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Weekend Reading: Meet ESSA, the new NCLB that (maybe) ends the accountability era

Then-U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan talks with students and their principal on a visit to Tennessee in October.
Then-U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan talks with students and their principal on a visit to Tennessee in October.
Kayleigh Skinner
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act, the NCLB replacement that became law this week, keeps testing but loses accountability, basically. (Politics K-12)
  • The new law represents a repudiation of outgoing U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s approach. (FiveThirtyEight)
  • But it’s not at all clear how much it will actually change life for individual students and teachers. (The Atlantic)
  • Andy Rotherham: How ESSA is like a “Game of Thrones” plot point about the randomness of destiny. (U.S News & World Report)
  • The Common Core took another blow this week when New York’s governor recommended revising the standards there. (Chalkbeat)
  • New York City’s teachers union president lists three “school ‘reform’ myths,” starting with the idea that merit pay works. (Education Week)
  • American students aren’t tested a lot, at least compared to their counterparts in lots of other countries. (Hechinger Report)
  • A national teachers union takes over its Detroit affiliate. (Detroit News)
  • Get to know a Colorado school that has no graduation gap among students of different ethnicities. (Chalkbeat)
  • A science teacher shares her journey from teaching about rocks to getting her middle schoolers to code. (Chalkbeat)
  • Detroit teachers stage a sick out to protest governor’s reform plan. (Detroit News)
  • 5 ways to be the best urbanist gift giver. (#4: Give to local nonprofit media, like Chalkbeat!) (NextCity)
  • Black students are increasingly concentrated in some Louisville schools. (WDRB)
  • Most states have cut funding to schools since the start of the Great Recession. (Center On Budget and Policy Priorities)
  • Syracuse’s slums are a lesson in how to decimate a city. (The Atlantic)
  • Students at a Chicago high schools launch a website to protest unappetizing school food. (WBEZ)
  • An Oklahoma teacher calculates his actual hourly wage for legislators to consider. (Oklahoma Gazette)
  • Nevada is shelling out $5 million to try to get more teachers. (Las Vegas Sun)
  • Would appointing a state superintendent lead to better qualified candidates? (Tampa Bay Times)
  • New PARCC scores suggest only 1 in 5 Chicago students can do enough math to handle college. (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • A famous Los Angeles teacher was fired after a troubling investigation into his conduct with students. (LA Times)
  • But his defenders, including Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews, calls it a ‘witch hunt.’ (Washington Post)
  • This is what it’s like to be a Muslim school kid in America these days. (Mother Jones)
  • Pearson, the company that makes many state tests, is learning how tough the education sector really is. (The Telegraph)
  • The Thomas B. Fordham Institute ranks the best and worst cities for school choice. (
  • Twins whose teachers have very different philosophies show their mother the value and danger of homework. (Motherlode)
  • Schools with many poor students don’t just have inexperienced teachers — many have temporary teachers. (Washington Post)
  • An English teacher is polling her colleagues about how they include fiction in the age of Common Core. (On the Shoulders of Giants)
  • The success of coding curriculums depends on their implementation, as two Arizona districts illustrate. (Education Week)
  • A Chicago school founded with a gaming focus is changing approaches to avoid closure. (Catalyst)
  • Can people without kids have “skin in the game” of education policy? Here’s an argument for yes. (Grand Rounds)

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