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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.

AM News: Wisconsin Governor Walker Joins Presidential Race

Gov. Walker Enters Presidential Race Claiming He 'Improved Education' in Wisc. EdWeek: As far as education is concerned, Walker is perhaps most prominent for his successful push to strip collective bargaining rights for teachers and other public employees in 2011.

Study Paints Sobering Picture of Unequal Access to Teacher Quality TeacherBeat: Any way you slice it, disadvantaged students get shortchanged on teacher quality, the study finds.

Major teachers union ready to work with charter schools Washington Examiner: Teachers unions want public schools to be the centers of communities, and they are ready to work with charter schools to achieve that goal, according to Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. 

Nevada's Clark County Hopes to Lure Retired Educators Back to Teaching District Dossier: The nation's fifth-largest school district, which started the year searching for about 2,600 teachers, is turning to retirees to fill critical positions in elementary schools.

Few parents opt elementary children out of new state tests The Bellingham Herald: Complaints about the new statewide tests based on the national Common Core curriculum have been heard loudly on social media. But few Washington parents acted on those complaints and opted their children out of the new tests, according to data...

Many Kids Feel 'Unimportant' When Parents Are Distracted By Smartphones, Survey Says HuffPost: The survey results showed that 54 percent of kids think their parents check their devices too often and 32 percent of them "feel unimportant" when their parents are distracted by their phones.

How Textbooks Can Teach Different Versions Of History NPR: About 5 million public school students in Texas this year will get new and controversial textbooks that critics say water down history.

A New Look at Apprenticeships as a Path to the Middle Class NYT: After facing a steep falloff during the recession, apprentice programs are making a comeback, and have caught the notice of students, parents and even some presidential candidates.

Lisa Ruda leaves her D.C. schools post, and also leaves a revitalized system Washington Post: When Lisa Ruda arrived in Washington to help Michelle A. Rhee begin a transformation of D.C. Public Schools, Ruda had less than eight weeks to clear her first major hurdle — preparing the city’s schools for opening day.

Am News: Senate Returns To #ESEA, AFT Endorses Clinton On Eve Of Economic Speech

Senate ESEA Debate: What to Expect This Week PK12: Pressure rises, with nearly 150 amendments filed so far on the bill to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, though it's unclear how many will make it to the floor.

GOP senator: Let states fix No Child Left Behind The Hill: "Continue the law’s important measurements of academic progress of students but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement,” he said.

AFT Endorses Hillary Clinton in Democratic Race for White House PK12: The American Federation of Teachers kicks off primary season by throwing its muscle behind the former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State. See also HuffPostWashington PostPoliticoWSJNYT.

Hillary Clinton Will Call for Economic Policy Changes to Lift Middle-Class Wages NYT: A major teachers’ union voted on Saturday to give Hillary Rodham Clinton an early endorsement for president, a boost to her pro-labor credentials as she prepares to outline in more detail an economic vision focused on lifting middle-class incomes and tries to fend off a stronger-than-expected challenge from the left.

Report: Most NYC Charter Schools Replace Students who Leave WNYC: The I.B.O. looked at attrition patterns at 53 privately managed charter schools between 2008 and 2014. Most of them backfilled between 70 and 100 percent of their empty seats. But Raymond Domanico, the education research director, found six of them only filled a third or less of their available seats, which can be relevant when looking at their test scores. See also ChalkbeatNY.

Study calculates low-income, minority students get the worst teachers in Washington State Hechinger Report: No matter which of these three measures of teacher quality they used, guess what? They got the same result. Disadvantaged students across the state’s elementary, middle and high schools ended up with the worst teachers — the ones who not only produced the smallest test score gains, but also had the fewest years of experience and the lowest licensure exam scores.

Malala Turns 18, And Opens A School For Syrian Refugee Girls NPR: The Pakistani education activist, who was shot in the head in 2012 by a Taliban gunman, marked her birthday with refugees in Lebanon. She warned that the world is "failing ... Syria's children." See also PBS NewsHour.

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AM News: Senate Debates NCLB, New York Drops Pearson

Some states would lose big money with proposed education funding changes Washington Post: Congress’s debate about rewriting the nation’s main education law has featured high-profile disagreements over testing, vouchers and school accountability, but there is another issue that has just as much potential to derail the legislation: Money. See also Hechinger Report.

Senate Rebuffs ESEA Amendment to Let States Opt Out of Federal Accountability EdWeek: Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., slammed the A PLUS amendment, knowing that if adopted it would have sunk his chances of getting the ESEA reauthorization across the finish line. See also AP

What should replace No Child Left Behind? PBS NewsHour:  Hari Sreenivasan talks to Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute and former Gov. Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education.

Students' Reading And Math Skills Are Still All Over The Map NPR: A federal report out today reinforces that states have huge differences in their definition of "proficiency." See also Boston Learning Lab.

N.Y. Has 'No Current Plans' to Give PARCC EdWeek: The Arkansas state board voted to use the ACT Aspire test instead, concluding a public spat over which common-core exam the state would use next year. See also WNYCNYTChalkbeatBuzzFeedWSJ.

Smarter Balanced Opt-Out Rates Top 25 Percent for Washington State 11th Graders EdWeek: Officially, 27.4 percent of eligible students were "confirmed refusals" for taking the Smarter Balanced English/language arts exam, and 28.1 percent of them were confirmed refusals for the math exam.

Duncan's Children to Attend Private School in Chicago EdWeek: Duncan's children will attend the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where he himself attended and where his wife will return to work. See also Washington Post, Politico.

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AM News: House Passes, Senate Debates - Plus OR Common Core Results

Senate Rejects School Voucher Amendment During ESEA Debate PK12: Democrats cleared their first school choice policy hurdle, defeating a voucher amendment on the second day of debate on an Elementary and Secondary Education Act overhaul bill. See also National JournalAPNYT, WP, Marketplace.

House Passes ESEA Rewrite 218-213; Senate Debate Continues PK12: The House vote came as the Senate is debating its own rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the two versions would have to be reconciled.

States Still Differ Dramatically In Their Academic Expectations, Study Finds HuffPost:  What does it mean to be passing math class? The answer to this question varies from state to state, according to a new report released by the research arm of the Education Department... For example, it’s possible for a fourth-grader to be passing reading in New Jersey, but as soon as he or she moves across the Hudson River to New York, to be suddenly considered failing -- despite not knowing any less. 

Common Core: Oregon students smash expectations in reading, writing Oregonian: Oregon students performed far better than expected on the rigorous Common Core tests they took for the first time this spring, especially in reading and writing, preliminary results show. But high school juniors bombed in math.

Amid Cries of Overtesting, a Crazy Quilt of State Responses EdWeek: The Council of Chief State School Officers says that 39 states are examining how to reduce overtesting or cut redundant tests in some fashion, as part of their efforts to "reduce unnecessary burden" from testing. Yet many states, rather than placing hard caps on testing time or cutting specific exams through legislation, are choosing to hand responsibility for reducing testing to new state commissions or to work directly with local schools.

Even as Congress moves to strip his power, Arne Duncan holds his ground Washington Post: Christina Waters’s cellphone rang, and she looked down to see that the number was blocked. Waters belongs to a circle of strivers that Duncan has quietly cultivated, students across the country who are clearing hurdles that would discourage many others. He calls regularly to offer support and advice.

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AM News: Accountability Divide Behind ESEA Reauthorization Push

Day One of Senate ESEA Debate: Rift Over Accountability Grows PK12: Below the surface of pleasantries and backslapping, a policy split continues to grow over whether to beef up accountability provisions in the bill to overhaul the education law. See also HuffPost, AP, NPR, Washington Examiner, Washington Post.

Conservatives likely to lose education reform battle in Congress Washington Examiner: But the amendments aren't likely to make it into law, and the underlying House bill will likely be pushed to the left by House and Senate leaders eager to move the bill out of Congress and onto the president's desk for signature.

PARCC test pros and cons debated at Massachusetts Board of Education hearing Mass Live: More than 100 people, most of them educators, attended the public hearing at Springfield Technical Community College. Some shared overall concerns about excessive testing and others argued the PARCC test is needed to ensure children are prepared for the future. See also Modesto Bee.

Texas Textbooks And Teaching The Civil War And America's History Of Racial Segregation WAMU: This fall five million public school students in Texas will use textbooks that critics say misrepresent the Civil War and the nation's history of racial segregation. The battle over how the Civil War is taught in public schools. See also Slate

Ken Wagner, top state ed deputy, a finalist for Rhode Island ed chief job Chalkbeat: Wagner has effectively helmed the department alongside acting Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin over the first half of 2015 after John King’s departure last year. Wagner would be the latest in a string of state education officials to leave over the last year, which has been marked by tumult over education policies and the end of the state’s Race to the Top funding, as well as the choice of new Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, who started Monday.

Rahm Emanuel on Budget Cuts and Teacher Layoffs The Atlantic: At an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Thursday, Emanuel was defiant. “Everybody’s going to hate what they’ve got to do,” he said. But the budget arrangement is “what we call a grand bargain, or a fair deal.” Emanuel made it clear that he harbors no love for the education-reform movement. For example, he said, the common debate that pits public schools versus charters is “nuts.” “I am not an education reformer,” he said. “My job as mayor is to make sure you have quality.”

Marco Rubio’s Education Plans Echo Some Obama Ideas NYT: Many of the ideas on higher education outlined by Senator Marco Rubio in an economic speech on Tuesday sounded similar to policies that President Obama has called for during his time in office.

On Talking Race to Young Teens, Teachers Say It's Been a Tough Year WNYC: One morning in May, Stephanie Caruso had a question for her seventh graders at West Side Collaborative Middle School. She wanted to know if they’d ever been stopped by police when leaving the Upper West side campus for lunch.

AM News: All Eyes On Possible ESEA Reauthorization

White House: ESEA Rewrite Needs to Focus on Struggling Schools and Students PK12: The Obama administration worries the House and Senate bills to rewrite ESEA don't do go far enough on accountability. see also National Journal.

House Could Vote on Parent's Right to Opt Out of Tests Under ESEA PK12: The opt-out movement hasn't really been a key issue as Congress wrestles with reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, but that could change this week. See also Washington Post.

NEA 2015 Convention Wrap-Up: Mixed Messaging Teacher Beat: Final details of this year's convention include the union's legislative war chest, mixed messaging on race, and other matters. See also EIA.

Are Test Scores Proving Fears About Common-Core High School Math Correct? State EdWatch: In three states that released preliminary common-core test scores in July, high school students failed to meet predictions for math proficiency. Did experts warn us this was coming? See also: Idaho Smarter Balanced Test Scores Largely Beat State's Projections

Lawsuit: L.A. Schools Failing Needy Students, Flouting California Funding Law State EdWatch: A California lawsuit filed last week claims that the Los Angeles Unified School District is failing to abide by the state's Local Control Funding Formula.

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AM News: Bush Fdn. Donor Lists, Clinton Email Traffic, Plus Idaho Test Results

Jeb Bush's education foundation releases donor list a day after his tax returns Washington Post: The new donation records show that a large number of contributions came from for-profit education companies and that at least three donors also paid Bush for speeches.

Clinton Emails Show Image Management WSJ: She also planned dinner with Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, and Hilary Rosen, a Democratic political consultant. In another email, she asks for a phone number for Terry Murray, whom she describes as “President of the Mass State Senate and was a big supporter of mine during the primaries.”

Idaho students fare well on new testing program Spokesman: Idaho students scored higher taking new standardized tests compared with the national benchmarks used to measure English language arts and math proficiency. The Idaho state Department of Education released the preliminary scores Wednesday. Scores were supposed to be released June 5, but a delay with the vendor pushed back the release date.

LA Unified board votes in Zimmer as new president LA School Report: LA Unified board member Steve Zimmer was unanimously elected today to become the new board president, giving the board its strongest pro-teacher president in more than a decade. Zimmer, vice president for the last two years, succeeds Richard Vladovic, who served as president since 2013. See also KPCC: Lawsuit says LAUSD short-changing neediest students, LA Times.

Mayor: Chicago school cuts include layoffs, less maintenance AP: Chicago school and city officials detailed $200 million in cuts - including layoffs, scaled-back maintenance and reduced transportation - to the nation's third-largest school district Wednesday, one day after the district paid a $634 million pension bill officials said it couldn't afford.... See also  WBEZ Chicago, NYTHuffPost.

Ronald Thorpe, National Board President and Education Advocate, Dies at 63 Education Week: In a statement, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten called Thorpe a "fierce advocate" for having teachers lead the work in the profession. "When he became president of the NBPTS, he pushed us all to the highest standards of ...

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AM News: Big Union Case Looms, PARCC Down To 11 States, Chicago Drama

Justices Take up Dispute Over Union Fees AP:  Supreme Court to consider power of public sector unions to collect fees from non-members. See also NYT, EdSource Today.

Ohio dumps the PARCC Common Core tests after woeful first year Cleveland Plain Dealer: PARCC spokesman David Connerty-Marin said Ohio's decision is a "disappointment."But he said the Common Core standards and improved tests are "a huge advance and a big victory for students across the country." The 11 PARCC states now include Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, District of Columbia. [Arkansas is in the middle of a battle between the governor, legislature and state school board over PARCC's future there.]

At eleventh hour, CPS makes huge pension payment WBEZ Chicago:  The head of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund says Chicago Public Schools deposited its full $634 million pension payment Tuesday evening.  “The need for long-term solutions is not erased with this payment,” CTPF’s executive director Charles Burbridge said in a statement. See also Sun-TimesAPDistrict Dossier.

De Blasio blasts Cuomo for making mayoral control a ‘political football’ ChalkbeatNY: “An issue that was not politicized in the extreme in the past has now been turned into a political football,” de Blasio said in his office, in remarks reported by Capital New York and WNYC. “How on Earth does the city of New York get only one-year extension of mayoral control of education?”

Hillary Clinton to huddle privately with top labor leaders  Politico: Clinton, Sanders, and O'Malley have also all trekked down to Washington, D.C. in recent weeks to court the American Federation of Teachers, helmed by longtime Clinton ally Randi Weingarten. The union has yet to make an official endorsement in the race.

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AM News: Christie's Ironic Campaign Kickoff Locale, Plus Court Cases (KS & CO)

Chris Christie Slashed Education Funding, But He's Announcing His Presidential Bid At A Public School HuffPost: Christie is expected to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday at the high school.But the venue may be an odd choice, given that the school's district has experienced significant cuts in state funding during Christie's time as governor.After coming to office in 2010, Christie cut about $1 billion in education spending, according to Politifact, to help close gaps in the state's budget. See also EdWeek: Newark to Regain Local Control of Its Schools.

Guide Shows Teachers How To Talk With Kids About Gay Marriage HuffPost: The educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the National Education Association on Friday released a guide for educators to talk with students about marriage equality. 

Kansas Court Orders Immediate Increase In School Funding AP: State officials and an attorney for four school districts challenging the law said the decision from the three-judge panel in Shawnee County District Court would force the state to provide between $46 million and $54 million in extra aid next week, distributing the money under an old formula that legislators junked.

Colorado's high court blocks school voucher program AP: A school voucher program in suburban Denver violates the state constitution because it provides funding for students to attend religious schools, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday.... See also Washington PostEdWeek.

Ohio Poised to Ditch PARCC Common-Core Test in Budget Sent to Gov. Kasich State EdWatch: House Bill 64, the biennial 2015-17 budget that lawmakers sent to Gov. John Kasich, prohibits the state from purchasing the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam

What Should the Next Version of Accountability Look Like? PK12: Under one vision, states and the federal government would set goals for student achievement, but the states would be able to use any strategies they wanted to get there.

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AM News: Duncan Addresses Parent Priorities

Duncan: These Are The Things Parents Should Demand From Schools HuffPost: While speaking at the 2015 National Parent Teacher Association Convention and Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina, Duncan detailed a handful of rights he said all parents should be able to demand from their children's schools. The rights, which span preschool through college, include free quality preschool, affordable quality college and high, challenging standards in a well-resourced school. 

Obama Administration Further Dials Back College Rating Plan WSJ:  The Obama administration continues to dial back once-aggressive plans to rate colleges and draw off federal dollars from the weakest schools, saying instead they intend to present new information about performance to empower consumers.

Changes for teachers bring CPS contract talks to a halt Tribune: Emanuel has had regular and productive talks with Lewis in recent days, but the mayor and his team have been unwilling to bend on the district's teacher evaluation system, said a City Hall official familiar with the negotiations. The administration contends that its changes to how CPS grades teachers has led to improved academic performance.

Kansas Court Rules Against Parts of State School Funding Law AP: State officials and an attorney for four school districts challenging the law said the decision from the three-judge panel in Shawnee County District Court would force the state to provide between $46 million and $54 million in extra aid next week, distributing the money under an old formula that legislators junked. See also EdWeek.

News Corp. Is Winding Down School Tablet Sales Bloomberg Business: The media company, whose executive chairman is billionaire Rupert Murdoch, is no longer ordering new tablets from its manufacturer in Asia, though it has stock on hand for existing school customers, according to the people, who declined to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Have Millennials turned away from teaching profession? SI&A Cabinet Report: The U.S. Department of Education reports that the nation’s elementary and secondary schools employed close to 3.5 million full-time equivalent classroom teachers. Of that total, 44 percent were under age 40 in 2013 – which is why federal officials say schools will need to hire 1.6 million new teachers to replace baby-boomer educators that will retire over the next ten years. See also KPCC LA.

Favorite GOP Primary Game: Bashing Jeb Bush on Common Core PK12: The 2016 election season is just getting started, but there's already a favorite sport among GOP contenders: Hitting Jeb Bush for his support of the Common Core standards.

State Relaxes an Order Preventing Teachers From Discussing Standardized Tests NYT: Teachers who grade standardized tests, who are required to sign confidentiality agreements, can now discuss some test materials once they’ve been released by the state.

Marva Collins, Educator Who Aimed High, Dies at 78 NYT: At Westside Preparatory School in Chicago, which she opened in 1975, Ms. Collins set high academic standards, emphasized discipline and promoted a nurturing environment.

Report Criticizes Walton Foundation Funding Methods for Charter Schools EdWeek: Under accountability, for example, the AFT and In the Public Interest, a watchdog group that is skeptical of charters, call for requiring companies and organizations that run charter schools to make board meetings public in the same way that traditional public schools are required to do, release financial information on annual budgets and contracts, and allow regular state audits.

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AM News: Clinton Hears About School Inequality On St. Louis Trip

St. Louis-Area School and Community Leaders Highlight Inequities for Clinton District Dossier: Tiffany Anderson, the superintendent in Jennings, Mo., appeared with other local leaders to talk frankly with the Democratic presidential candidate about racial and socioeconomic issues in their communities.

Panel recommends continuing districts’ waiver from NCLB EdSource Today: An oversight committee is recommending that the U.S. Department of Education again extend a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law to six California school districts, collectively known as CORE.

Senate Committee Approves Bill Cutting Ed. Dept. by $1.7 Billion in FY 2016 PK12: Democrats on the committee unsuccessfully attempted to restore funding for a host of education programs that were eliminated or gutted in the Senate appropriations bill.

Contract talks break down between Chicago teachers and city WBEZ Chicago: CTU President Karen Lewis said the union’s latest proposal was cost neutral—no annual raises, no cost-of-living increases—but did ask the Board to continue picking up 7 percent of the 9 percent employee pension contribution. See also Sun Times.

California Lawmakers Vote To Remove Vaccine Exemptions For Schoolchildren NPR: A similar bill, which eliminates all but medical exemptions, has already passed the state Senate. Gov. Jerry Brown has not said whether he will sign it. See also WSJ.

Lost and Founds Overflow at the End of the School Year NYT: A single shoe. Underwear. By each June, as teachers and students prepare for summer, the detritus of the school year can reach impressive heights.

Guide to Albany’s final deal Chalkbeat: State lawmakers wrapped up last night, passing a bill that included a one-year extension of mayoral control, allows 25 additional charter schools to open in New York City, appoints a commission to review state test questions for grade-level appropriateness, and lets teachers talk about those questions — but only after the questions are released over the summer.

More news and commentary throughout the day at @alexanderruso.

AM News: Tenn. Test Scores, Vergara Counter-Claims, AFT Walton Report

Five things to know about Tennessee’s 2015 test scores, out today Chalkbeat: Tennessee officials’ annual test-score announcement on Thursday will mark the end of an era. This year’s scores are the last for the multiple-choice tests known as TCAP that the state has administered for more than two decades. Next year, students are set to take a new exam that officials say will be a better measure of students’ skills. 

Respondents File Brief Countering Unions' Claims in Vergara Appeal TeacherBeat: The most interesting new wrinkle here concerns a new Calif. law, AB 215, that was approved shortly after the verdict. Unions have claimed that the legislation renders the entire suit moot, since it aims to slim the amount of time for a dismissal hearing. But the plaintiffs contend that the law potentially makes dismissal even harder. It doesn't state what happens if the deadlines are ignored, for instance, leaving open the possibility that any such hearing would have to be relitigated from scratch.

Report Criticizes Walton Foundation Support for Charter School Expansion District Dossier: The American Federation of Teachers and In the Public Interest argue that the Walton Family Foundation's ideology has led to rapid expansion of a charter sector that lacks transparency and accountability and is undermining traditional public schools.

How Can States Cut Tests Without Losing Crucial Information? State EdWatch: "Some states don't even know what tests they're giving next year," CCSSO Executive Director Chris Minnich told attendees at a conference about student assessment on June 23.

Nearly 200 schools are named for Confederate leaders. Is it time to rename them? Washington Post: The backlash against public use of Confederate flags has built quickly since nine parishioners were gunned down inside a South Carolina church last week. Alabama removed the flag from its state capitol grounds Wednesday, and political leaders in Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina have moved to remove Confederate flag symbols from their state license plates. Wal-Mart, Amazon, Sears and eBay all have said they will stop selling the Confederate battle flag, viewed by many people as a symbol of racism and slavery. 

More than a day after ‘framework’ agreement, questions remain on education issues ChalkbeatNY: Chief among those for Assembly Democrats is the strengthening of rent regulations, although changes to the charter-school law were also being discussed. “There’s nothing closed down. Everything is still open,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said after emerging from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office on Wednesday evening. See also NY Mag.

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AM News: Test Streamlining Guidance, NCLB Waivers, Anderson Reflects

State Chiefs Group Offers Guidance on Reducing Testing EdWeek: Several states and districts are using Achieve's assessment inventory to get a more accurate look at the amount of time students spend on tests, the CCSSO paper said. Ohio surveyed its districts to build a detailed picture of what tests are given and how long they take. Connecticut is awarding grants to districts to support their work in evaluating their own assessment routines.

8 Education Waivers Granted AP: The Obama administration is giving seven more states and the District of Columbia continued flexibility from the requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law. See also Washington Post.

English Class in Common Core Era: ‘Tom Sawyer’ and Court Opinions NYT: At first, many English teachers and other defenders of literature feared that schools would respond by cutting the classics. That has happened, to some extent. But most districts have managed to preserve much of the classroom canon while adding news articles, textbook passages, documentaries, maps and other material that students read or watch alongside the literature, sometimes in strained pairings.

Years Into Common Core, Teachers Lament Lack of Materials AP: Schmidt's analysis of 34 widely used math textbook series found that those released after 2011 were, predictably, better aligned to Common Core than older ones but still left out about 20 percent of the standards. Such findings have given rise to a nonprofit website funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EdReports.org, which reviews materials for alignment and quality.

Dispute Over Union Fees Could Return to Supreme Court AP: Half the states currently require state workers represented by a union to pay "fair share" fees that cover bargaining costs, even if they are not members. The justices could decide as early as next week whether to take up the case.

Schools Chief in Newark Says Debate Lost Its Focus NYT: Cami Anderson, in an interview one day after she resigned as schools superintendent, lamented that the fight over education reform had become “personalized.”

Testing Opt-Out Bill Signed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown; Delaware Next? State EdWatch: The Oregon measure makes districts send notices to parents twice a year about their right to opt out of state exams, and about the purpose of the tests.

More Minority Students Should Be In Special Ed, Study Says HuffPost: A study released Wednesday, led by Penn State education professor Paul Morgan, suggests that's the case. Schools have been identifying too few minority students for placement in special education, he claims -- in some cases, by a margin as large as 60 percent.

National, state teachers' unions split on East Ramapo Capital New York: The state teachers' union and its national sibling appear to be at odds over a proposal for state oversight in Rockland County's troubled East Ramapo school district. 

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AM News: Newark's Cami Anderson Steps Down

Cami Anderson, Picked by Christie, Is Out as Newark Schools Superintendent NYT: Ms. Anderson, who oversaw the New Jersey city’s troubled public school system, had feuded openly with the mayor, teachers and many parents. See also NJ.com, WSJDistrict DossierWashington Post.

Teacher Rafe Esquith files claim against L.A. Unified, blames controversy on joke LA Times: From his modest classroom at Hobart Boulevard Elementary School in Koreatown, Rafe Esquith became an education superstar. His teaching techniques brought him worldwide recognition, and his books became models for how to engage young students. See also LA School Report, KPCC LA.

Grading the Common Core: No Teaching Experience Required NYT: Pearson, which operates 21 scoring centers around the country, hired 14,500 temporary scorers throughout the scoring season, which began in April and will continue through July. About three-quarters of the scorers work from home

Despite progress, D.C. students are still not up to par, report says Washington Post: The District’s education leaders emphasized the progress that they have made in reforming the city’s schools in recent years but acknowledged Monday that they must increase efforts to improve prospects for thousands of underperforming students.

School Scrambles To Preserve Newly Discovered Chalkboards From 1917 NPR: Behind the walls at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City, construction workers found old chalkboards with drawings and class lessons, written almost a century ago and in remarkable condition.

Fariña, de Blasio and Mulgrew aim to fire up principals at Renewal event ChalkbeatNY: A private event for the 94 low-performing schools on Monday featured words of encouragement from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña, along with time for schools to refine their improvement plans for next year. Principals said the event was part pep rally, part professional development session, and was designed to energize those who will be on the front lines as the city tries to prove it can improve those schools with a combination of academic help and resources to meet students’ non-academic needs.

Innovative teacher-training program spreads to the Tri-Cities Seattle Times: Heritage University is expanding a teacher-training program that gives students up to two years in on-the-job training.

No drama, little fanfare as MPS and teachers begin talks MinnPost: Goar is adept at managing divergent constituencies, but is thought to be unlikely to rock the boat with any of them while on an extended tryout. He reports to a board that boasts three new members (four if you count nonvoting student member Noah Branch) that is still something of a cipher politically.

AM News: Teachers Details Problems At Virtual Schools

Teachers allege problems at California virtual schools run by Va.-based company K12 Inc. Washington Post: A group of teachers at a network of California virtual schools has alleged a number of problems with the online operator, including inflated enrollment to increase per-pupil funding; violation of student privacy laws; misuse of federal funds meant to serve poor children; and inadequate services for children with disabilities. See also TeacherBeatEdSource Today.

Virginia Online High School Pilot Is Ahead of the Curve US News: Come this fall, 100 students from across Virginia will have the chance to participate in the commonwealth's first fully online high school through a pilot program recently announced by state officials. And if the program comes to full fruition after the pilot, it would be the first of its kind in Virginia, and only the second of its kind in the country.

Texas Law Decriminalizes School Truancy AP: Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has signed into law a measure to decriminalize unexcused absences and require school districts to put preventive measures into effect.

Measuring the Impact of Common-Core Test Disruptions in Three States State EdWatch: A Smarter Balanced testing vendor has released completion rates in three states that had serious challenges giving the common-core aligned exam.

When Research Projects Replace State Tests WNYC: ICE is one of 48 [consortium schools] with a waiver from the state to offer alternatives to most of the five Regents tests required to graduate. Students still must take the English exam but for the others they can provide portfolios or special projects. 

English Class in Common Core Era: ‘Tom Sawyer’ and Court Opinions NYT: The standards, which have been adopted by more than 40 states, mandated many changes to traditional teaching, but one of the most basic was a call for students to read more nonfiction.

Poverty's enduring hold on school success WBEZ Chicago: Our analysis shows a vast expansion of poverty--2,244 schools have seen their proportion of low-income students increase by at least 10 percentage points over the last decade. And the number of schools struggling with concentrated poverty—where nearly every child in the school is low-income— has ballooned.

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AM News: Proposed New Funding Formula For Worst-In-Nation Pennsylvania

Pa. Lawmakers Propose New School Funding Formula, as Tax Hikes Loom State EdWatch: The formula would provide additional funding for individual students from low-income backgrounds, as well as for students in districts with large concentrations of poverty. See also WashPost: Pa. proposes new school funding formula to help low-income students.

How Much Learning Actually Happens in June? WNYC: The grades are in. Brains are fried (young and old). The number of days left in the school year can almost be counted on one hand. With summer break so close, students and teachers are in a different mode. And that requires different activities.

Civil Rights Groups Demand More Accountability in Senate ESEA Bill PK12: A coalition of 36 organizations say in a letter to senators that without changes, the bipartisan ESEA measure "will not fulfill its functions as a civil rights law."

Teachers Union Leader Weighs In On Democratic Contenders For President HuffPost: García separately interviewed the former Maryland governor and the current Vermont senator Thursday as part of the NEA's endorsement process for the 2016 presidential election. O'Malley emphasized the importance of educating the "whole child," according to excerpts of the meeting released by the NEA.

What Happened After New Orleans Fired All of Its Teachers—and Why It Still Matters to Diversity in the Classroom Slate: A better understanding of why, and how, it matters for children, particularly the most disenfranchised, could help New Orleans teachers and schools become more effective in the wake of a 10-year-old tragedy. And it could help all educators, everywhere, in their bid to reach and teach a rapidly diversifying student population whose needs and backgrounds are more varied and complex than ever.

Kids' Art Show Takes Over 2 Billboards In Times Square NPR: Through the weekend, art by 23 public school students will be seen on two large billboards in the heart of New York City.

'Freedom' fries: Texas repeals ban on deep fryers in schools AP: It's about freedom, not the fries. So says new Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who announced Thursday that the state is repealing a decade-old ban on deep fryers in public schools - an unappetizing reversal to national health advocates, school nutritionists and even his predecessor in the post.

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AM News: Jindal Loses Common Core Appeal

Jindal loses appeal on Common Core lawsuit in state court AP: A Louisiana appeals court Wednesday upheld a judge's ruling that barred Gov. Bobby Jindal from suspending testing contracts tied to Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards.

House Appropriators Prepare Fiscal 2016 Education Spending Bill for Markup PK12: The subcommittee markup is the first to occur in more than three years, as Congress has been dysfunctional in its ability to draft fiscal year spending bills.

Tough Tests for Teachers, With Question of Bias NYT: Minority candidates have been lagging whites in passing the tests, jeopardizing a goal of diversifying the teaching force so it more closely resembles the makeup of the country’s student body.

Elements of 'Portfolio' Strategy Taking Root in Some Districts District Dossier: A new snapshot from the Center on Reinvention Public Education (CRPE) looks at the progress school districts have made in implementing components of the portfolio model strategy.

10 Years After Katrina, the Education System in New Orleans is Still Evolving District Dossier: The annual "State of Public Education in New Orleans" report, which is published by the Cowen Institute at Tulane University, examines the education reforms in the city's public schools since 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

Johnny on the Spot: Ohio Gov. Kasich, Common Core, and the 2016 Campaign State EdWatch: Unlike fellow Republican Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is a sitting public official and common-core supporter who has parried a variety of attacks on the standards.

Usher’s curriculum with ‘swag’ could help D.C. students find their passion Washington Post: The day started with a simple question: What’s your “spark”? The dozen teens, all students at Cardozo High School in Columbia Heights, shared their interests: Hip-hop, football, music, singing and pottery.

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AM News: Tulane Report Says 2005-2015 New Orleans Changes Working

New Orleans school changes worked, Cowen Institute says NOLA.com: Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, have New Orleans' massive education changes worked? Tulane's Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives issued its answer in a Wednesday (June 17) report:

Ed. Policy Irony: Union Pushes Back on D.C. Plan to Shield Evaluation Data Teacher Beat: In a reversal of roles, the union says that the district is trying to hide crucial information on the controversial educator-evaluation system.

Schools official mistakenly leaks student data in PowerPoint document Washington Post: When the chief technology officer for Montgomery County schools gave a talk at a conference in Missouri a few years ago, he used a PowerPoint presentation that mistakenly included the names and photos of 16 Bethesda kindergartners, along with phone numbers.

Decriminalizing truancy while focusing on family engagement SI&A Cabinet Report: A landmark revision of truancy laws in Texas would give schools and the courts more options for dealing with scofflaw students other than sending them into the criminal justice system.

A Vision For Teacher Training At MIT: West Point Meets Bell Labs NPR: Arthur Levine, the former president of Teachers College, Columbia University, is launching a $30 million project that he says will shake teacher education to its core.

A Soft Eraser Won't Fix This SAT Mistake NPR: The College Board won't score two of 10 test sections after a printing error on the instructions for the exam given earlier this month.

After years of reform, a sign of hope for a rural Mississippi school Hechinger Report:The number of Mississippi third graders moving on to the fourth grade has jumped from 85 percent to 90 percent, according to third-grade reading test retake scores released last week by the Mississippi Department of Education. Still, 3,400 third graders could be held back a year. Jackie Mader went to one of the poorest areas of the state in the Delta to see how third-grade testing went where kids are most behind.

LAUSD summer school enrollment jumps 20 percent as graduate requirements get tougher KPCC LA: In years past, the college-prep course load was an option that L.A. Unified's academically inclined students could elect to take, but now the school board is requiring all students to complete the so-called A-G classes that are necessary for University of California or California State University entry.

Missouri Schools and Parents Are Divided on Proposed Fixes to School Transfer Law District Dossier: Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed the legislature's attempt last year to fix the controversial 1993 school transfer law, has until mid-July to act on this year's version.

Teacher Resigns After Reading Students Book About Gay Couple AP: NC teacher resigns amid outcry over reading 3rd-graders story of princes who marry each other.



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