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Am News: Common Core Implementation, Field Testing, & Oklahoma

News2D.C. Students Read More, Deeper With Common Core WAMU: Kelly Rabin, a social studies teacher at Browne Education Campus, says she really pushes her students to do more in class. 

How Common Core education standards are changing the way LAUSD schools test children LA Daily News: “You are not being tested,” the narrator explained. “The questions themselves are being tested.”

Facing bipartisan backlash, Oklahoma reconsiders Common Core education standards PBS NewsHour: Oklahoma is the latest state to move toward repealing the Common Core national education standards. Once a source of bipartisan support, the standards now face criticism from the left and right. 

Boston Finds That Quality Preschool Is Worth The Effort NPR: Teaching coach Marina Boni is watching Doyle's classroom closely. After the lesson, she commends Doyle for trying to tie the new wire project to the old, but she says photographs of the older, forgotten project might've made the connection a bit more concrete.

Investigators find no evidence of pre-crash fire in deadly Orland bus collision LA Daily News: Investigators have found no evidence the FedEx freight truck involved in a deadly crash with a bus full of Los Angeles-area high school kids in rural Orland was on fire before impact, despite a witness report it may have been in flames prior to the fiery collision, the agency said Saturday. See also LA Times

Outgoing HHS Secretary Oversaw Tougher Rules for Head Start Grant Renewals PK12: Sebelius, who joined the administration in 2009, also served as a tag-team partner with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in promoting a proposal from the White House to boost state-run preschool programs with $75 billion over 10 years from the federal government. They both visited child-care centers and made other joint appearances to talk up the proposal.

L.A. teachers union president ready to step aside for challenger LA Times: Los Angeles teachers' union president Warren Fletcher said he will no longer actively campaign for reelection, clearing the path for challenger Alex Caputo-Pearl to become the next leader of United Teachers Los Angeles. In the first round of voting in March, Caputo-Pearl received 48% of the votes and Fletcher 21%. The runoff election takes place this month with ballots set to be counted April 29.

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

Schools Chancellor Details Initiatives for Schools NYT: Ms. Fariña, a 40-year-veteran of the Education Department, dedicated much of her speech to a laundry list of practical, although sometimes vague initiatives: plans to bring more students into the city’s world-renowned museums and onto its college campuses; an expansion of summer programs for students in low-income families; and a restructuring of the grading system used to gauge a school’s success. See also Chalkbeat

City schools budget has board seeing red Baltimore Sun: A slowdown in revenue has Baltimore school officials scrambling for budget adjustments that won't require the system to raid its rainy-day fund or cut central office positions and school programs.

Rosy Indiana Evaluation Results Trigger Soul-Searching TeacherBeat: Indiana's teachers posted high scores on their first year under a new teacher-evaluation system.

More non-profits teaching parents to read with children EdSource Today: The programs have different approaches. For instance, the statewide Raising A Reader program and San Diego’s Words Alive! both work with child care centers and preschools to connect with children and parents. But all the programs have the same goal: To get children, and parents, excited about reading.

Ken Burns explains what the Gettysburg Address can teach students Al Jazeera America: Filmmaker Ken Burns joins Consider This host Antonio Mora to discuss "The Address," his new documentary that follows students with learning differences at the Greenwood School in Vermont, as they work to memorize and recite Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Burns says the effort the students put into memorizing the famous speech gave them a "sense of accomplishment."

Upward Fragility Alex Kotlowitz: For five motivated young men from DuSable High School in Chicago, there seemed to be a way up and out. But it takes more than pluck and luck to escape the ghetto.

From slipping through the cracks to the college track Seattle Times: Between crisis management and clerical duties, school counselors — once the conduit to college — have little time to help students navigate a complex maze of higher-education requirements. The fix? Look beyond the schoolhouse.

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Re: the Common Core in Oklahoma and other states: the bill to repeal the standards ought to be defeated, for now, although the criticism about the standards not being (sufficiently) superior to what was common before is valid, at least in mathematics. Instead, Oklahomans ought to set about developing those improved standards as a state project, possibly with help from other states like Minnesota and Indiana, and then should introduce them statewide and, if they work well, perhaps in other states as a kind of Common Core version two. Australia, for example, has now released, since beginning work around five years ago, the sixth version of its national curriculum; so the expectation that even a set of standards, which is less than a national curriculum but which serves as its heart, would be perfect on first release, with no need for further review, is proving to be unrealistic.

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