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News Update

In January, the controversial results of the StudentsFirst State Policy Report Card made national headlines. The report, which ranked states A through F based on how well their policies aligned with the reform group’s agenda, gave 11 states a failing grade, and awarded none an A. It also underscored the role of district leaders in enacting school reform by outlining each state’s policies and determining where administrators can implement changes.

Students in five states will soon spend at least 300 extra hours in the classroom for the next three years or more, thanks to an initiative that aims to increase student achievement across socioeconomic lines by providing more in-school educational opportunities, announced last December.


Ruth Rathblott was appointed chief executive officer of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund, an academic enrichment program for underserved students. Her goal is to expand its reach and further its mission to help New York City’s low-income students enter and graduate college.


U.S. education is increasingly going global: The U.S. Department of Education recently announced its first-ever, fully articulated international strategy, designed to strengthen schools and advance the nation’s international priorities.

After years of controversy, court battles, and a disbanded cultural studies program, the Tucson (Ariz.) Unified School District is turning to a new program to raise the achievement of Hispanic students.


Mary T. Barra, General Motors’ senior vice president of global product development and an active supporter of STEM, will be the first woman to receive the 2013 Industry Leadership Award from the SAE Foundation, a global charity supporting STEM learning.

Although school counselors play an important role in students’ college and career readiness, a lack of training and focus on this task often impedes their work, according to the 2012 National Survey of School Counselors. This can directly impact student success, the survey found, since students in schools where counselors are trained and held accountable for college-related activities are more likely to go to college.

In the last 60 years, America’s K12 public school system has experienced far greater growth in employing administrators and non-teaching staff than employing teachers or students, a new report found. This growth occurred in virtually all 50 states, and did not correspond to increased student achievement.

Students from a NAF Academy of Engineering in San Francisco gain internship experience on construction sites of major transit projects.

A new assessment system for high school students providing multiple measures of college and career readiness launched this fall, helping students in career-themed public high schools understand what skills they need to enter the 21st-century workforce. The National Academy Foundation (NAF), the largest developer of career-themed public high schools in the country, partnered with education research agency WestEd to create the multi-method test, marking a move toward more effectively measuring college and career readiness.

Implementing the Common Core represents the biggest change to K12 assessment systems since No Child Left Behind, leading to concerns over the costs of enacting these new standards and tests. A report from the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution provides first-of-its kind, comprehensive and up-to-date information on assessment system costs nationwide to help states predict spending under the Common Core.