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Afternoon Announcements: State awards Common Core test contract with nine more states expected to sign on

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September 04, 2014 12:34 pm

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Over the last two years, the bipartisan coalition that brought the Common Core State Standards into being has been supplanted by a growing movement of activists who variously claim that they are too tough, too easy, too liberal, too invasive, too extensive, or all of the above. But, regardless of the debate (or the polls over the Common Core continues, the glass remains 35 states full as many educators remain committed to college and career prep for students – and not the political battle.

California became the ninth state Wednesday to award a contract to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium for the standardized tests in the Common Core that students will take next spring. Another nine states are expected to sign on, making 18 states committed to give the Smarter Balanced version of the standardized tests in math and English language arts. EdSource

According to projections from the National Center for Education Statistics, for the first time in history students who identify as black, Hispanic, Asian or another nonwhite ethnicity outnumber white students in public schools. But teacher demographics are not keeping pace, and startlingly few educators in public schools are of color. The Huffington Post

This year’s college graduates are earning more than they expected to in their first jobs out of school, according to new data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The Wall Street Journal

New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Mayor Bill de Blasio have both spoken of their desire to see changes to school discipline policies that reduce suspensions, but changes to school discipline policies face another delay. ChalkBeat NY

Surveys conducted by a tech start-up, Panorama Education, trying to assess how well teachers are doing by conducting scientifically valid student questionnaires that collect data about a variety of factors that might affect a teacher’s performance. The New York Times

Only 12 students showed up for the first day of class at Dyett High School in Chicago Tuesday. And that was the entire student body. The school is slated to complete its four-year “phaseout” process and close by the end of the 2014-2015 academic year due to low academic performance. The Huffington Post

This year, 35 districts and charter schools in 23 Pennsylvania counties have adopted a new dropout prevention program called The Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog aimed at identifying risk factors for middle school students at-risk for dropping out. The Journal

The school board in Durham, N.C., voted 6-1 to end its relationship with Teach For America, after the current crop of teachers finish out their stints, citing the lack of experience and the limited commitment of these young teachers in the district’s “high-needs” schools. NPR

The president of the Prince George’s County, MD chapter of the NAACP wants the county school system to halt the construction of cellphone towers on school property until school officials review information about the possible dangers that the towers could pose. The Washington Post

New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and other top officials met with about two-dozen principals at the Education Department headquarters last Thursday to unveil a long-awaited plan to turn around the principals’ struggling schools. ChalkBeat NY

Michigan’s largest teachers’ union should allow members to resign at any time and stop enforcing an annual one-month opt-out window, a state labor judge ruled, relying on the state right-to-work law that took effect last year. The Huffington Post

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