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DC mayor emphasizes continuity in first education address

In his first speech dedicated to education, Mayor Vince Gray refrained from laying out any dramatic new proposals, instead highlighting the city's recent successes in public education and stressing the need for continuity.

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Classical schools are putting Plato before the iPad

In Maryland, a group of students ponder which depiction of the Nativity shows true beauty: A 14th-century Giotto, a 16th-century Barocci or a 20th-century William Congdon. The students attend just one of several hundred “classical” schools around the country—institutions designed to reflect the history of Western civilization, rather than the latest classroom trends.

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Russell County Middle School on Alabama's failing schools list

Russell County Middle School, part of the Russell County School District (Seale, Ala.), is one of 78 in Alabama considered failing, according to a list released Tuesday. Schools on the list could lose students and corresponding state funding if parents transfer their children to other schools and seek the state income tax credit the law allows to help them pay for such a move.

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Judge orders new Texas school finance trial

After hearing brief arguments from the state and the six parties in the case, State District Judge John Dietz announced that a new six-week trial would begin on Jan. 6. The suit was filed last summer after lawmakers cut $5.4 billion from state public education funding while simultaneously implementing a rigorous new testing and accountability system.

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South Dakota gets grants for eight after-school programs

The South Dakota Department of Education has awarded grants ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 per year, guaranteed for five years, for eight after-school programs. The money will support tutoring, homework help, music, arts, sports, and other after-school activities.

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Missouri offers relief on impending school transfers

This fall, school districts throughout Missouri will have new directives from the state that provide leeway in how to handle a potential influx of students transferring from unaccredited school systems.

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Philadelphia commission votes to revise outdated school donation policy

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted to change a 31-year-old policy, now making it easier for schools to accept much-needed grants or donations. The original policy, established in 1982, said that gifts, grants, donations, or scholarships of $5,000 or more needed approval. Today, getting approval for such a small amount has become a burden.

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California elementary school to be named for Michelle Obama

The Los Angeles Unified School District board voted unanimously to name an area elementary school in first lady Michelle Obama’s honor. The name was selected for Mrs. Obama's support of a healthy, active lifestyle, after which the school models itself.

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Chicago union chief faults ‘rich white people’ for city’s education mess

In a scathing speech on Wednesday, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union charged that racism and “rich white people” are to blame for the immense financial crisis facing the Chicago Public Schools.

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Ed chief lets states delay use of tests in teacher job decisions

Acknowledging that the nation’s educators face large challenges in preparing students for more rigorous academic standards and tests, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told state education officials on Tuesday that they could postpone making career decisions about teachers based on performance evaluations tied to new tests.

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