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From the Editor

Anne Wujcik, EditorOn Tuesday, President Obama released the FY 2017 budget for the Department of Education. The president's budget provides $69.4 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $1.3 billion, or 2%, over the 2016 level. In many ways this budget is something of a wish list. Money is tight and the Republicans seem determined to fight most increases, no matter how moderate. The partial lifting of the sequester caps provided under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 helps, but does not allow for a lot of new programming. The 2015 legislation increased discretionary spending by $80 billion over two years, split evenly between defense and nondefense programs. The FY 2016 budget saw a resulting bump of $50 billion, leaving a $30 billion increase for FY 2017. That's not a lot of money to spread over many departments and programs. The Department of Education budget emphasizes three themes: (1) increasing equity and excellence; (2) providing support for teachers and school leaders; and (3) promoting access, affordability, and completion in higher education.

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Voice from the Field

Sean Herdman, Associate Publisher, Education WeekStudent Achievement: The Deep Dive With District Leaders

EdMarketer 2016 explores district leaders’ perspectives on student achievement. See some of the highlights from the study Student Achievement: The Deep Dive:

  • You are just one player in “The Achievement Market.”
  • School district leaders have a clear definition for student achievement.
  • Teacher motivation, student engagement, and principal leadership are the top drivers of student achievement.
  • You overrate your role as an achievement partner to districts.

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She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

Vicki Smith BighamHey, hey, it's Friday! And you know what that means—it's time for your weekly dose of my scoops. Stop for a minute and check out the news of colleagues and friends....

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Babson Study: Distance Education Enrollment Growth Continues;

The 2015 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group in partnership with the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Pearson, WCET, StudyPortals, and Tyton Partners, reveals the number of higher education students taking at least one distance education course in 2015 is up 3.9% over the previous year. Growth, however, was uneven; private non-profit institutions grew by 11.3% while private for-profit institutions saw their distance enrollments decline by 2.8%. These and other findings were published today in a report titled, "Online Report Card: Tracking Online Education in the United States."

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"With Math I Can" Initiative Unveiled To Change Student Mindsets about Math;

A coalition of non-profit education and education technology organizations launched a national initiative to transform student attitudes about math. Developed under the leadership of Amazon Education and TenMarks, "With Math I Can" challenges the nation's more than three million teachers and their students to take the pledge to replace the notion of "I'm not good at math" with "I am working to get better at math" by embracing a "growth mindset," the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed, which leads to an increased focus on the process of learning rather than the outcome.

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