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Am News: Budget Deal Gives TFA Another Two Years

News2Budget Deal Would Allow Alternate-Route Teachers to be Deemed "Highly Qualified" PoliticsK12: The legislation, which is expected to be approved by both houses of Congress very soon, would allow teachers participating in alternative-certification programs (for example, Teach for America) to be considered "highly qualified" for an additional two years, through the 2015-16 school year. 

[For the full backstory on this provision's history, see my long article: Teach For America & The Alternative Certification Loophole]

Federal workers returning to a 'mess' Politico: The Commerce, Education, Housing and Urban Development and Labor departments, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, have largely been dark since Oct. 1. Not only are those workers almost three weeks behind schedule, many will need to spend the next few days just digging through clogged inboxes and answering phone messages.

Education Commissioner Opts for Private Meetings After Heckling WNYC: New York State Education Commissioner John King said he understood parents are frustrated. But he said he would not participate in any meetings with disruptions, like the Poughkeepsie hearing where parents shouted at him. 

In Laurel, 'intense' but promising shift to Common Core Baltimore Sun: At first glance, the bulletin boards lining the hallways of Oaklands Elementary School in South Laurel look like any typical display of students' work — drawings, short essays, a display of some dioramas.

New standardized tests boast less risk of cheating — by students and teachers KPCC: Last school year, students were caught taking pictures of the tests with their cellphones to share with others.But this year's computer test gets rid of those answer sheets and booklets. Tests will be given on computer, and officials can monitor when a student is logging in and out of a web site to take the test.

Study: Poor children are now the majority in American public schools in South, West Washington Post: A majority of students in public schools throughout the American South and West are low-income for the first time in at least four decades, according to a new study that details a demographic shift with broad implications for the country.

Study: D.C.’s teacher evaluation system affects workforce Washington Post: Rewards and punishments embedded in the District’s controversial teacher evaluation program have shaped the school system’s workforce, affecting both retention and performance, according to a study scheduled for release Thursday.

Harassment claims against LAUSD President Richard Vladovic detailed in interview LA Daily New: A veteran Los Angeles Unified secretary who filed harassment allegations against school board President Richard Vladovic has identified herself publicly in an exclusive interview with the Daily News, saying she's speaking out in an effort to end bullying by the district's powerful officials.

Pennsylvania Will Release School Funds NYT: Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday that he has agreed to release $45 million for the Philadelphia schools.

Massachusetts Schools Dial Back on Obesity Reports NYT: The state Public Health Council voted Wednesday to stop automatically sending letters home with public school students about their weight.

More Angst For College Applicants: A Glitchy Common App NPR: Applying to college is stressful at the best of times. But technical flaws in the online Common Application, used by hundreds of colleges, have sparked panic among some high school seniors. With deadlines approaching, some schools are making backup plans — like a return to mail or even faxed applications.

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That WNYC story is pretty weak tea. Are you SURE your reformista readers don't need to know what happened in New York last week? At least you finally noted Commissioner John King's retreat to his bunker.

A disloyal staffer smuggled out this video of the Commissioners crisis meeting that followed the debacle in Poughkeepsie.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvKVkitKOgk

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