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AM News: NYC Debates Whether Charters Push Out More Students Than District Schools

New York Chancellor Is Criticized for Remarks on Charter Schools NYT: Carmen Fariña said at a conference that some charter schools push students out before they take state tests and later replace them with high-scoring children.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan's communications chief leaving for Teach For TFA Washington Post: Education Secretary Arne Duncan is losing his second communications chief in two years. Massie Ritsch, the acting assistant secretary for communications and outreach, is leaving his job to take a new position at TFA.

At union rallies across L.A., teachers seek more than just a pay hike LA Times: The demonstrations were intended to make a statement about union solidarity over contract demands. United Teachers Los Angeles is seeking a one-year, permanent 10% raise, while also putting forward an agenda on staffing levels, classroom conditions and policies aimed at improving academic results.

Texas Approves Disputed History Texts for Schools NYT: Texas’ State Board of Education has approved new history textbooks, capping months of outcry over lessons that some academics say exaggerate the influence of Moses and negatively portray Muslims. See also WNYC.

Tennessee’s Common Core backtrack strands teachers, students Hechinger Report:  For the past three years, that’s included a significant shift away from the state’s traditional academic benchmarks and toward the Common Core, a set of more difficult standards.

School district near Ferguson cancels classes AP: A school district that includes some students from Ferguson, Missouri, is calling off classes Monday and Tuesday, citing potential unrest if a much-anticipated grand jury announcement occurs soon....

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

News Analysis: Studying for the Test by Taking It NYT: The process of testing can deepen learning.

Labor unions celebrate judge's ruling against Illinois pension law WBEZ: Labor groups sued the State of Illinois for passing a bill reducing their members’ pension benefits. The unions representing downstate and suburban teachers, university employees and most other state workers argued the state constitution says, specifically, that retirement benefits can’t be diminished. On Friday, Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz agreed.

Duncan Wants NAEP Leaders to Help Shape 'Assessment 3.0' PK12: In remarks at the quarterly meeting of the National Assessment Governing Board, Duncan said that NAEP data helped drive states into a conversation about the need for better tests that held students to higher, shared expectations. To facilitate that, the U.S. Department of Education awarded $360 million in 2010 to two groups of states, the PARCC and Smarter Balanced consortia, to design assessments for the Common Core State Standards.

‘Blended-learning’ programs grow in D.C., with students relying more on computers Washington Post: When Ketcham Elementary School was selected to roll out a schoolwide computer-based learning initiative, Principal Maisha Riddlesprigger was skeptical about “putting kids in front of computers.” Less than two years later, the effort has brought her school a kind of celebrity status. 

Garcia says he has 60000 signatures for mayoral run Chicago Sun-Times: Garcia jumped into the mayoral fray late last month, hoping to appeal to Emanuel critics disappointed that County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis did not run. 

Parent-trigger school tracks progress Victorville Daily: Desert Trails drew national attention as the first traditional public school to be converted into a charter school under California’s Parent Empowerment Act, also known as the parent trigger legislation. School officials said the results showed they were meeting their goals since the school opened as a charter in July 2013.

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