A new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education shows that the majority of PreK-12 federal funding is for birth to fifth grade ($26 billion) compared to grades 6-8 ($2.5 billion) and grades 9-12 ($3.1 billion). At the higher education level, funding rises again to $31.1 billion. The report, Never Too Late: Why ESEA Must Fill the Missing Middle, does acknowledge that graduation rates have risen over the past decade. However, the authors contend that if the stagnant funding for grades 6-12 continues and low-performing schools don’t have help in turning around, the U.S. will cease making progress on the goal to have every student college- and career-ready. Continue reading

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At the 2014 Technology-Enabled Personalized Learning (TEPL) Summit hosted by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University in collaboration with Digital Promise, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), and the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA), participants discussed challenges and potential solutions for implementing TEPL. The outcomes of the Summit have now been released in a report, Technology-Enabled Personalized Learning: Findings and Recommendations to Accelerate Implementation. Continue reading

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Early political opposition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) appeared to mostly come from conservatives concerned about what they perceived as an increasing federal role in state education. A new report from the Brookings Institution shows how criticism has evolved to include the wider political spectrum when it became linked to other initiatives, like teacher reform, and when speed of implementation seemed to take precedence over other classroom concerns. “The evolving politics of the Common Core” by Ashley Jochim and Lesley Lavery theorizes that the growing opposition occurred because issues like evaluation, accountability, and privacy were ignored in the fervor over adopting the CCSS. Continue reading

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A new white paper, “Social and emotional development: The next school reform frontier,” from the Brookings Institute highlights inequality in K-12 academic development found in minority students and low-income, urban districts. Referring to the current No Child Left Behind (NCLB) rewrite in Congress, the paper contends that part of new policy for NCLB should focus on the emotional and social development of students who routinely fall behind academically. The paper’s author writes that while there has been success in narrowing achievement gaps, there is research that suggests intervening in social and emotional skills can in turn boost academic skills. In relation to the Brookings paper, support by a number of large civil rights groups for NCLB testing also focuses on how this education policy can help students.  Continue reading

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The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) have published an open letter to the education community calling for changes to EdReports reviews of instructional materials for their alignment with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). According to the letter, “the current ratings and reviews do not provide the types and quality of information needed to make informed choices about the extent to which particular materials support students’ learning, or teachers’ teaching, of CCSSM.” Continue reading

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