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From the Editor

Anne Wujcik, EditorEducation Week ran a major article this week reporting that students who took the PARCC assessment last school year on the computer tended to score lower than those who took the paper-and- pencil form of the test. While the numbers are not yet available across the states in the consortium, a PARCC spokesperson acknowledged that the pattern exists, on average. The pattern was most pronounced in English/language arts and middle- and upper-grades math. The Smarter Balanced consortium is still investigating if any such problems exist among their test takers.

It seems fairly obvious that lack of familiarity with computers added to the challenges that students faced as they worked their way through the PARCC test. Students who did not know their way around the computer may have found dragging and dropping, highlighting or scrolling back through text to find the required supporting evidence more difficult than test designers anticipated. Navigating the computer may have slowed then down or just frustrated them.

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Voice from the Industry

Dusty Moore, President, iCEVNow Is the Time to Dive Into Career and Technical Education: Major pathway for high-achieving students

Beyond a buzz phrase, CTE is without a doubt growing as an innovative education pathway to career and postsecondary education success for students across the country. By providing students with the tools and information needed to be relevant and skilled workers in the 21st century, bridging education and industry standards and strengthening career opportunities for students, CTE plays a prominent role in securing economic viability for the nation.

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

Vicki Smith BighamWelcome to February! I heard great stories from those who enjoyed TCEA this week. I hope it has been a great week for each of you. I am glad you found your way to my scoops—check them out now!

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NEW from ECS: Updated 50-State Comparison of Charter School Policies

Charter school laws vary from state to state, and often differ on several important factors, such as who is allowed to authorize charter schools, how authorizers and charter schools are held accountable for student outcomes and whether the teachers in a charter school have to be certified. Education Commission of the States has researched charter school policies in all states to provide this comprehensive resource, and all information has been updated as of January 2016. Thorough analysis of 30 topic areas shows how all states approach specific charter school policies, and it is easy to dig deeper into specific approaches through individual state profiles.

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State Pre-K Funding for 2015-16 Fiscal Year:

Policymakers from both sides of the aisle continued a trend of boosting state investments in pre-k programs during the 2015-16 fiscal year, with 32 states and the District of Columbia combining for a 12 percent increase over the previous year. State Pre-K Funding for 2015-16 Fiscal Year: National trends in state preschool funding, a new analysis from Education Commission of the States, highlights an increase in these early learning programs for the fourth-straight year. The report includes several state examples and an overview of the pre-k programs they have in plac

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