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AM News: 15 States Seek Testing Reduction

News215 States Seek Waivers to Reduce Double-Testing PoliticsK12: The double-testing allows states to suspend some of their current tests and give only the field tests from the common-testing consortia—to avoid double testing students. See also Politico 

Pulling a More Diverse Group of Achievers Into the Advanced Placement Pool NYT: As A.P. classes across the country have opened to a more diverse group of students, some teachers and parents worry that instructors will be forced to water down the curriculum, while some educational experts say there is little conclusive evidence that students who take such courses perform better in college.

Common Core State Standards Focus On Critical Thinking Amid Political Debate AP: Remembering the plot of a short story is no longer good enough in teacher Amy Lawson's fifth-grade classroom.

Md. says it will include more special ed students in national test Baltimore Sun: Acknowledging that scores on a national reading test may have been inflated, Maryland education officials changed course this week.

Austin Journal: Closing a Fear Gap So Children Can Achieve NYT: Montserrat Garibay, a teacher, is hoping to shrink the stark achievement gap in schools disproportionately populated by the children of immigrants by addressing fears of deportation.

Mixed reaction to iPad rollout from L.A. teachers and administrators LA Times: Just 36% of teachers strongly favored continuing the tablet effort; 90% of administrators felt the same.

Details Emerge on de Blasio's Education Agenda WNYC: We play excerpts from an education forum at which Mayor-elect de Blasio spoke and discuss the latest transition news with Wall Street Journal political reporter Michael Howard Saul.

N.C. elementary schools promise arts education but access is far from equal PBS:Most public schools in the United States offer some sort of music instruction, but according to a federal government report, about four million elementary school students do not get instruction in the visual arts.

Teacher learns a lesson after teaching students about Internet safety TODAY: When a Tennessee teacher put a photo online to teach her elementary school students what can happen when a personal photo goes public, even she was surprised at a lesson we can all learn from. 

State and district news below

For New York City’s Charter Schools, a Lesson on Paying Rent NYT: The Bronx Community Charter School could be a model if Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio follows through on his proposal to charge charter schools for space. Plus Citizens of the World struggles with enrollment WSJ

Much Of Standardized Testing System Is Out Of City Control NY1: De Blasio won't be able to get rid of standardized tests or stop them from counting towards teachers' evaluations, something new to the city this year and written into state law.

Breaking Bread: Back in New York With the Same Passion, but to Less Fire and Smoke NYT: Rudy Crew, a former city schools chancellor who butted heads with Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, is the new president of Medgar Evers College in central Brooklyn.

I Can Haz Spanish Lessons: Cat Pictures Now Have A Purpose NPR: It's no secret cats rule the Internet. Now, just flipping through cat pictures can be an educational experience. A new iOS app called Cat Spanish teaches 1,000 basic phrases by showing you flash cards of cute cats.

 

New Details on Illinois Pension Plan WSJ: New details emerged Friday about a proposal to overhaul Illinois's public-employee retirement system, hardening opposition from public-sector unions and drawing criticism from some conservatives for not going far enough.

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Re: the AP and NY1 standards stories: the Common Core State Standards are in danger of being trashed due to their association with two federal efforts that have distorted our education system. The worse of the two relevant federal initiatives, which are more important than CCSS because of the supremacy of the federal government in our system of law, is Race to the Top's strategy of bribing states, broke because of the misdeeds of our capitalist leadership, into making an unjust use of student test scores to make lousy, lazy, unreliable inferences about the quality of teachers; but the way to fix this problem is to rewrite the more powerful law that is six years past its required reauthorization date, No Child Left Behind, which has largely failed to close the achievement gap for children and which has provided help to schools at opportunity costs greater than the value of the help that has been provided.

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