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What does Texas need to do to get its students ready for the world?

The Dallas Morning News – Eva-Marie Ayala

“State officials say they want engaged families, quality teachers and better access to opportunities for all students. But how does Texas get there? The State Board of Education has kicked off work to build Texas’ next long-range plan for public schools, which officials hope will be the blueprint that drives future policy decisions and even legislation. Texans who are gathering at a series of public forums on the plan agree, but they’re adamant that they want a plan with teeth, too, to make sure kids are ready for life after high school, whether that be in college or a career.”(more)

Does Your State Provide Good Data On Your Schools? Probably Not

NPR – Elissa Nadworny

“So you’re trying to find some information about the schools in your community. Did students perform well on tests? How many students in a school are from low-income families? What’s the demographic breakdown? Most folks would start to look for this by searching the web. But, depending on the state you live in, finding that information can be a real challenge. That’s according to a new report from the Data Quality Campaign. Analysts there spent 100 hours last summer looking at annual report cards put out by all 50 states and the District of Columbia.”(more)

Report: States not making the grade on report cards

E-School News – Staff Writer

“States are failing to effectively communicate essential information to families, educators, and communities about how their schools are doing, a new report finds. The report, Show Me the Data: State Report Cards Must Answer Questions and Inform Action, released today by the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), finds that states are not meeting basic expectations for producing report cards that are easy to access and understand for all community members.”(more)

Early Education is a Disaster in U.S., Study Finds

WTXL – Christine Souders

“Early childhood education in the U.S. is a disaster, and policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia do little to address the low wages and economic insecurity among teachers and the lack of affordable, high-quality services for children. Those are the findings at the heart of a new report released Thursday by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley – the first comprehensive state-by-state analysis of early education employment conditions and policies…“Absent change, our nation will remain unable to deliver on the promise of developmental and learning opportunities for all children,” wrote Marcy Whitebook, director of the Berkley center and one of the study’s authors.”(more)

Parents Encouraged to Teach Their Kids About Money, Finance

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“Educators and parents, politicians and lobbyists are discussing the issue of who is responsible for teaching children about financial literacy, and at what age this education should begin. Despite 43 states in the US requiring courses on personal finance and all 50 requiring economics courses to be included in K-12 standards, fewer require those standards to be implemented by districts (35 and 45 respectively), and even fewer require courses to be offered in high school (19 and 24 respectively)…Many experts state that reliance on public education may not be enough. Instead, it is suggested that parents begin the discussion at home. While not everyone will follow the same strategy, Jayne A. Pearl, the Amherst, MA-based author of Kids and Money: Giving Them the Savvy to Succeed Financially says parents should turn daily activities into learning experiences for children.”(more)

What Good Preschool Looks Like: Snapshots From 4 States

NPR Ed – Cory Turner

“A new report, out today, provides 186 pages of answers to one of the toughest questions in education: What does it take to get preschool right? Parents and politicians alike want to know…Today’s release from The Learning Policy Institute, “The Road to High-Quality Early Learning: Lessons from the States,” helps balance the preschool debate by highlighting a handful of states that appear to be getting pre-K right: Michigan, West Virginia, Washington and North Carolina. Here’s a quick primer on each program and a few reasons why the LPI thinks they’re working.”(more)