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AM News: Arne Duncan Speaks on Waivers, Sequestration, and Armed Teachers

Arne Duncan On NCLB Waivers, Sequestration, Common Core PoliticsK12: In a wide-ranging, hourlong interview today with a small group of national reporters, Duncan said he met with some of the "CORE" California superintendents yesterday to discuss their waiver request—as my colleague Lesli Maxwell reported yesterday. The CORE is a group of 10 districts, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, that are moving ahead with reforms their state is slow to embrace (such as the common core and new teacher evaluations).

AMNews

Arne Duncan: Armed Teachers Proposals Are 'A Marketing Opportunity' For Gun Industry HuffPostEdu: People who say that teachers want to carry weapons are just pushing "a marketing opportunity," according to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "The vast majority of teachers have spoken pretty loudly and said they're not interested in being armed, so that's a red herring," Duncan said at a small Thursday morning meeting with reporters at the U.S. Education Department. "It's an opportunity to sell more guns, that's a marketing opportunity, it's not serious."

In California, thousands of teachers missing needed credentials HechingerReport: Every year in California, public school administrators assign thousands of teachers to classes for which they lack the credentials or legal authorization to teach. Untrained teachers have been assigned to a variety of difficult classes, including those filled with English-language learners and others with special intellectual and physical needs. Or, in Parker’s case, to teach social studies when they’re credentialed for biology.

Survey: Washington 'Insiders' Pessimistic About Common Tests CurriculumMatters: Since it isn't nationally representative, the survey is notable less as a reflection of general sentiment than for the way it tracks those "Washington insiders'" views across time. And the latest findings show a downward trend in warm-and-fuzzy vibes about the two federally funded test-design groups, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.

Test Scores of Hispanics Vary Widely Across 5 Most Populous States, Analysis Shows NYT: Of all the changes sweeping through the American public education system, one of the most significant is simply demographic: the growing population of Hispanic students. A new analysis released Thursday of nationwide test results in the five most populous states — California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas — shows that depending on where they live, Hispanic students’ academic performance varies widely.

Weighing Prospect of Changes in Graduation Requirements TexasTribune: Following backlash over the rocky institution of a new student assessment system last spring, Texas lawmakers are scrambling to scale back the requirements they passed four years ago. As the Legislature tackles such reform, attention is also focused on another area of education policy: high school graduation requirements.

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