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Afternoon Announcements: US Dept. of Ed announces states can seek delay on test-based teacher evaluations

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August 22, 2014 12:09 pm

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US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on Thursday that states could delay the use of test results in teacher-performance ratings by another year, an acknowledgment, in effect, of the enormous pressures mounting on the nation’s teachers because of new academic standards and more rigorous standardized testing. The New York Times

In an open letter to Teachers and School Leaders, Duncan acknowledged that teachers need more time to adjust to the new forms of testing and the academic standards (i.e. the Common Core State Standards) that are rolling out in school districts across the country.

Click the embedded link below to watch Sec. Duncan’s Aug. 21 back-to-school discussion with teachers and other educators:

The U.S. Education Department projected that this fall, for the first time in U.S. history, ethnic and racial minorities are projected to make up the majority of students attending American public schools. Answer Sheet – The Washington Post

A federal judge Thursday ended a large part of an Arkansas desegregation case rooted in the Little Rock Central High School crisis of 1957 after ruling in January the schools had made enough progress to allow the state to end its payments in four years. But a lawyer for black schoolchildren said inequalities remain in the state’s largest district. The Huffington Post

An Arizona Superior Court Judge has issued a ruling in the long-standing lawsuit challenging school funding, requiring the state to boost funding to public and charter K-12 schools by $317 million this fiscal year. The Arizona Republic

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray authorized new school boundaries Thursday that are slated to go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year. The new boundaries aim to create a more coherent school system while encouraging residents to invest in neighborhood schools. The Washington Post

The groundbreaking effort to provide an iPad to every Los Angeles student, teacher and school administrator was beset by inadequate planning, a lack of transparency and a flawed bidding process, according to a draft of an internal school district report obtained by The Times. The LA Times

Confidential student data continued to be available this week to unauthorized people at Topeka Unified School District 501, even after the superintendent assured The Topeka Capital-Journal and the U.S. Department of Agriculture the problem had been fixed. The Topeka Capital Journal

Pennsylvania Senator Vincent Hughes declared Thursday that woes facing the Philadelphia School District cannot be overstated, after last year’s bout with overfilled classrooms, a lack of counselors and nurses in many public schools, and a major budget deficit. Newsworks 

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation expect to contribute about $1 million through DonorsChoose over the next three days, to aid schools and teachers in need of classroom supplies. edSurge

A couple weeks away from the start of the school year, New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña is working the teacher-advice circuit, offering up insights from her days in the classroom. ChalkBeat NY

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