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AM News: Lawsuits Filed In NY & CA Against Tenure Protections & Inadequate ELL Service

Campbell Brown’s group to file teacher tenure suit ChalkbeatNY: A group of seven families led by the news-anchor-turned-education-activist Campbell Brown will file a complaint in state court on Monday. The suit, to be filed in Albany by Brown’s group, is the second such case in New York and follows a California ruling in June that deemed teacher tenure laws in that state unconstitutional.

Feds back English learner lawsuit against state EdSource via Hechinger: The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California has found an ally in the U.S. Department of Justice for its lawsuit charging that the state abdicated its obligation to ensure all students classified as English learners get extra instructional services to become fluent in English. The lawsuit, filed in April 2013, is set for a one-day trial next week in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Washington state stands alone on US education law AP: When the past school year began, four states were in danger of losing their waivers from aspects of the law. But only one has actually lost the flexibility Duncan began promoting in 2011: Washington. The three others - Oregon, Kansas and Arizona - appear to be on the path to resolving their differences with the federal government.

Learning To Read May Take Longer Than We Thought NPR: A Dartmouth study suggests that fifth-graders are still "learning to read," not just "reading to learn."

Gene I. Maeroff, Education Reporter and Author, Dies at 75 NYT: A former education reporter for The Times, Mr. Maeroff found a second career working as an author, a researcher and an adviser on education issues.

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

Plagiarism Scandal Tests a Senator Still Forming a Rapport With Montanans NYT: Many voters in Montana seem to be taking a wait-and-see attitude as they assess Senator John Walsh, a Democrat accused of plagiarizing an Army War College paper.

Shootings Redefine Beat of School Police Officers NYT: Radical shifts in tactics have swept the field — even calling on officers to rush toward shooters without backup.

Balancing Special-Education Needs With Rising Costs NYT: The City of New York pays for about 12,000 special-needs students per year to receive private school educations. Parents contend that the city fights too many of these requests, delaying important services to students in the process.

Calif. Newspaper Can't Access Teacher Growth Scores With Names, Court Rules Teacher Beat: The latest in a back-and-forth between The Los Angeles Times and the nation's second-largest district over access to teacher "value added" information.

Sen. Rand Paul, Potential Presidential Candidate, Talks Education—Sort Of PK12: The speech had been previewed by some media outlets as "a major push on education reform." In reality, Paul dedicated less than one minute of his 18-minute speech to education issues, peddling policies that he's widely known for supporting: charters and vouchers.

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Re: the AP story on Washington: Secretary Duncan's strategy for replacing the expired No Child Left Behind with waivers is, like most of the Obama administration's domestic policies, a divisive failure. Congress should end his department's maladministration of justice by rewriting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. A better model is the UK's Education Act 2011, which is raising accountability by reforming qualifications, something scarcely considered in the United States, where millions are being sent off to college in spite of their lack of preparation, only to languish in community college doldrums while debts are racked up and potentially productive years of lives are lost.

We need another approach to education policy in this country, something differing from both the unions' "everything is fine" conservatism and the Bush-Obama "just fix the schools, so we can keep society, and especially tax rates, as they are, or lower" plutocracy that have, in their nasty combination, left almost all American youth behind in the global competition among nations and families to ensure better futures for their children.

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