Notes in the Margins: Sexual orientation, measuring learning and the State of the Union

Obama Calls for Spending Freeze but Says He’ll Spare Education College lobbyists praised the president’s proposal to increase support for education and biomedical-research, but it might be a hard sell for Republicans. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Fact-checking Obama and education Nick Anderson on the national education beat provided these items to the Washington Post Fact Checker blog. One is on the Race to the Top contest and the other on science-math teaching. They’re republished here. (Washington Post)

The Same Boxes to Check The Common Application has rejected a proposal that it add optional questions on sexual orientation and gender identity. The board of the organization issued a statement suggesting that colleges have other ways to indicate support for applicants who are gay or who don’t identify with traditional gender categories, and that adding the questions could pose problems. (Inside Higher Ed)

Lumina Unveils a National Framework for Measuring Student Learning Two accreditors and the Council of Independent Colleges will test the framework, which spells out what students should know to earn their degrees. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Elaine Howard Ecklund, Ph.D.: Why University Scientists Do Not Discuss Religion If the scientists at elite universities fail to successfully engage with religion on their campuses, other American universities might follow suit. And if the current resurgence of religion on college campuses collides with persistently antireligious models of university life, might a collision or an explosion of some sort be inevitable? (Huffington Post)

Top Schools See Record Applications For 2015 With the passing of January deadlines, colleges and universities are reporting record numbers of freshman hopefuls. (Huffington Post)