)

School Leadership
WA study: Teacher hiring should be more scientific
School districts may be able to hire teachers who do a better job in the classroom if they change the way they screen job applicants, a new study has found. (Associated Press, Oct. 29)

STEM
MI explores H.S. STEM certificates
Michigan could become the first state in the country to give graduating high school students a certification for STEM on their diplomas if two bills become law. (MLive, Oct. 29)

 

Thursday, Oct. 30

New from ECS
Blueprint for College Readiness
ECS launched the Blueprint for College Readiness initiative to provide guidance and support to the growing number of states working to improve student success and transition from high school into postsecondary. Accompanying resources, technical assistance and online database are designed to respond to the unique needs of states.

Assessments
KS students try to 'break' system
Many Kansas students participated in a statewide effort to "break" the state's online mathematics and reading testing system to find its technical limits and uncover any problems. (Associated Press, Oct. 29)

Early Learning
LA program may unify early education
Louisiana School Superintendent John White outlined a program he says will unify early childhood education in the state. (Daily Comet, Oct. 28)

Postsecondary
MA officials ask for a major investment
Massachusetts higher education officials want to spend about as much per student as California, which has perhaps the nation's top public higher education system. (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 29)

STEM
Success of IN program hard to gauge
So many federal agencies and private foundations offer STEM grants that the amount of money being spent on such programs in Indiana is unclear, and there seems to be no one agency that keeps detailed records of all STEM-related spending. (South Bend Tribune, Oct. 29)

 

Wednesday, Oct. 29

Assessments
Feds nix KS plan to reduce H.S. testing
Federal education officials have blocked a Kansas plan to let high-schoolers skip state math and English tests and instead focus on college entrance exams and career-oriented tests. (Topeka Capital-Journal, Oct. 26)

College Completion
Report: Ways to curb shortfall in degrees
To counter a projected shortage of graduates, colleges should intensify their focus on STEM programs, improve minority and low-income student success, and attract more adult learners and military veterans, according to a report. (Boston Globe, Oct. 27)

Competency-based Education
Big Ten and the next big thing
Competency-based education is going upmarket. The new programs at the University of Michigan, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin System are designed mostly for adult students with some college credits but no degree. (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 28)

Student Achievement
Report proposes changes to WV system
A state commission has recommended changes to West Virginia's public school system to allow counties to better focus on student achievement. (Associated Press, Oct. 28)

Teacher Compensation
AR lawmakers pitch higher pay
Arkansas lawmakers are recommending an increase of almost $1,800 in base pay for new teachers. The House and Senate education committees advised raising the minimum starting teacher salary from $29,244 to $31,000 by fiscal 2017. (Associated Press, Oct. 28)

 

Tuesday, Oct. 28

College Affordability 
ME panel offers findings
A special college affordability commission in Maine is recommending that state officials increase the amount of state college grant funds, expand early college programs and hire more community college counselors to help students not only get into college, but reach graduation. (Press Herald, Oct. 26)

Higher Ed Funding
The states' 'great retreat'
A new report from the Center for American Progress details the extent to which recession-driven reductions in public college financing since 2008 have sent tuitions soaring, and how disproportionately low- and middle-income students and the institutions that serve them have been affected. (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 27)

Opportunities for Teachers 
Study: Use of teacher leadership in TN expands
School districts across the nation are offering teachers more leadership opportunities, but to have a positive impact on student achievement and reduce teacher burnout, districts need strong planning and implementation of leadership opportunities. (Chalkbeat Tennessee, Oct. 24)

School Funding
AL voters to decide school funding issue
Alabama voters will decide Nov. 4 whether to give new protections to public schools against unfunded mandates enacted by the legislature. (Montgomery Advertiser, Oct. 26)

School Start Times
VA county tests later start times
Virginia’s Fairfax County plans to give more than 55,000 teens extra sleep next fall by delaying the first class of the day until 8 a.m. could set a trend for large school districts across the country. (Washington Post, Oct. 24)

 

Monday, Oct. 27

College Tuition
TN students jump at chance for free tuition
When Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced the creation of the Tennessee Promise scholarship program, the state anticipated 20,000 students might apply. But the number is closer to 45,000. (Tennessean, Oct. 23)

Early Learning
Nixed IN grant would have sent 5,700 to preschool
The federal grant application that Republican Gov. Mike Pence decided not to submit would have helped send 5,700 more Indiana children to preschool programs, documents show. (Associated Press, Oct. 24) 

Minority Issues
AZ tribes get funding to take over schools
Three Native American tribes in Arizona will receive $200,000 each to help them take over schools on their reservations that have historically been run by the federal government. (Associated Press, Oct. 24)

Postsecondary
UC leaders consider limiting out-of-state enrollment
The University of California is beginning to have second thoughts about its highly successful effort to bring more out-of-state students onto its campuses. (Los Angeles Times, Oct. 22)

Special Education
MS juvenile justice system fails students
Each year, thousands of Mississippi teens cycle through the justice system, where experts say the quality of education is often low. And many of those who need help the most aren’t getting it. (Hechinger Report, Oct. 26)

 

Friday, Oct. 24

College Transfer
New IN program to streamline transfers
Three Indiana University campuses are sharing a three-year, $450,000 grant to provide academic support and financial incentives for Ivy Tech students to transfer to Indiana University to complete a four-year degree. (Komomo Tribune, Oct. 21)

Early Learning
MT applies for $40M pre-K grant
Montana has applied for a $40 million federal grant to increase preschool opportunities in high-needs communities. The grant, if awarded, would complement the $37 million in preschool funding Gov. Steve Bullock will request from the state Legislature. (Billings Gazette, Oct. 22)

Financial Aid
More eligible borrowers, new data on defaults
Borrowers with past credit problems will soon find it easier to qualify for federal PLUS loans under a final rule by the Education Department. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 21)

Teacher Pay
OK approves budget request for pay boost
The Oklahoma State Department of Education’s budget request for the 2016 fiscal year includes additional funds to cover $2,500 across-the-board salary increases for teachers. (Tulsa World, Oct. 23)

Vouchers
Most WI voucher students come from private schools
The vast majority of students receiving a taxpayer-subsidized voucher to attend private school this year did not go to a Wisconsin public school last year. (The Associated Press, Oct. 23)

 

Thursday, Oct. 23

Academic Standards
TN outlines review process
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam laid out a process for a public review of the state’s K-12 academic standards in English and math amid continuing discussion about Common Core. (Associated Press, Oct. 22)

Bullying
Feds stress protection of kids with disabilities
The U.S. Department of Education said that schools are obligated under federal law to step in immediately when bullying of students with disabilities is suspected and act to halt attacks and prevent any recurrence. (Disability Scoop, Oct. 21)

Financial Aid
Ability to benefit, again?
A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers wants to bring back financial aid for college students who do not hold a high school diploma or its equivalent, like a GED. The U.S. Congress eliminated aid eligibility for these so-called “ability to benefit” students in 2012. (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 22)

Postsecondary
Colleges look at new approaches to remedial ed
With the recent national focus on increasing how many students complete academic programs at all levels of higher education, community colleges have been rethinking remedial education and trying new approaches. (Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Oct. 22)

Technology
Web tool taps community college data
RTI International launched its revamped web tool, known as The Completion Arch, to provide a data-driven look at the experiences of the nation’s approximately 10 million community-college students. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 22)

 

Wednesday, Oct. 22

Curriculum
NY to require CPR training in high school

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a measure directing the state's commissioner of education to come up with a CPR training curriculum that will be required for high school students. (Associated Press, Oct. 21)

Postsecondary
Why colleges don’t want to be judged on grad rates

This fall, President Obama will release a college-rating system that is likely to include graduation rates as a key measure of institutional success. That worries colleges. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 17)

Scholarships
WV PROMISE scholarships up, retention down

Numbers of high school seniors qualifying for Promise scholarships has been increasing over the past four years, although rates for retaining scholarships has declined slightly during the same period. (WV Gazette, Oct. 20)

School Grades
Louisiana public school grades rise slightly

Against predictions, Louisiana public school performance edged up a hair in the first year of Common Core testing. The state recorded a performance score of 89.2 on a 150-point scale, which is considered a B. (The Times-Picayune, Oct. 21)

Technology
IT opportunities abound in education

With 60 percent of today's schoolchildren expected to work in a career that doesn't even exist today, some say it's critical to provide students with skillsets that allow them to flourish in new fields. Almost all of those new jobs will be aided by technology. (CRN, Oct. 21)

 

Tuesday, Oct. 21

Campus Safety
Final changes to Clery Act
The U.S. Department of Education published the final rules to carry out changes to the Clery Act, requiring colleges and universities to collect and disclose crime statistics about the number of reported crimes that were investigated and determined to be unfounded (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 20)

Charter Schools
Fairness doubts persist in Indiana
One year after the Christel House Academy found itself at the center of the grade-change scandal, the highly celebrated Indianapolis charter school is the center of attention again — this time for a grade change in public. (Associated Press, Oct. 19)

Elections
Many AZ school board elections canceled
A slew of Arizona school board races were canceled because the candidates ran unopposed or, in many instances, no candidates stepped up. (Arizona Republic, Oct. 20)

Standards
More AP courses slated for major overhaul
Despite the recent fallout over new guidelines for Advanced Placement U.S. History, the College Board is making similar changes to most science and history AP courses in an effort to emphasize critical thinking. (Hechinger Report, Oct. 20)

Teacher Evaluations
Missouri to vote on proposed changes
Missouri could be the first state to enshrine the role of student performance data in teacher evaluations in its state constitution if an initiative on the Nov. 4 ballot gets enough support. (Associated Press, Oct. 19)

 

Monday, Oct. 20

Assessments
White House supports fewer standardized tests

A new study finds that U.S. students are tested on average once a month, with some students tested as often as twice a month. The White House announced it will support a movement by education officials to dial back the amount of testing. (Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 16)

Early Learning
TN wants $70M in federal pre-K funding

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's administration wants nearly $70 million in federal funding for Nashville and Shelby County to expand early childhood education, but it won't go toward expanding the state's current prekindergarten program. (The Tennessean, Oct. 17)

Postsecondary
Underemployment hits recent grads hard

Stories of college graduates working as baristas and taxi drivers have played into a narrative about how college-degree recipients are struggling to find work that uses their education. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 17)

Standards
IL search for input on social studies standards

Illinois education officials are seeking input from students, educators, parents and taxpayers on new civic course requirements and social studies learning standards. (Daily Herald, Oct. 13)

New from ECS
Initiatives from Preschool to Third Grade: A Policymaker’s Guide

A new reference guide addresses effective strategies to support children on their path to third-grade academic success and details the foundations of effective P-3 approaches. It is organized in response to the two types of questions policymakers most commonly ask ECS about P-3 approaches: What are effective strategies to support children on their path to third-grade academic success, and what are the foundations of any effective P-3 approach?

 

Friday, Oct. 17

Early Learning/Technology
Coding for kindergartners?
Introducing coding to kindergarten students helps them reflect on their own learning as they develop 21st-century skills such as problem solving and creativity, experts say. (eSchool News, Oct. 10)

Minority Issues
Demographics changing in IL schools
For the first time in Illinois, white students no longer constitute the majority of public school students and the percentage of students considered low-income has surpassed the halfway mark. (Chicago Sun-Times, Oct. 15)

Postsecondary
Benefits of tuition-free community college
The concept of tuition-free community college is picking up steam. Chicago has followed Tennessee with the creation of a new community-college scholarship for high school graduates. (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 16)

Special Education
N.Y. schools struggle to keep up after overhaul
Complaints made to New York City’s teachers union last year show that schools are struggling to keep up with the Department of Education's overhaul of special education. (Staten Island Advance, Oct. 16)

Student Loans
Complaints over private student loans rise
Borrowers with private student loans face increasingly uncertain — and often conflicting — information from the servicers of those loans, says a new report issued. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 16)

 

Thursday, Oct. 16

Common Core
Portland schools say 'No' to OR requirement

The Portland (Ore.) School Board voted not to set state-mandated achievement targets in three subject areas linked to the state’s new Common Core-aligned tests. The decision is a refusal to be judged based on students’ performance on the state’s new Smarter Balanced test. (The Oregonian, Oct. 15)

Equity
Wealthier schools send more students to college

Students from high-poverty schools are less likely to immediately enroll in college — and to remain enrolled after one year — than students from more well-off high schools, according to data. (U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 14)

School Grades
IN delays release amid data questions

Indiana State Board of Education members shelved the planned release of A to F grades for all state schools after a sharp debate that included questions about the proper screening of data for errors. (Chalkbeat Indiana, Oct. 15)

Standards
OK regents to vote on standards

Even if Oklahoma's outdated education standards are determined to properly prepare students for college, state officials say there's little they can do this school year to regain control of federal funding stripped from the state. (The Associated Press, Oct. 15)

Vocational Education
N.J. Senate passes five bills for expansion

The New Jersey Senate sent several bills to Gov. Chris Christie that would expand the state's vocational school programs, in an effort to provide alternative career paths to college. (NJ.com, Oct. 14)

 

Wednesday, Oct. 15

Early Learning
LA Gov. Jindal approves preschool funding application
A dispute over the Common Core education standards won’t sideline Louisiana’s application for up to $15 million in federal grant money for pre-kindergarten programs. (The Shreveport Times, Oct. 13)

Postsecondary
Job market looking up for college grads
Campuses’ career counselors have been seeing encouraging signs, and now a major survey of employers backs them up: The coming year looks to be a much better one for new college graduates seeking jobs. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 14)

Retention
Is repeating elementary school grades harmful?
The already muddy research on whether it’s better to hold back struggling students or promote them to the next grade just got muddier. A new study adds more weight to those who say retention is ultimately harmful. (The Hechinger Report, Oct. 14)

School Funding
IN House GOP pledges to boost funding
Republican leaders in the Indiana House unveiled their 2015 legislative agenda, pledging to keep a balanced budget while boosting school funding. They also promised to push ethics reforms and improve public safety. (Indianapolis Star, Oct. 14)

Technology
Web-era trade schools, feeding a need for code
A new educational institution, the coding boot camp, is quietly emerging as the vocational school for the digital age, devoted to creating software developers. (The New York Times, Oct. 13)

 

Tuesday, Oct. 14

Common Core
MD, N.J., WA tie graduation to new standards
New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington are starting to link graduation requirements to the new and more challenging Common Core testing systems. But an array of critics say the process is moving way too fast. (The Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 10)

Early Learning
MT Gov. Bullock proposes early childhood ed. program
Gov. Steve Bullock is proposing a $37 million early childhood education program that would make half-day, pre-kindergarten programs available to 4-year-olds. (KXLO, Oct. 13)

Elections
Education measures on the ballot in 11 states
As voters head to the ballot box next month, millions of voters in 11 states will have the opportunity to cast their vote on various education-focused state initiatives, referendums, and amendments. (Education Week, Oct. 8)

Postsecondary
In OK, scholarships are key to college access
As the cost of going to college continues to rise, scholarships are the key to access for students from low- and middle-income families, education officials say. (The Oklahoman, Oct. 11)

Vouchers
WI paid millions to failed voucher schools
Over the past 10 years, Wisconsin taxpayers have paid about $139 million to private schools that were subsequently barred from the state’s voucher system for failing to meet requirements related to finances, accreditation, student safety and auditing. (Wisconsin State Journal, Oct. 12)

 

Monday, Oct. 13

Assessments
CA, others to set test cutoff scores

California educators will play a pivotal role in a crucial phase of work for the new Smarter Balanced assessments: setting the cutoff  scores that will indicate whether a student is academically on track for the next grade level and ultimately whether they are ready for college and careers. (EdSource, Oct. 5)

NCLB
Arizona gets flexibility from law

Federal officials notified state Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal that Arizona's request for a one-year extension of flexibility was approved. Massachusetts, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island and Utah also received extensions. (The Associated Press, Oct. 10)

Postsecondary
Higher Education Act’s impact on students

For the first time since the HEA was introduced nearly 50 years ago, U.S. student loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion. In response, U.S. lawmakers have drafted legislation aimed at reducing student debt, providing educational resources and increasing transparency. (USA Today College, Oct. 12)

Student Debt
ME hit hard by cost of college

Soaring student debt impacts the economy, with graduates putting off life investments as they struggle to repay loans. (Portland Press Herald, Oct. 12)

Teacher Evaluations
OR's plan temporarily approved

The Obama administration granted temporary approval for Oregon to evaluate teachers using individually determined samples of their students' progress, not necessarily standardized test scores. (The Oregonian, Oct. 9)

 

Friday, Oct. 10

Assessments
CO has limited flexibility on testing, feds say
Colorado has few options if policymakers want to create a more flexible state testing system, or one that lets districts make their own assessment choices, according to a response by the U.S. Department of Education. (Chalkbeat Colorado, Oct. 8)

Postsecondary
Lumina: What degree holders should know
Lumina Foundation unveiled a refreshed version of the Degree Qualifications Profile to better and more clearly define what college degree holders should know and be able to do. (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 8)

Postsecondary
UT System overhauls salary and debt tool
The University of Texas System launched a major overhaul of seekUT, its interactive website that provides salary and debt information for graduates of its institutions. (Texas Tribune, Oct. 8)

Student Grades
N.C. high schools to adopt 10-point grading scale
A new State Board of Education mandate will require North Carolina high schools in fall 2015 to adopt the same grading scale as many other school districts in the U.S. — switching from its seven-point grading scale to a 10-point grading scale. (Daily Tar Heel, Oct. 8)

Technology
MI schools not ready for online testing can seek waiver
State standardized exams next spring will be given online for the first time in Michigan, but some schools aren't technologically ready. That's why the Michigan Department of Education is requiring they file a request for a waiver that will allow them to use paper and pencil exams. (Detroit Free Press, Oct. 8)

 

Thursday, Oct. 9

Education Standards
Judge: UT still in control

Utah has not lost any control over its education standards or curriculum by adopting Common Core, according to a legal review. Gov. Gary Herbert requested the review of the state’s legal commitments. (Standard Examiner, Oct. 8)

Postsecondary
IA’s balance of power
Some private colleges in Iowa worry they could end up having to shut down because of an aggressive effort by the University of Iowa to enroll more students from within the state. (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 8)

Special Education
D.C. approves three bills
The D.C. Council unanimously approved a trio of bills designed to overhaul special-education services in the city, aiming to speed delivery of services to students with special needs and give parents better information and resources they can use to advocate for their children. (The Washington Post, Oct. 7)

Student Loans
Borrowing rates for wealthy soar
All college graduates are more likely than they were two decades ago to have financed their education with loans. But the likelihood of borrowing increased the most among students from the nation’s wealthiest families, according to a Pew report. (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 8)

Technology
MN website helps students make college pay
A new Minnesota website enables potential college students to look at marketplace data showing which academic programs have high placement rates and what recent graduates are being paid. (MinnPost, Oct. 7)

 

Wednesday, Oct. 8

College Completion
Students return to college, don't finish

Only one third of non-first-time students — adult learners who re-enroll in college after at least a year away from higher education — earn a degree after six to eight years, according to a new study. (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 7) 

Competency-Based Education
Will CBE be the end of semesters

A new concept from the U.S. Department of Education would allow institutions to get student-aid funding by creating programs that directly measure learning, not time. The school certifies — measures — what they know and are able to do. (NPR, Oct. 7)

Postsecondary
2014 SAT scores flat compared to '13

SAT results for the Class of 2014 show mixed — and very slight — changes from last year. Meanwhile, gaps in the performance of students from different socioeconomic and ethnic groups show no signs of closing. (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 7)

Standardized Tests
Standardized test scores key to skipping placement exams at WA colleges

Washington's public four-year universities and community colleges have agreed to place students who score a 3 or higher on the Smarter Balanced Assessment into college-level math and English courses. That means they won't have to take placement tests as other new college students have had to do every fall before starting classes. (Tri-City Herald, Oct. 7)

Teacher Training
TN study: Teacher-collaboration model leads to higher scores

Test scores rose at schools in Tennessee that adopted the Teacher Peer Excellence Groups training method, according to a recent study. Principals adopted the training method, which focuses on collaboration and peer observations and feedback, after a visit to Shanghai to see how the model was used. (Chalkbeat Tennessee, Oct. 6)

 

Tuesday, Oct. 7

Assessments/Technology
OR, DE only states addressing online cheating
Oregon and Delaware are the only states that have set rules and regulations designed to ensure test security and prevent cheating on the new breed of online exams. (The Oregonian, Oct. 2)

Competency-Based Education
For-profit giant starts competency-based 'open college'
Kaplan Higher Education, one of the biggest for-profit college companies in the country, is creating an "Open College" aimed at adults who may already have skills and experience that could qualify for college credits. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 6)

For-Profit Colleges 
N.J. bill ties for-profit college degrees to grad rates
New Jersey's higher education secretary would be allowed to revoke the ability of for-profit colleges to award degrees if they fail to achieve minimum graduation rates under a bill advanced by lawmakers. (The Associated Press, Oct. 2)

Opinion
Remember K-12 policy past to shape the future
Christopher T. Cross, chairman of Cross & Joftus, warns of efforts to turn back the clock to earlier times, when federal presence in education was minimal. But doing that without addressing what we have learned could create confusion and turmoil. (Education Week, Oct. 6)

Postsecondary
Can focusing on workplace skills increase completion rates?
The chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago noticed early on that the system of seven community colleges had a graduation crisis. So she offered an idea to fix the problem — the system needed to focus on teaching skills employers were demanding. (The Hechinger Report, Oct. 3)

 

Monday, Oct. 6

Assessments
NJ announces H.S. grad exam plan
New Jersey education officials say the state will start using a new test as an option for high school students to graduate starting in 2016, but the PARC test will not be students’ only option. (The Associated Press, Oct. 3)

Common Core
UT may enter debate after low test scores
Utah is preparing to send parents their students’ results from statewide tests aligned to the Common Core for the first time — news many expect will fuel debate over the controversial standards and how Utah teaches math. In some grades, preliminary results showed, 1 in 3 children scored proficient. (The Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 5)

Competency-Based Education
Mixed messaged confuse colleges
A federal audit has renewed confusion about whether the U.S. Department of Education will support bids by colleges to try an emerging form of competency-based education. (Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 3)

Curriculum
CO board stands firm with U.S. history review
Colorado’s second-largest school district is in the midst of a political firestorm over what should be taught in U.S. history courses, a standoff that raised concerns about school board members inserting their political views into curriculum. (Education Week/The Associated Press, Oct. 3)

Education Funding
MS poses tough question about priorities
Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves asked what university and community college systems would do if lawmakers cut $312 million out of their budgets to find money to fully fund the state K-12 school funding formula. (The Clarion Ledger, Oct. 5)

 

Friday, Oct. 3

Postsecondary
SAT scores keeping women out of elite colleges
New research reveals that for decades women have been underrepresented at the nation’s most-selective institutions. And the apparent culprits are standardized tests. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 2)

Scholarships
New scholarships for Chicago Public Schools grads
Qualified graduates of Chicago's public high schools will be eligible for a free ride at one of the city's seven community colleges under a new scholarship program, The Chicago Star Scholarship. (Chicago Tribune, Oct. 1)

School Grades
NYC schools won't be judged by letter grades
Saying schools are not restaurants, New York City School Chancellor Carmen Farina said it's common sense to do away with A-to-F grading, adding that schools have unique qualities that cannot be captured in a letter grade. (PIX, Oct. 1)
 
Teacher Effectiveness
New preparedness measures proposed in N.J.
Pushing against measures of teacher effectiveness they say rely too heavily on test scores, a coalition of education groups outlined an approach they said would better develop New Jersey teachers' skills. (NJ.com, Oct. 2)

2015 ECS Award Nominations
ECS is now soliciting nominations for three prestigious awards (download the brochure). All nominations must be received by Nov. 14, 2014. The awards will be presented at the 2015 ECS National Forum on Education Policy in Denver, June 29 through July 1. Complete the nomination form (Word or PDF) and submit it, along with your statement of support, to Heidi Normandin by e-mail (hnormandin@ecs.org). If you have any questions about the nomination process, please call Heidi at 303.299.3629.

 

Thursday, Oct. 2

Common Core
Review of MO education standards divisive
Parents and teachers creating education guidelines for Missouri schoolchildren are hoping for the best but bracing for what could be a yearlong fight over the role that Common Core standards should have in classrooms. (The Associated Press, Oct. 1)

Education Grants
Education Dept.'s 'First in the World' grants
The U.S. Department of Education announced the winners of its new First in the World grant program, giving a total of $75-million to 24 colleges and universities that have pledged to improve college access and student learning while reducing the overall cost of a degree. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 1)

Minority Issues
Duncan: Schools must give students equal access
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights warned that it can investigate states, districts and schools that are not doing “enough” to make sure there is equal access to education resources like quality facilities and AP courses. (Caffeinated Thoughts, Oct. 1)

Postsecondary
MA aims to boost college graduation rates
A group of leading education officials and organizations in Massachusetts unveiled a new push to improve local college graduation rates, urging politicians to commit to two key goals over the next decade. (Boston Globe, Sept. 30)

Student Exchange
Russia cancels student exchange with U.S.
Russian authorities have scrapped a longstanding student exchange program formed to foster understanding with its Cold War nemesis. The Kremlin claims that the US used the program to get around a Russian adoption law. (Deutsche Welle, Oct. 1)

 

Wednesday, Oct. 1

Early Learning
Impact of state-funded preschool
Oklahoma lawmakers have for 16 years supported an expensive social program aimed at ensuring that every 4-year-old learns the alphabet, attracting national attention. (Governing, Sept. 29)

Education Reform
Memphis' ambitious efforts to fix failed schools
In a nation where Democrats and Republicans alike say they want to provide "equal opportunity," can failing schools be transformed into successful schools in short order and on a large scale? (Governing, Oct. 1)

Graduation Requirements
AK regulation proposed more math classes
If a proposed regulation passes the Alaska State Board of Education, this year’s high school freshmen can expect one more graduation requirement than their older peers — an additional year of math to graduate from high school. (News Miner, Sept. 30)

Student Privacy
CA enacts 'landmark' data privacy law
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a sweeping measure aimed at restricting the use of students' educational data by third-party vendors, marking one of the most aggressive legislative attempts to date to balance the promise of digital learning technologies with concerns about the privacy and security of children's sensitive information. (Education Week, Sept. 30)

Workforce Development 
$450M to colleges that link job-training to industry needs
The White House announced $450 million in grants to 270 community colleges that are working with employers to set up training programs for in-demand jobs in fields such as information technology, health care, energy and advanced manufacturing. (McClatchy, Sept. 29)

 

Tuesday, Sept. 30

Common Core
Support high among school superintendents
About two-thirds of district superintendents say states should stick with their common-core testing consortia, while 16 percent remain on the fence over the issue, according to results from a new survey. (Education Week, Sept. 29)

Early Learning
Chronic absenteeism high among R.I. kindergartners
Nearly a third of students in the early elementary grades missed between six and 11 days of school during the previous school year, a trend that can lead to poor academic performance down the road. (Providence Journal, Sept. 29)

Postsecondary
23,000 students sign up for Tennessee Promise
Nearly 23,000 students have registered to participate in Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s program to cover full tuition at two-year colleges for any high school graduate. (The Associated Press, Sept. 29)

Private Schools
Kansas officials ready tuition program
A Kansas education official says a new tax-credit system to fund private school tuition for low-income students is on track to start in January. (The Associated Press, Sept. 29)

Vouchers
FL board approves rules for newest voucher program
With almost no discussion, the Florida Board of Education approved new rules governing the state's newest voucher program. (Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 29)

 

Monday, Sept. 29

Dropouts
D.C. searches for solution to crisis
Based on trends, a sobering 40 percent of today's ninth-graders in the District of Columbia will not graduate in four years. A report tries to determine who drops out of the city's public schools, and why. (The Washington Post, Sept. 26)

Assessments
Year-end tests in OK could be in jeopardy
A delay by the Oklahoma State Board of Education in selecting a vendor to conduct about 50,000 end-of-instruction tests for high school students this winter could leave thousands of students in the lurch if they're unable to complete the exams. (The Associated Press, Sept. 27)

Postsecondary
OK shatters degree-completion goal
Oklahoma exceeded its year-two Complete College America goal by more than double, state officials announced. The goal is to increase the number of degrees and certificates conferred annually by 1,700 to reach 50,900 by 2023. (News OK, Sept. 25)

Postsecondary
IPEDS results raise questions
The federal government's long-awaited data on the students enrolled in distance education courses nationwide provide a dubious baseline, a new study suggests, as confusing instructions, inflexible design and a lack of coordination have led colleges and universities to under- or over-report thousands of students. (Inside Higher Education, Sept. 26)

Technology
Opinion: Tech doesn't figure in today's schools
The United States spends approximately $1.3 trillion in elementary, secondary and post econdary education each year across both publicly and privately funded educational institutions. Only 1 percent of that amount is spent on educational technology. (EdSurge, Sept. 28)

 

Friday, Sept. 26

Common Core
Support drops among TN teachers
Support for Common Core among Tennessee teachers has waned so much since last year that a majority now opposes the academic standards, a new statewide survey shows. (The Tennessean, Sept. 24)

Financial Literacy
FL is first state to adopt national standards
Florida became the first state in the country to follow national financial literacy standards starting this year, and all public school students must pass the class to graduate. (Daytona Beach News-Journal, Sept. 22)

Postsecondary
KY pushes to re-enroll former students
If you attended college but never graduated with a degree, Kentucky education officials want to get you back in school. (Lexington Herald-Reader, Sept. 23)
 
Postsecondary
Is the real cost of college even higher than thought?
Nearly nine out of 10 freshmen think they’ll earn their bachelor’s degrees within four years, but the U.S. Department of Education reports that fewer than half that many actually will. That created additional, unexpected expenses. (The Hechinger Report, Sept. 23)

Technology
Digital instruction could end joys of the snow day in PA
The Pennsylvania Department of Education announced school districts can apply to use non-traditional educational delivery methods on regularly scheduled school days in which circumstances, such as inclement weather, necessitate an alternate approach. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 22)

 

Thursday, Sept. 25

Assessments
MA ed. chair: Schools too focused on test prep
The new chairwoman of the state Board of Education raised concerns Tuesday about the focus on standardized test preparation in Massachusetts schools, as board members discussed whether some districts give too many practice tests to prepare students for the MCAS. (State House News Services, Sept. 24)

Curriculum
CO students continue protest of school board proposal
Several hundred student’s in Colorado’s Jefferson County left classes once again in protest of school board decisions and proposed changes to history curriculum. (The Denver Post, Sept. 24)

Minority Issues
Outcomes on the uptick for Latino students
A new analysis shows promising trends of educational improvements for Latino youngsters, the largest racial/ethnic minority group of children in the United States. (Education Week, Sept. 24)

Postsecondary
Education Dept. spares the rod on loan defaults
On the eve of the much-anticipated release of its annual roundup of student-loan default rates, the Education Department has announced that it will spare some colleges whose high rates would have cost them their ability to award federal student aid. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 24)

Teacher Instruction
Education majors need more time in classroom
A Louisiana Department of Education survey found that most newly graduated teachers did not receive adequate preparation for what they would face in classrooms and should have spent more time with qualified teachers before they graduated. (Gannett, Sept. 24)

 

Wednesday, Sept. 24

Career and Technical Education
OK lawmakers sends bill to Gov. Snyder
The Michigan Legislature has sent Gov. Rick Snyder legislation requiring the state to provide information about career and technical education programs to school officials who ask for it. (The Associated Press, Sept. 23)

Common Core/ELL
CA study: New standards can help ELLs
A new study argues that the rigorous Common Core standards represent both a challenge and a pathway that could help close the achievement gap for American students who enter school knowing little or no English. (The Hechinger Report, Sept. 23)

Common Core
N.C. begins review of standards
A new state commission on Monday started to tackle the job of recommending new academic standards for mathematics and English language arts to replace Common Core. (News & Observer, Sept. 22)

Postsecondary
New round of MOOCs arrive for fall
Despite a host of questions about the staying power of MOOCs as a trend, more free mega-courses are starting this month than ever before, with 328 new offerings. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 23)

School Librarians
N.Y. calls for more librarians in schools
New York Education Commissioner John King has rejected the city’s request to employ fewer librarians in schools — in part because the city took too long to come up with an alternative plan to provide library services to students. (Chalkbeat New York, Sept. 22)

 

Tuesday, Sept. 23

Common Core
Lawsuit over standards filed in Missouri
An unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate is among the plaintiffs suing Missouri officials to stop the state from making payments to a multistate consortium that has been developing tests tied to the new Common Core education standards. (The Associated Press, Sept. 22)

Early Learning
Just 15 states require kindergarten
Despite kindergarten's pivotal role in preparing children for reading and other academics, state laws on what districts must provide still vary widely, resulting in a patchwork of mandatory and voluntary half-day and full-day offerings. (Education Week, Sept. 19)

Instruction
Reviewing student work benefits teachers, too
Examining and critiquing student work as a regular part of classroom interactions can be a powerful way for both teachers and students to reflect on their work, while building a community culture that focuses on the process of learning. (KQED, Sept. 19)

Postsecondary
Ways to get students to the finish line
Community-college students who register for their college-level classes before the term begins are 11 times more likely to persist into their second year, while students whose instructors enforce strict attendance policies are nearly three times as likely to complete remedial-mathematics courses. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 18)

Teacher Shortages
S.D. lawmakers: Education needs more than money
South Dakota's superintendents say schools are struggling to fill open positions mainly because of low teacher pay, while policymakers suggest a solution to the teacher shortage isn't simple and the problem won't be fixed with funding alone. (The Associated Press, Sept. 22)

 

Friday, Sept. 19

Postsecondary
Free community college could cost OR taxpayers
A proposal to make community college free to Oregonians would cost the state from $10 million to $250 million a year, depending on which students are eligible and whether room and board are covered. (Oregon Live, Sept. 12)

Postsecondary
High impact, low participation
Community colleges now have solid data on which strategies work best to help students get to graduation. While more colleges are using those techniques, far too few students are benefiting from them. (Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 18)

Postsecondary
More pressure than ever for admissions directors
Last year was a difficult one for college admissions — with institutions reporting more and more difficulty filling their classes. Things aren't any better and they may be a little worse, according to a survey. (Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 18)

Student Grades
Some OH schools phasing out letter grades
Increasingly, Ohio school districts are looking to gauge if a child has reached certain standards by using number grades — rather than letter grades — that assess mastery of material within each subject. (Dayton Daily News, Sept. 16)

Student Health
N.J. aims to boost school breakfast programs
Legislation to boost breakfast programs in New Jersey schools, particularly for underprivileged children, in order to help give them a leg up on academics advanced in the Senate. (New Jersey Newsroom, Sept. 17)

 

Thursday, Sept. 18

Assessments
Seven states propose citizenship test for H.S. students
Groups in Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah are asking lawmakers to ask high school students to take the same civics test required of those seeking citizenship. (Greenville Online, Sept. 17)

Assessments
Texas may limit AP history test
Texas may limit the sway of a new national Advanced Placement U.S. History course and exam amid arguments that they're rife with anti-American biases. (The Associated Press, Sept. 17)

Early Learning
Too much homework in elementary school?
Students in middle and high school are being assigned about the same amount of homework today as they were in 1984, but the load for elementary-school students has increased. One elementary school is replacing homework in certain grades with PDF -- play, downtime and family time. (Education Week, Sept. 15)

Education Research
U.S. Senate panel clears research bill
The Senate education committee cleared an education research bill with bipartisan support, altering the House-passed version only slightly before readying it for a full Senate vote. (Education Week, Sept. 17)

Postsecondary
Undermining Pell Grants
Hundreds of colleges charge low-income students tuition that is half or more of their household’s entire yearly income, according to a report that seeks to shed light on colleges’ aid practices and to prod Congress to change the structure of Pell Grants. (Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 17)

 

Wednesday, Sept. 17

At-Risk Students
New definition of homeless would give kids more help

A bill before Congress aims to amend the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's definition of "homelessness," which would help children and families living in motels, cars or temporarily with others to obtain needed services. (Deseret News, Sept. 15)

Early Learning
Florida suspends K-2 reading tests

An online reading test Florida required for kindergartners and other young students was halted Monday after numerous complaints about technology glitches. (Orlando Sentinel, Sept. 16)

Postsecondary
Efforts to help graduate more needy students

Eleven public research universities around the country that enroll some of the most economically and racially diverse student bodies in the nation have formed a collaboration aimed at increasing the numbers of low-income students who start and graduate from college. (Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 16)

Teacher Prep
Poll: Public favors more rigorous teacher prep

Americans place a great amount of trust and confidence in their public schoolteachers - and in return they want a higher bar for those entering the profession and more support for the men and women educating their children. (U.S. News & World Report, Sept. 16)

Technology
With tech taking over, worries rise

Technology companies are collecting a vast amount of data about students, touching every corner of their educational lives -- with few controls on how those details are used. (The New York Times, Sept. 15)

 

Tuesday, Sept. 16

College Readiness
New SAT to align with Common Core
Students in the class of 2017 will take an overhauled SAT that seeks to redefine what it means to become college ready. While the traditional SAT has focused on testing students' innate abilities, the new exam will be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. (U.S. News & World Report, Sept. 12)

Early Learning
Details of Louisiana's pre-K overhaul unveiled
Two top state officials spelled out details of Louisiana’s ongoing overhaul of its often criticized early childhood education system. The changes stem from a 2012 state law, and the new setup is supposed to be effective statewide in the fall of 2015. (The Times-Picayune, Sept. 15)

Financial Literacy
Iowa officials seek to improve financial teaching
Iowa students should be learning how to make informed financial choices as part of their education, Gov. Terry Branstad said as he accepted a series of recommendations from a group charged with reviewing financial literacy teaching in the state. (The Associated Press, Sept. 15)

Postsecondary
Boost for need-based aid
States last year doled out roughly the same amount of student aid money in 2012-13 as they did the previous year, but they increased the share of money flowing to students based on financial need, according to a new survey(Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 15)

Textbooks
Education groups question Texas textbooks
The new social studies textbooks up for consideration this week by the Texas Board of Education have already come under heavy fire for their emphasis on America’s Christian heritage. And another new analysis raises more red flags. (Politico, Sept. 15)

Monday, Sept. 15

Common Core
The great debate
Embrace the Common Core State Standards? Do not embrace the Common Core? That was the question in New York when four people -- two for embracing and two against -- participated in a recent debate about the controversial initiative. See the ECS report. (The Washington Post, Sept. 14)

Early Learning
IN newspaper touts early education 
If the great majority of our children are well equipped to thrive in the 21st century economy, then it's likely our state and nation will thrive as well. The reverse also is true: If they struggle, we'll all struggle. So says the editorial board of Indianapolis' largest newspaper. (Indianapolis Star, Sept. 12)

Minority Issues
CA truancy data shows racial divide 
Black elementary schoolchildren in California were chronically truant and faced suspension from school at disproportionately high rates compared to other students last year, according to a study. (The Associated Press, Sept. 12)

Postsecondary/Student Voice
Opinion: Demand open source textbooks 
A student at California State University, Fullerton, writes about textbook costs. This line stands out: In the past decade, the price for new textbooks has increased 82 percent. Look for an ECS report on open source textbooks this week. (The Daily Titan, student newspaper of CSU-Fullerton, Sept. 10)

Technology/Rural Issues
When schools can't get online 
About 70 percent of America's elementary schools still rely on slow Internet connections. But in rural areas, the challenges -- and costs -- make getting broadband particularly complicated. (The Hechinger Report, Sept. 10)

 

Friday, Sept. 12

Competency-Based Education
What's accreditors' role in CBE expansion?
A surge in new competency-based degree programs has created challenges for the accreditors tasked with approving them. (Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 10)

Funding
WA Supreme Court finds Legislature in contempt
The Washington state Supreme Court is holding the Legislature in contempt for not making enough progress toward fully funding public education but, for now, is holding off on sanctions. (The Seattle Times, Sept. 11)

Postsecondary
Industry deepens connections with higher ed 
Corporations increasingly are investing in college programs in the quest for future employees with real-world skills. (U.S. News & World Report, Sept. 9)

Student Health and Wellness
New reports grade schools on reading, writing and recess
When parents in Colorado check state-mandated reports to see how their child's school is faring academically, they can also quickly learn if that school has a nurse, if it offers 30 minutes of daily physical activity for students, and if it has a school-based health center. (Education Week, Sept. 10)

Technology
Survey: Students like tech in the classroom
Students are optimistic about the role mobile technology can play in their education, according to a recent study. Data show 81 percent of students surveyed believe such technology helps personalize learning. (eSchool News, Sept. 9)

Thursday, Sept. 11

Common Core
What have states actually done with new standards?
Amid all the headlines in the past year of states dropping – or threatening to drop – the controversial Common Core State Standards, it can be tough to parse out just how many actually followed through. Read the ECS report. (The Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 10)

Postsecondary
Addressing the 'murky middle'
Students who end first year with G.P.A. between 2.0 and 3.0 have been neglected by academic support programs, says research based on data from 60 institutions. Is this where colleges can have the biggest impact on retention? (Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 10)

Professional Development
Does investment improve teacher outcomes? 
Billions of dollars are spent each year on teachers' professional development, but questions linger as to whether the money is helping teachers, schools and students. (The Washington Post, Sept. 6)

Teacher Evaluations
Study: Principals leery of data
Despite a trove of data on teacher effectiveness that has accumulated from the rollout of teacher-evaluation systems in recent years, many principals are not using that information to guide decisions about hiring, assignments, and professional development. (Education Week, Sept. 10)

Teaching 9/11
Teaching a new generation about a tragedy
Everyone remembers where they were on 9/11, how they found out and what they thought it meant when it happened. But as the watershed day turns 13, there is a burgeoning generation of students who did not live through it. How do younger Americans learn about 9/11? (Syracuse.com, Sept. 10)

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Common Core (New from ECS)
States and the (not so) new standards
There has been a flurry of activity around the Common Core State Standards, and while it seems the landscape is changing all the time, there has been very limited change in state standards. A new report from ECS captures a snapshot of where states currently stand in regard to those standards. (ECS, Sept. 10)

Graduation Rates
Keeping 9th graders on track can move grad rate
Students who end their ninth grade year on track are four times more likely to earn a diploma than those who fall off-track, according to new research. (Education Week, Sept. 9)

Postsecondary
Measuring what?
The New York Times kicked off its higher education conference by releasing what it called a "revolutionary college index" that ranks institutions that enroll students from low-income backgrounds. (Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 9)

Student Health
Most parents support federal standards for school meals 
A survey of more than 1,000 parents found that more than 70 percent reported being in favor of government school nutrition standards. (The Hill, Sept. 8)

Teacher Effectiveness
S.C. senators discuss teacher dismissal process
A South Carolina Senate panel is considering whether changes are needed to make it easier to get rid of incompetent teachers. But teacher advocates and attorneys said the current process works. (The Associated Press, Sept. 9)

 

Tuesday, Sept. 9

Early Learning
OKC schools head says repeal 3rd-grade reading law
Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Rob Neu is calling on legislators to repeal the state’s third-grade reading law because he says it does not serve the individual needs of children. (The Oklahoman, Sept. 6)

Postsecondary
Humanities are alive and kicking
Maybe the sky didn't fall on the humanities after all. A new report suggests much more stability in humanities departments between 2007-08 and 2012-13 than is widely assumed to be the case. (Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 8)

Postsecondary
States collaborate to keep track of students
After frequently hitting roadblocks when trying to track students who moved out of state – whether as youngsters moving with their families or to attend college or take jobs elsewhere – several states recently participated in a pilot project to share data on student outcomes. (Stateline, Sept. 5)

State Standards
Many start behind with new TX math standards
Most Texas public school students probably started the new school year behind in math, even if their grades and STAAR scores were fine last year. That’s because the state math standards had an earthquake-size change over the summer. (Dallas Morning News, Sept. 5)

Technology
Advances open up new avenues for cheating
Cheating's nothing new. But students and educators heading back to school this month say technology is helping to take skirting the rules to a new level. (Asbury Park Press, Sept. 8)

 

Monday, Sept. 8

Early Learning
How NYC prepared for pre-K
New York City has hired about 1,200 teachers, instructional coaches, enrollment specialists, social workers and other employees for its ambitious pre-kindergarten program that  was put to the test when more than 50,000 4-year-olds began their first day of school. (Capital New York, Sept. 4)

Education Policy
Is Alabama a battleground state for policy and reform? 
With mid-term elections approaching, recent events in Alabama suggest the state may be a battleground for education policy and reform. (AL.com, Sept. 4)

Postsecondary
For-profit education stocks on fire 
The for-profit education sector has gotten schooled in recent years by bad publicity and intensifying regulation, but some companies are now getting gold stars from Wall Street. (CNN Money, Sept. 7)

Teacher Certification
Indiana approves changes to certification rules
Job seekers who hold a four-year college degree and 3.0 GPA can now teach in Indiana classrooms once they pass a content knowledge exam -- even if they haven't been trained as an educator. (Chalkbeat Indiana, Sept. 3)

Teacher Pay
S.D. groups to propose teacher salary bill 
Representatives from several South Dakota education organizations will go before a legislative planning committee Monday with a plan they say would increase public school teacher salaries. (The Associated Press, Sept. 7)

 

Friday, Sept. 5

Early Learning/Minority Issues
In Illinois, preschool access worst for Latinos
High-quality preschool helps children from poor families prepare for kindergarten and beyond. Yet as the child poverty rate is climbing, those are the kids least likely to attend such programs. (The Hechinger Report, Sept. 4)

Education/Politics
Where do candidates for governor stand
Each of the five Democratic and Republican candidates for governor have outlined plans ahead of the Sept. 9 primaries that they say will help improve and expand access to education and keep Massachusetts among the top rung of states in the national rankings. (The Associated Press, Sept. 3)

Postsecondary
Gambling on the lottery
A growing number of states are using lottery money for college scholarships. But the politically popular lottery funds often fail to live up to their expectations, according to a new report from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. (Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 4)

School Schedules
How the U.S. compares
People may wonder if children in the U.S. spend less time in the classroom than kids in other countries. The answer: Not really, though it’s hard to say for sure. (Pew Research Center, Sept. 2)

STEM
Policymakers stand behind STEM push 
Although a recent study found that almost 75 percent of those who have STEM bachelor’s degrees have jobs in other fields, policymakers, advocates and executives continue to push STEM education as a way to close achievement gaps and produce U.S. innovation. (The Washington Post, Sept. 1)

 

Thursday, Sept. 4

Achievement Gap
Can music help underprivileged students succeed?
There is much evidence that poverty hinders the development of young brains. However, new research finds one important aspect of neural functioning is gradually strengthened when underprivileged children engage in music lessons. (Pacific Standard, Sept. 2)

Competency-based Education
Wisconsin gets approval for competency-based program
The U.S. Department of Education last week granted approval to a self-paced, competency-based program from two institutions in the University of Wisconsin System.(Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 3)

Online Education
Most TX college classes cost more online than on campus
State leaders have hailed online education as the elixir for mushrooming college costs, but online courses have proven to be more expensive for most students than traditional classrooms in Texas. (Dallas News, Sept. 2)

Postsecondary
Officials push back on college ratings plan
Since President Obama announced his college ratings plan more than a year ago, many higher education groups here have mounted the political equivalent of a full-court press against the proposal. (Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 3)

Remedial Education
How a more common approach could improve success
Do states really have a solid grasp of how many and which students require remediation? Do states know whether these students succeed in, and beyond, remedial courses? A recent report suggests that answer, in most cases, is a qualified, "no." (College & Career Readiness & Success Center, Sept. 2)

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Early Learning
Minnesota rolls out free all-day kindergarten
This year, for the first time, the state of Minnesota is picking up the $134 million tab for full-day kindergarten, a move educators hope will provide an academic jump-start for the state’s youngest learners. (Star Tribune, Sept. 2) 

Postsecondary
U.S. urged to curtail dropout rates of minority men
The federal government should require all colleges to create early-alert systems that flag students with low test scores, missing assignments, or spotty attendance. That would be one way, according to a report released on Tuesday, to curb the alarming number of minority men who drop out of college. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 2)

Postsecondary
Book: Undergrads 'drifting' through college
Many undergraduates, according to a new book, are "drifting through college without a clear sense of purpose," with more than a third of students not demonstrating any significant improvement in learning over four years in college. (Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 2)

School Safety
Security measures increase as schools open
A number of schools have boosted security as the school year begins across the region and across the country. (The Washington Post, August 31)

Teacher Tenure
California Gov. Brown appeals ruling
Gov. Jerry Brown appealed a court ruling that struck down tenure and other job protections for California’s teachers, setting himself apart from leaders in some other states who have fought to end such protections or at least raise the standards for obtaining them. (The Associated Press, Sept. 2)

Tuesday, Sept. 2

Common Core
Debate over new standards turns political

Millions of students will sit down at computers this year to take new tests rooted in the Common Core standards for math and reading, but policymakers in many states are dealing with a variety of concerns. (The Associated Press, August 30)

Early Learning
Early ed. can boost economic, social mobility

This opinion piece argues that education officials have reason to focus on a child’s earliest years. Research shows that 90 percent of brain development occurs in the first five years of life. (The Palm Beach Post, Sept. 1)

Minority Issues
Requirements deter would-be ‘Dreamers’

An estimated 426,000 young people nationwide meet all but one of the requirements of the immigration program launched two years ago: a high school diploma or GED.(Los Angeles Times, Sept. 1)

Postsecondary
Little consensus on MOOCs in higher ed.

The low percentage of students who complete massive, open, online courses on their own have educators rethinking how the new format for college coursework can best be put to use. (PBS, August 27)

Technology
What it takes for schools to ‘go digital’

With a laptop program and blended learning initiative, some school officials are joining a nationwide movement intended to transform public education through the use of technology. (The Hechinger Report, August 28)

 

 


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