Daily News Roundup, March 22, 2013

Perspectives: News You Can Use
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Some of the News Fit to Print

ABOUT K-12

‘SEQUESTER’ CUTS STILL IN PLACE AMID BUDGET WRANGLING
The U.S. Congress missed a chance last week to avert the automatic federal spending cuts known as sequestration when it passed legislation extending funding for all programs—including education—at current levels, minus a 5 percent across-the-board reduction. Lawmakers' decision means that the squeeze is likely to stay in place for the 2013-14 school year, which districts are already preparing for. President Barack Obama expressed dismay that Congress did not act to ward off the cuts when it finalized its spending bill for fiscal 2013, which was approved on March 21. But he indicated he would sign the spending legislation, in order to prevent a government shutdown. The article is in Education Week.

CARNEGIE CORP REPORT OUTLINES PRINCIPLES FOR HIGH SCHOOL REDESIGN
Noting that "nowhere is the need for redesign greater or more urgent that in American high schools," the Carnegie Corporation released a report today that outlined 10 principles for high-performing secondary schools. It contends these practices need to be embraced in high schools if students are going to be successful under the demands of Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. The report, Opportunity by Design: New High School Models for Student Success, suggests that a one-size-fits-all approach to learning is outdated and schools should look at new ways to manage teaching, time, technology, and money. The post is from Education Week’s College Bound blog.

ABOUT HIGHER ED

STOPPING THE CLOCK ON CREDITS THAT DON’T COUNT
A third of students now transfer sometime during their academic careers, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center says, and a quarter of those change schools more than once. When these students’ credits don’t transfer with them, they churn, seemingly endlessly, in college, piling up debt and wasting time repeating the same courses. It now takes full-time students, on average, 3.8 years to earn a two-year associate’s degree and 4.7 years to get a four-year bachelor’s degree, according to the advocacy organization Complete College America—further increasing the already high cost to families, and, at public universities, states. Only 61 percent of full-time students who set out to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree manage to do it within even eight years, Complete College America reports. The article is from the Hechinger Report.

COURSERA’S CONTRACTUAL ELITISM
If you wonder why your university hasn’t linked up with Coursera, the massively popular provider of free online classes, it may help to know the company is contractually obliged to turn away the vast majority of American universities. The Silicon Valley-based company said to be revolutionizing higher education says in a contract obtained by Inside Higher Ed that it will “only” offer classes from elite institutions – the members of the Association of American Universities or “top five” universities in countries outside of North America – unless Coursera’s advisory board agrees to waive the requirement.

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