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Morning Read: Common Core comes under fire in ed wars

LA School Report | May 5, 2014

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Common Core is latest front in decades-long education wars
Commentary: Nearly 20 years ago, after the Clinton administration proposed a program of voluntary national student testing, Chester Finn, then a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, warned that if it failed it would be because “liberals hate the word ‘testing’ and conservatives hate the word ‘national.’” He was right. EdSource

Can the new teacher contract change school culture?
Opinion: My colleague Andy Schnure had the unique ability to turn a new contract agreement into charts and graphs, union reps raced around to the schools armed with Andy’s charts meeting with teachers and explaining the new contract. Excellent lessons: teachers would turn to each other and ask questions/share comments, “turn and talk,” “pair-share,” there’s nothing like highly motivated students. Ed in the Apple

A teachers’ contract for New York
Commentary: There was no snarling at City Hall when Mayor Bill de Blasio and the teachers’ union announced a very significant labor agreement on Thursday. Dispensing with the unproductive tension that tarnished the Bloomberg administration, the two sides showed that real progress can be made — on both the fiscal and the educational sides of the contract — when there is good will instead of disdain. On the whole, the agreement represents a good deal for the city and its students, though there were several missed opportunities and unanswered questions. New York Times

CA to schools: Students don’t have to pay for graduation attire, other items 
When thousands of seniors in the Elk Grove area receive their high school diplomas in the coming weeks, some will wear caps and gowns free of charge.Parents have long shelled out money for caps and gowns, along with yearbooks and grad-night tickets, to help celebrate the end of high school. But for the first time, the state has called on school districts to provide graduation attire at no cost to students or their families if required during the diploma ceremony. Sacramento Bee

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