You've probably heard about Obama's back to school speech (transcript here, video here, our PK-12 blog post here). Steering clear of the controversy sparked by last year's speech, he urged students to dream big and write their own destinies, no matter how difficult their current circumstances may be. Anything is within reach with hard work and attention to one's studies, he said. He recounted that he was "kind of a goof-off" in high school, and his mom had to sit him down and exhort him to apply himself. He even worked in an anti-bullying plea for tolerance. Wonder if the ...


The board of experts in science and engineering sees a pressing need to better identify and nurture "STEM innovators," and calls for efforts to "cast a wide net."


A California bill aimed at reducing the dropout rate has critics worried that it will erode arts education in schools.


A White House advisory panel is getting ready to issue a report with ideas for how the federal government can help to improve STEM education in the United States.


The College Board includes a previously excluded group of students in its annual report, which lowers test scores a point but allows it to claim that it maintains a popularity edge over rival ACT.


A quick roundup of developments in math, financial literacy, arts education, and book banning.


A couple of curriculum-related bits for you this morning: • We told you recently that the Partnership for 21st Century Skills was moving in with the Council of Chief State School Officers. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute's Checker Finn weighs in on this in the organization's weekly newsletter. (Hint: he doesn't have buckets of love to heap on P21. Along with a list of others, Finn's been critical of P21's ideas, arguing that they shortchange knowledge in the push for skills.) • An interesting bit of research surfaced the other day that carries a disappointing message for how well supplemental reading...


Georgia is planning to require all elementary and middle schools to use science achievement as a factor in making AYP under the No Child Left Behind Act.


A few bits to peruse on this late summer morning: • The Maryland board of education gets on its biggest district's case for the controversial curriculum contract it signed with Pearson (more about that contract here). • Whiteboard Advisors, a consulting outfit here in Washington, takes an "insiders' survey" about perceptions of the two state consortia that recently won Race to the Top assessment grants. It finds some intriguing things, and offers a little tease here. Full results are due out tomorrow. • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation highlights its work on the common-core standards in its annual report (see Page 5). ...


A new video series intended for classroom use will explore the "science of football."


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