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Education Roundup: 10 States Waived From No Child Left Behind

In this week's roundup: Obama announces 10 states that now have flexibility from No Child Left Behind.

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Welcome to the High School Notes weekly roundup of education news. Every Friday, you'll find out what's making headlines around the Web.

No Child Left Behind

President Barack Obama announced yesterday that 10 states now have flexibility from No Child Left Behind mandates that focus heavily on annual testing benchmarks. In exchange for the NCLB waiver, the 10 states will implement different plans to create college- and career-ready students and will use comprehensive systems to support and evaluate teachers. The 10 states approved are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

AP tests

The number of high school students who take advanced placement (AP) tests has increased over the last decade, and AP test scores have seen an increase as well, according to the College Board's "8th Annual AP Report to the Nation" released Wednesday. Last year, 903,630 students took at least one AP test—more than double the number of students who did so in 2001.

However, the report also shows that many students who are eligible to take the corresponding AP courses—especially minority students—are not taking them. Eighty percent of African-American graduates whose Preliminary SAT scores indicated their potential success in AP classes did not enroll in those courses.

White House Science Fair

President Obama viewed projects of more than 100 high school and middle school students Tuesday at the White House Science Fair. The students invited were winners of major science competitions across the country, including an eighth grader from Phoenix who helped Obama launch a marshmallow with his homemade air cannon.

At the White House Science Fair, Obama also announced that in next week's budget proposal, he would request $80 million from Congress to improve math and science education through a new Education Department competition. Additionally, Obama announced $22 million in investments from the private sector, from companies such as Google and Carnegie Corp., to support math and science education.

Hispanic education

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan hosted a Twitter Town Hall meeting Wednesday to discuss education issues within the Latino community. Duncan and José Rico, executive director of the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for Hispanics, focused their meeting on messages from Twitter and Facebook users, and said schools desperately need more Hispanic teachers—especially men—to curb the dropout rate of Latino students.

Roughly 22 percent of K-12 enrollment in American schools is Hispanic, Duncan said, but less than 2 percent of American teachers are Latino males.

New York teachers

New Yorkers trust the city teachers union more than Mayor Michael Bloomberg to protect the interests of public school students, according to a recent poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University. Fifty-six percent of city voters said they trust the United Federation of Teachers, compared to the 31 percent who said they trust the mayor. Of the 1,222 city voters surveyed for the poll, only 24 percent believe Bloomberg's mayoral control over New York City schools has been a success.

School counselors

Today wraps up National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). Last Friday, Education Secretary Duncan congratulated the School Counselor of the Year Nicole Pfleger, who works at a Georgia elementary school, and later said in a statement, "Every day, these unsung heroes in American education help millions of students sidestep the roadblocks of life."

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