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AM News: Snow Day Recriminations

News2Snow Day? That’s Great. Now Log In. Get to Class. NYT: Public schools around the country are exploring whether they can use virtual learning as a practical solution to unpredictable weather, effectively transforming the traditional snow day into a day of instruction.

School snow days a challenge for low-income working parents AJAM: In 2012, 44 percent of full-time workers had paid personal leave; only 16 percent of part-timers enjoyed the same. “Low-wage workers are the least likely to have these options,” said Ruth Milkman, a labor sociologist at the City University of New York. 

De Blasio defends controversial decision to keep schools open during storm ChalkbeatNY:“Based on our knowledge of what sanitation could do over night, we were convinced that kids could get to school this morning,” de Blasio told reporters from the Office of Emergency Management offices in Brooklyn.

NYC Posts Lowest School Attendance of the Year WNYC: This was also the third time in 2014 that a third or more of the city’s public school students missed class — most likely due to weather events in all three cases. Some parents and educators called it "a mistake" to keep schools open during the messy storm that dumped snow and icy rain on the city. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña cited "lessons learned" from this latest snow storm experience.

VIDEOS: Rappin' And Rockin' School Closing Announcements NPR: Something's going on at some schools in states hit hard by the weather this winter. What it is ain't exactly clear. But administrators seem to want to have some fun when they have to spread the word about school being closed. See how they set their news to hits by Queen and Vanilla Ice.

More news below and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso.

Disadvantaged children can hurt achievement of others in their classrooms, study finds WashPost: A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania studied more than 10,000 children who were enrolled in public schools in Philadelphia from kindergarten through third grade. 

The school standards rebellion Politico: The administration is watching the backlash warily. Both Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have lately talked up the virtues of vocational education — but both have also noted, pointedly, that such classes must not be a substitute for college-prep academics. 

In Debate Over Paying for Pre-K, Little Agreement Aside From the Goal NYT: Questions and skepticism surround two competing early education plans by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Transgender student to play on Azusa High School softball team LA Daily News: The Azusa High School girls softball team will include the state's first transgender student-athlete, district officials said Thursday. A senior, Pat Cordova-Goff, 17, is a member of the school's cheer squad and played on the school's baseball team as a freshman.

Facebook launches 50 new gender options for users PBS News: The new options — which include identifications such as androgynous, bigender, transsexual, gender fluid, male to female and female to male, among others, and pronoun choices of him, her or them — will initially be available for the 159 million monthly users in the U.S. Facebook gives the option of sharing the gender identity or set it privately.

 

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Re: the Politico article: if Americans keep following the vision of President Obama and Secretary Duncan, they're going to merely continue to suffer current outcomes, where the typical American high school graduate is prepared neither for college nor a career. Following this current path has led to American children not stagnating, the administration's preferred interpretation, but actually falling further behind their international rivals on PISA -- the U.S. slipped back between 2009 and 2012, on this administration's watch -- and on the more important PIAAC, whose data show our young adults, aged 16-24 -- in other words, young Americans most recently out of school -- are the least competent of any of the 22 OECD countries that participated in that assessment.

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