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The Best of Our Knowledge

The Best of Our Knowledge # 1022

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-894263.mp3

Albany, NY – PRESIDENT OBAMA UNVEILS PLANS TO UPDATE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND

With health reform legislation finally passed, President Barack Obama is now focusing his attention on other areas of concern to him. Of course, another of his stated top priorities is education.

President Obama is promising to rewrite the nation's often controversial education law, now known as No Child Left Behind. It became law in 2002 during the Bush administration. And politics have caused its renewal to be more than two-years overdue. Mr. Obama speaks directly to his vision of education reform.

Glenn Busby reports. (5:14)

A BLUEPRINT FOR REFORM: THE REAUTHORIZATION OF THE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ACT -

The chances of renewing No Child Left Behind this year are uncertain.

As we heard in our first story today, the president is adamant about getting students ready for college and careers, and bringing their scores up to the levels of many other countries that have passed the U.S.

To move in that direction, the U.S. Department of Education just released what it's calling, "A Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act." The process of turning that 41-page blueprint into legislation is now in the hands of education leaders in Congress.

Jack Jennings, President of the Washington-based Center on Education Policy, is quoted as saying, "It has a chance of passing, but I don't think it [has] a probability of passing."

To learn more, we went right to the source, Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. The secretary brings TBOOK listeners current on administration plans.

Glenn Busby reports. (12:09)

**(Attention Listeners. To read more about The Blueprint for Reform, go to the Dept. of Ed's website at: www.ed.gov.)**

EDUCATION HEADLINES AND UPDATES -

This is Community College Month.

You may recall last fall we reported on President Obama's 12-billion dollar American Graduation Initiative to boost community college funding and increase graduation rates. Mr. Obama described the Initiative as integral to the nation's economic success, and hoped to produce 5-million more graduates by 2020.

Well, as everyone knows, things don't always go as planned in Washington. The Health Reconciliation Bill that just passed did include some major changes in higher education funding, but the Initiative was dropped from the final approved version. It turns out new direct student lending produced less savings than sponsors had projected the demand for Pell grants was higher than anticipated and billions of dollars were diverted for deficit reduction and the cost of the health bill.

In other updates the first ever World Read Aloud Day we told you about a few weeks ago here on TBOOK, did launch as planned. LitWorld's chief, Pam Allyn, reports their message of global literacy reached at least 40-thousand people in more than 35 countries.

Allyn told us students in the United States shared words and ideas with students in Ghana. Classes acted out stories in Sri Lanka and Kenya. And local schools and orphanages participated in Egypt, Canada, East Timor and Austria.

For photos, videos, and more details, visit: www.litworld.org

Glenn Busby reports. (2:00)