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AM News: NEA PAC Endorses Clinton, But Not All Teachers Agree

National Education Association PAC likes Clinton for 2016 Washington Post: The recommendation now goes to the NEA’s 174-member Board of Directors, which is meeting on Friday and Saturday. To win the endorsement, Clinton needs at least 58 percent of the board to vote for her, and most observers believe she’ll clear that hurdle. But that doesn’t mean there is unanimous support for Clinton among teachers. See also Teacher Beat, Politico, LA Times.

A look at deadliest shootings on or near US college campuses AP:  A shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, on Thursday left 10 people dead and seven wounded, authorities said....

Chicago lowers graduation rate after errors found WBEZ: One school, Curie Metropolitan High School, labeled more than 100 dropouts every year as leaving to be homeschooled. Another 1,300 of the so-called transfers had no explanation of what school they were supposedly transferring to or were vaguely listed as going to different states or countries.

Head of DC schools addresses teacher and principal turnover in annual event Washington Post: D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson focused on signs of progress during her third­ annual State of the Schools event Wednesday night, including a recently released uptick in graduation rates, new investments in electives and college-level classes in the city’s high schools, and more engaging courses systemwide.

Following Charter Schools' Lead, One D.C. Public School Adopts Longer Year WAMU: Raymond Education Campus in Petworth is the first D.C. public school to try an extended school year, keeping students in school for 200 days instead of the traditional 180 days.

Bengali Students Need Teachers Who Speak Their Language WNYC: Most Bangladeshi immigrant students in New York City do not have a teacher like Chowdhury to help ease their way. While the Bangladeshi population has exploded — the city’s schools now enroll more than 6,500 Bangladeshi students — the number of Bengali-speaking teachers and bilingual programs has not kept pace. There are only three Bengali bilingual programs in the New York City schools. By contrast, there are more than 40 Chinese programs and upwards of 400 Spanish ones.

Closures, Charter Conversions and New Schools Proposed in Philadelphia District Dossier: Two school closures, two new schools, three charter conversions, and up to three district-led turnaround schools. Those were among the proposals announced Thursday in Philadelphia as Superintendent William Hite presented updated plans for the school district's future, one shaped by diminishing resources and the urgent need to improve school options for more students.

Newark Teachers Express Frustration With Current Merit Pay System HuffPost: But three years later, the contract has expired, and the new president of the local union says that it hasn't worked and that it's not a sure thing the teachers union will agree to keep the provision in its current form. Several Newark teachers said that they had real problems with the contract and that the merit pay hasn't worked, though none were willing to speak on the record for fear of reprisals.Talks for a deal to replace it haven't started, and the contract with the merit pay remains in place.

AM News: Duncan Presses On ESEA; NEA Ponders Clinton Endorsement

Arne Duncan challenges the country to deal with educational inequity Washington Post: Education Secretary Arne Duncan thinks the chances that Congress will replace No Child Left Behind, the main K-12 federal education law now eight years overdue for revision, took a nosedive with House Speaker John Boehner's decision to retire.

Rank and file revolt? NEA's expected backing of Clinton has members fuming Fox News:  "Hillary Clinton is a tested leader who shares our values, is supported by our members and is prepared for a tough fight on behalf of students, families and communities," AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a July press release. See also American Prospect: Hillary's Relationship Status with Labor: It's Complicated, also LA Times.

Suit to limit use of teacher union dues for political purposes is tossed Los Angeles Times: A federal judge in Los Angeles has dismissed a lawsuit that, if successful, would have hindered the ability of teachers unions to raise money. 

Three quarters of traditional public schools in D.C. now require uniforms Washington Post: Most of the city’s affluent students don’t have to wear uniforms, following a national trend.

Three Urban Districts Lauded for Strong Governance, Strategic Vision District Dossier: The school boards in Cleveland, Fort Wayne, Ind., and Lincoln, Neb., were awarded the 2015 Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence.

With D.C. Schools No Longer 'Broken,' Next Step Is More Relevancy, Chancellor Says WAMU: Graduation rates are up, truancy is down, enrollment is up, and now DCPS must start focusing on doing even more for students, Chancellor Kaya Henderson said in her "state of the schools" remarks and in earlier comments to reporters.

American Graduate Day 2015 celebrates efforts to build student success PBS NewsHour: Those efforts will be celebrated Saturday, October 3 on PBS with American Graduate Day, a seven-hour event featuring celebrities, public figures and journalists like PBS NewsHour Weekend’s Hari Sreenivasan exploring innovative solutions to the challenges that millions of students face every day.

A Tale of Two Schools WNYC: The Department of Education just released its new plan to rezone two schools in Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Vinegar Hill.

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AM News: NEA To Endorse (Hillary), Apple (But Not Pearson) To Pay LAUSD

National Education Association Could Be Close to Endorsing Hillary Clinton PK12: Sources say that the National Education Association, the country's largest union, could endorse the Democratic candidate in a presidential primary battle as early as Friday.

LAUSD board to vote on $6.4M settlement proposal with Apple over iPad software KPCC: Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines told board members this week he’s negotiated a $6.4 million settlement with Apple Inc. and tech company Lenovo to resolve a dispute over faulty software on the tablets they sold to the district.

Arne Duncan to Charter Schools: Here's Millions in Grants, Be More Responsible PK12: The U.S. Department of Education is awarding millions under the Charter School Program to fund new charters and expand high-performing networks. See also Washington Post.

School Choice Fan Rep. Kevin McCarthy Could Be Next Speaker PK12: The California Republican, elected in 2006, doesn't have nearly as long a resume on K-12 as did current Speaker John Boehner going into the job.

New numbers show teacher prep numbers still falling SI&A Cabinet Report: Despite school districts statewide complaining about a shortage of credentialed applicants, a new report shows enrollment in teacher preparation programs in California continues to decline.

Teachers Union Criticizes Charter Perk WSJ: The new ability of New York charter schools to set aside seats for employees’ children drew fire Monday from the United Federation of Teachers, which said such “nepotism” defied charters’ stated goals of serving the neediest children. 

Michelle Obama highlights education with #62milliongirls CNN: On Saturday, first lady Michelle Obama announced a new campaign during the star-studded Global Citizen Festival in New York's Central Park to raise awareness of the issue. 

As Worries Rise and Players Flee, a Missouri School Board Cuts Football NYT: With safety concerns growing and more students choosing to play soccer and other sports, the football team at a suburban St. Louis high school was disbanded.

Google Virtual-Reality System Aims to Enliven Education NYT: Expeditions, a field-trip simulation program, will be offered free to schools as Google works to further develop virtual-reality technology.

Why wealthy Loudoun County does not have universal full-day kindergarten Washington Monthly: The superintendent of Loudoun County schools wants to expand full-day kindergarten, but it will be costly.

Chicago principals blindsided by more cuts to special needs WBEZ: In an unprecedented move, Chicago Public Schools plans to cut another $12 million from special education based on official enrollment numbers released late last week. Typically, special education staffing is left alone once the school year begins.

3 years later, results of LAUSD's arts experiment are mixed KPCC: In 2012, Los Angeles Unified school board members made arts instruction a core subject, designating it as important as subjects like math and English.  A KPCC analysis of the most recent district data found that at about 100 elementary schools, the vast majority of students get no arts instruction.

Aurora Bridge Crash: International Students Far From Family, But Not Alone Seattle Public Radio: Seattle-area community college students are planning a vigil this week to remember the five international students who lost their lives on the Aurora Bridge. That’s just one example of how students here help each other. Foreign students are thousands of miles away from their families, but they’re not alone.

AM News: Boehner Resignation Could Hinder ESEA Reauthorization

House Speaker Boehner, Key Architect of NCLB, to Resign From Congress PK12:&nbsdivp;Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, was the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce committee when Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, and played a key role in shepherding NCLB through the legislative process. See also Washington Post.

LAUSD board to vote on $6.4 million settlement proposal with Apple over iPad software KPCC: Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines told board members this week he’s negotiated a $6.4 million settlement with Apple Inc. and tech company Lenovo to resolve a dispute over faulty software on the tablets they sold to the district. Most of the settlement money will come from Apple.

Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, and Malala Yousafzai Unite to Push for Girls' Education
TIME: Women and girls took center stage at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City on Saturday night, with Beyoncé, Michelle Obama and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai rallying more than 60,000 fans in support of girls' education. See also USNWR.

Study: Principals Satisfied with TFA Teachers Atlanta Journal Constitution: Most principals are satisfied with the Teach for America teachers in their buildings, according to a study released today by the RAND Corporation. 

Black math scores lag the most in segregated schools Hechinger: More than half of the achievement gap could be attributed to factors inside the school.  Only about 15 percent of the achievement gap could be attributed to inequities in funding and resources between schools. The remainder of the achievement gap is an unexplained mystery. See also Washington Post.

Test scores complicate the debate over expanding L.A. charter schools LA Times: As the battle to greatly expand charter schools in Los Angeles begins, both sides are touting statistics they claim make their case.

White House honors teenager who inspires girls to do computer coding Washington Post: Swetha Prabakaran, 15, runs a nonprofit to teach elementary schoolers about computer coding.

Education Department Restarts Peer-Review of Tests PK12: States that have adopted new tests, or made significant changes to their old ones, will have to undergo peer review by the U.S. Department of Education within the next four to eight months, according to department officials.

How One Principal is Trying to Get More Black Men Into the Classroom Washington Post: One Philadelphia principal is trying to do his part by launching a new organization that aims to bring together Philly’s black male educators and provide them with professional support to thrive in their jobs.
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AM News: Seattle Tragedy, NYC's Muslim Holiday, & Chicago Next Steps

Sadness in international-student community after tour-bus tragedy Seattle Times: North Seattle enrolls about 900 international students each year, and the students on the bus, including the four who died, were among this year’s group.

For 1st time, New York City schools close for Muslim holiday AP: Thursday was the first time the schools serving 1.1 million pupils closed for a Muslim holiday. Eid al-Adha is known as the Feast of the Sacrifice. It commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim - Abraham to Christians and Jews - to sacrifice his son.

With Hunger Strike Over, Chicago Activists to Focus on Elected School Board District Dossier: Activists ended a 34-day hunger strike to reopen Dyett High School. They will channel their energy into advocating for an elected Chicago school board.

Black males struggle in segregated schools Washington Post: A new nces/AIR study using federal data finds that black students who attend schools that have a majority of black students score lower on achievement tests than black students who go to school with fewer other black students.

More than 1 in 5 U.S. children are (still) living in poverty Washington Post: The proportion of American children who live in poverty began rising during the recession, and it continued rising after the recession officially ended. In 2013, the child poverty rate finally fell for the first time since 2006 — a dip that advocates hoped was the beginning of an enduring trend.

D.C. School Takes New Approach To Fighting Poverty: Teaching Parents & Kids WAMU: We go inside an innovative partnership between a health clinic and a school, that aims to create healthier, more resilient communities in the nation's capital.

Some Concerned Union Too Involved In Pittsburgh Public Schools As Crucial ... CBS Local: But Randi Weingarten has shown a particular interest in Pittsburgh. Not only its teachers, but in who sits on the Pittsburgh Public School Board. “Why would the AFT be contributing to local neighborhood school board elections?” asked KDKA's Andy Sheehan.

Kids Who Are Time-Crunched At School Lunch Toss More And Eat Less NPR: Many public school students get 15 minutes or less to eat. A study finds that kids who get less than 20 minutes for lunch end up eating less of everything on their tray.

As city acts on their cause, community school advocates carve out a new role ChalkbeatNY: For the advocates, the challenge is to back Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan to transform nearly 130 schools into community schools, while also ensuring that those changes are made with public input and result in service-filled schools that outlive this mayoral administration. For de Blasio’s side, the trick is to move quickly enough that the public sees an immediate return on its expensive investment while ensuring the continued support of advocates.

AM News: None Of These Items Are About The Pope

High school students give Chinese president football AP: Chinese President Xi Jinping received a football, a personalized jersey and instruction on America's most popular sport during a tour of a Washington state high school....

Detailed MCAS Results: Mostly Up, But Some Concerns Boston Learning Lab: Mitchell Chester, Massachusetts commissioner of elementary and secondary education, is “very concerned” about this year’s MCAS reading scores in the early grades, he said in a telephone press conference Wednesday. But he said he is “very pleased” with overall results on the 2015 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests. The state released district-by-district and individual school results Thursday.

Joe Biden inches past Bernie Sanders in new poll New York Post:  say those unions are waiting for Biden to make his decision, whereas the American Federation of Teachers — led by Clinton ally Randi Weingarten — made an early endorsement of Clinton. 

English-Learners New to the U.S. Are Focus of Education Department Initiative PK12: John King, a senior adviser to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, acknowledged that the recently completed English-learner tool kit is merely the department's "first installment" in support of ELLs.

Seattle School Board halts suspensions for elementary students Seattle Times: The Seattle School Board’s resolution calls for a one-year moratorium on some out-of-school suspensions for elementary students, and a plan to reduce such suspensions for all students.

Making College More Affordable, One Text At A Time NPR: The right text or email message can help students get enrolled, find the right payment plan and remind them to pay, White House research shows.

Test results expected for Common Core-aligned exams in Maryland Washington Post: Officials will release the first results in late October, with home reports expected at the end of the year.

High-flying flips is the trick to keeping away bad feelings PBS NewsHour: Tonight, we discover a young man who fights the demons in life through meditation and the kind of high-flying acrobatics seen in video games. It’s an art form known as tricking. The video was shot and edited by teachers from Miami, Detroit and Aurora, Colorado.

How Eva Moskowitz’s growing bureaucracy handled a school-supply fiasco Chalkbeat: A team of staffers from the network was dispatched to Long Island to sort the furniture and supplies into boxes destined for the right schools, staff members said, volunteering nights and weekend days to complete the work.

AM News: LA Charter Expansion Plan Sets Off Deep Divisions

Group Led By Billionaire Proposes Overhaul Of LA Public Schools NPR: A memo obtained by the Los Angeles Times reveals a controversial plan to put half of the city's public school kids in charter schools. Renee Montagne talks with Times education reporter Howard Blume. See also LA TimesKPCC LA.

Rezoning Plan for Two Brooklyn Schools Riles Up Parents WSJ: Parents from both schools say the proposal was thrust on them suddenly this month without their input. Department officials say urgency mounted when 50 children expecting to attend P.S. 8’s kindergarten this fall had to be put on a waitlist. See also NYT: Race and Class Collide in a Plan for Two Brooklyn Schools.

Possible merger of contrasting schools one step closer WBEZ Chicago: Because the move would be considered a “school consolidation” under the law, CPS will have to make an official announcement by December 1 and hold three more public hearings before making a decision.  Gad said she thinks if the merger is approved, parents will leave Ogden.

Brown signs $500m teacher training bill SI&A Cabinet Reoprt: Brown signed legislation Tuesday authorizing the distribution of $490 million in teacher training money to school districts based on their number of full-time equivalent certificated staff.

Shavar Jeffries and the color of education 'reform' Washington Post: Shavar Jeffries is the new president of Democrats for Education Reform, making him a prominent African American leader in a movement that's been criticized for being too white and elitist.

Chicago’s brand of teacher organizing goes viral Catalyst Chicago: As in Chicago in 2012, the Seattle teachers union connected with community concerns about standardized testing to argue against attaching tests to teacher evaluations. The new contract takes student test scores out of teacher evaluation altogether. “There’s a mood shifting out there among teachers and parents about what’s going on in the schools, and who has a say over it,” said Knapp.

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AM News: Walker's Out, LA Charter Plan Revealed

Scott Walker Suspends Presidential Campaign After Late Anti-Union Push PK12: In what turned out to be his last major campaign push, Walker this month had once again played up his opposition to unions. See also State EdWatch.

$490-million plan would put half of LAUSD students in charter schools LA Times: The timing of the charter plan is troubling, said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. She said the district has made recent strides, "but instead of building on this success ... Mr. Broad and his allies are trying to ...

Boy withdraws from school that suspended him over clock AP: The family of a 14-year-old Muslim student who got in trouble over a homemade clock mistaken for a possible bomb withdrew the boy Monday from his suburban Dallas high school. Ahmed Mohamed’s father, Mohamed El-Hassan Mohamed, said he has pulled all of his children from their Irving Independent School District schools. 

Dispute Over Validity of Common-Core Exam Ignites New Florida Testing Fight State EdWatch: There's a new political dispute over assessments in Florida. This one involves a study about the common-core test given to students earlier this year.

Merger would mean first integrated neighborhood school in a former public housing area WBEZ:  Beyer says a committee of Ogden parents researched multiple options to relieve overcrowding and felt this was the best approach. But he says Ogden won’t pursue the option unless the local school council supports it; a vote is scheduled for tonight. “Nothing is a done deal,” Beyer says.

Chicago Mayor Prepares Large Property Tax Hike AP: It's unclear how residents and businesses will respond. Emanuel has faced raucous crowds at public budget hearings, but the political fallout for the former chief of staff to President Barack Obama could be delayed because he doesn't face re-election until 2019.

Charter leaders continue to battle de Blasio over space in public school buildings ChalkbeatNY: In an open letter to de Blasio, the leaders accuse the de Blasio administration of “hurting some of the city’s most vulnerable students” by denying their requests for space in public-school buildings.

State’s first charter school was overpaid $200,000 Seattle Times: First Place Scholars, the state’s first charter school, got more state money than it should have after providing inaccurate information, says the audit, part of an investigation that began last year when the school was put on probation. See also AP, Seattle Public Radio.

Six D.C. schools had ‘critical’ testing violations, 11 others had irregularities Washington Post: One test administrator coached students to change answers, others erased stray answer sheet markings.

How TV Can Make Kids Better Readers NPR: In their new book, two education scholars argue new media can be a key part of building literacy.

5 years after Facebook pledge, Newark schools struggle AP: So has Zuckerberg's donation, which was matched with another $100 million from other donors, shown that big-scale philanthropy guarantees quick change? "We've proven at this point that answer is no," said Derrell Bradford, a supporter of Zuckerberg's effort and leader of the New York school reform group NYCAN, who previously worked for similar groups in New Jersey. 

AM News: Democratic Candidates' Education Silence, Seattle Teachers Ratify

Why Aren't Democratic Presidential Contenders Talking About K-12 Policy? PK12: Democratic contenders for the White House have focused on early-childhood education and college access, but not said much about K-12 policy.

Seattle teachers ratify contract Seattle Times: With approval of the contract with Seattle Public Schools, the strike, which was suspended, now officially ends.

Homework: A New User's Guide NPR: School's back in session, and that means the homework's back, too. Here's what you need to know about how much work U.S. students have to do and how to tell the difference between good work and bad.

De Blasio Says NYC Policies Support More Diverse Schools WNYC: Appearing on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, he said his goal was to increase equity and opportunities for all children through his affordable housing plans, pre-k expansion and after-school programs. 

Unions push to cancel classes for pope’s visit Washington Post: Aona Jefferson, president of the Council of School Officers, said that the parade, street closings, Metro disruptions, bus route changes and huge crowds will lead to “commuting nightmares.”

Clever, a Software Service, Gives Schools a Way to Manage Data Flow to Apps NYT: A new company, Clever, is addressing questions raised by politicians and parents about the data on students, and how it is secured and used.

Illinois test results plummet under new Common Core exams WBEZ Chicago:  This first look at the controversial PARCC test may not be representative—the results, which Smith called a “super draft,” leave out between 25 and 30 percent of the nearly 1.1 million tests taken, according to the Illinois State Board of Education. 

Dyett high school hunger strike ends after 34 days WBEZ Chicago: Protesters demanding Dyett High School reopen as a neighborhood school with a green technology curriculum have ended their hunger strike after 34 days. The end of the strike comes after protesters won a number of key demands but never declared victory. See also AP.

Safety experts question classroom barricade devices AP: A nationwide push allowing schools to buy portable barricade devices they can set up if an active shooter enters their building has school security and fire experts questioning whether they're really safe....

New Mexico Gives Every Teacher $100 for School Supplies TeacherBeat: The state's plan has been unenthusiastically greeted by one local union, though, that says it's a distraction from larger issues of education funding.

Teachers union plans protest outside new Broad museum in downtown LA LA Daily News: Protesters are expected to gather outside Eli Broad's new $140 million museum that houses his 2,000-piece contemporary art collection Sunday, to call on the billionaire to halt plans to back a charter school plan that could enroll half of the students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

AM News: School Starts In Seattle, Illinois Gets Tough Results

School Begins in Seattle NYT: Thousands of Seattle students started the school year Thursday after it was delayed by a weeklong teachers strike. See also Seattle Times, Seattle Public Radio.

Illinois test results plummet under new Common Core exams WBEZ Chicago: In elementary school, where students are tested in grades 3 through 8, between 33 percent and 38 percent of students met or exceeded standards in English. The percentage meeting standards in math was generally lower—between 26 percent and 36 percent.

KIPP DC schools, other charters, to close during parts of papal visit Washington Post: All 16 KIPP charter schools in the District will be closed on Sept. 23 for the second day of the Pope's visit to Washington, and other charter schools also plan to close due to expected traffic congestion.

Boston Proposes Combining Charter, District Enrollment Applications Boston Learning Lab: The proposed plan could also effectively change charter schools that opt into the enrollment process from citywide schools to neighborhood schools. Currently charter schools may accept students from throughout the city. Under the proposed process, Weinstein said, students would be given a choice of charter schools based on where they live, just as they are for district schools.

Yeshivas Probe Faces Political Heft of Hasidic Community WNYC: The ultra-orthodox communities in the city and state are powerful political entities, and elected officials seek favor with them to secure their votes at election time.

Expert panels weighs in on reversing school segregation in New York City WNYC: The panel comes at a time when school segregation has garnered attention in New York, following a UCLA study that detailed how the the state’s schools are deeply divided along racial lines. Panelists disagreed about whether the issue is best understood as divisions along socioeconomic or racial lines. 

Learning To Code In Preschool NPR: A group of educators, researchers and entrepreneurs like Hosford is taking that analogy very seriously. They're arguing that the basic skills of coding, such as sequencing, pattern recognition and if/then conditional logic, should be introduced alongside or even before traditional reading, writing, and math.

Florida Girl Arrested Under Similar Circumstances as Ahmed Mohamed Has Advice for Teen AP: Wilmot said she activated the volcano outside the cafeteria of Bartow High School that morning, when the lid popped off and the bottom of the device began to smoke. No students were hurt and no school property was damaged. Wilmot was then brought to the juvenile detention center where she was arrested on bomb charges.

On the Bus With Arne Duncan: Wheelchair Basketball and Tough Questions PK12: Duncan's been dogged by questions about his controversial moves on K-12, including championing new Common Core State Standards tests, expanding charter schools, and evaluations.

High School Football Inc. NYT: The latest experiment in prep football is taking root, and coaches and officials around the country are watching with curiosity and wariness.

House Republicans want to give teachers a break Washington Post: Teachers who spend their own money on classroom supplies — most of the nation's nearly 4 million K-12 teachers — would be eligible for a permanent tax credit of up to $250 annually for unreimbursed expenses, under a bill 

AM News: GOP Debates Education, De Blasio Unveils New Initiatives

Common Core, Choice, and a Teenage Clockmaker Highlight Ed. in GOP Debates PK12: Fans of discussions about K-12 policy had little to cheer about Wednesday, but education did get occasional mentions from some of the GOP candidates. See also Washington Post, LA Times.

Obama Invites Ahmed Mohamed And His 'Cool Clock' To The White House For Astronomy Night HuffPost: President Barack Obama on Wednesday invited 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed to the White House for some stargazing next month. See also NBC NewsSlateNYT.

De Blasio’s Plan to Lift Poor Schools Comes With High Costs and Big Political Risks NYT: Mayor Bill de Blasio framed his $186 million commitment to help struggling schools as a way to address income inequality, but questions remain about how these programs will work. See also WNYCChalkbeatNYChalkbeatNY.

Teachers' union head spars with education reformer over New Orleans Washington Examiner: During the event's final panel, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Paul Pastorek, former Superintendent of Education in Louisiana, exchanged words.

Head of firm chosen for new Wisconsin test gave Scott Walker $10,000 Journal-Sentinel: The president and CEO of the Minnesota firm chosen to produce the new Wisconsin Forward Exam is a former Wisconsin Republican lawmaker who last year donated $10,000 to Gov. Scott Walker’s re-election campaign.

Spurred by strike support, groups continue education fight Seattle Times: With the Seattle teachers strike suspended, public-education advocates are hoping to harness the outpouring of support for the city’s teachers toward the ongoing effort to boost state spending for public education.

KIPP’s explosive growth came with slight dip in performance, study says Washington Post: For the analysis, researchers looked at eight elementary, 43 middle and 18 high schools in 20 cities, including Washington. They compared test scores of KIPP students with those of students who had applied to a KIPP school but failed to win a seat through a lottery and enrolled elsewhere. They also conducted student and parent surveys. See also Houston Chronicle.

New Type of Public School Becomes Reality in Camden AP: Renaissance Schools, which started last year, are run by large, nonprofit charter school organizations. But unlike charters, they fall under control of the local school board and are responsible for educating all children who live in their areas. They also receive more taxpayer money per student than charters do.

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AM News: Seattle Teachers Strike Coming To An End (Plus NYC Coding Plan)

Seattle Teachers Reach Tentative Agreement To End Strike HuffPost: Initially, the district had offered teachers a 9 percent pay increase over three years, although the association countered by demanding a 10.5 percent increase over two years. Details of the latest agreement have not yet been revealed. See also AP, NPR, NBC News, PBS NewsHour, NYT, Seattle Times.

City Wants to Spend Millions to Make School Kids Tech Savvy WNYC: On Wednesday, the mayor will offer details on a plan to require that all New York City public schools offer computer science to students within at least 10 years. The city is planning to spend $81 million dollars to ensure that it happens, half of which will come from private contributions. See also New York TimesNew York Post.

New York Mayor Outlines Education Policies AP: De Blasio, in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, said he would outline a series of expansive new proposals meant to achieve three major goals: to have all children reading by third grade, to improve on-time graduation rates and to give all students a shot at attending college.

The number of black teachers has dropped in nine US cities Washington Post: The study by the Albert Shanker Institute, a think tank funded by the American Federation of Teachers, looked at teacher data from nine cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

School bus crash kills 2 students, seriously injures 3 AP: A school bus plunged off a highway overpass in Houston after being hit by a car driven by a teacher Tuesday, killing two students and seriously injuring three other people, police and school officials said....

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AM News: Ferguson Commission Highlights Equity & Whole-Child Issues

Ferguson Commission: Schools Must Prioritize Whole-Child Issues, Equity District Dossier: A 198-page report by the Ferguson Commission recommends a focus on whole-child issues like hunger and school discipline and an overhaul in how the state of the Missouri deals with unaccredited districts.

Discrimination begins early and immigrant preschoolers notice, report says KPCC LA: Teachers may make derogatory comments or act in ways that are patronizing to immigrant parents. Examples that Adair gives include teachers commenting about a parent's accent or home-language. A child may watch as their parent is repeatedly ignored by a teacher or in the school office, she said.

Obama Makes College Aid Application Earlier And Easier NPR: "It's really a win-win for everybody," says Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. "Ultimately, this is gonna mean less work for [students] and less work for schools." See also Washington Post.

Scott Walker proposes national 'right-to-work' law Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "His whole theory of the case is fighting workers rather than helping working families,"Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said before Walker unveiled his plan. 

Putting More Technology In Schools May Not Make Kids Smarter: OECD Report HuffPost: You may want to think twice before you laud your local school district for investing in technological resources. As it turns out, too much technology in schools can be a bad thing, says an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report released Monday.

Parents Scramble for Child Care Amid Seattle Teacher Strike AP: Seattle Parks and Recreation spokesman David Takami said 21 community centers are taking care of some 2,000 children in kindergarten through sixth grade free of cost, and that number is rising. Many of the centers are at capacity, and the effort is costing the city about $21,000 a day, he said. See also Seattle Times, Seattle Public Radio.

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AM News: Jobs Announces New $50M HS Redesign Project

Laurene Powell Jobs Commits $50 Million to Create New High Schools NYT: With an advertising campaign that looks as if it came from Apple’s marketing department, the initiative [XQ: The Super School Project] is meant to create high schools with new approaches to education. Over the next several months, the teams will submit plans that could include efforts like altering school schedules, curriculums and technologies. By fall next year, Ms. Powell Jobs said, a team of judges will pick five to 10 of the best ideas to finance.

Common Core test scores show achievement gap, even in high-performing schools KPCC: At Wonderland Avenue Elementary, this week's test score release prompted celebration: 94 percent of the 330 students who took the test met or exceeded the grade-level standards in English language arts and 82 percent did so in math.  The school’s Latino students, about 4 percent of the student population, scored lower on the standardized tests when compared to white and Asian children.

School Canceled for 4th Day as Seattle Teachers Strike AP: Seattle Public Schools is canceling classes for a fourth day Monday as a strike by teachers enters its second week. The strike, over issues that include pay raises and teacher evaluations, has delayed the start of the school year for about 53,000 students. The sides resumed negotiations Saturday and continued to talk Sunday. Seattle Times.

Obama Seeks to Make Applying for Federal Financial Aid Easier PK12: The president is unveiling changes aiming to give students information about how much aid they qualify for earlier and encourage more low-income students to go after federal grants and loans. See also Reuters, PBS NewsHour.

Gaps in Earnings Stand Out in Release of College Data NYT: At some expensive colleges, the salaries of students 10 years after enrollment are bleak, and there is an earnings gender gap at every top university. See also NPRBuzzFeedAP.

School choice complicates Promise Neighborhood’s efforts to help kids Washington Post: Less than a third of the 1,600 students who live there attend neighborhood schools; the rest are enrolled in 184 others, scattered across a city that has embraced school choice more than almost any other.

Charter School Head Says Newark Schools Are Better Since Facebook Gift WNYC: "Your odds have doubled of being in a good school if you're an African American kid in Newark," said Ryan Hill, director of Kipp New Jersey, which operates five charter schools in the city. 

Authorities identify special needs student found dead on bus AP: Authorities have identified a special needs student who was found dead on a school bus as a special needs student who regularly rode the bus to his home in Whittier....

Another clue that school's in session: the traffic WBEZ Chicago: For many in the Chicago region, the start of a new school year marks the beginning of another season: nine months of traffic headaches. People block the alley, park illegally. People park in places that block the buses. 

Matthew Levey's Charter School Quest NYT: Late last month, on a warm, luminous morning, Matthew Levey, a 48-year-old former McKinsey consultant, stood on Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn and shook hands with his new charges: 65 kindergartners, a sea of neon sneakers, starched dresses and cotton golf shirts. It was the first day — ever — for the International Charter School of New York. And Mr. Levey, who had spent the last 36 months planning, developing and hiring for his new elementary school, was in high spirits. 

AM News: More About Those CA Common Core Test Results (& Comparisons)

Less Than Half of CA Students Made the Grade on New Common Core–Aligned Test Slate: A total of 12 million students in 29 states took some version of these new Common Core–based assessments developed by Smarter Balanced and PARCC this year. See also EdSource Today, LA School Report, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

2016 Candidates Slam Common Core, But Education Standards Take Root Reuters: Despite years of effort, Common Core's critics have largely failed to repeal the standards, which aim to emphasize critical thinking over rote memorization.

New online credential program aims to turn out 10,000 new teachers in the next five years Hechinger Report: Although TEACH-NOW’s model offers traits similar to traditional preparation programs, like a student teaching experience, the model also differs. Students take online classes with 15 or fewer students and work through a sequence of individual online modules, instead of taking several different classes at the same time. Classroom observations, projects and school-based experiences, like tutoring, are integrated throughout the curriculum, and all aspiring teachers must complete a 12-week module of student teaching at the end of the certification program.

These 16 States Are Implementing Plans To Make Sure Good Teachers End Up In Poor Communities HuffPost: A state plan approved Thursday by the Department of Education seeks to reverse these disparities in Missouri. Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin also had educator equity plans approved. More will be implemented in other states on a rolling basis. See also Washington Post

Arne Duncan visits Harper College, praises scholarship program Chicago Tribune:  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan praised officials at Harper College in Palatine on Wednesday, saying the northwest suburban college's new scholarship program is reflective of a White House initiative to make community colleges nationwide tuition-free.

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AM News: CA Publishes Common Core Test Results, Seattle Strike Continues

Less Than Half of Students Achieve Proficiency on Calif. Common-Core Exams State EdWatch: California students performed better on the English/language arts section of the Smarter Balanced exam than in math, according to scores released by the department Sept. 9. See also KPCCLA Times, Bakersfield Californian

Obama Promotes College Affordability Plan on Michigan Trip NYT: At an event near Detroit, Mr. Obama announced the creation of a national advisory board to push the idea that community college should be free for many students across the country. “Education has always been the secret sauce, the secret to America’s success,” Mr. Obama said to a small but enthusiastic crowd of students at Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich. “Every American willing to work hard should have a shot at higher education.” See also The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post.

Rep. John Kline is still optimistic on No Child Left Behind rewrite this year Washington Post: House Education Committee chair wants bipartisan deal that Obama will feel “a lot of pressure” to sign.

No classes Thursday as Seattle strike continues  AP: There will be no classes again Thursday for tens of thousands of public school students in Seattle as teachers will remain on strike. District spokeswoman Stacy Howard said both sides would be back at the negotiating table Thursday morning. See also NPR, HuffPost, EdWeek, Seattle Times.

One of Teach For America's Top Executives Is Stepping Down TeacherBeat: The organization had been run by co-chief executive officers, but now one of them is stepping down. More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso)

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AM News: Seattle Teachers Strike For First Time In 30 Years

Seattle Teachers Strike On First Day Of School AP: Members of the Seattle Education Association, which represents about 5,000 teachers and support staff, said they will picket at all 97 schools Wednesday. See also NPR, NYT, Seattle Public Radio.

What makes a public school public? Washington state court finds charter schools unconstitutional Washington Post: Opponents of charter schools have long argued that the schools are private because they don’t have to answer to the public and in some states aren’t subject to key rules that apply to government agencies, such as open meetings and public records laws. 

2 WA charters say they will stay open this year despite Supreme Court ruling Seattle Times: Charter schools are organizing parents to lobby the Legislature for a long-term fix to the state Supreme Court’s ruling last Friday that such schools are unconstitutional.

Poll: California voters still unsure about Common Core EdSource Today: About one-fourth say they have not heard about the new standards. See also Hechinger Report.

Rand Paul Links Jeb Bush to Former President George W. Bush's Edu-Record PK12: The Kentucky senator wants to paint rival GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush and the former Florida governor's brother with the same brush on education policy.

New York City Mayor Goes All-In On Free Preschool NPR: NPR's Robert Siegel talks with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio about the early days of his effort to provide free, high-quality preschool to all of the city's 4-year-olds. See also Washington Post.

Parents May Spend Less This Year on Back-to-School Supplies, Despite Growing Need NYT: In the last decade, the average amount families spent on school items grew 42 percent, according to the retail federation’s projections this summer. It estimated that families with children in grades K-12 would spend an average of $630 this year, about 6 percent less than in 2014.

One of nation’s largest school districts ditches high school final exams Washington Post: Maryland’s Montgomery County will replace the two-hour tests with shorter assessments taken during the quarters.

Traffic on first day of school is smooth in Fairfax despite new start times Washington Post: Shift in bell times gives students more sleep but push more buses onto roads during rush hour.

Five big questions facing New York City schools as a new year begins ChalkbeatNY: This is school year number two for the mayor, who will be trying to pull off a number of complicated education initiatives at once.

How an unconventional principal turned around a struggling urban school Hechinger Report: Since then, the first-time principal and her team have made significant strides in student achievement, teacher satisfaction, technology upgrades and parent involvement. Today, due to improved test scores and a positive school culture, the school is one of only four of 33 that is on track to emerge from intervention status in Rhode Island.

A Door-to-Door Push to Get Parents Involved at Struggling Schools NYT: With the second full school year of his administration beginning on Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio is already under pressure to show improvement at these schools, which are among 62 low-performing schools targeted by the state for possible takeover. One of the keys to transforming them, his administration believes, is to get parents to show up more by turning schools into one-stop community centers offering services like medical and dental clinics, adult courses and counseling.

National union leader calls for settlement for Scranton teachers Scranton Times-Tribune: Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.6-million member national union, told the board that education is the “great equalizer,” and teachers only want to make a difference in the lives of their students. 

AM News: Washington State Supreme Court Rules Charters Unconstitutional

State Supreme Court: Charter schools are unconstitutional Seattle Times: The ruling — believed to be one of the first of its kind in the country — overturns the law voters narrowly approved in 2012 allowing publicly funded, but privately operated, schools.

10 Years In, Tulsa's Pre-K Investment Is Paying Off NPR: These findings are important because Tulsa's program is considered a model for high-quality preschool programs nationwide, and the city has received extensive funding from the state to make it so. Phillips says her research now shows precisely how children have benefited over time.

Don't panic, officials say as California braces for lower test results LA Times: Even before new state test scores are released this week, one thing is already clear: Results will be lower than in years past. Probably much lower. See also EdSource Today.

Rep. John Kline Won't Seek Re-Election; Adds Pressure on ESEA Rewrite PK12: His forthcoming departure puts added pressure on lawmakers in both chambers to come to an agreement on their respective ESEA overhauls before the end of the year.

Organized labor wants Joe Biden to run Politico: Even the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, who is such a Clinton supporter that she serves on the board of the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA, declined comment on the possibility of a Biden campaign. 

States Agree On The Need For Preschool, But Disagree On The Definition HuffPost: Policymakers in Minnesota, like many across the country, have been impressed by studies that show early education can improve a child’s life and save taxpayers money over the long term. But while there’s a growing consensus on the value of preschool, states disagree on where the programs should be based, who should run them, or how the government should support them.

Chicago officials to reopen high school after fiery protests AP: Chicago officials announced plans Thursday to open a new arts-focused school in a neighborhood school once slated for closure, but protesters who have disrupted budget meetings vowed to continue a hunger strike over perceived racial disparities and other issues in the city's education system.... See also Washington Post.

After John Deasy, LAUSD faces a tough choice: Play it safe or take another risk? LA Times: When the school board chose John Deasy as superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2011, it knew what it was getting: an outsized personality with a national reputation as an advocate for school reform.

A Sharing Economy Where Teachers Win NYT: On TeachersPayTeachers, some educators have been able to convert hours of class preparation into thousands of dollars, and 12 have become millionaires.

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AM News: Joe Biden, SAT Scores, DFER Changeup, Opt-Out Consequences

Biden Talks Education; Miami Audience Listens For Clues To Presidential Bid NPR: Vice President Joe Biden is mulling a run for the White House. He made an education speech in Miami on Wednesday, but made no mention of politics or his deliberations. See also NYT.

More Students Are Taking The SAT, Even As Scores Fail To Improve HuffPost: The data reveals that a record number of students from the class of 2015 took SAT and AP exams, and these students were more diverse than in years past. See also Washington Post, LA Times.

The new face of Democrats who support education reform: LA Times: Shavar Jeffries, an attorney who lost his bid to be mayor of Newark, N.J., is the new president of Democrats for Education Reform.Jeffries is taking the place of Joe Williams, a former New York Daily News reporter who led DFER until recently. Williams is now working at the Walton Foundation, a major education philanthropy organization that is known for sponsoring the growth of specific charter school chains, sources say.

Dyett Hunger Strikers Share Concerns with Arne Duncan in D.C. Sun Times: Duncan dropped in the meeting, joined by senior adviser Ruthanne Buck and Khalilah Harris, the deputy director at the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, which is housed in the Education Department.

Testing Opt-Outs Cost Disqualify New York Schools From Blue Ribbon EdWeek:  State officials inform 11 schools that they don't qualify for the national Blue Ribbon program because their test-participation rates fell short of the required 95 percent. See also Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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AM News: Obama's Mixed Record On School Integration Efforts

Obama's Mixed Record on School Integration American Prospect: While a handful of small programs have taken steps toward promoting diversity, desegregation has remained absent from Obama's signature education initiatives. 

Congressman Decides To Teach Little Kids About Suicide Bombers HuffPost: Things took a dark turn, however, when Salmon opted to use current events to illustrate how vetoes work, KPHO reports. The congressman brought up the current nuclear negotiations with Iran. He then transitioned into a talk about nuclear weapons, which in turn led him to ask the classroom full of young kids if they are aware of child suicide bombers.

Jeb Bush Touts K-12 Scholarships, Readies College-Affordability Plan PK12: The GOP presidential hopeful and former Florida governor also talked about immigration at a town hall meeting Tuesday with high school students in Miami.

Teachers colleges struggle to blend technology into teacher training Hechinger Report: They’re trying to teach today’s student-teachers how to use the wide range of technologies – from old-school software and tools such as PowerPoint, videos and laptops to those ubiquitous tablets and smartphones – as classroom tools, not just as social devices for communicating with friends or playing games.

L.A. Unified selects firm to search for new superintendent LA Times: The search for a new Los Angeles school district chief moved into the open Tuesday, but it's not clear how long the effort will remain public.

Nearly a year after NYC principals float diversity plans, city has yet to sign off Chalkbeat: A few principals presented a solution: If the city let them reserve a portion of their seats for high-needs students, such as those from low-income families or who live in public housing, the schools could preserve — or in some cases, create — diverse student bodies. Chancellor Carmen Fariña and other top officials heard them out, then asked the principals to submit detailed proposals.

Asians Are Nearly Twice As Likely To Get A Higher Price From Princeton Review ProPublica: Few, if any, realize that the prices for The Princeton Review's online SAT tutoring packages vary substantially depending on where customers live. If they type some ZIP codes into the company's website, they are offered The Princeton Review's Premier course for as little as $6,600. For other ZIP codes, the same course costs as much as $8,400.

Missouri Teenagers Protest a Transgender Student’s Use of the Girls’ Bathroom NYT: More than 100 students at Hillsboro High School staged a walkout after a transgender student was allowed to use the girls’ facilities.

New analysis argues that better teachers are flocking to better schools Washington Post: Families for Excellent Schools analyzed data from New York City's public schools and found that the lowest-rated teachers work in the schools that have high minority populations and serve students from poor families.

School Threats Led to Gun Seizures, Arrest NBC News: Fresno, California, police Chief Jerry Dyer gives details on an alleged plot by an area 15-year-old student, which led to the closing of two schools, and the arrest of the student.

How the CORE districts are designing new measures of school quality EdSource Today: The CORE Districts began in 2010 as a collaboration across school districts exploring ways to improve teaching and learning. In 2013, several school districts in the CORE consortium received a federal waiver from some provisions of the No Child Left Behind law and are working together to develop a new School Quality Improvement Index to provide more and better information about schools and the

For classmates of Jamyla Bolden, teddy bears and books help ease heartbreak St. Louis Public Radio: Johnson was there to hand out teddy bears donated by Build-A-Bear and books from the American Federation of Teachers. The effort was organized by his church’s Center for Social Empowerment and Justice, which was launched to support local business and schools in the Ferguson area.

AM News: Growing Number Of States Using ACT/SAT Tests

States turn to college-prep tests for federal reporting SI&A Cabinet Report: New Hampshire has joined a growing number of states opting to use college-prep entrance exams rather than standardized testing to assess high school juniors’ academic progress and meet federal accountability requirements. Maine, Wisconsin and Kentucky are among the states currently using either the SAT or ACT to assess students in 11thgrade. Nearly half of states cover the costs of the tests for all students – even those who would normally pay a fee of $50 or more to take the college-readiness exams.

Rep. John Kline anticipates new education law Pioneer Press: Rep. John Kline says the chances are "far better than 50-50" that Congress will hammer out a bipartisan bill this fall to replace the No Child Left Behind law.

Report: Chronic school absenteeism is contributing to academic gaps Washington Post: Absenteeism rates among kindergartners are nearly as high as those among high school freshmen, according to the report. An estimated 1 in 10 kindergartners misses at least 18 days of school, or nearly a month of class, per year. Many of those absences are excused: Young children often miss school not because they’re skipping class but because they or their parents are suffering from mental or physical health problems. See also KPCC LA.

NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña Praises Charter on Visit WSJ: The visits by Chancellor Carmen Fariña and New York City Charter School Center CEO James Merriman followed a sometimes contentious year in education circles. It included political battles over the number of charters allowed in New York, city denials of some charter schools’ space requests, and continuing debates over whether the taxpayer-funded, independently operated schools teach their fair share of the most challenging students.See also ChalkbeatWNYC

Children Don’t Have Constitutional Right to Switch Schools, Appeals Court Rules WSJ: The parents, who are white, sued for violations of due process and equal protection, claiming they had a constitutional right to move their kids. A lower court last year dismissed the parents’ complaint.See also Associated Press. 

Teachers' Unconscious Biases Contribute To Gender Disparity NPR: Girls often outperform boys in science and math at an early age but are less likely to choose tough courses in high school. An Israeli experiment demonstrates how biases of teachers affect students.

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AM News: Obama, Bush Tout New Orleans School Accomplishments

Presidents Obama, Bush Praise New Orleans' Schools Education Week: U.S. presidents past and present are visiting New Orleans this week, marking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and discussing the radical reshaping of public education in the city. See also NYT: George W. Bush, Visiting New Orleans, Praises School Progress Since Katrina 

Nearly Half of States Opted to Hit Accountability Snooze Button PK12: For those states, results from tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards won't have an effect on school ratings, at least for the school year that just ended.

As Common Core results trickle in, initial goals unfulfilled AP: Full or preliminary scores have been released for Connecticut, Idaho, Missouri, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. Scores in four other states that developed their own exams tied to the standards have been released.

Indianapolis Pact Couples New Teacher Roles and Big Pay Boosts Teacher Beat: Effective teachers signing onto a newly created initiative to mentor other teachers and reach more students could see thousands of dollars in additional pay.

A timeline of Texas' 30 years of school finance legal fights AP: A lawsuit challenging how Texas pays for its public schools will soon reach the state Supreme Court - the sixth time since 1984. Here's a look at major milestones in 30-plus years of legal battles:...

Tools for Tailored Learning May Expose Students’ Personal Details NYT: Many technological tools used by schools are designed to customize learning, but concern is developing over the collection and use of data on individual students.

Teacher Was Late To School 111 Times Because Of Breakfast AP: "I have a bad habit of eating breakfast in the morning and I lost track of time," 15-year veteran teacher Arnold Anderson told The Associated Press.

Art Show Captures the Wrenching Effects of Closing a School NYT: “reForm” is set in a model classroom from a Philadelphia school, with a blackboard, cubbies, books — and oral testimony about the school’s closure.

Maryland schools superintendent announces resignation Washington Post: Lillian Lowery, hired in 2012, will become president and CEO of an Ohio education nonprofit.

Little Saigon school to provide instruction in English and Vietnamese LA Times: A public school in Little Saigon is set to become the first in California to provide instruction in both English and Vietnamese.

AM News: Alt Cert Extension, ACT Scores, ACLU Vs. Nevada

White House Seeks HQT Extension for Teachers in Training EdWeek: Critics consider this a major loophole in the law, although the U.S. Department of Education said earlier this year that there were not many such teachers (about 35,000 in all). This would impact an otherwise steady source of new teachers and the millions of students they serve, most of whom are in high-need schools and in high-need subjects, including math and science," the administration said.

Massachusetts Students Tie For Top Score On ACT Boston Learning Lab: The average score for public and private school graduates in Massachusetts and Connecticut was 24.4 out of 36, the highest in the nation and more than three points higher than the national average. See also Washington Post.

ACLU of Nevada Sues to Block State's New School Choice Law State EdWatch: The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada says it's filing a lawsuit challenging the state's new school voucher-like program also known as education savings accounts. See also APLas Vegas Review Journal.

One in Four D.C. Public Schools Has a New Principal This Year Washington Post: Last summer, D.C. public schools announced 21 new principals for the school system’s 111 schools. By comparison, Montgomery County had 23 new principals in a system with 203 schools.

Getting ready for the Common Core-based test results KPCC LA: California education officials tentatively plan to release test results for the state, schools and districts based on the new Common Core learning standards on Sept. 9.

Hunger Strike Over Future Of Chicago School Enters Its 11th Day NPR: Parents, teachers and activists are fighting to defend a high school the school board voted to close several years ago. They say officials are ignoring their input over what kind of school to reopen.

Charter School Scored Own State Exams Chalkbeat: The New York City charter school that made the largest gains on state English tests also made an unprecedented decision to grade its own students’ exams.

Former Columbus Administrator to Serve 14 Days in Jail in Data-Scrubbing Case District Dossier: Michael Dodds is the fourth school administrator to be found guilty as part of a scheme to change student data to inflate district performance.

New Jersey teacher who was late for work 111 times keeps job Seattle Times: The arbitrator found that the district failed to provide Anderson with due process by providing him with a formal notice of inefficiency or by giving him 90 days to correct his failings before terminating his employment.

How Schools Are Handling An 'Overparenting' Crisis NPR: Two new books, The Gift of Failure and How To Raise An Adult, argue that too many children are being given too much.

One-Third Of Schools Are Using This App You've Never Heard Of NPR: Clever, a three-year-old startup, is used by 20 million students and teachers to manage all their other apps.

New Invention Targets School Germs NBC News: An East Texas man has designed special silver-based germ-killing strips, which can be attached to door handles and other high traffic areas and surfaces. KETK's Cara Prichard reports.

Deal between IPS and its union means big pay raises for teachers ChalkbeatIN: Every Indianapolis Public Schools teacher will make at least $40,000 — a 12 percent jump for those at the bottom of the scale — if the teachers and school board both vote to approve a contract to which the district and its union have tentatively agreed.

AM News: Vallas Calls Out Duncan & Daley For Chicago's Fiscal Mess

Former CPS CEO Paul Vallas blames successors [including Duncan] for $1B deficit ABC7 Chicago: "In 2001, the district had $1.2 billion in cash reserves," said Paul Vallas, former CPS CEO. "They had six years of structurally balanced budgets."

Dyett hunger-strikers vow to continue fight Chicago Sun-Times: Randi Weingarten, president of the Washington D.C.-based American Federation of Teachers — which boasts 1.6 million members — joined the hunger strikers Wednesday at a news conference outside of Dyett. See also Washington Post.

D.C. schools attracted record amounts of philanthropy in recent years Washington Post: D.C. public schools attracted more than $31 million from national foundations in 2010, far more than any other school district in the country.

State removes 15 years of test results before releasing new scores EdSource Today: Earlier this month, as the department got ready to send parents the initial student scores on the new tests sometime over the next few weeks, department officials deleted old test results going back more than 15 years from the most accessible part of the department’s website, impeding the public’s ability to make those comparisons.

This Company Just Started Offering Free, Customized Tutoring Online  BuzzFeed: The tech company, which has powered some of the largest education companies, breaks out on its own with a free online learning service, Knewton.com.

Embattled Albuquerque Schools Chief to Learn Fate AP: The embattled superintendent of New Mexico's largest school district is expected to learn Thursday if he'll stay on the job or be forced out just two months into his position. Board members are scheduled to vote on whether Luis Valentino will remain the head of Albuquerque Public Schools after he hired an administrator who faces child sex abuse charges.

Former Sen. Mary Landrieu: Charters Increased Equity In New Orleans Schools PK12: For the Louisiana Democrat, the most important story in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is the enhanced equity in the New Orleans' education system.

New Orleans' Teaching Force Today: Whiter, Less Experienced, Higher Turnover Teacher Beat: The city's teaching force is now 49 percent black, compared to 71 percent black in 2005. About 60 percent of teachers in 2005 were trained in New Orleans colleges; in 2014, fewer than 40 percent were. Teacher experience levels dropped notably since 2003; the percentage of teachers with five or fewer years of experience increased from 33 percent to 54 percent over that time period. 

Knock Knock, Teacher's Here: The Power Of Home Visits NPR: There was a time when a teacher showing up on a student's doorstep probably meant something bad. But increasingly, home visits are being used to spark parental involvement.

There Are Kids Fighting Fires In Washington State Seattle Public Radio: Until a teen escaped last week, assaulted a supervisor and then shot himself, there were 20 youth working on the fire line at the Chelan Complex Fire in central Washington. Another crew of 10 made sandwiches and meals in Okanogan County.

'George' Wants You To Know: She's Really Melissa NPR: George is a transgender fourth-grader. She's the heroine of a new book intended for readers in grades 3 to 7 and published by Scholastic, one of the largest children's publishing companies in the world.

AM News: Schools Struggle To Help Latinos To Close ACT Gap

Latinos struggle to close gap with whites in California ACT scores LAT: Across the country, the class of 2015 stagnated, with 40% of the 1.9 million test takers showing what the organization calls "strong readiness," according to results released Wednesday. In California, 30% of the class of 2015 took the test. California students overall outperformed their peers nationally. While 28% of students across the country met all four ACT targets, intended to represent college success, 37% of California's test takers did so.

California study finds teachers aren't connecting students to what colleges expect KPCC LA: The good news, Venezia said, is that educators say the Common Core has injected more optimism and professionalism into the classroom.

Parents' Teacher Tenure Challenge Heads Back to Court WNYC: Judge Philip Minardo appeared to listen with skepticism. Referring to the legislature's changes, which took effect in April, he asked the defendants, "Did they really do something or are they just massaging this?"

Study Tracks Vast Racial Gap In School Discipline In 13 Southern States NPR: The researchers examined more than 3,000 school districts in those states. In 132 of those districts, they found, the suspension and expulsion rates of blacks were off the charts, with suspension rates far greater than their representation in the student body. See also Slate, PBS NewsHour.

Teacher ranks shrink, skew white and less experienced in report Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:  Over a five-year period that included the near-elimination of collective bargaining in Wisconsin’s public schools, the teacher workforce in metro Milwaukee is smaller, less experienced and still largely white, according to a new report.

Why Some in Education Believe Truancy Deserves Much More Attention Washington Post: "Education has long been seen as the means to prosperity, but that only happens if students attend school regularly,” says a report that CAP, a left-leaning think tank that is associated with the Obama administration, released Tuesday.

Newark Schools See Red Ink WSJ: Cerf disclosed the budget gap in his first appearance before the Newark Schools Advisory Board. His predecessor, Cami Anderson, stopped attending the group’s monthly meetings about a year and a half ago. Facing critics demanding her ouster, she said the often raucous board meetings had devolved into personal attacks.

Survey: Majority of Americans like the way school lunches have changed Seattle Times: A W.K. Kellogg Foundation survey found that most Americans support the three-year-old nutrition standards, while 67 percent said the nutritional quality of food served in school cafeterias is excellent or good.

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AM News: High Opt-Out NY Won't Receive USDE Punishment

Department of Education Won't Punish N.Y. for High Opt-Outs, Report Says PK12: Federal law requires each school to test at least 95 percent of its students or else the district or state could face sanctions. See also NYT.

Two Polls Span Two Poles On Testing NPR: Does the public support or oppose federal standardized tests? Depends how you ask. See also LA Times: When Parents Are Asked Multiple-Choice Questions More white Americans dislike standardized testing than blacks and Latinos, according to a new poll. Also EdWeek.

Analysis Finds Higher Expulsion Rates for Black Students NYT: While black students represented just under a quarter of public school students in the 13 Southern states studied, they made up nearly half of all suspensions and expulsions.

Did Obama come through for New Orleans schools after Katrina? Hechinger Report: Overall, though, test scores, per pupil spending, and state rankings have all surpassed pre-Katrina levels. The Obama administration has doled out billions of dollars in federal funding to rebuild and repair Gulf coast schools... We rate Obama’s efforts in education as a Promise Kept.

Eight States Add Citizenship Test as Graduation Requirement EdWeek: Advocates have plans to push more state legislatures to pass laws requiring high schoolers to pass a citizenship test in order to graduate in coming years.

Tim Cook on Apple's Initiative to Change Lives in the Classroom ABC: Robin Roberts sat down with Apple CEO to discuss how the company is changing the way children learn in the classroom.

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AM News: Sanders Agrees To Meet With McKesson & Other Activists

Bernie Sanders Will Meet DeRay Mckesson & Other Black Lives Matter Activists Bustle: Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson tweeted at Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Monday, telling him that his racial justice platform had "promise" and asking whether he would be available to discuss it in more detail. In a brief reply just two hours later, Sanders agreed to meet with Mckesson and other civil rights activists. 

Machinists Union Members Outraged Over Hillary Clinton Endorsement In These Times: The IAM's justification of their endorsement this early in the presidential race mirrors the remarks made by AFT president Randi Weingarten shortly after her union's endorsement. “If you want to shape something, you get in before the primaries,” she said.

Opt-Out Movement Draws 'Little Public Sympathy' in New Poll District Dossier: A new poll from Education Next also revealed slipping public support for the Common Core State Standards, charter schools, and teacher tenure, but backers of those policies continue to outnumber opponents.

States Gaining a Say on School Accountability EdWeek: Whether a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act makes it over the finish line this year, the federally driven accountability system at the heart of the law seems destined to go the way of the Blockbuster video. 

L.A. Unified looks for smoother tech operations this school year LA Times: Getting students into the right classroom on the first day of school is a modest goal. But it's a huge improvement over last year, when thousands of students in the Los Angeles Unified School District were left without class assignments and teachers couldn't even take roll. Officials this week are trying to right two major technology debacles: a malfunctioning records system and a now-abandoned plan to provide iPads to all students. As schools opened Tuesday, officials are hopeful that they've turned the corner on their technology fiascoes. See also KPCC LA.

Five digital games finding a place in the classroom Miami Herald: The game's widespread popularity and success with K-12 students is described in “The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter,” a recent book on digital games by USA Today national education reporter Greg Toppo.

Study Finds Education Does Not Close Racial Wealth Gap NPR: New research by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows education does not help black and Hispanic college graduates protect their wealth the same way it does for their white and Asian counterparts.

Letters: The Teacher Shortage NYT: Readers discuss why teachers have left the profession and fewer want to enter it.

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AM News: WA State's Inequitable Funding, NY State's Opt-Out Quandry

Washington state gets failing grade on school funding AP: Washington state is being fined $100,000 a day by the state Supreme Court because justices say lawmakers have failed to adequately pay to educate the state's 1 million school children.... See also PBS NewsHour.

Test-Refusal Movement’s Success Hampers Analysis of New York State Exam Results NYT: With 20 percent opting out this year, some statisticians say it is hard to determine whether students improved over all from last year. See also Politico NY.

LAUSD raises more allegations against Rafe Esquith after teacher files lawsuit KPCC LA: The Los Angeles Unified School District this week raised additional allegations against renowned teacher Rafe Esquith, stating it is investigating whether the educator inappropriately touched children, among other new issues. Esquith's attorney said the latest allegations are false.

Racial Wealth Gap Persists Despite Degree, Study Says NYT: New research shakes the long-held belief that higher education clears a path to financial equality for blacks and Hispanics, and contends that the problem is deeply rooted and persistent.

When A Budget Motel Is 'Home,' There's Little Room For Childhood NPR: In San Bernardino County, nearly one-tenth of public school students are homeless. For many, that means living in rundown motels — and coping with troubling conditions long before they get to class.

Cops in schools: Way to rebuild community trust in law enforcement? CS Monitor: After growing steadily for decades, the trend accelerated in the wake of school shootings such as the one at Columbine High in Colorado. Today, more than 19,000 police officers are now employed full time in American schools.

New Orleans Schools, 10 Years After Katrina: Beacon Or Warning? NPR: The system has shown the largest, fastest improvement of any district in the nation, and yet it still ranks second from the bottom in the state.

Former Sen. Tom Harkin Endorses Hillary Clinton, Says She's a "Champion" For Kids PK12: The op-ed comes as Democratic presidential nominee contender Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., continues to draw tens of thousands of supporters to speeches across the country and is rising in the polls.

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AM News: Court Fines Washington State $100K/Day Over Inequitable Funding

Washington State Faces $100,000-a-Day Fine Until Schools Plan Is Reached NYT: The state’s highest court “encouraged” Gov. Jay Inslee to call the Legislature into a special session to find a way to close the gap in spending between rich and poor schools. See also  Seattle TimesState EdWatch, AP.

A look back in time at Washington's education lawsuit AP: The Washington Supreme Court has been involved in state education spending for many years. The 2012 McCleary decision started the newest round of discussion, but the debate in Washington goes back nearly 30 years. Here are highlights.... 

New York Schools With Many Opting Out of Tests May Be Penalized NYT: The state and federal education departments had warned that districts with high refusal rates risked losing funds. But it is far from certain such action will be taken.

Team From New York Education Dept. to Study Troubled East Ramapo Schools NYT:  The three-member group, which will offer recommendations to the school board and the state, will be led by Dennis M. Walcott, a former New York City schools chancellor. See also WNYC.

Test scores highlight the challenge ahead for city’s ‘Renewal’ turnaround program ChalkbeatNY: The average English pass rate for the 63 Renewal schools where students took the grades 3-8 state exams this year was 7.5 percent, compared to the city’s 30 percent average. In math, the Renewal pass rate was about 7 percent, compared to 35 percent for the city. 

Mass. Schools Get $14 Million To Extend Learning Time Boston Learning Lab: Schools in 11 Massachusetts school districts will receive $14 million in state grants to extend the time of the school day this year. In 2006, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to develop a specific grant program for extended days.

Causes, potential consequences of testing opt-out movement AP: New York is facing a growing rebellion against Common Core-aligned standardized tests. About 20 percent of the state's third- through eighth-graders refused to take the tests this spring, up from 5 percent a year earlier. As state education officials consider the possibility of sanctions against districts with large numbers of students opting out, they also promise a plan to boost participation.

More student diversity, less integration as school restarts KPCC LA: The percentage of white students is expected to continue to decline at least through 2024 with increasing enrollments of Hispanics, Asians/Pacific Islanders, and students of two or more races.  But then consider this: despite 60 years of Supreme Court mandated desegregation in schools as established in the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, a lack of classroom integration remains pervasive.

Detroit Union Head Ousted After Internal Trial District Dossier: DFT President Steve Conn was booted from his position Aug. 12 after the union found him guilty of failing to follow procedures for meetings, among other infractions.

AM News: NY Reports Increased Test Scores, Surge Of Opt-Outs

About 20 percent of NY students refused to take spring tests AP: About 20 percent of New York's third- through eighth-graders refused to take the statewide English and math tests given in the spring, the state's education chief said, acknowledging the opt-outs affected assessment data released Wednesday, which otherwise showed a slight uptick in overall student achievement... See also WSJChalkbeatEdWeek, NYT, WNYC.

News Corp. Planning to Sell Off Money-Losing Education Unit NYT: Amplify, the education division of Rupert Murdoch’s company, is in an “advanced stage of negotiations” with a potential buyer. See also BuzzFeed.

Labor Leadership Is Pushing Hillary Clinton, But the Grassroots Wants Bernie In These Times: “If you want to shape something, you get in before the primaries,” AFT President Randi Weingartensaid in defense of the endorsement. Weingarten, a longtime Clinton ally, is currently sitting on the board of pro-Clinton Super PAC Priorities USA Action.

Brown signs bills letting nannies' kids go to local schools AP: The Democratic governor signed without comment SB 200 by Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara, which permits the children of live-in workers such as nannies and maids to attend school in the districts where their parents work at least three days per week. An additional new law requires that schools have a set policy for investigating students' residency before hiring a private investigator to look into residency. It also prohibits students from being photographed or recorded by investigators and mandates an appeals process. See also District Dossier.

Charters transform New Orleans schools, and teachers Marketplace APM: One dominant symbol back then was a flag that read, "Class of 2014," the far off year these kids were expected to launch into college. To accomplish this with so many students so behind in their studies required teachers who could handle some very long school days. Bethaney, now 19, remembers teachers being at her charter deep into the evening. See also Part 2.

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AM News: Principals Critique Walker, Media Critiques Clinton Debt Relief Plan

Scott Walker's War on Big Government Isn't Helping Schools, Principals Say PK12: A group of 35 principals from the southern Wisconsin area wrote to Gov. Scott Walker arguing that in the current policy and political climate, districts simply don't have enough power. See also HuffPost, Washington Post.

Hillary Clinton’s student debt video misses the biggest problem with paying for college Vox: The people featured — who have unusually high levels of debt, sky-high interest rates, or both — are outliers, and they're not necessarily the people Clinton's plan would do the most to help. The video includes four young adults who mention specific numbers in connection with their own student debt. Their stories are scary. But, thankfully, they're not typical.

Bernie Sanders's Nurses' Union Endorsement Comes Despite Labor Concerns National Journal: "I think most people don't think Bernie is going to be president." AFT president Randi Weingarten, who sits on the board of the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA Action, tweeted last month.  See also The Blaze, Bloomberg Politics.

Authorities accuse 5 GAO employees of school lunch fraud AP: Five employees of the U.S. Government Accountability Office have been indicted on charges of fraudulently securing reduced-price school lunches for their children in a Maryland county.

Some Districts Battle Shortage of Teachers as School Begins AP: Many schools — particularly in places with growing populations and difficult working conditions — are having an especially tough time getting enough teachers to fill all their jobs. Remote areas, and high-poverty districts like Detroit with uncertain budgets and difficult working conditions, also have trouble.

Lazy days of summer? Not for these students gunning for a make-or-break exam WNYC: In New York City, like in other parts of the US, some students spend their break digging into algebra equations, hoping to ace a test that will get them into a top public high school. But some question whether a single test unfairly leaves some students out.

City’s incoming Teach for America class hits five-year low ChalkbeatNY: All told, the city will have about 5,500 new hires this fall, 100 of which will come from TFA, according to education department spokesman Jason Fink.

For second year in a row, test scores soar at low-income Arlington school Washington Post: Some grades at Carlin Springs Elementary saw double-digit increases in their state test passage rates for the second year in a row, following a deliberate effort to prepare disadvantaged students for the exams and to closely track student performance on practice tests throughout the year. The repeat success suggests that the school’s efforts might be paying off, boosting scores among groups of students whose success has proved elusive on standardized tests.

AM News: Clinton Student Debt Proposal, Teacher Shortage Debate

Hillary Clinton Wants To Help Student Debtors By Taxing The Rich HuffPost: The Democratic presidential candidate wants state and federal governments to increase their funding for students at certain public colleges while also allowing existing borrowers to refinance their high-rate loans and enroll in plans that limit payments to 10 percent of their income. The plan, which would cost $350 billion over 10 years, needs congressional approval and support from states to be viable. See also AP,  NYT, Politico, WSJ.

Did Jeb Bush really pass the first school voucher program in the nation? Business Insider: Presidential debates are often arenas of bombastic proclamations. Bush, however, was not over-selling his accomplishment. In 1999, under his gubernatorial oversight, Florida became the first state in the nation with a statewide voucher program.

Indiana Schools Chief Glenda Ritz Ending Bid for Governor AP: Ritz, a Democrat, has clashed repeatedly with Republican Gov. Mike Pence over education policy since they both won election in 2012. She announced a bid for governor in early June. In a statement Friday, she said she had since decided "now is not the right time for me to run for governor."

Teacher Shortages Spur a Nationwide Hiring Scramble (Credentials Optional) NYT: Just a few years after the recession caused widespread layoffs for teachers, school districts now find themselves with numerous job vacancies and few qualified candidates to choose from. See also: Demand for bilingual teachers especially high in Washington Seattle Times.

A Year After Ferguson, Schools Still Grapple With Equity and Racial Bias District Dossier: After the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and a national conversation about race, policing, and racial bias, some educators sharpened their focus on social justice issues in schools.

Major charter school expansion in the works for L.A. Unified students LA Times: A prominent local education foundation is discussing a major expansion of charter schools in Los Angeles aimed at boosting academic achievement for students at the lowest performing campuses.

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AM News: GOP Common Core Debate, Connecticut's Universal SAT Decision

Common Core is Premier Education Issue in GOP Presidential Debate PK12: Jeb Bush has taken a lot of flak from his GOP opponents for supporting the common-core standards, a position he's steadfastly backed, even as his conservative contemporaries have waged battle against them. See also HuffPost, Vox.

Teachers to Christie: Apologize to us over ‘punch in the face’ quip MSNBC: Nearly 32,000 people have signed a petition spearheaded by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) asking the governor to say he’s sorry. They argue that Christie “seems to think that leadership means threatening violence and creating a culture of intimidation.”

Connecticut to Require All 11th Graders to Take the SAT NYT: With approval from the United States Department of Education, Connecticut said it would make the SAT a requirement, administered without cost to students, beginning in the 2015-16 school year.  See also WSJ, CT Mirror. Make way for the test-score punditry: NY state scores coming next week ChalkbeatNY: “I will simply say, it’s one of the things we judge ourselves by,” de Blasio said Thursday, referring to the scores. “It’s not the only thing.”

Who Is 'Good Enough' In A Common Core World? NPR: 5 million students took new, Common Core-aligned tests this Spring through the PARCC consortium. Now begins the rush to set cut scores — to sort students by performance.

Connecticut to Require All 11th Graders to Take the SAT NYT: The new rule will eliminate a statewide exam given last year, and comes amid complaints that public high school students have to take too many tests.

Students Need Not Meet Common-Core Test's Cut Score to Graduate in Wash. St. State EdWatch: To be considered ready for credit-bearing college work, students should score at levels 3 or 4, but the state school board set a different minimum score to earn a diploma.

At one Baltimore school, students are easing racial tensions by learning from each other WNYC: One year after a burst of violent attacks, Digital Harbor High launched a program to bring Latino and African-American students together.

Ferguson Class Of 2014 HuffPost: The students who graduated with Michael Brown had only hope and promise ahead of them. And a year after Brown's tragic death, somehow they still still do. Here are their stories.

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AM News: What To Expect from Tonight's GOP Debate? (Not Much)

Preview the GOP Presidential Debate: What to Expect on Education PK12: Will Bush and Kasich continue to support for the common core? How will the three senators with similar education agendas differentiate themselves? Will ESEA reauthorization come up?

State budget protects districts from low-performing virtual schools Journal Sentinel: The budget signed by Gov. Scott Walker would keep low-performing virtual charter schools from hurting the report cards of hosting districts.

Teachers Demand Chris Christie Apologize For Face-Punching Comment HuffPost: Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT, and Wendell Steinhauer, president of the New Jersey Education Association -- the state's largest teachers union -- have both condemned Christie's comments. See also Politico, CSM.

Ahead of state’s Common Core review, Commissioner Elia looks outside New York Chalkbeat: At least 18 states have taken steps to revise, rebrand, or review the standards since adopting them in 2010, according to the Council of Chief State School Officers. New York is set to begin its own review effort this year,  prompted by state lawmakers, who ordered Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to examine the state’s reading and math standards.

Here's What Americans Want From A No Child Left Behind Overhaul HuffPost: More than half of Americans think state governments should have more power than the federal government to determine how standardized tests are used in schools. Only 21 percent of respondents said they thought the federal government should have more power than states in this arena; about a quarter said they were not sure.

High Expulsion Rates, Lower Test Scores for Oregon English-Language Learners State EdWatch: "Disciplinary actions that take students out of the classroom can make it more difficult for them to stay on track to graduate," a Regional Education Laboratory report stated.

Anxiety, frustration and incredulity follow suggestion of school sports cuts Washington Post: Some members of the school board and the county board of supervisors — which furnishes most of the school system’s budget — quickly accused the task force of histrionics, saying it was merely a tactic to anger community members in a campaign for more money. Fairfax’s budget season is often marked by tense exchanges and dire predictions as the county prides itself on having a top-tier school system.

Atlanta District Rolls Out New Grade-Changing Rules District Dossier: Superintendent Meria Carstarphen launched an investigation into grade changing after an internal investigation found that one high school principal changed more than 100 student grades from failing to passing.

Select Chicago Principals to Get More Autonomy, Less Oversight District Dossier: The Chicago school district will tap 25 high-performing school leaders who also have a strong record on school operations and community partnerships.

Three Seattle-Area Charter Schools Prepare To Open Seattle Public Radio: On a recent sunny afternoon, a work party was underway at a low-slung building just south of Seattle that will soon become Rainier Prep, a charter middle school. 

AM News: New Orleans Overhaul Worked, New Report States

Post-Katrina New Orleans schools revolution worked, Tulane study says NOLA.com: A typical elementary- or middle-school student's scores rose by 8 to 15 percentage points. "Even the lower end of that range suggests large positive effects," Harris wrote. "We are not aware of any other districts that have made such large improvements in such a short time." Meanwhile, scores in other hurricane-affected parishes stagnated. See also Salon.

Red Flags on the Road to ESEA Rewrite EdWeek: To [merge the two bills], they'll have to overcome some serious divergences in revising the law, whose current version is the No Child Left Behind Act. Chief among them: how to beef up accountability in a way that assures Democrats and civil rights groups that the result will include stronger federal guardrails for the most disadvantaged students, while at the same time ensuring the small federal footprint that Republicans are adamant about. 

Why Unions Aren't Uniting Behind Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders Bloomberg Politics: In the failed fight to stop fast track, organized labor spoke—largely—with one voice. The same can’t be said for labor’s presidential endorsement process.

Clinton Ad Touts K-12 Record PK12: Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton runs ads in Iowa and New Hampshire, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a GOP hopeful, slams the teachers' unions.

Federal Government Shutdown on the Horizon? PK12: Members of Congress don't return to Washington until Sept. 8 and will have just 10 legislative days to find a path forward on the fiscal 2016 federal budget.

Kentucky Sherriff Used Handcuffs on 'Misbehaving' 3rd-Grader AP: Video shows one incident where an 8-year-old student with ADHD was handcuffed by police; the sheriff and deputy involved now face a lawsuit. See also NYTWashington Post.

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AM News: Presidential Candidates Focus On Colleges & Teachers Unions

2016 election: College in the crosshairs Politico: Presidential candidates from both parties are tapping into Americans’ growing angst over paying for college, placing an unprecedented bright glare on higher education this election. For Democrats, the solution is making college cheaper, or free. Republicans want more innovation and efficiency.

Gov. Christie: Teachers' Unions Need a 'Punch in the Face' and Are 'Destructive' State EdWatch: Seeking an upper hand in a crowded GOP presidential election field, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has called for an upper cut to his old political foe. See also NY Post.

Jeb Bush Addresses National Urban League; Touts Black, Hispanic Test Scores PK12: Bush touted the achievement of black and Hispanic students in Florida, noting that the number of such students passing AP exams quadrupled during his time as governor. See also Politico.

Teachers summit draws thousands to sites across California EdSource: About 15,000 California teachers and principals gave up one of their summer vacation days to talk among themselves Friday about a subject that, depending on how the school day is going, can excite, inspire, frustrate or irritate: the Common Core.

How 'Assembly-Line Justice' Victimizes Kids In St. Louis County HuffPost: Hundreds of children who have come into contact with the juvenile justice system in Missouri's St. Louis County have been subjected to a process that is "rife" with "obvious" conflicts of interest, where allegations against them are "simply assumed to be true," where constitutional rights are routinely denied, and where black kids are much more likely to receive harsh punishments, and even be locked up prior to their day in court, due to nothing more than the color of their skin. 

Federal report finds scant scientific evidence for effectiveness of Head Start programs Hechinger Report: The July 2015 report from the What Works Clearinghouse describes how it reviewed 90 widely different studies on Head Start.

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AM News: State Test Score Results, Teachers vs. Nurses, College Board Cave

Minn. student test scores show little change despite vow to improve Star Tribune: In reading, nearly 60 percent of students mastered state standards, compared with 59 percent in 2014. In math, 60 percent of students met math standards, down from nearly 62 percent in 2014. White students continued to outperform students of color by more than 20 percentage points on average.

Maury students excel in reading Columbia Daily Herald: For the state overall, students have shown significant gains in all areas of testing except English/Language Arts. This growth continues a five-year trend in student proficiency in math and biology across the state.

Ark. Common-Core Review Recommends a Smartphone App ... And Another Review State EdWatch: The latest state to complete a review of the standards is Arkansas. But its review has led to a somewhat unusual, if not unique, recommendation.

Hillary Clintons multi-step strategy to woo labor Politico: The first to make its own endorsement was the 1.6-million member American Federation of Teachers, which endorsed Clinton in July and whose president,Randi Weingarten, is among the most senior and influential members of the AFL-CIO's executive...

Labor debates Hillary versus Bernie Washington Post: Two women epitomize the divide inside labor: Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers, defended her group’s early endorsement of Clinton. RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the 185,000-member National Nurses United, hinted that her group may endorse Sanders sometime in the next month. 

Conference Process to Rewrite ESEA Gets Underway PK12: All the expected characters were at the table: Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Reps. John Kline, R-Minn., and Bobby Scott, D-Va.

College Board bows to critics, revises AP U.S. History course WP: Conservatives had blasted the 2014 AP U.S. History course framework as essentially being unpatriotic and presenting American history in a negatively biased light. After a year of defending the framework, the College Board just changed it. See also HuffPost.

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AM News: Renewed Controversy Over AP US History Course

In a county that tried to amend US history course, a lesson in politics Washington Post: Voters in Jefferson County, Colo., are petitioning to recall three conservative members of the local school board who caused a national stir last fall after criticizing the Advanced Placement U.S. History course for being insufficiently patriotic.

Revised AP U.S. History Standards Will Emphasize American Exceptionalism HuffPost: The company behind Advanced Placement courses for U.S. high school students will release a revision to the standards for AP U.S. history on Thursday morning, after significant pushback from conservatives who claimed the redesigned course framework, released last year, painted American history in too negative a light.

Pell Grants For Prisoners: An Old Argument Revisited NPR: The Obama administration is expected to announce a new program Friday that would once again allow some prisoners access to federal Pell grants.

The AFL-CIO has a perfect champion in Bernie Sanders. Is that enough for an endorsement? Vox: The AFL-CIO’s executive council meeting is this week, which means visits from presidential candidates: Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, and, of course, Hillary Clinton, who has a 1 pm with the union federation tomorrow. There's also a sole Republican visitor: Mike Huckabee.

Georgia is Segregating Troublesome Kids in Schools Used During Jim Crow ProPublica: Georgia has been illegally and unnecessarily segregating thousands of students with behavioral issues and disabilities, isolating them in run-down facilities and providing them with subpar education, according to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Track the Ebb and Flow of Public School Spending in 50 States State EdWatch: EdSource highlights both per-student spending figures per year and how much spending rose and fell during a single student's 13 years in a K-12 system.

Rep. Fattah Charged With Illegally Funneling Money Through His Ed Nonprofit PK12: Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., who was previously a member of the House education committee, has pushed for legislation that would require states to equalize educational resources.

OC teachers union president, other officers relieved of duty WESH Orlando: "The AFT and the Florida Education Association have exhausted every possible effort to help the union operate by its own bylaws,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.

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AM News: Renewed Controversy Over AP US History Course

In a county that tried to amend US history course, a lesson in politics Washington Post: Voters in Jefferson County, Colo., are petitioning to recall three conservative members of the local school board who caused a national stir last fall after criticizing the Advanced Placement U.S. History course for being insufficiently patriotic.

Revised AP U.S. History Standards Will Emphasize American Exceptionalism HuffPost: The company behind Advanced Placement courses for U.S. high school students will release a revision to the standards for AP U.S. history on Thursday morning, after significant pushback from conservatives who claimed the redesigned course framework, released last year, painted American history in too negative a light.

Pell Grants For Prisoners: An Old Argument Revisited NPR: The Obama administration is expected to announce a new program Friday that would once again allow some prisoners access to federal Pell grants.

The AFL-CIO has a perfect champion in Bernie Sanders. Is that enough for an endorsement? Vox: The AFL-CIO’s executive council meeting is this week, which means visits from presidential candidates: Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, and, of course, Hillary Clinton, who has a 1 pm with the union federation tomorrow. There's also a sole Republican visitor: Mike Huckabee.

Georgia is Segregating Troublesome Kids in Schools Used During Jim Crow ProPublica: Georgia has been illegally and unnecessarily segregating thousands of students with behavioral issues and disabilities, isolating them in run-down facilities and providing them with subpar education, according to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Track the Ebb and Flow of Public School Spending in 50 States State EdWatch: EdSource highlights both per-student spending figures per year and how much spending rose and fell during a single student's 13 years in a K-12 system.

Rep. Fattah Charged With Illegally Funneling Money Through His Ed Nonprofit PK12: Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., who was previously a member of the House education committee, has pushed for legislation that would require states to equalize educational resources.

OC teachers union president, other officers relieved of duty WESH Orlando: "The AFT and the Florida Education Association have exhausted every possible effort to help the union operate by its own bylaws,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.

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AM News: ESEA Next Steps, Effective Teachers, Clinton Vs. Sanders

Senate’s ESEA rewrite would do away with supplanting rule SI&A Cabinet Report: A compromise revision of the nation’s primary education law would essentially eliminate long-standing federal prohibitions on using Title I dollars to replace or supplant state and local funds, a top education policy expert said Tuesday.

To get support for education bill, senators conjure lost art: Compromise  Washington Post: Alexander, 75, and Murray, 64, had never worked closely but they were suited to the task. Murray had a growing reputation as a dealmaker after negotiating a budget with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in 2013; Alexander had stepped down from Republican leadership in 2011, saying he wanted to focus on bridging divides rather than scoring political points.

Schools are able to hire stronger teachers when economy is weak, study finds Washington Post: Teachers who entered the profession during recessions were roughly one-tenth of a standard deviation more effective in raising students’ math test scores than teachers who entered the profession during better economic times. The recession effect was smaller in reading — about half as large. Other factors — such as teachers’ age and race, and the characteristics of the schools they worked in — could not explain the differences that researchers found between teachers hired during recession vs. non-recession periods.

The Complicated Problem Of Race And Special Education HuffPost: A group of experts who spoke with HuffPost Live last week said that while minorities may be underrepresented in some categories of special education, they're overrepresented in the most "stigmatizing" groups.

Education officials say PARCC tests saved $2.5M compared to previous assessment Baltimore Sun: Statewide, 1.3 million tests were completed during the school year. More than 80 percent of students took the assessments online.

Teacher-Turned-Congressman: Rep. Mark Takano's Take on ESEA Rewrite PK12: Takano favors grade-span testing, supports the federal mandate that states and schools test 95 percent of students, and thinks accountability should be entirely left up to states.

Labor Wrestles Over Choice Of Clinton Or Sanders AJAM: “I don’t quite know where this is coming from, because it’s rare for AFL to endorse in the primaries,” said AFT head Randi Weingarten, whose union has already endorsed Clinton. “And AFL always waits for what its affiliates are doing. What would have been surprising is if AFL did any kind of endorsement now instead of waiting." 

Why schools are rushing to hire more bilingual teachers Fusion: Some districts are sending officials to Mexico or Puerto Rico to find qualified bilingual Spanish teachers. For many districts, however, it’s languages other than Spanish that are most in demand. Facing growing numbers of refugees from places like Iraq and Myanmar, the Lincoln, Neb. school district budgeted $1.2 million this month to hire more English Language Learner teachers, as well as bilingual liaisons to help families keep in touch with their schools. Most of the new students are young, in kindergarten and first grade, officials said.

The struggle to breathe life back into empty schools WBEZ Chicago: It's the same story across the country in cities like Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago, where district leaders are facing the big question — what to do with all of those empty schools?

School Funding Fight Back in Hands of Washington State's Supreme Court State EdWatch: One of the most contentious K-12 spending battles in the nation could be close to a conclusion after over three years of legal and legislative wrangling.

Is This The Beginning Of The End For The SAT And ACT? NPR: George Washington University is the latest and one of the largest private universities to drop its admissions testing requirement.

How Squeezed Are the Schools? We May Get a Better Picture WNYC: Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration had convened a working group to examine the Blue Book, and six months ago, they submitted recommendations to the mayor and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

AM News: Columbia University-Affiliated School Reels Over Cheating Scandal & Principal's Suicide

Principal's Suicide, Forged Tests Rock Promising NYC School AP: The scandal has stirred sorrow and uncertainty after a promising start for Teachers College Community School and clouded the career of a Wall Street worker-turned-educator who'd earned praise for her approach. Meanwhile, Teachers College Community School seemed poised to prosper in its first round of Common Core tests, which factor in teacher and principal evaluations. See also NYTChalkbeatNY Post.

Colorado State Board of Education at Crossroads After Contentious Run Denver Post:  The item was not even on the agenda. The Colorado State Board of Education was supposed to spend the morning recognizing award-winning teachers and digesting a routine school-finance update.On that January day, Colorado Springs Republican Steve Durham sprung the first of many surprises that would shake the state's education establishment, prevailing in a vote to allow school districts to skip a portion of new state tests required by federal law.
Education Secretary Signals Push to Make Colleges More Accountable WSJ: One month after backing away from their plan to rate colleges, the Obama administration signaled it would take a harder line on issues of accountability in higher education over the homestretch of the president’s second term. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, he wants to switch the nation’s focus from getting more students into college to getting more students out—with degrees.
The Effort To Stop Campus Rape Is Finally Starting To Focus On High Schools HuffPost: A provision in the Senate’s proposed rewrite of the nation's main education law governing K-12 schools would push for more sex education that focuses on dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Beyond the headlines: NCLB reform's lesser-known provisions MinnPost: If you followed the congressional votes, you no doubt know a few things: that the overhaul is almost a decade overdue, that the differing versions passed by the House of Representatives and Senate tackle hot-button policies concerning equity in funding, school accountability and student testing.

The Toughest Job In Education? Maybe Not NPR: It's been a theory of mine that the assistant principal has the toughest job in education. I got that idea a long time ago, when I was a student teacher at a middle school. 

Quality of Teacher Hires Improved During the Recession, Analysis Finds Teacher Beat: The paper was written by Markus Nagler of the University of Munich; Marc Piopiunik, of the ifo Institute for Economic Research (also in Munich); and Martin R. West of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Fact Checking Donald Trump on Gov. Scott Walker's Education Record PK12: The developer and GOP presidential hopeful has hit rival candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on common core and education cuts. Are his criticisms valid?

Expect Education To Be Big Issue In 2016 Presidential Campaign, Survey Shows Forbes: The foundation’s recent Schooling in America Survey found that 17% of respondents said education was the most important issue facing the nation. That compares with 31% who put economy and jobs at the top of their list of concerns. Healthcare was the most important issue for 13% of those surveyed.

Watts riots, 50 years later: What has L.A. learned, and done? LA Times: Locke High School is now Alain LeRoy Locke College Preparatory Academy and is run by charter school operator Green Dot rather than by the school district. Jordan Downs is in the midst of a remake, with its residents part of the planning process.

‘Parent trigger’ campaigns can continue despite lack of new test scores EdSource: Anaheim City School District officials argued in the Orange County Superior Court case that parents were ineligible to use the “parent trigger law” because no test scores were available from 2014 – the year when parents started collecting signatures for the transformation of Palm Lane Elementary School. Both sides filed legal complaints in April.

The Struggle To Breathe Life Back Into Empty Schools NPR: As urban schools across the country continue to lose students, the question districts like St. Louis face is: What to do with all of those empty buildings?

Transgender Teen Fights to Use the Boys' Restroom WNYC: Gavin is transgender. His family decided to sue the school after the school board prohibited Gavin from using the boys' restrooms at Gloucester High School. On Monday, lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia argued in federal court for an injunction that would permit Gavin to use the male restroom facilities at his school during the pending legal proceedings.

AM News: Teachers Probably Saved Lives In Louisiana Shooting

After Lafayette theater shooting, union chief praises teachers NOLA.com: About 20 minutes into The Grand 16's showing of the film "Trainwreck" on Thursday night (July 24), gunman John Russell Houser stood up and began firing into the crowd, wounding Martin, Meaux and seven others and killing two more, authorities said. But one teacher jumped up to cover the other, and managed to pull the fire alarm to alert emergency responders, Weingarten said.See also Atlantic/EWAWashington PostPhilly.com.

Some Common Core tests are getting shorter. What are they losing? Hechinger Report: After a rough spring testing season, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), one of two state consortia tapped by the federal government to develop tests tied to the Common Core educational standards, is making big changes to its tests, which were administered to over five million students across 11 states and the District of Columbia this year.

Missouri Law Can’t Block Scholarships for Undocumented Immigrant Students Kansas City-Star:  In a memo sent Thursday to college presidents, chancellors and directors, Missouri Department of Higher Education Commissioner David Russell said language in the title or preamble of a recently passed higher education appropriations bill “has no legal authority to withhold scholarship awards from otherwise eligible students.” 

Carnegie Mellon project revives failed inBloom dream to store and analyze student data Hechinger Report: LearnSphere, a new $5 million federally-funded project at Carnegie Mellon University, aims to become “the biggest open repository of education data” in the world, according to the project leader, Ken Koedinger.

Why a Fight in Massachusetts Over Kindergarten Funding Is Getting Ugly Slate: While Massachusetts has a long way to go, access to early childhood education is indeed slowly expanding in many nearby areas. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push for universal pre-kindergarten continues with the announcement that preschool teachers at community-based early childhood centers, including day cares—who generally earn less than teachers

New GAO Report: Teacher Prep Programs Lack Performance Data PK12: Seven states ignored the federal higher education law's requirement to identify "at risk" and "low performing" teacher programs, some of them blatantly.

City Invalidates Test Scores of Third Graders at Harlem School NYT: The Education Department invalidated the results of the state exam taken by third graders amid allegations of testing improprieties by the principal of the Teachers College Community School. See also WNYC, NY Post.

What Do We Value More: Young Kids Or Fast Food? NPR: New York state recently announced an increase in the minimum wage for fast food workers, to $15 an hour. It's the fruit of a three-year labor campaign. But there's another group of workers out there that hasn't had a real wage increase in decades. Right now, at preschool programs around the country, teachers are tapping infinite reserves of patience to keep the peace among children at various stages of development and need. They're also providing meals, wiping noses and delivering a curriculum in math and reading that will get the kids ready for school. And there are hugs. Lots of hugs.

AM News: NEA Ponders Timing, Selection Of Clinton -- Or Sanders

Who Will the NEA Endorse for President, Clinton or Sanders -- & When? TeacherBeat: Hillary Clinton, obviously, is the odds-on favorite for NEA pick. But consider this: At the NEA meeting this summer, by far the loudest delegate cheer went to Bernie Sanders, when the names of the three Democratic candidates interviewed by NEA President Lily Eskelsen-Garcia were announced. And officially, the NEA has been utterly silent about its endorsement plans. In a way, though, the "who" question is the wrong one to ask. The right question is whether the union can even get a primary endorsement together at all while it still matters.

In New White House Bid, Clinton Embraces Race as a Top Issue AP: At multiple stops in South Carolina, Clinton on Thursday bemoaned "mass incarceration," an uneven economy, increasingly segregated public schools and poisoned relations between law enforcement and the black community.

Judges Revive Claim that AT&T Overcharged Schools for Internet Service ProPublica: The little-noticed June 23 ruling concluded that the complaint by Todd Heath was properly filed under the U.S. False Claims Act – a decision that could lead to the disclosure of AT&T’s internal records about the federal program known as E-Rate. AT&T said then, and reaffirmed in a recent email to ProPublica, that it complies with the requirement that it charge such customers what is known as the “lowest corresponding price.”

Pool for Unassigned Teachers Swells in Newark Wall Street Journal: The pool swelled recently due to the cyclical flux between school years; many teachers are expected to find jobs in the fall. Many teachers, however, are there because they balked at longer hours in schools slated for overhauls. Under a union-district agreement, teachers joined the pool if they didn’t agree to a stipend, typically $3,000, for working about an hour more daily, several Saturdays and two weeks in the summer. A union spokesman said some who kept to contract hours and left at 3:05 p.m. were derided by other staffers as “Three-oh-fivers.”

Seven States Get NCLB Waiver Renewals, Including Opt-Out Friendly Oregon PK12: Alaska, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah can keep their flexibility from mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act, no matter what happens with a pending rewrite of the law.

Pearson’s Fallon Seen Turning to Education Deals After FT Sale Bloomberg Business: Pearson Plc’s sale of the Financial Times newspaper to Japanese publisher Nikkei Inc. clears the way for the U.K. company to pursue acquisitions in educational publishing.

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AM News: White House School Discipline Summit, Plus Free Online AP Lessons

White House Hosts School Discipline Summit PK12: The department's civil rights data collection shows that more than 3 million students are suspended or expelled each year (including 4-year-olds). See also Washington PostHuffPost.

Education Groups to Leaders in Congress: Get ESEA Rewrite Over Finish Line PK12: Begin conferencing the House and Senate ESEA bills now, said 10 major education groups in a letter sent Wednesday.

As states drop out of PARCC’s Common Core test, faithful carry on Washington Post: The tests from PARCC — the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers — has come under fire for its length, for its technical glitches and for efforts by its test publisher, Pearson, to crack down on cheating via social media.

Teachers' union gets schooled for violating campaign law Philly.com: The union was flagged for giving a $11,500 donation to its parent union, the American Federation of Teachers - Pennsylvania Chapter, whose political committee on March 9 wrote a check for that amount to Gym's campaign.

The new frontier for Advanced Placement: Online AP lessons, for free Washington Post: First came MOOCs, or massive open online courses. Now there are MOOLs -- massive open online lessons -- to help high schools teach some of the toughest AP topics.

Issue of collective bargaining threatens California evaluation reform EdSource Today: Democratic leaders’ efforts to rewrite the state’s teacher evaluation law have stalled over the same disagreement that upended the last big push in the Legislature three years ago: stark differences in who gets to decide what goes into an evaluation.

From an ‘Undocumented’ Boyhood to a Doctorate NYT: A new memoir hopes to further the debate on immigration policy.

A Geek Speaks Out Against Tech WNYC: Computer scientist Kentaro Toyama used to use tech to help the poor around he world. But slowly, he started believing it wasn't the answer. He explains why tech isn't doing much to educate the underprivileged or spur social change.

74 percent of high school students failed Algebra 1 final in a Md. district Washington Post: The exam results were better than they were last year, but failure rates remain steep for Montgomery Co.

Parent petition results in Prescott School new principal LA School Report: A wave of angry complaints by parents of students at a small elementary school has succeeded in convincing LA Unified to replace a principal whom the parents described as unfit for the job.

Report: Mass. Schools Bans On Junk Food Are Working Boston Learning Lab: The Northeastern study compared thousands of food and beverage options available in about 75 middle schools and high schools over a one-year period, before and after the standards took effect.

AM News: Nearly 40 Percent Of Black Kids Growing Up In Poverty, Says New Report

The U.S. Is Letting Poor Kids Fall Further and Further Behind in Reading Slate: Break this figure into subgroups and the picture looks even grimmer, with 39 percent of black kids and 33 percent of Hispanic kids in poverty.

See also Bloomberg News: Brain Scans Reveal How Poverty Hurts Children's Brains, AP More U.S. Children Are Living In Poverty Than During The Great Recession, HuffPost The Heartbreaking Physical Toll Of High Achievement Among Disadvantaged Teens.

Teachers May Be Staying In The Classroom Longer Than Expected, Says Study HuffPost: A recent federal study found that a much smaller percentage of beginning teachers leave the field in their first five years on the job than the widely quoted figure of 50 percent. It’s 17 percent, according to the new research.

The declining D.C. school system hired political strategists. It seems to have worked. Washington Post: Last year, consultants trained principals of traditional schools to knock on doors in a direct appeal to families, an effort that continues this summer. Now they are refining their pitch with messages based on the new market research, which included the parent survey, focus groups and polling data, a package that cost the school system $95,000.

The K-12 Record of New GOP Candidate Gov. Kasich PK12: Gov. John Kasich doesn't have the kind of high-profile and polarizing history with public schools that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker can claim. But he has an extensive record. See also ThinkProgress.

How The Big New Education Law Could Cut Testing Time NPR: Marla Kilfoyle is a teacher on Long Island, New York, a center of the opt-out movement, and the general manager of the Badass Teachers Association, a national group that opposes standardized testing. Hundreds of its members will be on Capitol Hill this week lobbying Senators and the Department of Education to halt standardized testing, among other ideas aiming to empower teachers.

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AM News: At 22 Percent, Child Poverty Rate Still Higher Than Before Recession

More children are in poverty today than before the Great Recession PBS NewsHour: Today, 22 percent of children live in poverty, up from 18 percent in 2008. Minnesota led the United States in children’s overall well-being, followed by New Hampshire and Massachusetts. It’s the first time in nearly a decade that a state outside of New England has ranked first nationwide.

ESEA Rewrite: What to Expect From House-Senate Conference PK12: Representatives from both parties and both chambers will attempt to find common ground between their dueling reauthorization bills, which contain some stark policy differences. See also Washington Post.

ESEA Rewrite and Waiver Issue: When Should ELLs Count for Accountability? PK12: The House and Senate bills to write the Elementary and Secondary Education Act go in different directions when it comes to testing English-language learners.

Pat Toomey background check amendment: Why the No Child Left Behind rewrite won't include it. Slate: Among the more unfortunate casualties was Sen. Al Franken’s Student Non-Discrimination Act, which proposed extending federal protections against bullying to LGBT students. Other amendments were adopted in extremely watered-down form.

Judge Rules Against Miss. Districts in K-12 Money Lawsuit as Ballot Duel Looms State EdWatch: A lawsuit and two opposing ballot initiatives over school spending in Mississippi promise to create a complicated picture for K-12 spending in the state.

Chicago Public Schools Propose Selling $1.16 Billion In Bonds Reuters via HuffPost: Proceeds would be used to improve school facilities, refund outstanding bonds, and pay banks to terminate swaps used to hedge interest-rate risk on variable-rate debt, according to documents posted on the CPS website.

'Breaking Bad' Actor Runs for Albuquerque Seat AP: Actor Steven Michael Quezada (keh-ZAH'-dah) is jumping in a heated race for county commissioner in Albuquerque. Quezada is a member of the Albuquerque school board.

The Test That Can Look Into A Child's (Reading) Future NPR: Researchers say they've come up with a 30-minute test that can predict a child's language skill and diagnose learning disabilities.

NYC Parents, Teachers and Students Give Their Schools High Marks WNYC: Consistent with last year's survey results, 95 percent of parents who responded to the survey were at least "somewhat satisfied" with their child's education and with the school's response to their questions.  [But no class size question?!] See also:  ChalkbeatSchoolBook.

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AM News: Labor Dispute Over AFT's "Early" Clinton Endorsement

Unions seethe over early Clinton endorsement Politico: Labor leaders said there was a clear understanding that no national unions would make an endorsement before July 30. But the American Federation of Teachers jumped the gun. See also NY Post, WSJ.

Democratic 2016 Candidates Like Senate ESEA Bill, GOP Not So Much PK12: GOP lawmakers running for president don't think the bipsartisan Senate bill to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act goes far enough in restoring power to parents. See also LA Times, Atlantic Education.

President Obama Takes On the Prison Crisis New York Times: He talked about community investment, especially in early-childhood education and in lower-income minority communities, as the best way to stop crime before it starts. And he spoke of the importance of removing barriers to employment, housing and ...

Memphis students to meet Michelle Obama as part of higher education initiative WREG: 
The summit is part of Michelle Obama's Reach Higher initiative, which aims to inspire students continue theireducation after high school. 

Oakland educators say their success in school discipline relies on shared goals Seattle Times: Since 2012, the Oakland Unified School District has decreased suspensions by 47 percent — a dramatic drop that has drawn attention from those who wonder whether Seattle Public Schools can do the same. On Friday, four leaders of Oakland’s efforts came to Seattle to explain what they’ve done, and why.

Kansas’s Teacher Exodus EWA:  Frustrated and stymied by massive budget cuts that have trimmed salaries and classroom funding, Kansas teachers are “fleeing across the border” to neighboring states that offer better benefits and a friendlier climate for public education, NPR’s Sam Zeff reported. But it’s hardly an outlier.  And it doesn’t take much to find stories of teacher shortages in Arizona and Indiana, among many others.

USA tops International Math Olympiad for first time in 21 years Washington Post: If winning a youth math competition seems less important than vanquishing the Soviets back in 1980, consider this: the last time America won the IMO was 1994. Back then, Bill Clinton was president and Ace of Base was top of the pop charts. See also NPR.

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AM News: What Next For NCLB Rewrite?

Senate Votes Overwhelmingly For Bipartisan No Child Left Behind Rewrite HuffPost: However, the bill’s next steps are unclear, since even its supporters concede President Barack Obama is unlikely to sign it in its current form. See also NYT, HuffPost.

Revising the No Child Left Behind Act: Issue by Issue PK12: Here's a look at the Senate and House bills to rewrite the NCLB law, and how they compare to each other, current law, and the Obama administration's waivers. See also AP, Washington Post, PBS NewsHour.

Senate tweaks formula for Title 1 funds to educate children from poor families Washington Post: Burr rewrote the amendment so that the formula changes would not take effect until Congress funds Title 1 at $17 billion annually. It is unclear when that would happen; the program is currently funded at $14.5 billion, an amount that has been steady since 2012. In addition, the change in formula would affect only dollars spent by Congress in excess of the $17 billion benchmark.

Testing Revolt In Washington State Brings Feds Into Uncharted Waters NPR: As Congress debates the future of No Child Left Behind, one state falls short of federal testing requirements.

Crime stats show troubling trend at nation’s schools SI&A Cabinet Report: A general decline in serious crime on K-12 school campuses nationwide appears to be reversing, perhaps reflecting an upswing in violence in some of the nation’s largest cities.

Some schools are still testing students for drug use APM Marketplace: Many schools are still testing students for drug use, despite the end of federal funding and mixed evidence on whether it's worth the expense. Some are expanding their testing.Research shows that while drug testing is associated with a very modest decline in marijuana use, surveys sometimes find an increase in the use of other drugs. How? For one thing, drug tests aren’t always accurate. Case in point, Goldberg says, the athletes Marion Jones and Lance Armstrong. 

Lawsuit says SoCal schools among those breaking law in teacher evaluations KPCC: A lawsuit filed Thursday in Contra Costa County alleges that 13 school districts are violating state law because they aren't using student achievement data when evaluating instructors. The suit was filed by four parents and two teachers. It's backed by Students Matter, a nonprofit founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch. See also EdSource Today.

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AM News: Senate Nears Finish To NCLB Rewrite

Senate Votes to End Debate on ESEA Rewrite; Final Vote Expected Thursday PK12: Senators also rejected a high-profile amendment from Democrats to beef up accountability measures in the underlying bill overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. See also AP.

Civil Rights Groups, Teachers' Union Spar Over Accountability PK12: The National Education Association sent a letter Tuesday to senators urging them to oppose a Democratic amendment that would beef up accountability in the Senate's ESEA rewrite.

Emanuel taps Claypool to take over at CPS, sources say Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to soon appoint longtime City Hall troubleshooter Forrest Claypool to head up the embattled Chicago Public Schools, two sources told the Chicago Tribune late Wednesday.

Why are Latinos teachers such a minority in Chicago? WBEZ:  That slow increase of Hispanic teachers comes at a time when Hispanic students make up the largest ethnic group in CPS, at 46 percent.

'Mr. Spider' Says Goodbye: An Art Teacher's Final Day At School NPR: For nearly a quarter century, Mathias Schergen taught in one of Chicago's toughest neighborhoods. Now, he's moving on.

Gov. Cuomo continues to bring in money from donors with education ties ChalkbeatNY: he contribution is part of $2.4 million in donations Cuomo’s campaign reported receiving over the last six months — a slice of which again came from a cadre of money managers, executives, philanthropists, and lawyers who support charter schools, tougher accountability rules, or weaker job protections for teachers.

What was the Mark Twain quote that landed a teacher in jail? LA School Report: It apparently started when a technology coordinator who was in his Hobart Elementary School classroom on March 19 thought that what he said may have been a bit too much for his fifth graders, according to a chronology of events in the letter. She told the principal, Jonathan Paek. When he confronted Esquith, the teacher said the quote should be taken in the literary context that it was made.

Teachers back in school to master Common Core standards EdSource Today: Interviews with officials in six large California school districts and a major charter school system have found that several hundred of their teachers have signed up for – and in many cases by now already completed – summertime professional development programs provided at their schools to help them transition to the new standards.

Court Hands Major Victory to PARCC, Pearson in Challenge by Vendor EdWeek: Because the AIR lacks legal standing, the judge ruled, the other substantive complaints it made about the contract award—specifically, that it was biased in favor of Pearson—were effectively thrown out, too.

AM News: Pushback Against Early AFT Clinton Endorsement


The American Federation of Teachers Endorsed Hillary Clinton—and Not Everyone’s Happy About It Slate: The timing of the endorsement has attracted as much attention as its content. The obvious answer is that the Clinton camp choreographed the AFT endorsement as a safeguard against the unexpected threat posed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

See also: Clinton gets key union endorsement as Sanders enjoys a groundswell of support (Phil. Enquirer); Teachers union irks rank and file with Clinton endorsement (Watchdog); Will Hillary Clinton Continue Education Reform? (NYMag); Teachers’ union endorses Hillary Clinton over weekend. Backlash begins (AJ-C).

What Do Democratic Presidential Candidates Think of the Senate ESEA Bill? PK12: Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., take note: Hillary Clinton had nice things to say about your bill to revamp the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.


Senate Rejects Amendments on Portability, Opt-Outs, LGBT Protections PK12: As debate continues on the bill to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, senators turned down proposals on three contentious issues. See also Washington Post: Senate votes down federal protections for K-12 LGBT students.

In the Senate, another defeat for school vouchers Washington Post: The amendment, written by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), was defeated on a 45-to-51 vote. No Democrat supported the measure and several Republicans, including Roy Blunt of Missouri, Jerry Moran of Kansas and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, joined Democrats in their opposition. Senate rules required 60 votes for passage.


Why are there fewer black teachers in Chicago? WBEZ: Just 15 years go, 40 percent teachers in CPS schools were black. Today, it’s 23 percent. Many black students are segregated into majority black schools -- like National Teachers Academy in the South Loop, where Porter teaches. Meanwhile, most of the students in Chicago’s public schools are Hispanic and African American. Black enrollment has gone down, but black students still make up 39 percent of the district.

Black Children in U.S. Are Much More Likely to Live in Poverty, Study Finds NYT: About 38.3 percent lived in poverty in 2013, nearly four times the rate for white children, according to a report by the Pew Research Center.


Former N.Y. K-12 Official Ken Wagner Picked to Be Rhode Island Chief EdWeek: As a deputy commissioner in New York state, Wagner played a key role in overseeing how the state shifted to the Common Core State Standards and aligned assessments.

After Testing Problems, Nevada Set to Hire New Assessment Vendor EdWeek: The state of Nevada, plagued by online testing woes earlier this year, is poised to award its next contract to oversee a suite of state assessments in a $51 million deal.

New York City Schools Ask Students to ‘Bring Your Own Device’ WNYC:  The Department of Education now encourages schools to leverage students’ devices — such as smartphones, laptops and tablets — as instructional tools by asking students to “Bring Your Own Devices,” a program referred to as “BYOD.” It’s part of a national trend of bringing student devices into classrooms.

Two major school districts eliminating some final exams Washington Post: The Montgomery County school board backed a plan to end final exams in middle-school- level courses Tuesday and is looking closely at a proposal to scrap high school finals, a shift that comes as officials in Loudoun County pursue a major change in how it will assess its students.

Few School Districts Have Anti-Bullying Policies Protecting LGBT Students HuffPost: Of the 70 percent of school districts that do have anti-bullying policies, fewer than half explicitly outline protections for students who get bullied because of their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. Only about 14 percent of districts have protections based on gender identity or expression.

Beyond bake sales: New National PTA president wants to make organization more inclusive Seattle Times:  Poulsbo resident Laura Bay was installed as president of the National PTA earlier this month. She says early learning, health and safety, and family engagement are top priorities for her two-year tenure.



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