1. Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget boosts Education Department funding to $71.2 billion in a $3.8 trillion budget. That’s $3.1 billion more than it received in 2012–despite the sequester.
  2. Although Education Secretary Arne Duncan predicted that the Common Core Standards assessments–set to be given starting in 2014-15–would be “an absolute game changer” and were funded to the tune of $360 million. Comes news, though, that “design constraints, money, and timing” make that prediction almost moot.
  3. One million students across the country will participate in the first large-scale trial of the Common Core Smarter Balance Assessments–an online-only test that measures academic growth via adaptive questions. The pilot, though, will lack the adaptive feature and grades won’t be issued.
  4. 26 states have now committed to considering the new 71-page Next Generation Science Standards intended to stem science ignorance, standardize science education, and raise the number of grads who choose STEM majors.
  5. The 16 Race to the Top-District winners received $400 million in federal grants aimed at personalized learning, which includes individual plans for students, personalized learning coaches for teachers, and data dashboards to store all student data.
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