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In This Issue
The College Board has released the 2013 SAT scores, which show that only 43 percent of this year’s SAT-takers graduated from high school prepared for college-level course work, a statistic that has remained steady over the past five years. Underrepresented students showed increases in both test participation and average scores. Of all 2013 test-takers, 46 percent were minority students—the largest percentage ever. The percentage of African American SAT-takers that met the college- and career-ready benchmark rose from 14.8 percent in 2012 to 15.6 percent. For Hispanic students, that number rose from 22.8 percent to 23.5 percent.
The College Board deems test-takers who attain at least a score of 1550 out of 2400 as ready for college because they have a 65 percent probability or higher of receiving a B- grade or better during their first year in college. Students who meet the benchmark are also more likely to complete their degree. As part of its 2013 score report (PDF), the College Board contends that all students must have access to rigorous courses to help them succeed in college.
Currently, the College Board is in the process of redesigning the SAT to align with the Common Core State Standards to better reflect what students need to know for success after high school.
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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan named 286 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2013. Schools are recognized in one of two categories: Exemplary High Performing, which is based on overall academic excellence, or Exemplary Improving, which focuses on progress in improving student achievement. The program, now in its 31st year, is honoring 236 public and 50 private schools.
The House education subcommittee held a hearing to examine ways to improve career and technical education (CTE). During the hearing, expert witnesses described CTE’s benefits and emphasized that expanding technical education should not come at the expense of academic rigor and must align with industry workforce needs and postsecondary credentials.
Texas received a No Child Left Behind waiver, bringing the total number of waiver recipients to 42 states, the District of Columbia, and the California CORE districts. Texas is receiving only a conditional one-year waiver with the opportunity to renew contingent on the state finalizing its guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems during the 2013–14 school year.
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