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AM News: Obama's Big Speech Might Say Little About K-12

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Watching for Education Themes in the State of the Union Speech PoliticsK12: It remains to be seen how often—and how specifically—education will come up in President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address tonight, which many advocates and observers speculate will touch on early-childhood education and college access, among other issues.

Obama Speech Lays Out Next Goals WSJ: Obama administration officials also have signaled plans to focus on the "bookends" of education—early childhood and college—during the second term. Education leaders say they expect Tuesday's address to underscore those priorities.

Education Content In State Of The Union Likely To Focus On Littlest Learners HuffPost: In January, The Huffington Post first reported that the White House was weighing a major, long-term plan to boost early education slots for low and middle-income families. At the time, a senior official told HuffPost that she didn't want to get out in front of Obama on the issue. But since then, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said new investments in early education will be a second-term priority -- and many expect this new emphasis to feature in the State of the Union address.

Will White House finally push funding for early childhood education? Hechinger Report: A desire for more federal investment in early childhood education is one reason why experts are anxiously awaiting President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday. So far, the Obama administration has yet to officially release any statement on the president’s early childhood plans or agenda. Stay tuned.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan cancels Monday night fourm in Providence The Providence Journal: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has cancelled his appearance Monday night at Classical High School due to inclement weather. Duncan was supposed to lead a discussion about school and gun violence, beginning at 6 p.m.

Teachers And Students Try Out Longer School Days NPR: Kids may not like the idea of extending the average six-hour school day, but some educators and politicians do. They are experimenting with ways to increase enrichment classes and make it affordable for school districts.

As CPS mulls school closings, study finds city already has plenty of vacant school buildings Sun Times: Chicago has moved from leasing its empty buildings to aggressively marketing them for sale, but unlike many of the other 11 districts Pew studied, Chicago isn’t selling to charters any longer, Pew researcher Emily Dowdall said, adding “They’re concerned that the growth of charters could lead to empty seats down the road.”

Hawaii Gets Partway Out of Race to Top Doghouse Politics K12: The U.S. Department of Education has removed part of Hawaii's $75 million Race to the Top grant from "high-risk status" after the state showed progress hitting milestones in two areas: standards and assessments, and data systems.

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Congress should repeal No Child Left Behind, and then address college affordability by establishing a new, American baccalaureate qualification, which would operate the way similar programmes do in Europe, which are essentially a social compact: do well in the years that prepare for college, and we as a society will see to it that you are unburdened by debt in your undergraduate years.

As for early education, investing in that is a fine idea, money well spent; but is the federal government really the best place to introduce such programmes? And the president has supposedly heard of the budget deficit and the national debt; where would this new money come from?

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