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Education Report November 20, 2009

1. Budget and Appropriations
-This week, once again, healthcare was the topic of press conferences and scoring efforts and predictions related to the Congressional schedule. While important, the intersection with the stalled reconciliation bill is of particular interest to the education community.
-It was also decided this week that SAFRA (Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act) will not move until the fate of health care reform is more defined.
-The Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill still have not been scheduled for floor debate in the Senate.

2. House holds Hearing on Improving Literacy Skills
-Thursday November 19th, the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education held a hearing to review existing federal literacy initiatives and explore strategies for improving the reading comprehension of all children.
-The hearing featured six panelists, who represented various areas of expertise corresponding tot he needs of students and teachers.
-All panelists and members present seemed to agree somewhat that literacy is the foundation of success to create highly literate, college-ready adults prepared to succeed in the 21st century.

To review the panelists statements go to:

3. Gates Foundation Invests $335 in Effective Teaching Partnerships
-November 19th, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced plans to invest $335 million to support effective teaching.
-Awardees will develop and implement new approaches, strategies, and policies, including adopting better measures of teacher effectiveness that include growth student achievement and college readiness.
-The Foundation also announced that as part of its plan to promote and support effective teaching, it is investing $45 million in research to better understand what makes a teacher effective and how to measure such effectiveness.

For information on these announcements visit:

4. CAP event features partnerships to expand learning time
-November 18th, The Center for American Progress(CAP) hosted a panel discussion on how school districts and teachers unions have come together to expand learning time in low-performing schools.
-The discussion stressed that education reform can emerge from traditional systems with the help of creativity, good leadership and grant incentives.

For more information go to:

5. In Brief
-IIE reports on International Educational Exchange Data
-Rural School and Community trust holds briefing on rural schools
-Secretary of education speaks to educators nationwide
-AEI hosts event on accountability in higher education
-Edutopia holds webinars on international standards and assessments
-GAO report points to weak grant monitoring at ED
-House Democrats unveil graduation for all act
-White House to announce "National Lab Day"
-CHSE hosts briefing on expanded learning opportunities
-Google and YOUTUBE host briefing on innovations in accessibility

Be sure to also check out sections #6 (New Publications) and #7 (In the News) for articles of interest.

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