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From DA

Since its 2004 founding, MyeAcademy has provided college-bound students with instruction to improve their scores on the SAT Reasoning test. With more than 80 percent of its students improving their SAT scores by 200 to 450 points, MyeAcademy leaders knew their teaching methods were working. As a next step, they wanted to make their instruction available to more students, across a wider geographical area, and with even more effectiveness.

Giddings, Texas, is a small town located in the middle of a very large and rural state. “We’re pretty much an agricultural, oil and gas type community,” says Michael S. Kuhrt, superintendent of the 1,900-student school district.

Fascinating Health Care Concepts

Crossing the Bay

Anthony Smith has been named the new superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District. He already resides in Oakland, having most recently served as deputy superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

Staying Put

Is a longer school day and school year a ticket to higher achievement? Recent reports on 26 schools throughout Massachusetts and 39 schools in Miami-Dade (Fla.) County Public Schools provide widely different answers.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford reluctantly applied for $700 million in stimulus funds after the state Supreme Court forced him to do so in June. The court reasoned that since the legislature had appropriated these funds already, and appropriating funds is the legislature’s and not the governor’s responsibility under the state constitution, Sanford was obligated to apply.

Connecticut has become the third state, after New York and Illinois, to require public schools to use green cleaning supplies. In June, Gov. Jodi Rell signed a bill that had received broad support from health professionals, parents, educators, and the environmental community. Cleaning products used in schools will need to carry the Green Seal or Eco Logo certifications after the law takes effect on July 1, 2011, although districts will be allowed to use existing stocks of supplies.

Even though Google Wave will not be released until later this year, it is already making, well, waves. The forthcoming application combines elements such as e-mail, instant messaging, and wikis and allows collaboration around hosted conversations called waves. Although Google Wave is not strictly an educational application, educators are blogging about it enthusiastically—despite the fact that its release date has not even been announced.

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has released the results of its 2009 survey measuring current levels of technology adoption in schools against the organization’s “Vision K20” goals of ideal levels attainable in the next three to five years. The survey found measurable progress in 17 of 20 areas over 2008 but an overall increase of just 1 percent, to 62 percent of the SIIA’s Vision K20 benchmark.

Each year, the Virginia-based Character Education Partnership names about 10 schools and one district as “National Schools of Character.” Of the four districts so honored since 2006, three are from Missouri.

A page from the 21st Century Skills Map for Science shows student outcomes and examples.

Four states—Alaska, Texas, South Carolina and Missouri—have so far declined to participate in the Common Core State Standards Initiative, the attempt to develop national standards spearheaded by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

“States that do not have public charter laws or put artificial caps on the growth of charter schools will jeopardize their applications under the Race to the Top fund.” With these words from a conference call to reporters in June, Education Secretary Arne Duncan made explicit just how central charter schools are to the Obama administration’s commitment to educational innovation.

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