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The stimulus bill charges newly appointed FCC chairman Julius Genachowski with creating a national broadband plan by February 2010.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan gave the keynote address at the third annual Superintendents’ Symposium organized by testing agency ACT and school improvement solutions company America’s Choice, which had a theme of improving the college and career readiness of graduating high school seniors. National 2009 ACT scores released in August found just 23 percent of the record 1.5 million graduating seniors who took the test met all four college readiness benchmarks in English, math, reading and science, and just 70 percent took a core curriculum.

For overworked guidance counselors, students seeking detailed and relevant information about colleges, and parents looking for advice on issues such as financial aid and standardized tests, virtual college fairs can help.

Guidance counselors in particular could use a little help. Despite the American School Counselor Association’s recommendation of a 250:1 student-to-counselor ratio, the national average for 2006-2007 was 475:1—and that was before the recession forced many districts to cut counselor positions or leave vacancies unfilled.

A student is illuminated by a prototype of a solar-powered school bus stop safety light in Taylor, Michigan.


It was sweet redemption for Wanda Bamberg, superintendent of the Aldine (Texas) Independent School District.

After having been a finalist for the Broad Prize for Urban Education for four years and having made academic progress for a decade, the Aldine ISD finally received the top $1 million prize in scholarship money for graduating seniors.

NATIONAL GRAND PRIZE WINNER ? 1 classroom in the United States


Disney’s Planet Challenge began in California in 1994 and has since expanded to Florida, the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong. This year, the program will be launched nationwide. Here are examples of winning projects from past years.