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June 24, 2015

New from ECS

State funding for students with disabilities
While all states provide some funding for students with disabilities, the way funds are distributed to districts varies greatly from state to state. A new 50-state review and database focus on states’ primary funding mechanisms for students with disabilities. It clarifies strengths and weaknesses of these mechanisms and provides other funding considerations.

What States Are Doing

Online public forum to review standards
An online forum for the public to review the Common Core has been created by the Mississippi Department of Education. The forum will be open through mid-September and public comments will be reviewed by Mississippi educators. Changes could go into effect as early as the 2016-17 school year.

VA to pilot online high school
The Virginia Department of Education will pilot a full-time, online high school for the 2015-16 school year, an expansion of the Virtual Virginia program. One hundred students will be enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis; they will be offered all required core courses, electives and 54 Advanced Placement classes.

Good Reads

Credentials for all
To double the number of young adults who hold a credible credential or degree by age 25, this report offers eight actions states can take, including: align college readiness academics and challenging technical studies through real-world assignments, engage students in career guidance starting in the middle grades, allow high school students to learn in settings that put them on the fast track to earn advanced industry credentials and college credits. (SREB Career and Technical Education Commission)

Recovery school districts
States embarking on the difficult task of turning around failing schools may learn from the wins and losses of states that have gone before them. Among recommendations in this report: carefully read the state constitution which may require an amendment to set up a state district, decide criteria to be met before a school returns to its home district, expect course corrections and give locals a chance to apply for work under the new arrangement. (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)

Student privacy laws in the age of data collection
This year, 47 states introduced more than 180 laws on student data privacy. Of those, 111 were aimed at establishing better safeguards for the collection, use and disclosure of student data. Another 64 prohibited districts or service providers from selling student data or using it for commercial reasons. Twenty-six concerned protecting certain kinds of data such as biometric and sensitive information. Five states introduced legislation creating a chief privacy officer. (NASBE)

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