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Alexander Russo
A former teacher, researcher, and Senate education aide, Alexander Russo is now a freelance education writer. You can reach him at or on Twitter at @alexanderrusso.
Recent Activity
NYC middle schools, pre-Ks meet diversity targets -- and more high schools join initiative to spur integration… NYS Assembly Gives De Blasio 2 More Years, But Senate Demands More Data on School Spending DeVos tours Indianapolis voucher school as administration pushes widespread expansion | Fox 59 It's Shockingly Easy to Cheat San Diego Unified’s Online Courses State of American Pre-K: New Report Shows 1.5 Million Kids (and 1 in 20 3-Year-Olds) Enrolled… Betsy DeVos Compares School Choice Critics To ‘Flat-Earthers’ A first in Maryland’s public schools: Students learn Korean Mississippi accused of unequal schooling for black students… DeVos to testify on Trump’s budget, her first time before Congress since rocky confirmation hearing Continue reading
Posted 9 hours ago at This Week In Education
DeVos promises ‘the most ambitious expansion of education choice in our nation’s history’ — but offers no details DeVos: School choice should expand, but not from Washington D.C. via @USATODAY DeVos Emphasizes States’ Prerogative on School Choice, Gives No Details on Federal Expansion… Betsy DeVos promises an expansive school choice plan, says opting out would be 'terrible mistake' for states… DeVos: It Would Be a 'Terrible Mistake' for States Not to Expand School Choice President Trump's Budget Proposal Calls For Deep Cuts To Education… DISTRICTS The Latest: Mark Zuckerberg visits Rhode Island school… All signs point to Ref Rodriguez as LAUSD’s next school board president… Study of schools in Denver, New York show special needs students less likely to leave charters… Long-Vacant NYC Courthouse Will Get New Life as Success Academy’s Second High School… MISC Report: Poor roads on tribal lands lead to school absences… St. Paul’s School Acknowledges Decades of Sexual Misconduct… Homeschooling Makes Learning Personal For Some Special Education Students… Continue reading
Posted yesterday at This Week In Education
Notre Dame (85% Catholic) students walk out as @VP @mike_pence begins his address. #WalkoutND — Summer Ratcliff (@SummerRatcliff) May 21, 2017 Notre Dame Students Walk Out During Mike Pence's Commencement Speech Notre Dame students walk out during Vice President Mike Pence's commencement speech L.A. teachers union faces tough questions in wake of charter election wins… Growing grassroots movements confronting school sex assault… One [Goshen] teacher. Many investigations. No charges.… via @Enquirer When School Vouchers Don't Offer Much Of A Choice… Do charter schools serve special needs kids? The jury is out… New Report Shows NYC’s Alternative to Charter Schools — Supported by De Blasio and UFT — Aren’t Getting Results… With Principal Out, a NYC School Community Faces Lingering Tensions… Despite threats and reputation destruction, Richardson ISD candidate stands up to the establishment | Dallas News New Mexico budget woes bring national teachers union leader Teacher licensing overhaul sent back for negotiations after veto.… It Was Hard This Year to Keep Politics Out of High School Yearbooks… Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at This Week In Education
Snowden, Fenty, & Rodriguez among VIPs who asked for and got special transfers from Henderson Despite increases in funding, some D.C. schools face possible cuts The Nation's Oldest Voucher Program: Beacon Of Hope, Or Failed Experiment?… Charter-backed candidates win L.A. Unified majority, but can they lead from within?… An early test for new LA school board members cost-saving ideas: an expiring teachers contract… So LAUSD has a charter-backed school board majority. What now?… Seattle parent pays off $21K school-lunch debt with GoFundMe campaign… Some school districts tail parents to check where family actually lives… Success Academy’s top lawyer is leaving — to start her own charter schools… Minnesota standardized test scores have a new value. Here’s why it could pay to opt-in.… Pearson To Scale Back Partnership With Adaptive Learning Provider Knewton… via @EdMarketBrief Dallas school police officer slammed a 6th-grader to the ground and fractured her clavicle Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at This Week In Education
TRUMP BUDGET Report: Trump education budget would create a Race to the Top for school choice… Trump wants to spend $1B to push districts to adopt his preferred policies — not unlike Obama & Race to the Top.… Trump Budget Reported to Use Title I, Research Aid to Push Choice LAUSD Major changes could come to L.A. schools after charter school movement’s big win… Kelly Gonez, Science Teacher and Former Obama Adviser, Wins Close Race for L.A. School Board… DISTRICTS Maryland school system posts 80 percent increase in reports of sexual harassment This is how the D.C. school lottery is supposed to work Portland, Ore., Voters Approve Record Tax to Fix Lead-Laced, Crumbling Buildings… San Diego High Schools Experience Higher Graduation Rates While Simultaneously Losing More Students… MISC 77 Million Edmodo Users Are Hacked as Widespread Cyber Attacks Hit the Ed Tech World… RACE & INTEGRATION However Well Black Students Perform, Teachers Still Think They’re Struggling A new study shows where people live — not school districts — is to blame for continuing segregation in Indiana… Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at This Week In Education
SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS Reformers sweep LAUSD school board elections… Big night for charter school-backed LAUSD candidates as Melvoin, Gonez win seats… Charter backers win their first L.A. school board majority HACKED! Popular #EdTech Platform @edmodo Hacked, Faulted for Ad-Tracking… FLORIDA For Families With Special Needs, Vouchers Bring Choices, Not Guarantees Charter Expansion Provision Puts Florida Budget Bill At Risk of Veto DISTRICTS Immigration Agents Weren't At Queens School For 'Enforcement Action,' Homeland Security Says… via @Gothamist NYC Chancellor: ‘We’re reconsidering how some enrollment is done’ in high schools… School stats: The number of emergency teachers in Washington classrooms has doubled… Lessons On Race And Vouchers From Milwaukee… Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at This Week In Education
CHOICE AP-NORC Poll: Most Americans Feel Fine About School Choice | Political News | US News… New AP Poll Shows Majority of Americans Open to Expanding Nation’s Charter Schools… Indiana's School Choice Program Often Underserves Special Needs Students… Report: Bullying persists in schools, sex assault reports up… LAUSD ELECTION Drive to increase charter enrollments triggers massive spending in LA school board race… L.A. school board candidates tackle questions on tenure, charter growth, graduation rates… The good, the bad, and the ugly of the LAUSD school board campaign… Here’s what LAUSD could buy with the $14.5 million in outside money that’s poured into the school board race… College Board and Zuckerberg team up for 'Manhattan Project' of academic motivation via @USATODAY RACE CPS Greenlights Merger Of Gold Coast And Cabrini-Green Schools… Lessons On Race And Vouchers From Milwaukee… IMMIGRATION NYC Chancellor, Union Boss Cry Foul Over Immigration Agents Visiting Queens School Seeking 4th-Grader… Immigration Officials Asking About Fourth-Grader Turned Away By NYC School Schools Warned to Be Vigilant Over Immigration Officers… TRUMP Trump’s Youngest Son to Attend Maryland Prep School Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2017 at This Week In Education
500 Students in a One-Room School: Fallout of New Jersey’s Funding Woes… At 3 a.m., NC Senate GOP strips education funding from Democrats' districts - Political activities of education secretary Betsy DeVos - Key findings on political spending by school-choice backers… How Google Took Over the Classroom… Seventeen State ESSA Plans Now Complete and Ready for Review Schools brace for impact if Congress cuts Medicaid spending… Boston exam schools lacking in diversity: Report… via @Metro_US AP Test-Takers' Tweets May Not Give Away Answers, But They Raise Questions Fidget spinners may be entertaining but they don't help ADHD… via @KPCC In Tribute, Students Elect Dead Classmates Prom King And Queen… Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at This Week In Education
Sixteen ESSA Plans Have Been Turned In; Fewer Than Half Are Ready for Review The Promise And Peril Of School Vouchers… De Blasio, Expanding an Education Program, Dismisses Past Approaches… The politics of LA Unified's graduation rate… City Council grills Philly school leaders on suburban students taking prized slots… Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis Claims Another Casualty: Its Schools… Cambridge has a shortage of black students. Some of them are out to fix that. Panel seeks probe of potential racial hiring bias in Va. school system School officials postpone decision on first part of one-stop enrollment for L.A. Unified programs… Assistant principal resigns after argument with teen abortion protesters… "Historic" Colorado charter school funding measure headed for governor's signature via @denverpost Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2017 at This Week In Education
DEVOS SPEECH Students boo Betsy DeVos as commencement speaker at historically black university… Bethune-Cookman Graduates Greet Betsy DeVos With Turned Backs Boos drown out Betsy DeVos' speech at Bethune-Cookman graduation… via @USATODAY Betsy Devos Speaks Over Hecklers During Bethune-Cookman Address… DeVos heckled at graduation for historically black college… OTHER NEWS School Bullying Is Down. Why Don't Students Believe It?… Outside money continues to pour into L.A. school board campaigns… Oakland schools pick superintendent amid budget mess… 3 Indiana schools lose bid to enroll more voucher students… Is ‘3-K for All’ Good for All? De Blasio’s Preschool Plan Troubles Some… 99% Of Students Handcuffed In School By NYPD In 2016 Were Black Or Latinx Substitute Teacher Fired For Allegedly Ripping Off 8-Year-Old Girl's Hijab… via @Gothamist Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at This Week In Education
ESSA Early ESSA Plans Favor Cash to Districts Over Optional Set-Asides New York Targets Chronic Absenteeism in Its ESSA Plan: 4 Things Research Shows About Attendance… New research shows Obama school turnaround program worked — in a few places… IMMIGRATION/RACISM LAUSD is making it harder for immigration officials to enter schools… LAUSD clarifies what school staff should do if immigration agents show up on campus… Parents of black brothers sue district over alleged racism… HOUSE SPEAKER AT SUCCESS Paul Ryan Visits A Harlem School, Harlemites Voice Their Displeasure… Paul Ryan visits New York school run by charter advocate… MISC How a Trump piñata brought chaos to a Colorado high school… Free online math tool plots new course for old graphing calculators via @USATODAY U.S. education secretary says choice needed in 'antiquated' system… Illinois Struggles To Expand Charter Schools Despite Giant Pot Of Federal Money… Minnesota is fighting its largest measles outbreak in nearly 30 years. Blame vaccine deniers.… Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2017 at This Week In Education
DeVos Ends Formatting Rules for Upward Bound Grant Applications | Observer Educators value after-school program Trump wants to nix… New York state says it wants to expand its definition of success -- and focus on equity -- in judging schools… Outside spending tops $10 million, Zimmer steps up fundraising efforts in LAUSD election… After tensions mount, Colorado House advances charter school funding deal, school finance bill… College Board Reports Score Gains From Free SAT Practice - High School & Beyond - Education Week Free Khan Academy SAT tutorials boost scores, study finds… The student support model that’s going national has been incubating at St. Louis Park High School for 18 years… Protests to greet DeVos at historically black college @CNNPolitics Michelle Obama Vows To Prioritize Education 'No Matter What House We Live In' Breathe Deeply: Mindfulness coming to a school near you via @USATODAY Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2017 at This Week In Education
Trump Suggests HBCU Funding May Be Unconstitutional, Blindsiding Black Colleges… Then: Trump voices ‘unwavering support’ for historically black colleges… K-12 Spending Gets Caught in States' Budget Fights NYC's School Choice Program Hasn't Closed the Education Gap… In L.A., teens balance high school with planning in case their parents are deported… A public school that's just for immigrants | APM Reports Clash over middle-school sex assaults: Did they happen?… Cuts put spotlight on student race questions on school forms… The student support model that’s going national has been incubating at St. Louis Park High School for 18 years… Outside spending tops $10 million, Zimmer steps up fundraising efforts in LAUSD election… When You're Not Quite Sure If Your Teacher Is Human… Fidget Spinners: Good Or Bad For Kids' Concentration?… Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2017 at This Week In Education
DISCRIMINATORY HIRING Study of Fairfax County schools finds discrimination against black teacher applicants… Study: VA school system more likely to hire whites than blacks… Charter school funding fight — and a contentious amendment — shake up Colorado school finance debate… COMMUNIST PRINCIPAL Investigation of NYC activist principal has free-speech advocates asking what politics are allowed at school… A Principal Is Accused of Being a Communist, Rattling a Brooklyn School - The New York Times MISC Teach For America reports a rise in applications… Facts About Teens, Suicide And '13 Reasons Why'… Will L.A. schools pass the salt and toss the whole wheat with relaxed Trump standards?… Is this the future of college: Online classes, but no degree, reports @m_education_ap: Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2017 at This Week In Education
MINORITY PARENT POLL Poll: Schools with mostly white teachers are not trying to educate students of color:… Parents of color see their kids as attending white supremacist school systems… via @HuffPostPol Black and Latino parents worried about funding disparities in schools, poll finds… Black and Latino Parents: Funding, Racism Are Drivers of School Disparities More Parents Of Color Think Racism Is Holding Back Their Children In School… Low-income, minority students lag in high school grad rates… via @seattletimes TRUMP Trump praises D.C. voucher program with mixed record Trump pushes school choice, making good on campaign promise… At School Choice Event, Trump Praises D.C. Vouchers for Helping Kids Graduate… Trump Praises Low-Income School Voucher Program Obama Defunded - Breitbart via @BreitbartNews FIDGET SPINNERS Schools attempt to ban fidget spinner craze The Guardian MISC California’s largest charter group pushes its agenda with money and people power… Minneapolis schools forced to cut hundreds of jobs to fill $28 million gap - New Jersey Judge Tosses Parents’ Lawsuit Claiming Last In, First Out Layoff Rules Harm Students… Principal at Md. school who created “smash space” decides to step down... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2017 at This Week In Education
NATIONAL Trump administration: No changes to girls’ education effort via @USATODAY Under Trump Budget, Nearly 2 Million Kids May Lose After-School Care… All New York City schools to get single-stall bathrooms… Charters, Vouchers, ESAs Add Heat to State Legislative Debates Pre-K: Decades Worth of Studies, One Strong Message COMMON CORE New York heads toward finish line on Common Core replacement… New York Proposes Changes to Common Core Standards… Common Core math test boycotted by 79,780 Long Island students | Newsday CHARTER SCHOOLS/TEACHERS UNIONS Teachers seek to form union at California charter school chaired by Michelle Rhee… Teachers union opens a front on former Sacramento mayor's charter schools… SF teachers seek labor support with letter in student backpacks… Teachers not shying away from divisive political discussion, survey suggests… Teachers at Olney Charter HS have their first union contract with Aspira. Story:… #phled DISTRICTS Berkeley school district sued over special-needs services… Schools superintendent who sued her school board agrees to step down All New York City schools to get single-stall bathrooms… Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2017 at This Week In Education
TRUMP Trump Takes Aim at School Lunch Guidelines and a Girls’ Education Program… Trump takes aim at Michelle Obama's efforts on child nutrition, girls' education via @USATODAY Trump administration ending Michelle Obama's girls education program @CNNPolitics The Whole Grain Terror In School Lunches Is About To End… BUDGET DEAL/CONGRESS Trump's Budget Proposal Threatens Funding For Major After School Program Budget deal would spare AmeriCorps, which supports thousands of schools… Congress expected to reauthorize D.C. school vouchers in sweeping budget deal DEVOS DeVos: Becoming Sec. of Ed. 'like drinking through a firehose'… via @WOODTV Betsy DeVos scheduled, then canceled, a visit to an L.A. charter school that emphasizes special needs MISC Outspoken Principal on Racial Justice Accuses City of Retaliation… via @WNYC Success Academy named finalist for prestigious national charter school award… Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2017 at This Week In Education
FEDERAL NEWS DeVos visits site of San Bernardino school shooting Goad: Impact of Trump’s education order at least a year off | Newsday Updated ProPublica list now includes 400 Officials Trump has Quietly Deployed Across the Government BUDGET DEAL Negotiators reach agreement to fund government, avoid shutdown via @USATODAY Budget Deal for 2017 Includes Increases for Title I, Special Education… Budget deal would fund large ESSA block grant at $400 million… SEX ASSAULT AP reveals hidden horror of sex assaults by K-12 students… Student sex assault reports, state by state… STATE & DISTRICT NEWS D.C. investigation: Ex-schools chief gave special treatment for school transfers… Misconduct investigation finds former DC schools chancellor gave preferential treatment… At NYC NAACP hearing on charter school moratorium, foes and fans find common ground… School vouchers, rising in many GOP states, founder in Texas… Court sides with group trying to turn Orange County campus into a charter school… Byrd-Bennett sentenced in Chicago school kickbacks case… MISC 4 Things We Don't Know About AP Tests… Shaming Children So Parents Will Pay the School Lunch Bill… ICYMI: Best Of The Week! (April... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2017 at This Week In Education
Trump starts review of federal 'overreach' in education - Trump to review 'overreach' in education Family by Family, How School Segregation Still Happens The thorny problem of segregated schools and Denver’s newest plan to address it… Purdue buys for-profit Kaplan University for $1, plans to make it public via @USATODAY Why Purdue University Is Buying A Massive For-Profit College For $1 Kids Learn Better By Taking Frequent Breaks Throughout The Day | MindShift | KQED News A Path Out Of Poverty: Career Training + Quality Pre K… Matt Damon’s latest role: The voice of an education documentary featuring Tennessee testing | Chalkbeat Mom Declares Her Daughter Is Done With Homework In Viral Email | The Huffington Post Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2017 at This Week In Education
What does Trump's executive order on education do? Not much Trump Orders Review of Education Policies to Strengthen Local Control, via @nytimes… Trump Aims To Limit The Education Department's Influence In New Order Trump orders DeVos to get rid of 'overreaching mandates' in schools WATCH: Pres. Trump signs executive order on education at the White House Who gains and who loses in Donald Trump's tax plan Judge says mostly white Southern city may secede from its school district — even though effort is motivated by race California lags other states in total per-child spending on range of services @mzinshteyn @EdSource Seven Miami-Dade schools among nation's best, according to U.S. News - Police investigate possible fraud in Maryland PTA organization Sweeping charter school bill passes Tennessee legislature… Michelle Obama Won't Stop Encouraging Kids To Pursue College More Oversight of After-School Programs Is Needed, Says Federal Watchdog #edpolitics Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2017 at This Week In Education
U.S. News Ranks America’s Top Public High Schools — and for the First Time, Charters Dominate Top 10 @The74 Never Mind the Students; Homework Divides Parents - The New York Times Trump expected to order study of federal role in education DeVos highlights challenges facing military children in Virginia school visit… In Virginia school tour, Betsy DeVos stresses needs of military kids As lawmakers scrutinize the price tag of school vouchers in Memphis, here’s a cost breakdown… New York’s education commissioner pushes back on Trump budget… A Student Loan Giant Is The Most Complained-About Financial Company In America… RI latest state to move away from Common Core tests… Michelle Obama Fetes Beyonce For Scholars Program: 'Thank You For Investing in Our Girls'… Beyoncé Announces Scholarships At Four Schools, Including Parsons… Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2017 at This Week In Education
As Outside Spending & Attacks Reach All-Time High, LA School Board Candidates Say Race Is Out of Their Control… Full Video: Barack Obama Appears at University of Chicago to Promote Civic Engagement… DeVos: Common Core Not 'Really Around' in Schools Anymore - Fox News In New York City Schools, an Ever-Rising Tide of Homeless Students… New York City Will Offer Free Preschool for All 3-Year-Olds… See also WNYC San Diego schools launches effort against Islamophobia… Principal Apologizes for Saying White Students Should Be in the Same Class… Nation's Report Card Finds Mixed Grades For U.S. Students In Visual Arts, Music… Here are the Valley high schools that made U.S. News' top rankings… A popular public school Bible class in WV faces legal challenge - The Washington Post Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2017 at This Week In Education
Obama launches Chicago trip with visit to South Side job training group - Chicago Tribune Private meeting marks Obama's Chicago return via @UPI These robotics students were told 'to go back to Mexico.' The taunt only fueled their success.… AP FACT CHECK: Gorsuch, SCOTUS didn't ban teaching of Islam… How Have ESSA-Related Bills Fared in State Legislatures So Far This Year? Negative ad spending in LAUSD races reaches all-time high in school board race, and candidates don’t like it… Indiana budget deal would offer modest school funding increases plus a big fix for teacher bonuses… Most Portland schools lack sprinklers, need better alarms |… Ousted Over Sexual Misconduct Claims, and On to the Next Teaching Job… For a 2nd grader, gunfire, lockdowns, then the worst violence of all | The Washington Post Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2017 at This Week In Education
VOUCHER POLLING Poll reveals support in California for tax-funded school vouchers… Majority of Californians polled favor vouchers for private schools… DEVOS/WEINGARTEN Four things to know about Van Wert, the tiny Ohio school district where DeVos and Weingarten will form an uneasy duo… Teachers union to host DeVos on visit to public schools in rural Ohio… Education secretary, teachers union chief visit Ohio school… Teachers union to host DeVos on visit to public schools in rural Ohio DISTRICTS Protesters at Minneapolis school board meeting force action on discipline policy and staff decisions… Today’s the day: Long-debated changes to the city’s discipline code are now in effect… LAUSD board backs proposal for stricter charter school laws… via @KPCC Lack of diversity in gifted education: Some readers see segregation… Week from tomorrow, NAACP to Hold New York City Hearing on Issues Surrounding Quality Education DIVERSITY/IMMIGRATION This Islamic School Teaches How To Be Muslim, And American… Masterman (Philly) student accepted into eight top U.S. colleges… Minnesota proceeds with caution — and questions — as it complies with federal education law under DeVos… Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2017 at This Week In Education
Long rated by test scores, schools may soon be judged on student abenteeism too… Randi Weingarten promises to 'educate' DeVos as AFT kicks off campaign against Trump agenda - Chalkbeat Colorado… Education Secretary DeVos, union chief to visit Van Wert - Teachers [Unions] Launch Campaign Denouncing Trump's Anti-Immigrant Policies | The Huffington Post Out-of-state donations stand out in Michael Johnston’s first campaign finance report in governor’s race… School Choice Implications in Religious Rights Case at High Court… via @educationweek Church, state, and school: What might Supreme Court ruling mean for vouchers? US Students Satisfied With Life, but Some Foreigners Happier | Political News | US News… Nevada Bill Seeks Cameras in Special Ed Classrooms, Just as Texas Reworks Its First-in-the-Nation Law… With New York City expected to unveil school diversity plan soon, advocates want the public to have a say Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2017 at This Week In Education