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AM News: Duncan Pushing College Ratings

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Education Secretary: Colleges Need Grades Too TIME: The president's Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, discussed the plan with leaders in government and higher education at a TIME magazine summit on Friday. 

Duncan Chides 1 Dupont Inside Higher Ed: Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Friday admonished critics of the Obama administration's plan for a federal college rating system and pledged to move full-speed ahead in developing the metrics by which institutions will be judged. 

Scoring errors jeopardize tests AJC: In Mississippi, a computer glitch on a test led high schoolers to drop out. A scoring miscalculation in Massachusetts nearly cost students college scholarships. In New York City, multiple errors caused thousands of children to be told they were ineligible for gifted programs when they had in fact qualified. In Illinois, a fourth-grade Chicago Public Schools teacher noticed an entire class received zeros for responses to written-answer questions on the 2011 state test. The students were not alone: 144 students in five schools had wrongly received zeros

NYC sitting out national move to tie charter, district admissions GothamSchools: In Denver, parents can apply to every charter and district school through one form and a single process. In New Orleans, the same is possible, with the exception of some of the city’s highest-performing charter schools. Newark is well on its way, as is Chicago, and similar discussions are taking place in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

In Push For 'Common' Standards, Many Parents Left Uneducated NPR: The Common Core initiative would standardize academic goals nationwide. Forty-five states have signed on, but lawmakers in some states are rethinking their support. While both sides are stepping up their messaging, a poll out this month shows 62 percent of Americans have never heard of the Common Core.

Children cross Mexican border to receive a US education Washington Post: The mothers, holding the small hands of their children, can go only as far as the glass door, where Mexico ends and America begins. They lean down and send off their little ones with a kiss and a silent prayer.

TODAY Show Features Walk in Their Shoes NBC: buildOn students from Banana Kelly high school in the South Bronx show how the organization is working to break the cycle of illiteracy, poverty and low expectations.

Student video shows bus driver texting and driving NBC: A video recorded by a student shows a Florida school bus driver texting while driving. Although school officials claim they have a policy against the practice, Florida state laws on texting and driving do not go into effect until October.

Re-creating slavery for 12-year-olds? MSNBC: When James Baker heard the words “Nature’s Classroom” in reference to the Massachusetts location of his 12-year-old daughter’s forthcoming four-day field trip, he thought she and her fellow students would “just be going to learn what side of the tree moss grows on.” Instead, as he and his wife Sandra described Sunday on Melissa Harris-Perry , his daughter was terrified by the slavery re-enactment she and her classmates had participated in during the last day of the trip.

An Orange County high school crowns its first transgender homecoming queen KPCC: A transgender teenager was crowned homecoming queen Friday night at Marina High School in Huntington Beach — the first in Orange County. Sixteen-year-old Cassidy Lynn Campbell fell to her knees and cried when she heard she had won.

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American higher education, being the most widely admired of such systems in the world, one drawing millions of students spending billions of dollars from overseas on an annual basis, is not in nearly as much need of revolutionary change as our primary and secondary systems (our comprehensive high schools are particularly uncompetitive), so the main focus Secretary Duncan and his staff need to be working on with respect to the administration's college initiative is affordability; and since we don't want to decrease the quality of our colleges' provision, a good approach would be to increase the efficiency of our higher education system, as the secretary noted. A key inefficiency resides in the poor preparation the average American high school graduate arrives with; and a solution may be found in establishing the American Baccalaureate Certificate I have been promoting, in order for our college completion rate to top 90%, as it does in Switzerland, instead of barely creeping over 50%, as it does here.

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