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AM News: Zuckerberg Donates $120M To SF Bay Area Schools

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Zuckerberg, Wife Gift $120M to CA Schools AP: The first $5 million will go to school districts in San Francisco, Ravenswood and Redwood City and will focus on principal training, classroom technology and helping students transition from the 8th to the 9th grade. The couple and their foundation, called Startup: Education, determined the issues of most urgent need based on discussions with school administrators and local leaders.

At a Glance: Biggest Tech Donors in 2013 AP: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician, topped the list of the most generous American philanthropists in 2013 with a donation of 18 million shares of Facebook stock that are now worth more than $1 billion. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, it was the largest charitable gift on the public record in 2013. On Friday, they announced a $120 million gift to the San Francisco Bay Area public school system.

Common Core School Standards Face a New Wave of Opposition NYT: The governors of Oklahoma and South Carolina are considering signing bills to replace the Common Core standards with locally written versions, and Missouri is considering a related measure.

California's CORE Districts Faltering On Key Tenets of Waiver, Ed. Dept. Says District Dossier: Education Department officials flagged problem areas for the seven districts participating in the No Child Left Behind Act waiver, including delays and changes to strategies aimed at the lowest-achieving schools.

ACLU Sues California For 'Equal Learning Time' WNYC: The lawsuit names students including Briana Lamb as members of the class. In the fall of 2012, when Lamb showed up for her junior year at Fremont High School in South Central Los Angeles, she says her schedule was full of holes. 

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

Political fight simmers over school lunch menu changes PBS: First lady Michelle Obama has made healthy eating, particularly in schools, her top public priority. But after hearing from some school districts about the complications in implementing the new program, Republicans are now pushing to roll back the regulations.

House Panel Advances Bill on School Lunch Options NYT: A bill includes a provision for a waiver process for local school districts that found it too expensive to comply with the White House nutritional guidelines passed in 2012.

Study shows that high-tech schools run into budget troubles and cut tech spending Hechinger: The eight schools in this study spent a total of only $650,000 on technology, 60 percent less than $1.7 million originally budgeted.

On Teachers in Limbo, NYC Contract Satisfies Few WNYC: Leonard Robertson is a licensed music teacher with a decade’s experience in the public schools but this month he spent a week filling in for a high school business teacher. In what’s called the Absent Teacher Reserve, or A.T.R., Robertson rotates to a different school each week to fill in where he's needed or, worst case, to sit in the teachers' lounge all day.

D.C. Public Schools Scramble to Serve Growing Numbers of Homeless Students Washington Post: Nearly 30 percent of the students who attend Ketcham Elementary School in Southeast D.C. are homeless, and many stay at D.C. General.

 

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Congress should give all our states and districts some flexibility in education by rewriting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act so as to repeal No Child Left Behind, which has not prevented millions from being left behind and is increasingly leaving our country behind those with better school systems. ESEA should be rewritten along the lines of the UK's Education Act 2011, which is raising accountability by reforming examinations, something the United States is also attempting to do but is struggling with since the standards that guide America's examinations are too low, particularly in mathematics. Achieve had access to the mathematics standards of our competitors -- they can found easily on the APEC website -- but the central figures at the table chose not to make America's standards, and therefore students, competitive with those of east Asia, perhaps because it would cost too many college instructors their employment if Americans were learning calculus in high school before they went on to university, which is standard procedure elsewhere in the world and leads to much more competent voting adult populations.

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