By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As the year ends, let’s look at what priorities have emerged, aside of course, from budget crises.

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Beginning with the President’s State of the Union address, early education has become a priority with research showing the enormous gap between language acquisition of babies from homes with educated mothers and disadvantaged environments and the critical need for early intervention to ready kids for school.

The rapid growth of charter schools and their effects on public budgets and the empty seats left behind in traditional schools.

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More than 41 states are improving teacher evaluations focusing on clear objectives, high expectations, student outcomes and providing teachers with useful feedback and support throughout the year.

Use of the Common Core standards in reading, English language arts and math by nearly all states is bringing much-needed clarity to academic standards, defining exactly what students across the country need to learn to graduate from high school prepared for success.

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Stay tuned…