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AM News: Parents Defend Common Core At NY Hearing

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Supporters of the Common Core Speak Out WNYC: State education commissioner John King faced a highly supportive audience Tuesday night at his first forum on the Common Core learning standards in New York City. Parents at the Brooklyn forum spoke emotionally about the need for improved instruction and at times recalled their own stories of performing well in high school, only to get to college to need remedial classes or tutoring.

As testing anxiety peaks, student media campaign urges calm Chalkbeat NY: While student aversion to tests is nothing new, the Hudson students’ campaign comes at a moment of high anxiety about testing in New York: grade 3-8 state exams tied to tougher standards caused scores to plummet this year, a new evaluation system for city teachers factors in test scores, and a rule change requiring higher Regents scores to graduate is now fully in effect. Last week, a group of teachers in Brooklyn held a public forum to vent their frustrations. 

D.C. teachers event turns raucous, with mayoral candidates drowned out Washington Post: The main point of the whole raucous evening was spelled out on the blue-and-white sign given center stage at Eastern High School on Monday night: ‘Our voices matter,’ it said. Teachers’ voices, it meant.

Budget Deal Could Offer School Districts Relief from Sequestration PoliticsK12: It's unclear at this point what the agreement, if approved by Congress, will mean for individual programs. Congress has until Jan. 15 to craft a final spending bill for fiscal year 2014, which will help school districts set spending levels next fall.

After Setbacks, Online Courses Are Rethought NYT: Large-scale online courses, hailed as a way to democratize higher education, have so far been plagued by very high attrition rates.

Charter Schools Continue Dramatic Growth Despite Controversies HuffPost:The growth is large, percentage-wise, but since some of the numbers started low, the statistics may be overstating the reality. For example, the report found that the number of districts with more than one-fifth of students in a charter school has increased by 350 percent over the last eight years -- but only seven districts had that level of enrollment eight years ago.

New Orleans leads nation in percentage of public charter school enrollment Washington Post: New Orleans led the nation last year as the city with the greatest percentage of students enrolled in public charter schools, followed by Detroit and the District of Columbia, according to a new survey.

More of today's education news below.

Parents Worry Schools Overlook Girls Who Aren't College-Bound NPR: In a new poll, parents of girls were more likely to say no when asked if schools were sufficiently preparing students for the world of work. And with many well-paying trades still dominated by men, girls may have a harder time succeeding in the workplace without some kind of higher education.

Walcott Admits Charter School Rollout Could've Been Better WNYC: Walcott pointed to the increase in school options as one of his biggest accomplishments. There are now more than 1,800 public schools, a 50 percent increase since Bloomberg took office. 

Two options for L.A. school board in filling Marguerite LaMotte's seat LA Times: The death this week of Los Angeles school board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte will have immediate pragmatic and political implications for L.A. Unified, including the challenge of how to fill her vacant seat.

In A Small Missouri Town, Immigrants Turn To Schools For Help NPR: The once-sleepy tourist town of Noel, Mo., in the heart of the Ozark mountains, is now home to hundreds of immigrants and newly arrived refugees, thanks largely to the huge Tyson Food, Inc., poultry plant. And since the town lacks the infrastructure to serve these new residents, schools have become the de facto safety net.

To Get Kids Exercising, Schools Are Becoming Creative NPR: An NPR poll finds that most elementary school kids have physical education classes just one or two days a week. In response, parents and educators are getting kids to squeeze in walks, jogs and jumping jacks before, after and even during school.

The movie that brought Naperville face to face with its teens' drug use WBEZ: During the 2011-2012 school year, three students from one public high school in west suburban Naperville died from drugs. Kelly McCutcheon was a senior at Neuqua Valley High School at the time, and she started asking her classmates questions about their drug use. The project turned into a documentary that stunned the well-to-do, family-focused community.

Missouri School Busing Causes ''Crippling'' Fallout NBC News: School choice law cripples already devastated school districts as students flock to better performing schools.

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