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Afternoon Announcements: Texas’ State Board of Education approves history books

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November 24, 2014 12:17 pm

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Texas’ State Board of Education has approved new history textbooks, but only after defeating six and seeing a top publisher withdraw a seventh — capping months of outcry over lessons that some academics say exaggerate and poorly depict aspects of history. The New York Times

Protests are flaring up in pockets of the country against the proliferation of standardized tests. For many parents and teachers, school has become little more than a series of workout sessions for the assessment du jour. And that is exactly backward, research shows. Tests should work for the student, not the other way around. The New York Times

Tennessee’s backtracking on the Common Core State Standards puts teachers in a precarious position. Teaching to a new set of more rigorous standards is tough enough. But in Tennessee, where an educator’s evaluation, and in some cases compensation, is based on student test scores, teaching to the Common Core while not aligning tests to those standards is problematic. The Hechinger Report

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Thursday he’s staying out of a tussle between the Illinois State Board of Education and Chicago Public Schools over whether CPS students will take a new Common Core-aligned standardized test this spring — at least for now. The Chicago Sun Times

‘Blended-learning’ programs are on the rise in D.C. As students and teachers rely more on computers, some schools are having success by sharing traditional class time with computer-based learning. The Washington Post

The Rhode Island Council for Elementary and Secondary Education has voted to endorse the Council for Economic Education’s National Standards for Financial Literacy. Rhode Island now joins Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma in recommending CEE’s standards as the basis for Financial Literacy education in their state. The Providence Journal

Charter school advocates on Friday demanded that the New York City schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, release data to support her accusation that those schools push some students out before they take state tests and later replace them with high-scoring children. The New York Times

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 Teach For America. Answer Sheet – The Washington Post

Illinois Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner on Friday called President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration a “great start” to “get the dialogue going” on immigration policy changes. The Chicago Tribune

The power of technology is transforming classrooms across the country. Whether students on tribal lands will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of that technology rests largely on the future of a little known federal program called “E-rate” that provides funding for Internet access in schools and libraries. Indian Country

At a time when most students are accustomed to heading straight to Google to answer all of their questions, being able to sagely sift through the good, the bad, and the ugly of search results is key to creating independent 21st century thinkers. eSchoolNews

If you’re a political candidate seeking endorsement from the powerful Chicago Teachers Union, then you must fill out a “candidate evaluation” form to measure your worthiness. It’s an amusing new strategy for that offers clever commentary on issues that fire up public school educator-activists. NBC Chicago

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