An Ed Central's weekly newsletter.

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of Education News from New America Ed Central. Distributed every Wednesday, ‘Education News’ highlights important education policy news and analysis from the last week, both from features on Ed Central and other news and research sources.

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Top Stories from Ed Central

MONEY NOT ENOUGH TO KEEP HIGH-QUALITY TEACHERS IN HIGH-NEED SCHOOLS, according to New America newcomer Melissa Tooley. Citing the results of the Department of Education’s Talent Transfer Initiative, she points to the positive impact high-quality teachers had — but the limits of using purely financial tools to get them in the right classrooms. Read more on attracting and retaining the best teachers in high-need schools at EdCentral.

NEW GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT LANGUAGE IS TOUGHER, says New America’s Ben Miller. The regulations, released in advance of next week’s negotiation, threaten programs with more stringent requirements and immediate consequences. More on what these regulations mean for students and programs at EdCentral. Also from Ben, learn how stakeholders on the gainful employment panel want to change the Department’s rule here.

DO YOU STRUGGLE TO FIND AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE? YOU’RE NOT ALONE. In the majority of states, the average cost of childcare is over 25% of the median single parent’s income and over 10% of the median income of a married couple. Read more from New America’s Clare McCann on price and other barriers to access to affordable, quality child care at EdCentral.

More from Ed Central

STEADY PROGRESS ON 2013 NAEP SCORES REASSURING, NOT DISAPPOINTING. New America’s Anne Hyslop points out that continued modest increases in NAEP are encouraging, given the many new policies are currently being implemented in education. Read more on how stable these results were, despite dramatic reforms at the state and national level on EdCentral.

COLLEGE RATINGS SYSTEM CAN HAPPEN RIGHT NOW, stresses New America’s Clare McCann. Setting a floor for institutions to meet minimal requirements based on data the Department of Education already collects would help weed out the “worst of the worst.” Read more on why waiting for perfect data is hurting accountability efforts in the present at EdCentral.

AN $8 BILLION BOON FOR STUDENT BORROWERS is spotlighted by New America’s Clare McCann and Jason Delisle. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the deal that changed the way interest rates on federal student loans are calculated cost the Department of Education $8 billion more than expected by cutting rates for virtually all students in AY 2013-14. More from Clare and Jason on the budgetary impact of the change at EdCentral.

VIEW DUAL LANGUAGE LEARNERS AS ASSETS, NOT LIABILITIES. New America’s Conor Williams applauds the recent shift to viewing students who are learning English in a more positive light, while at the same time asking if our policies and politics are keeping up. Read more on what we can do to support and invest in Latino students and other dual language learners at EdCentral.

PreK-12 News

GET A PREVIEW OF THE HARKIN-MILLER PRESCHOOL BILL BEING ANNOUNCED TODAY. A draft shows that it will look similar to President Obama’s proposal. New America’s Early Education Initiative has key considerations for the bills here, and check back for more this week at EdCentral.AND COMMENTATORS CONTINUE TO TOUT THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF PRESCHOOL. Nicholas Kristof points to Oklahoma’s universal pre-K policy as a model for the country in The New York Times.

WHAT CAN WE LEARN ABOUT EDUCATION FROM SINGAPORE? What can this international success story and leader teach us about how we should go about transforming education in the United States? Find out here from the Seattle Times.

NEW i3 GRANTS CENTER AROUND CURRICULUM REFORM. Many of the new Investing in Innovation (i3) grantees announced last week will be working to improve classroom instruction by building successful curricula. More from Education Week here.

Higher Ed and the Workforce News

THE MEDIA IS ABUZZ with news of First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech yesterday, signaling that she plans to take on a larger policy role in the president’s higher education initiative. More online from The New York Times and Washington Post.

LOOKING FOR AN OVERVIEW OF HOW THE 2013 ELECTIONS MIGHT IMPACT HIGHER EDUCATION? Inside Higher Ed has the scoop.

MEANWHILE, 81% OF UNIVERSITIES SAY THE SEQUESTER HAS ALREADY AFFECTED THEIR RESEARCH in a survey as reported by The Nation.

CALIFORNIA LATINO STUDENTS LAGGING BEHIND THEIR COUNTERPARTS IN COLLEGE COMPLETION, according to a new study. The L.A. Times has more on the findings as well as what the state is doing to address this gap in its story online here.

POLITICO ASKS WHETHER OREGON’S PROPOSED PAY IT FORWARD PLAN CAN DELIVER ON ITS PROMISE OF A TUITION FREE COLLEGE EDUCATION. Or will it allow the state to pass on higher costs to students? Or discourage those prospective students with the highest earning potential from attending public institutions? Find out here. Read another take from New America’s Alex Holt here.

EVER HEARD OF THE MAINE MARITIME ACADEMY? Chances are you haven’t, but John Tierney’s piece in the Atlantic points to it as an example of higher education that prepares students for good jobs.