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From the Editor

Anne Wujcik, EditorSomehow this piece of news slipped by me. In mid-August, Rep. John Kline, Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Senator Lamar Alexander, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions have asked the Government Accounting Office to initiate an investigation of the ESEA Flexibility (waivers) initiative. In their letter to the GAO , the two Republican leaders asked the agency to study the criteria used for waiver determination, the changes states have made to comply with waiver requirements, the average time, resources and legislative action required to seek and maintain waiver approval, and some of the requirements surrounding implementation of the teacher and principal evaluation systems. Republican have long complained that the Department of Education has used the ESEA Flexibility initiative to establish new requirements that are not authorized by Congress and step well beyond the bounds of the current legislation. Kline and Alexander pointed out what they see as uneven application of the requirements as the Department goes about approving waiver extensions, especially around the new educator evaluation systems.

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Voice from the Industry

Vicki Smith BighamVicki's Top 10 Tips for Making the Most of EdNET

This is the 26th year of the EdNET Conference, and I have been honored to be involved in 23 of them. That makes me a veteran!

My tips are intended for the newcomers to EdNET but can also serve as a set of reminders for conference veterans so that all may make use of the networking tools and opportunities before, during, and following the conference.

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

Vicki Smith BighamSo long August—you have made the Snoop tired but in a good way. These have been busy days, but now we look forward to a long weekend! I hope you are looking forward to a special Labor Day weekend. Take just a moment to catch up on a lot of news before you say good-bye to this work week and the last days of summer!

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ACT College Readiness Report Points to Growing Interest in Higher Education Among U.S. High School Graduates

Interest in attending college continues to grow among U.S. high school graduates, according to ACT’s annual Condition of College & Career Readiness report. The report, which focuses on 2014 high school graduates who took the ACT® college readiness assessment, points to increased participation and high aspirations among the nation’s graduates, potentially leading to greater college access. ACT data suggest student aspirations are high. The vast majority (86 percent) of 2014 ACT-tested graduates reported that they intend to pursue postsecondary education.The report, however, cautions that having college aspirations isn’t enough. A similar percentage (87 percent) of 2013 tested graduates aspired to higher education, but only 69 percent actually enrolled in a postsecondary institution in fall 2013. That gap represents more than 300,000 students who fell short of their goal.

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New Poll Finds Declining Public Confidence in Uncle Sam's Education Policies

he American public has sharpened its belief that the federal government should not play a dominant role in public education, with a majority saying they simply do not support initiatives that they believe were created or promoted by federal policymakers, a new survey shows. Those and other findings are contained in the 46th edition of the PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. Conducted annually by PDK International in conjunction with Gallup, the poll is the longest-running survey of American attitudes toward education and thus provides an extensive and trusted repository of data documenting how the publicfs viewpoint on public education has changed over the decades.

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