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AM News: Hawks, Rights Groups Hate Harkin Bill

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No Child Left Behind Waivers Worry Some Advocates NPR:  The proposal would cut some slack to 85 percent of the nation's better schools. 

Education bill draws fire from rights groups The Washington Post: It immediately drew fire from civil rights groups that argued it would ease pressure on schools to provide quality education to all children, regardless of race or income.

Senator Harkin’s Bill Would Revamp No Child Left Behind Law NYT: The 865-page bill became the first comprehensive piece of legislation overhauling the law to reach either Congressional chamber since President George W. Bush signed it in 2002.

N.J. charter school awarded grant has not been given permission to open Newark Star-Ledger: One of four fledgling New Jersey charter schools awarded $785,000 in federal grants to help finance start-up costs has not yet received approval from the state to operate.

Texas schools sue state, saying funding is unfair AP: The coalition accuses lawmakers of turning a blind eye to the state's troubled school financing system for years and exacerbating the flaws this summer when they slashed public school spending by more than $4 billion to close a massive budget gap. [ALSO Texas: Schools Sue State Over Budget Cuts NYT]

MORE NEWS ITEMS INSIDE
Immigrant Parents Rely On Kids For Help Online NPR: It's not unusual for younger generations to help adults with strange and challenging new technology. But when you add in the language barrier, that help becomes a crucial family responsibility.

LA agrees to revise how English learners, blacks are taught L.A. Times: Officials say the accord, which settles a federal civil rights probe, could be a national model. The district is not accused of intentional bias, and deciding how to make changes will be done locally.

Graduates of Elite New York City Public Schools Tutor Students Seeking Admission NYT: Graduates of Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science run the Science Schools Initiative, a yearlong free tutoring program held for three hours every Saturday morning. To qualify, students must show promise on a diagnostic exam and meet the city’s benchmark for poverty.

ARRA Funding Cliff: States Cling to Cash as Deadlines Loom EdWeek:  Together, the states have $2.28 billion left to draw down between those three funds—a total that doesn't include smaller special education programs, such as the one for infants, Title I School Improvement Grants, and Race to the Top, which have a longer spending timeline. 

Stalling Economy Forces Pennsylvania Schools to Put Dreams on Hold PBS: This $64 million school, including $141,000 worth of new gym equipment, was paid for with a municipal bond.Then the economic crisis hit. And Mifflin County, like rural school districts all across the country, had to put its ambitious dreams on hold.

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A comprehensive reauthorization of ESEA that would start with the use of school choice, rather than numerical targets and sanctions, as a means for holding schools accountable for the achievement of underachieving student groups appears the proper way to proceed at the present time. While teacher appraisal also clearly needs improving, having any such methods written into federal law is very likely an unnecessary overreach, given the diversity of schools across the United States.

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