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AM News: Unions Mobilize Against Common Core, Newark Reformer


Teachers Unions Mobilize To Delay The Common Core NPR: The president of the largest U.S. teachers union is calling on school districts to delay adopting the Common Core education standards. 

Chris Christie faces new uproar in state’s largest city Politico: On Wednesday evening, teachers unions ratcheted up the pressure as American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten sent Christie a letter demanding that he relinquish control over the troubled school district, which the state has run since 1994.

Five Points from Secretary Arne Duncan on Latinos and Education NBC: On Thursday President Barack Obama will launch an initiative geared toward young men and boys of color to improve their chances for success.

At school closings meetings, school choice groups learn the lay of the land in Memphis Chalkbeat Memphis: A table set up at a screening of a documentary about the parent trigger act. The school district auditorium in midtown Memphis was crowded Tuesday.

From Ravitch to the Ritz: SXSWedu highlights Austin Chronicle: Reign of Error: The Danger of Privatizing Schools":Diane Ravitch, America's leading researcher on educational policy and the danger of the...

Fed Up With Zero Tolerance In Schools, Advocates Push For Change NPR: Studies show that harsh policies, including criminalization, don't help the students who are removed from the classroom — and that schools punish black, Latino and disabled students more harshly.

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

School Boards Association rises to challenge, proposes teacher dismissal bill EdSource: Picking up pieces from two failed attempts to rewrite the law on teacher dismissals, the California School Boards Association will lead this year’s attempt to make it easier and less expensive to fire teachers accused of serious misconduct and sex crimes against children.

5 lessons from Chalkbeat’s event on teacher evaluations by video ChalkbeatNY: Our first two guests, a teacher and assistant principal from a middle school in the South Bronx, discussed quirks of the Danielson Framework, the way a subtle classroom command can derail a lesson and when technology trumps person. A policy analyst with New America NYC, Chalkbeat’s co-host for the event, then joined to offer a perspective on efforts to improve teacher quality around the country. An active online chat for the duration of the event added extra insight.

Chancellor Recommends Book to Calm Test Nerves WNYC: As city teachers prepare for the second year of more difficult state exams, Chancellor Carmen Fariña urged them to lighten up a little. "A good way to ease these concerns, especially for younger students, is to share Judith Finchler’s book, Testing Miss Malarkey (Walker Children, reprint 2003), which offers a humorous take on the world of standardized testing.

Ban on junk food marketing in schools? MSNBC: Schools across the country will soon have to eliminate any posters or billboards advertising unhealthy snacks on campus. The White House is banning junk food ads to build on new regulations setting sugar and fat limits for any food sold in schools.


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The teachers' unions are right to slow down the Common Core juggernaut, in particular the disastrously unfair policy of judging teachers on the basis of students' scores on tests for which no specimens have been released and for which curricula are virtually non-existent. Accountability hawks have been the major promoters of these standards (and common standards remains a worthwhile goal, regardless of this botched execution); will they be subject to the same ruthlessness with which they have been attempting to treat classroom educators? The renewal of the contracts of superintendents who fail to meet their own benchmarks is not an encouraging sign; and politically well placed leaders like New York's education commissioner and the U.S. secretary of education are presumably even more thickly coated with Teflon, in spite of having endangered an important national initiative, damaged the educations of millions of children, and divided still further our nation, including even its two major parties.

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