While many of the current grant programs from the Department of Education have been targeted for cuts in proposed 2015 ESEA legislation, School Improvement Grants (SIG) still appear to be included in the Senate’s plan. According to a new report from the Council of Great City Schools, the continued investment is warranted since 70% of low-achieving urban schools that have received federal SIGs have shown progress over the past three years. School Improvement Grants: Progress Report from America’s Great City Schools found that SIG-award schools increased the numbers of students at or above proficient levels on state assessments in reading and math; schools in urban districts also demonstrated significant reductions in the numbers of students in the below-basic performance level in both subjects. Continue reading

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The debate over the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has taken place across all media, including Twitter. #Commoncore: How Social Media is Changing the Politics of Education, an ongoing project from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, examines the role that Twitter has played in the discussion, including how it can help ordinary citizens and social advocacy groups obtain greater influence than even education officials and legislators. Continue reading

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The goal for most education advocates is the same: developing college- and career-ready students who will contribute to the workforce. The path, however, is not clear. In addition to arguments over which standards will better serve students, questions are being raised over whether students are being asked to focus too much too early on their college careers and whether or not play should be an element even in high school classrooms. A recent pair of articles in the New York Times examines the trend of starting the college search with first graders, while a piece on Time.com looks at bringing joy and creativity back to middle and high school students. Continue reading

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A recent Huffington Post article looked at nine studies comparing print and digital book preferences. While the reports examine different populations, the overall findings share one point in common: students still value print for education and personal reading. Continue reading

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On February 26 the FCC passed the Open Internet Order, designed to protect free expression and innovation on the Internet as well as promote investment in broadband networks. Preserving what is known as net neutrality, this order from the Commission comes in response to Verizon v. FCC, which overturned the FCC’s Open Internet rules. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington overturned the rules because the agency classified broadband providers in a manner that exempted them from being treated as a common carrier. According to a news release from the FCC, the Open Internet Order restores the FCC’s authority “by following a template for sustainability laid out in the D.C. Circuit Opinion itself, including reclassification of broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act.” The new rules apply to fixed and mobile broadband service. Continue reading

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