From the Editor RSS Feed

Record Graduation Rate, SSAEGuidance

Once again there is a lot of buzz around graduation rates. The National Center for Education Statistics published the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate for 2014-15, a series of tables that display the percentage of students from the original cohort who graduated in four years with a regular high school diploma. Nationally, high school graduation rates stand at a record high 83.2%. Since the 2010-11 school year, when states, districts and schools began this new a common metric, the national graduation rate has increased by roughly 4 percentage points. Graduation rate varies by state and for specific sub-groups of students. Increases in the graduation rate for the 2014-2015 school year were seen for all ethnic groups, as well as for disabled students and students from low-income families. Read More »

K-12 Computer Science Framework

This week saw the release of the K-12 Computer Science Framework,. Developed by the Association for Computing Machinery,, the Computer Science Teachers Association, the Cyber Innovation Center and the National Math and Science Initiative, the Framework provides a core set of concepts and practices for teaching computer science. It is not a set of standards. Organizers expect that states and school districts will use the framework to create their own standards, curriculum and instructional approaches. This is an instance where the schools are likely to welcome outside input as many lack the expertise to develop standards and curriculum on their own, especially at the earlier grade levels. Read More »

High School Testing

While the new Every Student Succeeds Act still requires that students be tested at least once in high school in reading or language arts, mathematics, and science, it also gives states quite a bit of wiggle room in designing their high school assessment and accountability systems. States are in the process of deciding which high school assessments they will use as well as how these assessments will factor into their new accountability systems. Achieve has published two new briefs exploring these issues, designed to provide policymakers with the information they need to make these important decisions. Read More »

Data: State of Our Cities, Opportunity Project Tools

On September 29, President Obama signed the Continuing Resolution (CR) for FY 2017. This short-term CR will keep federal agencies and programs funded through December 9. Under a CR spending is held level with the prior year’s budget, though this CR includes an across the board cur of slightly less than 0.5% to ensure that spending stays below the mandated budget caps.

Congress returns for a lame duck session on November 14. Typically not much comes out of lame duck sessions, but given how little was accomplished over the past year, there’s plenty to work on. Leaders seem to want to complete the appropriations process. There are 11 bills still to be passed. Read More »

Some News To Note

I am so looking forward to EdNET this year. Vicki has put together a terrific program and there are lots of real issues to discuss. See you in Dallas!

I had a note from Victor Rivero, Editor-in-Chief at EdTech Digest. Victor wants to be sure that everyone knows that there is still time to enter the 7th annual EdTech Awards. The entry deadline is September 30, 2016. The EdTech Awards honor cool tools, inspiring leaders, and innovative trendsetters in the education and technology sector. Check out the press release in today's Announcements section for details.

The President was busy last week. He hosted two White House Summits, one on reinventing high school and the other on computer science. The pattern of these events has become very familiar. Read More »

Horizon Report > 2016 K-12 Edition

The NMC Horizon Report > 2016 K-12 Edition has been released. The report is produced by the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), made possible by Share Fair Nation under a grant from the Morgridge Family Foundation. CoSN also released a new Toolkit to accompany the 2016 Horizon Report, designed to assist schools share the report's latest education trends and open conversations around whether and how the identified trends relate to challenges in their local communities. Read More »

The New Head Start Performance Standards

The Department of Health and Human Services has released the new Head Start Performance Standards. Department officials say that the new standards represent the biggest changes made since the standards were originally published in 1975. Even without new regulations Head Start has changed a lot since its 1965 inception. Over the years the program has placed more emphasis on expanding children's learning opportunities, with a resulting demand for better-prepared teachers. Building on that ongoing evolution, the new standards further strengthen curriculum requirements for children, increase expectations around professional development for teachers and ramp up the program's efforts on behalf of children with disabilities, homeless students and English language learners Read More »

ED's Draft ESSA Spending rules

The Department of Education released its revised rules governing how school districts allocate billions of Title I dollars meant to educate poor children. The underlying idea is that districts must use Title I dollars to add resources to poor schools on top of the baseline that districts provide to all schools, the supplement not supplant principle. The initial proposal was widely criticized. In that set of rules the Department asked districts to demonstrate that state and local per-pupil funding in Title I schools is at least equal to the average per-pupil spending in non-Title I schools. It is clear that the Department took the comments it received seriously and incorporated a number of changes into these revised rules, but critics - Republican Congressional leaders, the teacher unions, the chiefs, district superintendents - remain unhappy. Read More »

Education Next 10th Annual Poll

With all the back-to-school activities and EdNET Conference planning in full swing, I guess I have to admit that summer is truly coming to an end. Vicki has been involved with EdNET planning for months now, but recently I have joined her on a series of planning calls with our various speakers. That's when I begin to get really excited, as we toss around questions and share ideas with people building companies and thinking about the next generation of innovative and challenging learning products. We keep returning to issues related to discoverability, product evaluation and efficacy research. After a planning call for an EdNET session on the changing procurement environment, I was reminded that Digital Promise is collecting examples of how ed-tech developers use research to design, improve, and evaluate their ed-tech products. Researchers from Columbia Teachers College will review all submissions and select three companies to be featured on Digital Promise and EdSurge's sites. And, all participating companies will be listed on the Digital Promise site. Submit your examples by September 30th. This is a great opportunity to tell your story and share it with the education community. Read More »

EQUIP Launches

I couldn't resist picking up the story from the Paper and Packaging Board that you'll find in the Featured News section. I for one am a big fan of paper. I'm old enough that I find it easier to jot down an address than reach for my phone and hunt and peck away at immediately entering it in my contact list. I also believe there are a few tasks that, for me at least, demand a handwritten note - an expression of sympathy or a heartfelt thank you. I love the heft of an engraved invitation and look forward to opening Christmas cards. Of course, I'm not exactly the embodiment of the 21st century digital citizen. Nevertheless, I'm betting paper will be around for a long time to come.

The Department of Education announced that it had invited eight selected partnerships between institutions of higher education and non-traditional providers to participate in the EQUIP (Educational Quality through Innovation Partnerships) experiment. Read More »