DA Daily

North Carolina to release school test results

State officials are expected to release information on end-of-grade and end-of-course testing in area schools next week, but letter grades assigned to schools won’t be released until next year. It will include graduation rates, end-of-grade proficiency, end-of-course proficiency and some other measures.

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Eschewing healthy lunches costs everyone

Our local leaders chose to give up federal lunch subsidies and not meet the new federal school nutrition guidelines. But decisions about what our kids eat at school are not just personal ones that affect one family. Instead, the leaders could have chosen to provide healthier options that could lead to the students’ sharing ideas at home and possibly increasing everyone’s quality of life and health.

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College readiness gap reveals core problems

Only 23 percent of Montana students met ACT college readiness benchmarks in all four subjects – English, reading, math and science. To improve readiness for post-secondary education, Montana education leaders should take a close look at what the best-performing states are doing and adopt best practices.

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Hawaii's public school chronic absenteeism drops by 39 percent

Hawaii's public elementary schools have made significant headway in reducing the number of students chronically absent, according to the Hawaii State Department of Education 2013-14 Strive HI Performance System results. The state saw a 7 percent drop in chronic absenteeism from 18 to 11 percent for 2013-2014 while 163 of 169 elementary schools improved their chronic absenteeism rates.

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High teacher turnover in Wisconsin district

The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District is trying to rebound from one of the biggest teacher turnovers it's ever seen to keep education from suffering. More than 100 teachers have quit or retired, including the superintendent.

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Kansas schools not exploiting school finance formula

The rising percentage of Kansas children who receive free or reduced-price lunches at school is a genuine trend linked to poverty, not a ploy to boost school funding, the Kansas Association of School Boards said. The report is a response to questions concerning why the percentage is climbing and whether the increase might be linked to schools gaming the system to exploit changes in the state’s school finance formula.

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San Francisco board delays decision on altering school assignment system

An effort to tweak San Francisco's school assignment system in favor of neighborhood schools has been delayed. If the board opts to change the system in the spring, it would leave more time to adjust the formula and inform parents ahead of the 2016-2017 fall-winter school assignment process than if it changed it now for 2015-2016.

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To keep poor students in school, provide social services

Children living in poverty are by far the most likely to be chronically absent from school. The key to helping solve this problem is to put dedicated social-service specialists in every low-performing, high-poverty school. It is low-cost way of avoiding bigger problems down the road.

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Let them sleep: Pediatricians' group recommends delaying start times

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement recommending that middle and high schools delay the start of class to 8:30 a.m. or later to align school schedules to adolescents' biological sleep rhythms. Studies show that adolescents who don’t get enough sleep often suffer physical and mental health problems, an increased risk of automobile accidents and a decline in academic performance. 

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Texas Education Agency approves SPARK Coordinated School Health program

SPARK was selected by the Texas Education Agency as one of three state-approved Coordinated School Health programs for K8 students. The SPARK program gives districts tools to provide physical education and physical activity, as well as health education and nutrition education.