In Brief - Education - Jan. 17, 2014

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The Associated Press

Gov. creates safety task force

REVERE, Mass.  — Gov. Deval Patrick has asked a task force to develop a model plan that Massachusetts school districts can use to keep students, teachers and staff safe in emergency situations.
Patrick signed an executive order on Thursday at a school in Revere creating the task force. It will include the state secretaries of education, public safety, and health and human services, along with educators, police and emergency management officials.
The task force will make recommendations to help school administrators prepare security plans that can be adapted to fit the needs of individual school systems.
Patrick said children cannot succeed academically if they don’t feel safe at school, and teachers should know that plans are in place for an emergency.
The governor asked the task force to issue its recommendations before the next school year.

Math, reading scores drop

DES MOINES, Iowa — Math and reading scores have dropped for Iowa’s fourth- and eighth-grade students, according to a new state education report.
The Iowa Education Department said in a 245-page report released Wednesday that fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores declined by 5.4 percentage points and 8.5 percentage points, respectively, from the 2009-11 period to the 2011-13 period, The Des Moines Register reported. Scores in both subjects had risen for 11th-graders.