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Obama says the future of US economy depends on a better education system
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama said that the future of the U.S. economy depends on improving the nation's education system. Speaking on NBC's "Today" show, Obama said it isn't something that the U.S. can spend its way out of. "Money, without reform, will not fix the problem," he said. The president's signature "Race to the Top" education program, funded with $4.35 billion, is meant to improve U.S. education by raising state standards and linking teacher pay to student achievement. Obama also has said that the U.S. is falling behind other nations in producing college graduates, leaving it less able to compete in the global economy. More

Troubles of US education get big screen close-up
Daily Comet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The troubles of the U.S. education system are getting a big screen close-up. There are no fewer than four education documentaries slated for release by the end of this year, including "Waiting for 'Superman,'" a poignant look at the lives of five children hoping to escape the dismal outcome of students at neighborhood public schools by winning entrance to a successful charter. The film by Davis Guggenheim, the Oscar-winning director of "An Inconvenient Truth," has already created a stir in education circles and opens in New York and Los Angeles. Those in the education community hope the films will do for education what "An Inconvenient Truth" did for the environmental movement by putting a much-needed spotlight on the failures of schools in America. More

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Maryland enacts environmental literacy program in public schools
GantDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
All public schools in Maryland must now have environmental education incorporated into their curriculum following action by the state's Board of Education. The board voted unanimously to require local public school systems to provide a multi-disciplinary environmental education program. It rejected a proposal making environmental education a graduation requirement, which some board members said would add to the workload of seniors. Environmental literacy will be taught to students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade through existing science and other classes. Each program will be designed by administrators according to the resources of their own school system. The program will be reviewed by the state Department of Education every five years. More

Reaction to 'Gathering Storm' US science education report
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A National Academies report warned of a crummy economic future unless fixes are made to U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. The National Center for Science Education, Inc. welcomes this report and hopes that the call for improving education — particularly in science, math, and technology fields — is heard by many. When the 2005 Gathering Storm report was released, the New York Times' Thomas Friedman wrote that the urgency of its findings required a bold "new New Deal" for education. But meaningful educational reforms have not materialized. More

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US education secretary vows to make American children
'good environmental citizens'

CNSNews.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan vowed that his department would work to make American children into "good environmental citizens" through federally subsidized school programs beginning as early as kindergarten that teach children about climate change and prepare them "to contribute to the workforce through green jobs." "Right now, in the second decade of the 21st century, preparing our children to be good environmental citizens is some of the most important work any of us can do. It's work that will serve future generations — and quite literally sustain our world," Duncan said at the Education Department's "Sustainability Education Summit: Citizenship and Pathways for a Green Economy." More



Education Dept. grants $442 million for teacher merit pay
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Education Department is giving school districts and nonprofit organizations from across the country $442 million to create merit pay programs for teachers and principals. The Teacher Incentive Fund is aimed at attracting and rewarding quality educators and encouraging them to work in the country's highest need schools. The programs will create performance pay systems based on evaluations of educators, among other incentives. More

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Study: Illinois kids get better start, but quality fades
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Illinois has improved the quality of its preschool programs but lags behind other states in grades K-12 and does not adequately prepare students to succeed in college and the work force, according a report released Thursday. Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Bill Daley presented the findings at a City Club of Chicago luncheon. The report was issued by Advance Illinois, a bipartisan educational policy group. It assigned grades to the state for each level of education, ranging from an "incomplete" in early childhood education to a "D" in kindergarten through high school. More

Class-size law makes sense
The Ledger (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education news has been dominated recently with school districts' struggle to comply with the class-size amendment that was approved by Florida voters in 2002. In that year, citizens approved an amendment to the Florida Constitution that set limits on the number of students in core classes in the state's public schools. More

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Bedbugs finding a way into New York's schools
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Having invaded New York City's bedrooms, retail stores, movie theaters and offices, bedbugs are now showing up with growing frequency in another place: public schools. There were 1,019 confirmed cases of bedbugs in the 2009-2010 school year — an 88 percent increase from the previous school year, according to Education Department records. So far, New York City's 311 help line has received 22 calls about bedbugs in schools, its records show. It is unclear whether additional cases were reported by other means. School officials declined to provide the full number of confirmed cases since classes started. But the Education Department spokeswoman, Marge Feinberg, said there had been no instances of city schools being closed because of bedbugs. More

South Carolina teacher training program gets federal funds
The Associated Press via The State    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
South Carolina has received a $47 million federal grant for teacher training. The Greenville News reported that the grant will build on South Carolina's Teacher Advancement Program that was started with a $34 million federal grant in 2006. The South Carolina State Education Department says it's the third time in four years that South Carolina has received federal money to train teachers and principals in hard-to-staff areas. More

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Schools celebrate tastes of Washington on lunch menus
The Associated Press via The News Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Parents, school officials, farmers and even kids would like to see more fresh vegetables on the lunchroom table, but the logistics of getting produce from farm to schools are complicated. One challenge is fresh vegetables are expensive, even if they come from local farms. With tight school lunch budgets, spending a few extra pennies on an apple can be out of reach. Some schools are featuring Washington-grown items on their menus as they participate in Taste Washington Day. Tricia Kovacs is in charge of the state's Farm-to-School Program, which was created in 2008 by legislation intended to make it easier to get more local food into school cafeterias. More

Race to top isn't a race to the middle
The Boston Globe (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education reform, long a bipartisan success story in Massachusetts, has become a heated issue. With the state board of education's decision to adopt the so-called Common Core State Standards for English and math, charges are flying that the Gov. Deval Patrick administration has abandoned the cornerstone of reform. John Silber, erstwhile Boston University chief and former board chairman, decries the move. During a recent debate, Republican gubernatorial nominee Charlie Baker was literally up in arms about it. It's a big mistake to give up sole ownership of our standards, Baker says. The Pioneer Institute, a regular and often hyperbolic critic of the Patrick administration's record on education, has fired salvo after salvo on the issue. More

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What 'Superman' got wrong, point by point
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While the education film, Waiting For Superman, has moving profiles of students struggling to succeed under difficult circumstances, it puts forward a sometimes misleading and other times dishonest account of the roots of the problem and possible solutions. The amped-up rhetoric of crisis and failure everywhere is being used to promote business-model reforms that are destabilizing even in successful schools and districts. A panel at NBC's Education Nation Summit, taking place in New York was originally titled "Does Education Need a Katrina?" Such disgraceful rhetoric undermines reasonable debate. More



Register for convention before Oct. 31
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The NAESP 2011 Annual Convention is the national event of the year for elementary and middle-level principals. Attendees can save $50 by registering before Oct. 31. The 2011 Convention features an extensive lineup of education's most authoritative presenters and promises to deliver the best professional development value for elementary and middle-level principals anywhere. Bryan McLain, principal of Denton Creek Elementary School in Coppell, Texas, said: "I have attended NAESP for the last 12 years and wouldn't miss it! I look forward to the convention every year. [It] always gives me a needed shot in the arm, and I go back to school ready to change the world!" More

Sharing the Dream recipients announced
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A special thanks to the MetLife Foundation for working in conjunction with NAESP to award 25 principals with $5,000 Sharing the Dream Grants. The money will be used to fund programs that engage parents and the community, and create globally oriented schools and international learning communities. The programs will have a strong global-engagement component and involve parents, teachers, civic groups, business leaders, institutes of higher learning, and other partners. More

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