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Florida school district opts out of opting out of state tests

Board members in Florida’s Lee County School District backtracked on their unprecedented decision to opt out of state standardized tests for the coming school year, less than a week after the initial decision.

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$100,000+ not just for school administrators in San Diego County

According to a database compiled by Transparent California, more than 7,500 school district employees in San Diego County received six-figure compensation packages last year, including 4,600 teachers.

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Oregon students faced with additional testing

As nearly 600,000 Oregon teachers and students start school, they will be faced this year with the new Smarter Balanced test covering reading, math, writing, listening, research and thinking skills. Test officials won't decide for months how high students will have to score to pass the exam, which will be given to students in grades three through eight and to high school juniors.

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Boston schools bypass internal hiring of some teachers

This year, relying on a loophole in the union contract, school administrators in Boston are filling classroom posts with teachers of their own choosing, passing over internal candidates and hiring from outside the system if need be. With the opening of schools, more than 100 veteran teachers have no class assignments at all, sidelined despite a cost in salary and benefits of more than $10 million.

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Librarians are a luxury Chicago Public Schools can't afford

With educators facing tough financial choices, having a full-time librarian is becoming something of a luxury in Chicago's more than 600 public schools. Instead, certified librarians are being reassigned across the district to English classrooms, world languages or to particular grade levels in elementary schools.

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School lockers become a crime-fighting tool in New Jersey

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is giving students the ability to communicate with authorities by scanning a bar code sticker that has been placed in all 18,000 student lockers in the county’s middle and high schools. Students can anonymously alert authorities if they suspect someone is dealing drugs or committing criminal acts or if they have any school safety concerns.

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Few principals in New York gave teachers low marks in evaluations

Few principals across New York state gave their teachers low scores in the 2012-2013 school year as they implemented a new evaluation system that calls for in-depth classroom observations. The difference between the top ratings on the observation-based evaluations​ and the low ratings on state and local tests is likely to spark a debate over what parts of an evaluation are the most accurate.

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Court to decide if Washington will allow charter schools

The Washington Supreme Court will determine whether charter schools will be allowed in the state with a hearing scheduled for October. The new charter school law allows for about 40 charter schools to open during the next five years. This fall, the private school First Place will be the first charter school. A coalition of plaintiffs has sued the state, hoping to disallow schools such as First Place.

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Six percent of Connecticut districts get an F in new report cards

Out of the 944 Connecticut public schools graded by the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, 63 schools across the state have received failing grades in a new report card project issued by the organization.

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Lawsuit filed against Florida's voucher program

The state's largest school-voucher program, Tax-Credit Scholarship Program, is unconstitutional because it redirects taxpayer money to religious schools and creates a separate system of state-funded schools, according to a lawsuit filed by the teachers union and others.

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