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From DA

State Proficiency Standards Vary

According to the authors of "The Proficiency Illusion," a new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), those who care about strengthening U.S. K12 education "should be furious."

If you visit the District of Manatee County in Florida, be ready to hand over your driver's license to have it swiped and checked against a database of sex offenders.

Just a decade ago, saving the environment and global warming were issues that few Americans worried about.

There was a time when guidance counselors helped students choose and apply to four or five colleges, after which they could count on at least two acceptances, ideally from a first-choice school and a backup. Now counselors encourage students to apply to more schools to increase their odds of getting into their top choice and more than 30 percent of students apply to seven or more colleges. Thus, developing a strategy for admissions these days seems more like hedging bets at a roulette table than simply picking a top choice and a backup.

As the magazine of education leadership for top-level decision makers in K12 education, District Administration reaches key executives in virtually every school district in the United States, including superintendents, business officers, technology managers, curriculum directors, library/media center directors and funding administrators. Certainly no one is better qualified to comment on current district spending than the readers of this magazine.

Metropolitan Nashville (Tenn.) Public Schools is one of the largest urban districts in the country, covering 525 square miles of Davidson County and including 75,000 students and more than 9,000 staff members. The district has maintained its Web site since 1997.

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