1. California’s move to suspend most of its accountability testing for one year as it transitions from its own state assessments to field testing the Common Core tests caused Education Secretary to threaten withholding funding if the state proceeds.
2. The government has refused to excuse Texas from exempting high-performing students on math and reading tests in grades 3, 5 and 8 from taking those tests in grades 4, 6, and 7.
3. The U.S. Department of Education recently designated that NCLB waiver states Kansas, Oregon, and Washington as “high-risk” because they have more to do in tying student growth to teacher evaluations.
4. Obama’s “revamped” college affordability plan ties federal aid to how well colleges are trying to keep tuition costs down while providing a high-quality education. Those that do will see their taxpayer funding go up.
5. Massachusetts’s 8th graders, if a country, would come in 2nd behind Singapore in science on the TIMSS and 6th behind Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan in math. The U.S. came in 10th in science and 9th in math–both above the international average.
6. The pass rate on the AP tests went up 72% last year in high schools that participated in a National Math and Science Initiative Program that trains teachers and gives students extra help on Saturdays.
7. On the ACT, the composite score dropped to 20.9 in 2013, the lowest in 8 years. Just 39% of test-takers met 3 or more of the ACT college-readiness benchmarks in English, reading, science, and math. Nearly 33% did not!
8. For more than 20 years, we’ve poured over $5.2 billion in a child-care block grant program to help low-income parents join or return to the workforce.
9. At least 34 states are financing public schools at lower levels than in 2007-08; 13 states have cut per-student spending by more than 10%, while Alabama and Oklahoma have done so by more than 20%.
10. Districts cut about 324,000 jobs during the recession and its aftermath.
11. On the Common Core assessments, those in grades 3-5 will not be allowed to use calculators. Online calculators will be provided on certain sections for those in grades six and up.