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Monday Reading Roundup

Welcome to the second full week of July, and some good stuff to read.

College completion: The new chairman of the National Governors Association has announced an initiative focusing on college completion. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin made this announcement yesterday at the organization's annual meeting, as he began his term as chairman. (See Inside Higher Ed's story here and AP's here.) As you know, college completion has gotten a very high profile recently, as one of the key education priorities of the Barack Obama administration, and of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dropout crisis
: The Hechinger Report has produced a special section about the dropout crisis for the July/August edition of Washington Monthly magazine. It profiles efforts in New York City, Portland and Philadelphia, and discusses, among other things, the delicate balance between high standards and high graduation rates, and how small high schools have been doing at improving grad rates. You can find the package at Hechinger, or at Washington Monthly.

Hechinger, by the way, is a nonprofit that trains an in-depth eye on education coverage at a time when it is tougher and tougher for news organizations to devote reporters to education. (See our story about their startup.) Their stories have run in the Los Angeles Times (teacher evaluation laws), Washington Post (for-profit colleges), and Education Week (three pieces on early-childhood education, here, here and here; a piece on the effect of the recession on children, and one on closing schools in New York). Give 'em a read.

Gates Foundation: The Washington Post explores the influence the Seattle-based philanthropy has had on education.

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