HHS Proposes Rules on Health Insurance Market Reform under ACA

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published proposed rules in the Federal Register on November 26, 2012 to implement health insurance market reforms under sections 1302, 1312, 1321, and 1560 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and amendments to the Public Health Service Act. Beginning in 2014, the ACA and the proposed rules would require that “non-grandfathered” health insurance plans in the individual and small group markets limit variations in premiums to factors such as family composition, geographic rating areas, age, and tobacco use. [More]

PCG Education white paper explores the use of data from special education management systems to make districtwide instructional improvements.

Special education data management systems are used by school districts to support mandated documentation and reporting requirements. However, the data generated by these systems can also be used as a powerful tool for districtwide improvement. Since districts have invested heavily in this technology, it makes sense for district leaders to maximize the use of these data to support their general and special education improvement initiatives. [More]

H.R. 6629 – National Child Protection Training Act introduced

Members of the House of Representatives (Tim Walz (D-MN) and Betty McCollum (D-MN)) and Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Al Franken (D-MN) sponsored legislation that aims to improve child abuse training programs and enhance child protection nationwide. Bipartisan support from Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and Representative Steve Womack (R-AR) was received for legislation that builds on the efforts of child protection training centers in Arkansas and Minnesota, which have developed classes, certification, and degree programs to help improve child protection training. [More]

Ways and Means Subcommittee Hears Testimony on Child Deaths Due to Maltreatment

Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Acting Chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Resources of the Committee on Ways and Means, conducted a hearing on December 12, 2012 to discuss a bipartisan proposal to establish a commission tasked with developing recommendations for reducing child deaths due to maltreatment. In recent years, information compiled through state reporting indicates that in FY 2010 more than 1,500 children died in the United States as a result of some form of maltreatment. [More]

ED announces RTT-D Winners

In a December 11, 2012 press release, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced 16 winners in the 2012 Race to the Top-District (RTT-D) competition. The winners represent 55 school districts in 11 states and the District of Columbia; they will share in nearly $400 million to develop local plans to personalize and improve student learning. The four-year grant awards range from $10 million to $40 million depending on the number of students proposed to be served through the plan. [More]

New Studies Reveal U.S. Student Achievement in International Assessments

The results of the 2011 international assessments of students, published on October 11, 2012, reflect some encouraging gains and some disappointments in the achievement of U.S. students in reading, mathematics, and science. The reading assessment, Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), has been conducted every five years since 2001; the 2011 PIRLS included approximately 325,000 fourth grade students in 49 countries. The mathematics and science assessments, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), have been conducted every four years since 1995; the 2011 TIMSS included more than 600,000 fourth and eighth grade students in 63 countries. [More]

OPM Proposes Rules on Multi-State Health Insurance Plans

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a draft proposed rule on November 30, 2012 on the Multi-State Plan Program under section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The purpose of section 1334 is to spur competition on price and quality among health plans participating in Exchanges by enabling individuals and families using the Exchanges to freely choose private health plans already available through the OPM to eight million federal employees, annuitants, and their dependents. [More]