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Weekly News Round-Up for September 8th
posted by: Melissa | September 08, 2017, 04:43 PM   

Each week, AAE brings its members a round-up of what’s happening in education. From big, eye-catching headlines to the stories most papers overlook, AAE finds the news our members really want to see, and this week there are hurricanes again making headlines as they continue to affect large numbers of schools and teachers.

Florida Schools Close Ahead of Hurricane Irma: Florida is battening down the hatches in preparation for Hurricane Irma to hit the state on Sunday. In order to make sure that the state is ready, Florida Governor Rick Scott has closed all K12 schools in the state on Friday and Monday. The closures give families needing time to prepare or flee the state the ability to do so, and they also allow the schools to serve as shelters during and after the storm. Students attending schools in other areas in Irma’s potential path are helping to prepare for the historic storm.

Houston Students Head Back to School: Meanwhile, schools in Houston are preparing to open following the devastation by Hurricane Harvey. Houston Independent School District has announced rolling start dates beginning September 11 as area schools clean up after the flooding. When they open again, students will be able to receive three free meals a day as part of a plan to have schools provide wraparound services to the recovering community. Schools are also relaxing rules around uniform and other policies in order to help families transition.

ACT Scores Inch Upwards, Still Show Achievement Gap: Although state by state results differ, ACT scores across the country are up 0.2 points from last year. However, this increase isn’t the same across the board. There are still significant gaps between different student groups based on such factors such as wealth and race.

New York City Provides Free Lunch for All: New York City schools have always provided free lunch for the poorest students, however this school year they are providing lunch free of charge to all students despite those students ability to pay. The program is projected to impact 1.1 million students. The goal is to destigmatize needy students and is not projected to cost the city any more money.

North Carolina Schools Show Steady Improvement: North Carolina released its annual accountability report on Thursday, showing an increase in high-school graduation rates and more schools that were identified as high-performing. However, half of the state’s students still aren’t scoring as ready to be promoted to the next grade. Many of those struggling students were concentrated in high-poverty districts. Consistently low-performing schools could be taken over by a charter operator.

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