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AM News: LAUSD Adds Laptops To Its Tablet Deployment

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LAUSD board agrees on testing alternative laptops LA Times: With minimal discussion, Los Angeles school officials this week authorized contracts for the purchase of six different laptop computers to determine which device and curriculum works best for high school students.

Common Core test anxiety Politico: Attempts to apply standards in different states spark a testing revolt across the country.

Teachers, postal workers weigh Staples boycott USA Today: Postal workers picket in front of a Staples store April 24, in Concord, N.H. Postal workers around the country protested in front of Staples stores, objecting to the U.S. Postal Service's pilot program to open counters in stores.

In New Orleans, a case study in how school, health care decentralization affect neediest children Hechinger:  In recent years, New Orleans has become a case study in how children and families are affected by rapid decentralization of public education and mental health systems.

Do Teachers Really Hate Common Core? From the Floor of ISTE 2014 EdSurge: Teachers can live with--or work through--the standards. But the biggest worry? It’s not the standards that are the problem--educators are feeling stifled by the testing.

Summer school enrollment falls sharply after city reduces role of state tests ChalkBeat: In his first six months in office, Mayor Bill de Blasio has had a nearly singular focus on providing needy students with expanded education services. But thousands fewer struggling students will be attending summer school this year after city officials changed the way students qualify for the program.

Emerging Themes at NEA: 'Toxic Testing' and Union Threats TeacherBeat: The board of directors will propose a New Business Item calling for a campaign against "toxic testing."

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

New Leadership at the Council of the Great City Schools District Dossier: An Oakland, Calif., school board member will be the new chairwoman of the Council of the Great City Schools' board of directors.

The Senate's Teacher-Prep Draft: What You Need to Know TeacherBeat: Your insider's guide to the Senate's draft bill reworking federal teacher-preparation requirements and grants.

That ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ School Budget Prediction Was a Dud Voice of San Diego: At Superintendent Cindy Marten’s recent press conference, reporters seemed genuinely surprised that she could presenta balanced budget with some good news while filling a shortfall first estimated to be $106 million.

The Return Of The One-Room Schoolhouse NPR: "Hyper-local micro-schools" bring the tiny school into the digital age.

Facing New Technologies in the Classroom, Teachers Seek Help Online Hechinger Report: As school districts across the U.S. increasingly adopt programs that put laptops and tablets in the hands of every student, teachers have expressed the need for proper training. And schools for their part are becoming more vigilant about making sure the digital transition is smooth and cost effective.

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On the Politico Common Core story: Washington, D.C. has really fouled up the Common Core initiative, which was originally state-led but which may have been fatally damaged, its autopsy could report, by the Obama-Duncan decision in 2011 to grant selective waivers to No Child Left Behind instead of backing the rewriting of that legislation that should have long since expired. The states have been trying to introduce standards that are still pretty weak by international comparison, but stronger than those previously in use; but because they are tied to testing that is federally required annually all the way down to third grade, which no other country uses, and because teacher employment has been made conditional on rising test scores (a genuinely unforced error on the part of the Obama administration), which no other country has dared require, the backlash may well sink what was a well intended and reasonable effort to save money on assessments while raising achievement and learning from educators outside those locally available.

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