High School graduation rates in the U.S. are on the rise for the third year in a row. Rates rose in 36 states with the biggest increase in Delaware where 87% of students graduated on time. Alabama and Oregon also saw substantial increases at 86.3 percent and 72 percent. More information is available at WashingtonPost.com.
Some interesting news came out regarding the future for high schools in the United States. President Obama announced more than $375 Million in public and private support for redesigning our high schools to encourage student success, increase graduation rates and greatly improve the quality of education in our high schools.
A campaign to promote the use of openly licensed educational materials was announced by the U.S. Department of Education last month. The move is meant to encourage school districts and states to use "freely accessible, openly-licensed materials." Unlike textbooks, such resources can be readily updated and/or adjusted by teachers to meet the needs of their students.
Some states are requiring publishers to submit third-party evaluations to document how their content aligns with their specified state standards in order to be considered for use. In conjunction with the correlation reports, the state also requires a letter from the third-party evaluator certifying the publisher's percentage of correlation to their state standards.
President Obama has announced an initiative to grow the number of K-12 students studying Mandarin in the U.S. from 200,000 to 1 million. This endeavor will be led by the 100,000 Strong Foundation. The Foundation will work with technology and online-education companies to ensure that students have access to Mandarin language study.