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AM News: CA Proxy Battle Obscures Common Core Agreement


Race for state superintendent heated despite agreement on two key issues EdSource Today: Torlakson and Tuck fully support the state’s new school financing system. And both are firmly behind the Common Core State Standards, which have replaced California’s state standards in math and English language arts.

Gov. Jindal, in newspaper column, championed for-profit-colleges that his brother represented in court NOLA.com: Gov. Bobby Jindal didn't disclose in his newspaper column this week supporting for-profit colleges in their fight with the Obama administration that his brother, attorney Nikesh Jindal, represented the schools' association in an earlier legal fight with the administration.

L.A. Unified suspension rates fall but some question figures' accuracy LA Times: In the heart of Watts, where violence in nearby housing projects can spill over onto campuses, two of the city's toughest middle schools have long dealt with fights, drugs and even weapons.

For Lessons About Class, a Field Trip Takes Students Home NYT:By visiting classmates’ homes during the school day, 4- and 5-year-olds at the Manhattan Country School learn to celebrate their differences.

Is The Deck Stacked Against Black Boys In America? NPR: A new White House report exploring the intersection of race, poverty and justice suggests the answer is still a resounding yes.

Chicago Teacher Killed in Gang Crossfire AP: Chicago special education teacher at 2nd job killed in what police say was gang crossfire.

D.C. to release refined set of school boundary recommendations Washington Post: Two months ago, D.C. officials released three politically charged proposals to overhaul the city’s school boundaries and student-assignment policies, setting off vigorous debate about the future of the city’s neighborhood schools.

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

New Orleans Closes Its Last Traditional Schools NPR: Last week, the New Orleans school district became the first all-charter district in the country. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Sarah Carr, a reporter who's been following the city's changing schools.

Planned Takeover Of Virginia Schools In Holding Pattern WAMU: Six failing schools in Virginia, including one in Alexandria, are set to be taken over by the state later this year, but initial assessments of these schools have been met with roadblocks.

Behind the scenes of the National Spelling Bee NBC: Erica Hill spends time with some of the 281 spellers at this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, including co-champion Sriram Hathwar. “I want to win, but simultaneously have fun,” Hathwar told Hill. 

To Get an A in Philanthropy Class, Give Away $50,000 NYT: This course in philanthropy, endowed with a grant from a Texas hedge fund manager, requires students to find and investigate nonprofit organizations and, if they stand up to scrutiny, give them a portion of the five-figure cash pot.

GAO Report: Sequestration Forced Program, Professional Development Cuts District Dossier: A new report from the Government Accountability Office says that sequestration cuts to Title I and Impact Aid forced some districts to reduce specialists, increase class sizes, reduce professional development, and delay technology upgrades.


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Superintendent Torlakson deserves credit for working with Governor Brown to restore a bit of confidence and stability to California's state education system through Proposition 30, and his move towards supporting career education and readiness is also in the right direction. But once this election is over, we really need to find a third way in America's education politics, one which respects federalism and local control and moves away from the failed legacy of No Child Left Behind and its mindless annual testing, a law that I associate with the United States now having, according to the OECD, the least competent young adults in the developed world. But the power to fix this crucial flaw lies in Washington, D.C., not in Sacramento, and we need Congress to undo its past damage and to move us forward through a more appropriate approach to raising accountability by reforming exams.

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