Time to play catch-up after having been gone from the newsroom for a week. There are a number of good reads I want you to know about. Check out this story from USA Today about how teenagers are changing their senior year of high school. This is something that interests me, and I hope it interests you as well. The move to revamp senior year is certainly a symptom of one of the illnesses of high school. But it also strikes me as something that could carry great risks as well as potentially great opportunities. All in all, worth watching. ...


Seventeen states have committed to raise their college completion rates, establish common measures of progress, and publicly report their annual results.


The long-awaited, much-anticipated draft of grade-by-grade common standards for K-12 education will be coming out for public comment next week, an education official at the National Governors Association said yesterday. The word came during a panel discussion hosted by the nonprofit group Achieve pegged to the release of a new report on state progress toward advancing the so-called "college- and career-ready" agenda. "You'll see those standards released next week," said Dane Linn, the director of the education division of the NGA's Center for Best Practices. "We'll open them to public comment, much like we did with the college- and career-ready ...


A new report looks at how states are doing in implementing the so-called "college- and career-readiness agenda."


A bipartisan group of U.S. senators this week introduced legislation to promote and improve engineering education in schools. "As a nation, our future success depends on our ability to produce a greater number of engineers," Sen. Edward E. Kaufman, D-Del., a co-sponsor of the bill who claims to be the only current senator who has worked as an engineer, said in a prepared statement. "This legislation will give schools nationwide more incentive to implement science and engineering education into K-12 curricula." With both the America COMPETES Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act up for reauthorization, you can ...


Wisconsin's governor has signed legislation that requires public schools to teach about birth control and sexually-transmitted diseases as part of comprehensive sex education classes.


The White House is conducting a competition among public schools, with the winner getting President Obama to deliver their commencement address this year.


Something tells me that a "Dear Colleague" letter circulating in Congress to shore up federal support for the Reading Is Fundamental program is just one of many such letters making the rounds in response to President Obama's recent budget request. The bipartisan letter by Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, and Don Young, R-Alaska, urges fellow House members to join them in resisting Obama's plans to consolidate federal aid for RIF into a new literacy fund the president hopes to create at the U.S. Department of Education. It's part of Obama's larger effort, outlined in his fiscal 2011 budget plan, ...


President Obama wants to tie Title I aid to states' adoption of the common standards, as you already know from reading our story. But a couple of new reports are out today claiming that several states would have more to lose than to gain by adopting them. One study comes from the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research in Massachusetts. The institute compared the September and January drafts of the common standards with the state standards in Massachusetts and California. The study concludes that the common standards will not ensure that students are college-ready in math or English/language arts. ...


Those of you who consider yourselves assessment freaks (I say that affectionately) might be interested in a couple of tidbits today: the vision of next-generation assessment laid out at a forum I attended yesterday, and a report and webinar this week on the topic. The experts at yesterday's panel articulated quite the sweeping vision of assessments they'd like to see take shape as the Race to the Top money becomes available for development of common tests, and as Congress starts to discuss reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. See what they had to say in my story today. You ...


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