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AM News: MLK/Inauguration Day Edition

Promises kept, promises broken Miami Herald: Obama fared best in the areas of education and healthcare. He kept 54 percent of his education promises and 53 percent on healthcare. Most of those were muscled through Congress with the economic stimulus and healthcare law, which passed when ...

 Obamas Spend Saturday At D.C. Elementary School AP:  The president and first lady Michelle Obama stained a bookshelf at Burrville Elementary School in D.C. They were joined by about 500 volunteers for the school makeover project. 

New Reading Standards Aim To Prep Kids For College — But At What Cost?NPR: Almost the entire country has signed onto the Common Core Standards Initiative. The standards incorporate more nonfiction texts across all subjects to improve reading scores. But some fear the push for nonfiction reading could lead students away from passionate engagement with literature.

Teacher Evaluation Impasse Costs New York City Hundreds Of MillionsNPR: In New York City, the failure to agree on a plan for evaluating its teachers is being widely criticized, especially because the city will now miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars in state financing. At stake was $250 million in aid, and another $200 million in grants, according to WNYC's Schoolbook education blog.

'Parent trigger' organizers find willing partner in Los Angeles Unified EdSource Today: What helped their cause this time was that LAUSD had already identified the school as one of the worst performing in the district and had ordered the school to submit a transformation plan. 

Massachusetts Teacher 'Turnarounds' Show Promise TeacherBeat: Cohort 1 schools, with two years of T3 under their belts, closed the middle school achievement gap with the district average in both math and English/language arts, meaning they have similar percentages of students achieving "advanced" or "proficient" on the state tests in those subjects. 

A Home-Schooling Pioneer Looks to the Future NYT: Mary Pride, a hero to conservative Christians, embraces technology and the Internet.

Lincoln Park Students Eager to Meet "The Man" NBC Chicago:Their trip has included visits to the Smithsonian, the Newseum and historic sites in Arlington, along with meetings with Quigley and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. They note proudly they are the only Chicago public elementary school attending the ...

 

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Professor Bauerlein's concerns about the Common Core, and particularly about how ignorant district administrators will use it, are well taken. The latter group, perhaps stressed by busy schedules, may misread the standards, since they require little change in the high school English curriculum and yet substantial changes in the balance between fiction and non-fiction appear to be taking place in some districts; but the perhaps deeper concern may be that, due to pressure from accountability hawks, intrinsic motivation for reading may be in ever greater decline. Harold Bloom has been in despair about this for years, and some of us believe the humanities have long been in decline, and that decline may be exacerbated by these Common Core State Standards and the heroic social aspirations of the reformers pushing them.

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