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AM News: Concerns About Common Core Growing - Or Overblown?

Teacher support for Common Core at ‘critical juncture’ Politico: Supporters of Common Core said they’re eager to work with teachers and are confident most educators are still on board. Proponents of Common Core also dismiss public anger — including moves to scrap the standards in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and elsewhere — as insignificant and blown out of proportion.

Will Louisiana’s students be ready for online testing? Hechinger Report: The state recommends schools have a ratio of seven students to every one computer (including desktops, laptops, and tablets) and meet specified bandwidth requirements. A few school districts, such as St. James Parish, have a 1:1 ratio, while several others remain far from the 7:1 target. 

USDA Tells Schools: Don't Refuse Food To Students Who Owe NPR: The agency responds to a January incident in which a Utah elementary school served students food – and threw it away when their accounts were found to have a negative balance. 

Wisconsin lawmakers push for control over K-12 standards WP: As in several other states, lawmakers in Wisconsin are considering legislation that would pause, change or eliminate the new Common Core academic standards in math and reading now being implemented in public school classrooms across the country.

To curb conflict, a Colorado high school replaces punishment with conversation PBS NewsHour: In Aurora, Colorado, principal Matthew Willis welcomes the recent changes at Hinkley High School, where 75 percent of the 2,000-plus students qualify for free and reduced meals. Willis says student fights are down and respect among classmates is up.

More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).

In New York City, a new charter school coalition angles for acceptance Chalkbeat: Education leaders representing 27 charter schools serving 13,000 students announced this week that they’ve united in hopes of playing nice with Fariña and Mayor Bill de Blasio at a delicate moment for the charter sector. The group includes organizations tied to the de Blasio administration, such as the Children’s Aid Society, as well as an independent charter school whose principal counts Fariña as a mentor. 

Settlement in 7-Year Suit Over NJ Students with Disabilities WNYC: Several advocacy groups filed thelawsuit nearly seven years ago, saying too many of New Jersey's students with special needs were sent to separate schools outside their home districts rather than receiving appropriate services. Federal law requires that students with disabilities receive an appropriate education in the "least restrictive environment."

Scrutiny in California for Software in Schools NYT: Proposed legislation would prohibit websites, online services and mobile apps for kindergartners through 12th graders from compiling, using or sharing the personal information of students.

‘Repairs Not iPads’ Facebook group moves into the open LA School Report: Matthew Kogan, who anonymously launched the Facebook effort in December, told LA School Report that the event was intended to introduce some of the teachers who have been uploading the photos to the Facebook page. About a dozen parents, teachers and students attended.

Data Breach At University Of Maryland Exposes 309,000 Records NPR: The records from staff, faculty and students date back to 1998 and include social security numbers, names and dates of birth.


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Re: the Common Core: Mr. Van Roekel is right, we do need a course correction, a severe one, beginning with a thorough revision of the mathematics standards, which ought to enable faster progress and more practical, less professorial language and applications; but more important than that is the remaining need to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act so as to remove the need for annual testing, which has turned so many American classrooms into test prep factories. The better approach to accountability is that of the UK's Education Act 2011, which focuses testing on exams that provide students with actual qualifications for higher education or employment, in contrast with the American high school diploma, which certifies qualification for neither.

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