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Education Week Roundup, November 28, 2007

With Congress putting NCLB reauthorization on hold, it has turned to Head Start, higher education, and appropriations. Those subjects fill the Washington section in the current issue of Education Week.

NCLB's influence does appear in a story reporting urban districts' scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress (Students in Urban Districts Inching Forward on NAEP). Kathleen Kennedy Manzo and Sean Cavanagh quote an expert who attributes the gradual gains, in part, to the districts' use of data collected under NCLB.

"From a systemic point of view, urban districts have been taking advantage of this data and direction to better align and organize their systems, and to build overall better systems to inform and improve instruction," said Heather Zavadsky, the director of policy and communication at the Institute for Public School Initiatives in the University of Texas system.

On the budget front, Alyson Klein reports that congressional Republicans are calling for the president to meet Democrats in the middle (Bush, Congress Still Battling Over Education Budget).

You can read about the Head Start bill awaiting President Bush's signature (Head Start Measure Expected to Launch New Era for Program) and the House education committee's bill to reauthorize postsecondary programs (Higher Education Act Renewal Advances). As you do, note that authorization for both bills expired four years ago.

Many folks are betting that NCLB won't be reauthorized until at least 2009. But if NCLB is on the same pace as Head Start and the Higher Education Act, we're looking at 2011 before NCLB is done. Does anyone think that's possible?

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