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Top Stories for Thursday 9/25

Students Coding for a Purpose

HFOSS project creates “software for humanity”. HechReport

Nashville Parents Fight School Closings

PAC pushes back on Dir. of Schools. EdNews

Teaching with Banned Books

Teachers demonstrate the value of banned books. HuffPost

Lessen Standardized Testing?

US Rep and supts. drive to reduce standardized testing. PBS

Clinton Voices Opinion on Charter Schools

Former Pres. Bill Clinton advises charter schools to step up. HuffPost

Randi Reacts to Vergara Decision

Statement from AFT President Weingarten on Vergara Decision

WASHINGTON— Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on today’s Vergara v. California decision.

“Today, as the Vergara decision was rendered, thousands of California classrooms were brimming with teachers teaching and students learning. They see themselves as a team, but sadly, this case now stoops to pitting students against their teachers. The other side wanted a headline that reads: “Students win, teachers lose.” This is a sad day for public education.

“While this decision is not unexpected, the rhetoric and lack of a thorough, reasoned opinion is disturbing.  For example, the judge believes that due process is essential, but his objection boils down to his feeling that two years is not long enough for probation.  He argues, as we do, that no one should tolerate bad teachers in the classroom. He is right on that.  But in focusing on these teachers who make up a fraction of the workforce, he strips the hundreds of thousands of teachers who are doing a good job of any right to a voice.  In focusing on who should be laid off in times of budget crises, he omits the larger problem at play: full and fair funding of our schools so all kids have access to the classes—like music, art and physical education—and opportunities they need.

“It's surprising that the court, which used its bully pulpit when it came to criticizing teacher protections, did not spend one second discussing funding inequities, school segregation, high poverty or any other out-of-school or in-school factors that are proven to affect student achievement and our children.  We must lift up solutions that speak to these factors—solutions like wraparound services, early childhood education and project-based learning.

“Sadly, there is nothing in this opinion that suggests a thoughtful analysis of how these statutes should work.  There is very little that lays groundwork for a path forward.  Other states have determined better ways—ways that don’t pit teachers against students, but lift up entire communities.  Every child is entitled to a high-quality education regardless of his or her ZIP code. And no parent should have to rely on a lottery system to get his or her child into a good school.

“This will not be the last word. As this case makes it through an appeal, we will continue to do what we’ve done in state after state. We will continue to work with parents and communities to fight for safe and welcoming neighborhood public schools that value both kids and the women and men who work with them. No wealthy benefactor with an extreme agenda will detour us from our path to reclaim the promise of public education.”

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Top Stories for Thursday 4/17

How Will The New SAT Test Vocab?
The redesigned SAT will focus on ‘high utility’ words. What exactly does that mean?

Choosing Sides At Northwestern
Last month’s vote to allow a union causes friction. The New York Times

Opposing Views on Teacher Tenure
Calif. case outcome could become example for other states. The New York Times

Common Core Aligned With Cognitive Issues
Field tests for students with disabilities administered. Education Week

Indiana Rushes to Make New Deadline
First state to drop Common Core to approve new standards. The Huffington Post

Pay It Forward Tuition
New idea could allow students to go to college for free. NPR

Top Stories for Wednesday 4/9

Obama Announces Grant Winners
Schools will use funds to integrate work experience. NYT

Bill to Streamline Teacher Dismissals
Proposal aims to quicken dismissal process. KPCC

Can K12 Ed Startups Succeed?
How these two companies are navigating the market. Edweek

Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School?
How social media is complicating student rights—and eroding privacy. The Atlantic

When Are Tech Tools Worth It?
Is the technology creating more chaos in the classroom? Hechinger

Top Stories for Wednesday 4/2

Cyber Attacks: The Latest Testing Controversy
Kansas suspends state tests following repeated cyber strikes. EdWeek

U.S. Students Are Strong Problem Solvers
Global standardized tests reveal nations’ strengths. NYtimes

Which Children Face Barriers to Success?
Study reveals groups with the biggest disadvantages. HuffPost

Will Pre-K Work?
The political obstacles have been cleared, but will it help? Hechinger

Entrepreneurship for Academia
Student leaves prestigious education for tech company. WashPost

Are Employers Asking for SAT scores?
Your SAT score might be on your resume. NYtimes

Top Stories for Wednesday 3/12

Will the Common Core Spell the End of the Letter Grade?
How standards-based grading could revolutionize assessment. The Atlantic

NYC Building Collapses
Middle school shaken by nearby explosion. The New York Times

School Lunches Transformed
How one fed up parent is making big change. Education Week

Charter School Supporters Aren't Giving Up
Thousands protested De Blasio’s decision in Albany. Education Week

Foreign Students Struggle in Universities
American colleges try to keep foreign students enrolled. The New York Times

Are For-Profit Schools Taking Advantage of Students?
States work to correct for-profit school oversights. Hechinger Report

Top Stories for Thursday 1/16

Congress Gets Graded on Education
NEA assigns letter grades for every member of Congress. The Washington Post

America’s Textbooks Outranking America’s Students
U.S. math textbooks deemed ‘more rigorous’ than South Korea’s. The Atlantic

Teach for America is Expanding
New program aims to help alumni find civic-leadership roles. Education Week

The NYC DOE Wants to Talk Facebook
DOE releases nine-page social media guide for students. The Huffington Post

2 Injured in Shooting at New Mexico School
Middle school student opened fire, struck two students. The New York Times 

Top Stories for Tuesday 1/14

Congress to Lose Major Education Reform Advocate
Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) to retire. Education Week

School Violence Lands More Than 90,000 a Year in the ER
Study unveils continued school safety issues. NBC News

Judge Approves End of Arkansas Desegregation Funds
Payments will continue through the 2017-18 school year. The New York Times

What Will Universal PreK Look Like in New York?
Ambitious—but ambiguous—plans from de Blasio and Cuomo. Hechinger Report

Jay Mathews Takes on Diane Ravitch
Disagree, maybe. Listen? Absolutely. The Washington Post

Top Stories for Thursday 12/12

Should Computer Science Be Mandatory?
CPS adds subject to its K-12 core curriculum. The Huffington Post 

Head Start Gets Its Funding Back
Federal budget deal partially restores cut funds. EdSource

How To: Stop Cheating for Good
New book proposes model to eliminate cheating. The Atlantic

RoboKind Wins Top Innovator Award
Autism therapy program lauded at SIIA Forum. Digital Journal

Are Charter Schools Out of Control?
1 in 20 public school students now attend charter schools. Huffington Post

Budget Deal Could Offer Schools Relief From Sequestration
Plan would enable federal lawmakers to boost spending. Education Week

Do Schools Overlook Girls Who Aren’t College-Bound?
Parents worry trade courses cater to boys. NPR

Introducing the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program
Program will recognize 100 tech-savvy educators. BusinessWire

Dell Announces Its First Chromebook
The Dell Chromebook 11 is designed for schools. CNET

Top Stories for Tuesday 12/10

Are Training Programs Dropping the Ball on Classroom Management?
Study finds schools not addressing effective strategies. The Atlantic

What PISA Scores Can Tell Us About Preschool
How top OECD countries approach early childhood education. The Washington Post

Remembering Newtown
Reflections from people connected to the tragic shooting. Associated Press

British Invasion: Will Cambridge’s Conquer APs?
Cambridge International Exams on the rise. Education Week

Elizabeth Warren Warns DOE
Dept. shouldn't be "lapdog" for student loan companies, she says. Huffington Post

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in edu Pulse are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.