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Initiative aims to boost US college graduation rates by ‘hundreds of thousands’

Education Dive – Patti Zarling

“The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities announced a new effort in which 100 public research universities — organized in clusters of eight to 10 institutions — will work together to increase graduation rates by hundreds of thousands by 2025. The clusters will develop, refine and scale innovative practices in a way that also aims to close the achievement gap, the group said. Participating schools will commit to sharing key data and advocating proven practices within their groups in an effort to develop models that could work on a larger scale.” (more)

General to lawmakers: Early education is critical to nation’s security

The Eagle – Aimee Breaux

“The military needs quality candidates, the organization argues, and quality candidates are the product of quality early education. The group specifically points to the Department of Defense’s statistic that 73 to 74 percent of Texans ages 17 to 24 do not reach the standard to join the U.S. military. Namely, they either don’t have a high school degree, are not physically fit enough or have a disqualifying criminal record. “Those are alarming figures for those of us who have served, who understand what it means to have a fully trained and capable force that goes out and does the things we ask them to do every day,” Ramirez said at a roundtable discussion following the reading session.” (more)

Are We Committed to Raising School Standards?

Education Next – Chester E. Finn, Jr.

“In an important and mostly depressing New Year’s Day column in The Washington Post, veteran education journalist Jay Mathews describes the on-again, off-again “carnival ride” to “raise school standards” that he’s observed over the past half century. “We love making schools more accountable,” Mathews writes. “Then, we hate the idea.” He cites a pair of recent setbacks. First, the striking decline in states that require high school students to pass a statewide exit test before receiving their high school diplomas.”(more)

Trump Executive Order Seeks to Scale Back Federal Role in K-12 Education

The 74 Million – Carolyn Phenicie

“President Donald Trump’s plan to sign an executive order requiring the U.S. Education Department to study and scale back the federal footprint in K-12 education came as no surprise to accountability hawks critical of the administration’s retreat and encouraging news to conservatives, who say it can’t happen fast enough.”(more)

Trains, Planes, and ESAs

Education Next – Lindsey M. Burke

“For roughly the first two centuries of the American experiment, education was a quintessentially local endeavor. The Colonial Act of 1647, also known as the Old Deluder Satan law, mandated that every town with more than fifty households would hire a teacher, and once a town had more than 100 families, a grammar school would have to be established. In this case, formalized schools served to ensure a shared mission and to act as stabilizers, conserving and maintaining order in the budding community. Academies quickly spread throughout New England in the years following the American Revolution.[7] If the goal of education in the colonies was preservation, the goal of education in the New World was to solidify a common culture and social order.”(more)