Sealing the Digital Gap

EEP & Signatory News

  • A new study by the Center for American Progress and the National Council of La Raza considers the role—both current and future—that charter schools have in the education of Latinos and ELLs. It examines how both the large growth of the Latino and ELL student population and the potential expansion of charter schools will influence the educational landscape.
  • This week’s National Journal education blog question asks – In education, how can and should technology be used to close the digital gap rather than exacerbate it? What can policymakers do to help advance the promise of technological benefits in the classroom? EEP Signatories Tom Vander Ark and former Florida governor Jeb Bush have already offered their opinions.


  • The Wall Street Journal reports on a new Education Next study showing that, at least in New York City, attending a standalone middle school rather than a K-8 school has a big negative impact on student achievement and attendance rates.  A comprehensive summary of the study by its authors can be found on Education Next.
  • EdWeek’s State EdWatch reflects on Race to the Top and how many people warn of the dangers of overstating the immediate impact of federal policy on the states, and sees parallels in terms of the uncertainty surrounding states’ ability to carry out their ambitious plans, and also the feds’ ability to hold them to lofty expectations
  • EdWeek’s District Dossier reports that a new survey released today from the Center on Education Policy finds that few school districts are familiar with the four federal models for turning around low-performing schools and even fewer have implemented them.
  • Citizen Schools released the seventh and final report from a Policy Studies Associates-commissioned study (started in 2001) which found that former Citizen Schools participants were more likely to achieve at higher rates in high school and more likely to graduate from high school on time compared to a group of matched nonparticipants.

From the States
My Fox Atlanta reports that Governor Sonny Perdue and several Georgia legislators have been pushing for a merit pay system for teachers. In Georgia, some of the Race to the Top money is also designated to develop a state-based evaluation system of teachers, which could be considered a first step toward merit pay.
Fox8 TV reports that state Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek is now officially committing to keeping most – if not all – of the schools within the Recovery School District, at least for the next few years.
The Morning Sentinel reports that Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler said Monday he would lengthen the school year, allow charter schools, tie teacher pay to student performance and merge the university and community college systems to improve education in Maine.
The Duluth News Tribune reports that families appear to be looking for alternatives to the Duluth school district this fall, with enrollment up at charter and private schools and down in traditional public schools.
New York

  • The Wall Street Journal reports that the $10 million Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls opened Monday in Albany with two full grades.  The school plans to add 11th and 12th grades over the next two years.
  • The Daily News reports that U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan praised New York government, school and union leaders for working together to create a Race to the Top plan with several reforms, including beefed-up teacher evaluations and more charter schools.

New Jersey
Politics K-12 reported last week that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has fired State Education Commissioner Bret Schundler over the explanation the state gave for the costly mistake on its Race to the Top application.  The Daily Record reports that Rochelle Robinson Hendricks has assumed the role of acting commissioner for the Department of Education in the state.

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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