1. State teacher exams have been criticized for their irrelevant content, high costs, and the fact that there are so many of them. Now, they’re also being criticized as too easy.
2. New Jersey Governor Christie wants prospective teachers to carry at least a 3.0 average; it currently stands at 2.75.
3. Since its inception, 92 districts have shared in the three $1 billion i3 grants program; another is now ongoing to the tune of $135 million. In each round, the largest grants come in at $50 million.
4. Obama has now proposed a $300 million high school redesign grant initiative with the goal of lessening traditional classroom seat time and opting instead for what’s known as “personalized learning.”
5. Obama is now proposing $75 billion to fund an expansion of pre-K programs, to be paid largely by a federal cigarette tax hike.
6. Obama now wants to overhaul the federal E-Rate program with his ConnectED initiative and is asking the FCC to fund it by raising telecommunications fees on phone bills. The goal: giving 99% of schools access to high-speed, broad-band and wireless Internet within 5 years.
7. Come January, an updated and more rigorous General Educational Development (GED) test that’s aligned with the Common Core will be in place.
8. A Center for American Progress found that not one state is looking at the education return on the hundreds of millions of dollars currently being spent on technology. Plus, students mostly use it for basic skills drills, not problem-solving or complex analysis.
9. The College Board is adding a new computer-science AP program to its offerings; it’s the first new one in 7 years and is partly being funded by a $5.2 million National Science Foundation grant; the College Board is adding about $3.5 million for teacher support and equipment.