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AM News: Toughen Up NCLB Waiver Renewals, Say Reform Groups

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Advocacy Groups Urge Arne Duncan to Get Tough on NCLB Waivers PoliticsK12: In a letter sent to the Education Department today, these groups express deep concerns about waiver implementation, from how graduation rates are factored into state accountability systems to how subgroups of at-risk students are being helped.

School iPads to cost nearly $100 more each, revised budget shows LA Times: The L.A. Unified School District will spend $770 per iPad, a 14% increase over earlier cost estimates, the revised budget shows.

Language-Gap Study Bolsters a Push for Pre-K NYT: A Stanford psychologist found that affluent children had learned 30 percent more words from 18 months to 2 years of age than children from low-income homes. Video: Middle schooler: Shooter was aiming 'at my chest' NBC: Sparks Middle School shooting survivor Jose Cazares describes the scene inside the school Monday when teacher Michael Landsberry got between him and the 12-year old shooter. 

Sequestration Cuts Lead To Bigger Classes, Shuttered Arts Programs In Schools HuffPost: For the current school year, the group heard back from 298 school districts in 42 states. Eighty-six percent factored sequestration cuts into budgets -- up from 36 last year -- and 144 reported they deferred building maintenance or purchases. Eight closed or consolidated schools.

West Point Women: A Natural Pattern Or A Camouflage Ceiling? NPR: Since 1980, the percentage of women at the U.S. Military Academy has stayed the same, leading some to conclude that the school has set an artificial cap on the number of female cadets that it accepts. Now, West Point has been told it must raise those numbers to meet the demand for more female leaders.

Crash Course on Speaking in Tongues, All 22 of Them NYT: A workshop in Brooklyn was held over three hours, in seven classrooms, featuring classes on nearly two dozen languages taught mostly by native speakers.

For many young D.C. parents, city schools remain a sticking point Washington Post: Public school enrollment in the District has risen nearly 18 percent over the past five years, mostly in the early grades and charter schools, as an increasing number of parents have been persuaded to give D.C. schools a try. 

Study: 15 percent of US youth out of school, work Associated Press: Almost 6 million young people are neither in school nor working, according to a study released Monday. That's almost 15 percent of those aged 16 to 24 who have neither desk nor job, according to The Opportunity Nation coalition, which wrote the report.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visiting Wheeling Thursday Chicago Daily Herald
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit with students at Wheeling High School on Thursday to discuss the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and tour the school's new nano technology laboratory, ...

Crenshaw Digital Team Brings its ‘Game’ to the White House LA School Report: The team, which is sponsored by the grassroots education nonprofit Mother of Many, raised nearly $10,000 for the trip by selling more than 50 gaming apps to Microsoft as part of the company’s “Keep the Cash” app-a-thon. One of the games, “Going Bananas for Health,” is now available on the Windows 8 App Store.
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L.A. Unified continues to have an astonishing capacity to blow money. This is one reason it is perplexing to see former colleagues who were determined to force that district to change its ways go into fundraising for the district. It will be especially hard now for philanthropists to not see money sent to that district as good money chasing after bad. Instead, disciplining the district by cutting off the cash until the leaders responsible for the iPad bait-and-switch defrauding of Los Angeles taxpayers, who thought they were paying for building renovations, are removed becomes the appropriate choice for L.A.'s civic leaders. That bond oversight committee cannot be trusted, and those who were enthusiastic for Superintendent Deasy, who is a good man with a strong sense of urgency, should have been vetting his ideas with more critical intelligence instead of acting as mindless rubber stamping cheerleaders.

Deasy may be "a good man with a strong sense of urgency," but he seems to have abysmal judgment. Wouldn't a decent person with a grasp of reality and half a clue be preferable?

I suspect there are plenty preferable (as well as plenty more worse), but I don't see how he can survive this developing fiasco; and it would be worse still if he did survive, since public accountability for superintendents and other leaders in Los Angeles education would be obviously dead at that point. Those who relentlessly preach accountability should be prepared to live by it -- which reminds me of the management of Green Dot Public Schools. Five years later, $15 million spent, and Locke High School's percentage of students tested (on the SAT) and average scores on the SAT and ACT actually lowered from their miserable status under LAUSD! I found out the hard way -- and so should anyone else that's still paying attention -- that these business school types have very little value to add to overcoming our education difficulties.

High five, Bruce!

:)

The school is safer, and students are staying in school longer -- that is, the dropout rate is down, so although they're not necessarily graduating (and when they are graduating it appears, from Alexander's book, that they're graduating with flimsier credentials than ever), at least they're staying off the streets and out of jail -- but the Green Dot academic model added no value to the students' college preparation while limiting their career alternatives, so to have them marketing themselves in Tennessee as having a proven model for college preparation beggars belief.

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