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AM News: LA To Review $1B iPad Project

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Sandy Hook Elementary Will Be Torn Down NPR: In a referendum marked by a large turnout and an emphatic result, the people of Newtown, Conn., have voted to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary and build a new school. Sandy Hook was the scene of a mass shooting last December, when 20 children and six staff members were killed.

LA school board to review $1-billion iPad project Los Angeles Times:  The meeting was proposed by board member Monica Ratliff, who chairs a district committee that is overseeing technology in L.A. Unified.

Deciding Who Sees Students’ Data NYT: Schools across the country are looking at new online ways to integrate and analyze information about their students. But privacy advocates remain wary.

Vouchers don’t do much for students Politico: Taxpayers across the U.S. will soon be spending $1 billion a year to help families pay private school tuition — and there’s little evidence that the investment yields academic gains.

Michigan school prepares students for high-tech auto jobs Hechinger Report: By the time Brad Foley graduated from high school in 2012, he’d made a bicycle that served as alternative energy source, providing enough power to light its own turn signals, and helped craft a model of an eco-friendly dashboard for cars. For his senior project, he’d designed a “Mission Impossible”-inspired game featuring a security system with laser trip wires.

School Safety For America's Youngest Students Means More Officers, More Guns Huffington Post: At this year’s NASRO conference, aspiring school officers could take classes in marksmanship, crisis management and bullying prevention. They could learn about the "proven benefits of non-confrontational interview and interrogation techniques with the millennial generation." They could also participate in "juvenile justice Jeopardy" and a boisterous round of karaoke. But the conference's linchpin in the summer after Newtown was "active shooter response" training.

Tardy Deliveries Keep New Books Out of Teachers’ Hands NYT: A month into the school year, teachers in New York City’s public schools are pushing on despite missing important new materials that were ordered to match the tougher Common Core standards.

Early Decision WNYC: With the early decision college application deadline approaching, Jacques Steinberg, author of The Gatekeepers (Penguin Books, 2003), and VP of sayyestoeducation.org, offers advice for getting that acceptance letter.

LAUSD firings mount since Miramonte scandal LA Daily News: The Los Angeles Unified school board has voted to fire 127 educators and accepted the resignations of 110 more since February 2012, when the Miramonte sex-abuse scandal triggered a crackdown on misconduct, according to district officials.

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Re the NYT story on failures to get Common Core resources to schools on time and on Stephanie Simon's opinion piece masking as a news story on vouchers: families the world over resort to tutoring when they find their local state schools inadequate. A problem that civil rights advocates should be concerned about is that too many families cannot afford any such tutoring and are in addition denied by supporters of socialist state systems the voucher support that would enable them to consider alternatives in the private sector: those families may be simply stuck in the uncaring, monopoly-minded blob (Margaret Thatcher's term when she was the British education minister) that state education can become before they are packed off to prison in huge numbers for lives to be spent in and out of jail and misery.

Top o' the morning to you too, Bruce!

But what about the fact that the public-school bashers here in the U.S. are constantly telling us that our U.S. schools are uniquely failing and being crushed by other nations' school systems that are fabulous educational nirvanas? That doesn't really jibe with your claim that "families the world over ... find their local state schools inadequate" and that the "monopoly-minded blob" in those nations leads to "jail and misery."

Caroline, you have again distorted my position by misreading and misquoting my words. For some reason, you elided the word "when" from your first quote: I'm not claiming that families are always dissatisfied with their state schools, I'm just saying that sometimes they are, which is one reason they resort to tutors (as my family does -- but in this case, we are the tutors!). In the second quote, you similarly left out the modals "may" and "can". While that blob-prison pipeline does well describe what I witnessed at the old Locke High School, that is by no means descriptive of all state schools, or of most of them, which are the only schools my children, like me, have ever been to. American schools are not failing on the whole, and our system is stronger than several of those that are sometimes claimed to be better (I would include Korea's in that analysis, although reasonable people might disagree in that case), but our schools can also definitely improve, and that includes even our best, and studying different school systems is, I believe, the most efficient way of achieving that improvement.

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