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AM News: Homework Burden Not As Heavy As You Think, Says Report


Students Probably Do Less Homework Than You Think, Study Says HufPost: Homework loads have actually been stable over the last 30 years, despite front-page reports of overworked kids and a century-old "war on homework," according to the report, one of three released Tuesday by Brookings' Brown Center on Education Policy. See also HUSA Today.

What Happens If a State Loses its NCLB Waiver? PK12: The challenge for the Education Department may be ensuring that Washington state doesn't get off easy—while not disrupting the strong work the state is already doing in intervening in its lowest-performing schools, a weak area of NCLB implementation for many other waiver states.

Duncan Talks High Stakes Tests, ESEA Renewal, and Common Core Politics PK12: In a morning speech during the second day of the event, Duncan urged state officials to be patient and to "overcommunicate" with the public during the transition to the new standards and new tests, particularly during the field-testing of common-core assessments taking place this spring. At the same time, he cautioned that some pushback on policies had little to do with education, but "everything to do with politics," and that not all critics could be won over.

Florida Picks Common-Core Test From AIR, Not PARCC State EdWatch: Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart has selected the American Institutes for Research to develop a new common-core aligned exam for the state's assessment.

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

Worcester mayor wants school board to reconsider parental opt-out on test Telegram: After testimony from two parents opposed to the exam, the School Committee, on a voice vote, backed allowing parents to opt out of having their children take the test, scheduled for the spring. Since the vote, the committee has been assailed by critics who accuse the board of supporting the agenda of standardized exam opponents.

Efforts To Close The Achievement Gap In Kids Start At Home WNYC: Through a yearlong series of home visits, Providence Talks aims to coach low-income parents to speak more, and differently, to their children.

Opinion: No Sympathy Needed. My School is One of the Good Ones  WNYC: So what makes WBCHS an “easier” (for lack of a better word) school community? It boils down to our systems and structures. Our classes are small: fewer than 26 students per class, with many classes much smaller than that. Each of our students has an advocate counselor with whom they meet on a regular basis. During each trimester we have five benchmarks, giving students a chance to receive their course grades – and meet with their teachers - often.

EdTracker: EdSource’s guide to education legislation EdSource Today: This year’s raft of education bills offers nothing of that magnitude but collectively addresses a range of important issues: universal kindergarten for 4-year-olds, school discipline, teacher dismissal, bachelor’s degrees at the community college level, to name a few. Of the dozens awaiting legislators, we’ll be focusing on a number of bills through our EdTracker, reporting their status as they go through sausage-making. 

After major flubs, city revamps curriculum delivery process ChalkbeatNY: Publishers will now ship student books, teacher guides, and other materials directly to the elementary and middle schools that order them, rather than to city-contracted delivery companies as was the case last year. Schools will now be able to track the status of those shipments, which should arrive in July, according to a department memo sent to principals last week. And schools will be able to monitor in real-time how much money they have available to spend on materials when they begin ordering next month.


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Re: the Duncan ESEA renewal story in PK12: bipartisan policy work around education will have to start by applying the medical dictum "First, do no harm" to Washington, D.C. If our leaders, and particularly the Democratic education leaders, cannot do better policy work than they have been doing, perhaps the most we can hope for is that congressional leaders will simply agree to tear up that failure known as No Child Left Behind and set the ESEA clock back to the 1990s, Clinton-era version of the law. We actually ought to be moving forward with increasing the participation of accountable students from disadvantaged backgrounds in higher education by means of reforming and broadening the examinations at the end of secondary education that qualify them for such -- states could support such valuable, current state-of-the-art reforms by adding annual instruction time to the most important subjects -- but if Washington's current leaders (especially in the United States Senate) can't do their duty and rewrite that expired law, perhaps they could simply repeal it, so the states can get on with doing what Washington currently can't, as its inaction ensures that our entire country gets left behind.

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