The Education Department released its final rules for the Investing in Innovation fund, leaving in place a controversial requirement that all applicants raise 20% in matching funds from private sources but allowing the funds to be secured after the grants have been finalized. The $650 million grant program will provide stimulus funding to school districts and nonprofit partners that use innovative education programs at the district level.
Educators in New Orleans are credited with raising student expectations and achievement as well as improving relationships between the city's public and charter schools, according to a report by Tulane University. The report also listed other areas of success, such as efforts to improve instruction and strong leadership at all levels, but said the school board and other district officials need to work toward developing a better relationship.
Brian Nichols, the principal at Virginia's Hidenwood Elementary School, was recognized by ASCD as an outstanding young educator at the group's national conference in Texas. Nichols was recognized for using student data and collaborative leadership to attain gains in student achievement at Hidenwood, which had struggled with low performance on state tests.
Sales volume of full-calorie soft drinks such as Coca-Cola has dropped 95% in secondary schools since the 2004-05 school year, according to a report from the American Beverage Association and Keybridge Research. Susan Neely, president and chief executive of the American Beverage Association, attributes the decline in part to bottlers' and beverage companies' adoption of voluntary guidelines on the sale of sweetened beverages in schools.
Federal officials are expected to launch an investigation today into the quality of the program for English-language learners in Los Angeles schools, where ELL students comprise about one-third of the district's more than 220,000 students. The investigation is the first major case to be opened under the Obama administration's recent pledge to step up enforcement of civil rights in the nation's schools.