Interested in what’s trending in education? Here are a few highlights from recent education news.

Education Week, Alyson Klein
 
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have told the U.S. Department of Education that they are aiming to file their plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act by the early-bird deadline of April 3. The Obama administration gave states two optional deadlines in 2017 for turning in their ESSA plans, which are supposed to be in place by the 2017-18 school year. The question, however, is whether the Trump administration will be ready to read the plans, and if they decide to keep the timeline or push back. The 17 states include: Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Vermont, plus the District of Columbia.
 
EdSource, Larry Gordon
 
Eric Blanco, the president of the California Association of School Counselors and a high school counselor at Ernest Righetti High School, wants students to start planning for college early. Blanco did a Q&A with EdSource on the counseling profession and how he encourages student to prepare for college. He believes that the biggest change in the field has been the increased use of technology and how it has changed the admissions process for college. He encourages students to start working on their applications early, even starting as early as their junior year.
 
Education Week, Catherine Gewertz
 
On Wednesday, JPMorgan Chase & Co announced the ten states that will receive $20 million each to implement career and technical education programs over the next three years as part of the New Skills for Youth initiative. The winning states -- Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Wisconsin -- received preliminary funding in March 2016 through the initiative to design the career readiness action plans that they will now work to implement. JPMorgan Chase collaborated with the the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Advance CTE to create the initiative in an effort to ensure that more students graduate from high school well-equipped for college and careers.  
 
Ten Ways For Parents To Get On Top Of The College Admission Process
Forbes, Willard Dix
 
Willard DIx, former admission officer at Amherst College shares 10 suggestions for parents that might help them avoid some of the most common pitfalls of the college admissions process with their students.
 
How Useful Are College Placement Tests in High School?
EducationWeek, Catherine Gewertz
 
Gewertz looks at the college-readiness test that South Dakota made available to public school students four years ago. Gov. Dennis Daugaard brought up the test in his recent State of the State address, noting that only one third of districts have offered the test to students, and, according to local news reports, only 100 students took the test last year. The tests were initially introduced to combat the growing cost of remedial courses in the state, but now legislators and educators are evaluating the test and if it should be made available before their senior year.
 
The Department of Education’s Office of Education Technology
 
The Department of Education’s Office of Education Technology has released a supplement to the National Educational Technology Plan that focuses on higher education. Reimagining the Role of Technology in Higher Education examines the use of technology across multiple facets of higher education, makes recommendations on how technology can be used to improve student learning outcomes, and provides more than a dozen case studies of colleges and universities on the cutting edge of technology.  
 
EducationDIVE, Kristen Betts, EdD, Drexel University
 
Online learning has continued to grow as technology becomes a larger part of higher education. From 2002 to 2014, the number of students enrolling in “at least one distance education course” increased from 1.6 to 5.8 million students according to WCET Distance Education Enrollment 2016. Online learning can also be a solution to student retention problems, allowing students who can’t attend traditional classes more options. However, online learning and student retention both require an institutional commitment, including innovative approaches to program and course formats, student engagement, and support services.

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