1. Apparently, Obama is skirting Congress and funding his universal pre-K through Obamacare, since raising tobacco taxes seems unlikely.
2. Already pinched for funding, our public schools boards are trying to avoid providing health care benefits to substitutes and support staff because Obamacare mandates coverage to those working 30 or more hours a week or be fined starting in 2015.
3. 45 states have adopted the Common Core Standards, but concerns are arising about whether they’re being properly implemented and being implemented too soon. Plus, teachers need more training and resource materials, such as textbooks; still, their evaluations will be based on test results.
4. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute finds “an overall lack of strong connections and alignment between the math and the Next Generation Science Standards’ expectations . . . as well as just simply not enough specificity around the math needed.”
5. A Center on Education Policy finds that 34 states are struggling to find resources to support the Common Core Standards; 32 are struggling to develop evaluation systems, and 37 are struggling to provide teachers with enough high-quality training to implement the standards.
6. Applications are due October 3 for another Race to the Top; this one is worth $120 million. In the first round, 16 districts split $383 million last year. This time the 4-year awards will range from $4 million to $30 million.
7. Six states (Colorado, California, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, & Wisconsin) will receive a total of $89 million in supplemental awards from the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge to “improve and expand access to early learning programs.”
8. The U. S. Department of Education is withholding part of Georgia’s Race to the Top winnings because of its problems implementing its teacher evaluations.
9. Hawaii is now off the Race to the Top “high risk” list, so it won’t lose any of its $75 million winnings.