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AM News: NYC Delays Universal Free Lunch Over Federal Funding Fears

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Why NYC Is Afraid Of Free Lunch For All WNYC: A federal program to extend free lunch to all kids has the city worried it could lose federdal dollars to pay for other things.

Arne Duncan: Dropping Common Core May Not Cost Oklahoma Federal Funding PK12: So far, three states have pulled out of the common core: Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. Those last two states made the decision to pull the plug only recently, so it's tough to say how the department will react.

Common standards for nation’s schools a longtime goal Washington Post: President Dwight D. Eisenhower suggested national academic standards were needed as early as 1959. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton both proposed that states voluntarily adopt national standards, efforts that crumbled under charges of federal overreach.

Common Core standards face push back by some Louisiana parents and politicians PBS NewsHour:  Seventeen-year-old Christian Meyers of Denham Springs, Louisiana, looks like a typical high school student, but his English classroom is considerably different than most. It’s his family’s kitchen table. 

Hundreds of organizations sign statement backing Common Core EdSource Today: Debra Brown, Children Now’s associate director of education policy, said that the letter was intended to show that Common Core “has deep and broad support” – an impression that can be lost amid the noise created by smaller numbers of vocal opponents.

Schools Were Getting Much Safer Until 2010, Government Report Says HuffPost: The rate of non-fatal incidents in which students felt victimized at school decreased to 35 per 1,000 students in 2010, from 181 per 1,000 students in 1992, according to the 2013 School Crime and Safety Report. The rate rose to 52 per 1,000 students in 2012, the report found. 

Turns Out No Child Left Behind May Have Actually Been Good For Teachers HuffPost:  The paper finds that since No Child Left Behind, teachers report feeling more autonomous, more supported by school administrators and have higher levels of job satisfaction. At the same time, teachers are working longer hours and may feel less cooperation with fellow educators.

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

Scant Support for Elite New York High Schools’ Admissions Options NYT: The bills would allow New York City’s most selective high schools to allow multiple factors in deciding whom to admit, rather than one long test.

Memphis-Shelby County Merger After One Year: A Report Card District Dossier: A year after merging the Memphis district and the neighboring Shelby County schools, education leaders are struggling with several aspects of improving the consolidated system for the benefit of all students and families.

Kid says teacher taped mouths, prompting probe Seattle Times: A substitute teacher in northern New Jersey is under investigation following a complaint she taped the mouths of several children who were talking during quiet time. In Surprise Parent Victory, Seattle Schools Approve 'Singapore Math' Seattle Public Radio: Parents and teachers had lobbied the district for years to use Math in Focus, described as “Singapore math.” Singapore has been consistently ranked as the highest-achieving country in the world.

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Seattle's parents have just won something like a victory in their school board's decision to adopt "Singapore Math", but one must hope they understand that the mathematics they have just adopted is a hybrid written for the U.S. market and is not studied by anyone in Singapore. What Marshall Cavendish, the publishers of Math in Focus, appear to have done is to have taken an outdated Singaporean primary school (grades 1-6) textbook series, made some adaptations for the U.S. Common Core, and are now selling it in grades K-8. Again, no Singaporean secondary school pupils study this series. Nonetheless, it should prove superior to most Common Core products, and will likely leave Seattle's pupils less far behind their Asian competitors than will more directly Core-aligned American experimental series like enVisionMATH, which was recommended by the committee preparing for the textbook adoption but was rejected by the school board.

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