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AM News: John White Blasts Bobby Jindal Over Common Core

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Common Core: Jindal ally blasts move as illegal Politico: On Wednesday, he ramped up his rhetoric considerably, telling POLITICO in an interview that Jindal is breaking the law, trampling the state constitution — and crushing the dreams of low-income minority students.

Meet the Groups Fighting Against Limits on Restraining School Kids ProPublica:  Teachers, high school principals and the U.S. Department of Education have all endorsed the idea of limiting the use of restraints to emergencies. But lobbies representing school district leaders and boards have combined with congressional Republicans to stymie such legislation.

Education Sec. Arne Duncan on The Future of Learning WNYC: This initiative, called Early Childhood Nation, would be the first to incorporate the latest brain science into actual pre-school programs. This program is also aims to help public schools prepare kids to start kindergarten, and it addresses the need for day care. Early Childhood Nation is funded by the Bezos Family Foundation, which is already funding  actual programs for schools and home called Vroom.

Classroom Confusion: What Is the Common Core? NBC News: The Common Core has been at the center of controversy at many school districts. But what exactly does this new academic standard mean for students? (NBCNews.com)

Ed Dept. Expected to Release Draft Criteria for State Tests This Summer PK12: A top official from the U.S. Department of Education is spreading the word here at a student-assessment conference: A draft of the criteria that will shape the way the department approves states' tests will be issued this summer.

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

De Blasio Offers Easier Access to City Money for Special Education NYT: Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a series of changes to make it easier for special-needs students in New York to receive private schooling at public expense.

Giving Boys A Bigger Emotional Tool Box NPR: Boys are suspended — and drop out — at higher rates than girls. An Oakland, Calif., educator is trying to change that.

California special ed to get federal intervention EdSource Today: The U.S. Department of Education said Tuesday that California special education programs need federal intervention, citing the lack of significant academic progress for students with special needs. California is one of three states, along with Texas and Delaware, designated for a one-year program of intervention. 

D.C. considers guaranteeing preschool across most of city Washington Post: The District’s latest proposal to overhaul school boundaries has generated plenty of pushback, but it also includes at least one far-reaching idea that appears to have strong support: guaranteeing access to pre-kindergarten for students who live in-bounds for high-poverty schools.

Educational technology isn’t leveling the playing field Hechinger Report: The local name for the Philadelphia neighborhood of Kensington is “the Badlands,” and with good reason. Pockmarked with empty lots and burned-out row houses, the area has an unemployment rate of 29 percent and a poverty rate of 90 percent. Just a few miles to the northwest, the genteel neighborhood of Chestnut Hill seems to belong to a different universe. Here, educated professionals shop the boutiques along Germantown Avenue and return home to gracious stone and brick houses, the average price of which hovers above $400,000.

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Re: the development of ED department criteria for state tests: while the "group of respected testing scholars" makes important points in its criteria list and report, the department would be foolish to exclude, in a manner all-too-common in this country, the experience of organizations outside the five percent of the world's population and land area controlled by the United States. In particular, Cambridge Assessment has a long history of developing better exams than any in common use in America's state schools, in particular better than any our chief state schools officers have been in charge of. And this should remind us of another, more fundamental point: if the standards whose achievement is being assessed are the wrong ones, which is generally true of the Common Core, whose development the CCSSO oversaw, the quality of the tests used to assess them is of little importance -- and that is the case at the present time, when the Common Core mathematics standards should either be revised or withdrawn from.

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