Arne Duncan Announces Excellent Educators for All Initiative

 

In a July 7, 2014 press statement, U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Arne Duncan announced the Excellent Educators for All Initiative to help states and school districts support quality educators for the students who need them most. In a July 7 “Dear Chief State School Officers” letter, the Secretary stated that family income and race too often predict the likelihood of a child attending a school staffed with quality experienced educators. [More]

 

ED Secretary Announces Increased Accountability for Special Education Programs

 

On June 24, 2014, U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Arne Duncan announced a “major shift” in how ED measures the effectiveness of special education programs in states and U.S. territories. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires ED to make an annual determination of each state’s and territory’s IDEA compliance in four categories: meets requirements, needs assistance, needs intervention, or needs substantial intervention. [More]

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NCTQ Releases 2014 Rankings of Teacher Prep Programs

 

On June 17, 2014, one week after a California (CA) court ruled that CA teacher retention laws allow grossly ineffective teachers to remain in classrooms in violation of the CA Constitution, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its 2014 Teacher Prep Review reflecting major flaws in teacher preparation programs across the country. U.S. News and World Report stated on its website that, based on the NCTQ report, “The majority of education programs fail to equip their teachers with the training necessary to succeed in the classroom.” [More]

 

CA Judge Rules Teacher Retention Laws Violate Students’ Rights

 

In a June 10, 2014 tentative decision, a California (CA) Superior Court Judge ruled in favor of nine public school students who challenged five teacher retention statutes (Challenged Statutes) alleging that the statutes violate their right to equal protection under the CA constitution and their “fundamental rights to equality of education.” The students claimed that the Challenged Statutes result in grossly ineffective teachers obtaining and retaining permanent employment (tenure) and that those teachers are disproportionately situated in schools serving predominantly poor and/or minority students. [More]

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ED Provides Guidance on CWA Access to Student Records

 

In a June 2, 2014 press statement, the U. S. Department of Education (ED) announced the release of resources to "emphasize and support the needs of foster care students." Those resources include a dedicated Students in Foster Care informational web page and guidance on implementing the 2013 Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA). [More]

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ED Announces New GEAR UP Competitions

 

In a June 3, 2014 press statement, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the availability of $75 million for two new grant competitions for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP). The six-year grants to states and partnerships are intended to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. [More]

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NCES Releases the Condition of Education 2014 Report

 

On May 28, 2014, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released the Condition of Education 2014 report. This annual report provides policymakers with information about the progress of U.S. education using 42 indicators on specified topics and trends including population characteristics, which addresses the implications of the level of education attainment, and participation in education, which addresses access to educational opportunities. Other indicators involve the assessment of various aspects of k-12 and postsecondary education. [More]

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School Desegregation Remains Elusive 60 Years after Brown v. Board of Education

 

On May 17, 1954, in Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine historically used to institutionalize the segregation of black and white citizens in many aspects of American society, including education. The landmark decision stated, among other things, that the opportunity for a public school education “is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.” Later, in 1955, Chief Justice Earl Warren ordered that “states and school districts must admit students to public schools on a racially nondiscriminatory basis with all deliberate speed.” However, 60 years after the Brown decision, the segregation of and discrimination against students of color in public schools across the country remain serious concerns, as discussed in a May 13, 2014 special series of Education Week articles commemorating the decision’s 60th anniversary. [More]

 

NAEP Shows No Improvement in Twelfth Graders’ Reading and Math Proficiency

 

On May 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released the results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), revealing that there has been no improvement in 12th grade students’ reading and math proficiency since 2009. According to the NAEP, also called the nation’s report card, only about 26 percent of high school seniors reached or exceeded the proficiency level in math; only 37 percent reached or exceeded the proficiency level in reading. [More]

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ED and DOJ Provide Guidance on Enrolling Undocumented Students

 

In a May 8, 2014 press statement, U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder announced updated guidance to assist schools to provide equal access to education for all students regardless of immigration status in accordance with federal law. Initial guidance was issued in 2011 to help schools understand their responsibilities with regard to student enrollment. The updated guidance emphasizes the need for “flexibility” in accepting documents to prove a child’s age and residency. [More]

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