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EduClips: Lawmakers Offer New Attack on NYC Desegregation Plan; New IL Law Requires Schools to Accommodate Gifted Students — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

By Andrew Brownstein | July 31, 2018

EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

Top Story

CIVIL RIGHTS — A few months into the Trump administration, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights circulated a memo to agency investigators. They were no longer required to consider “systemic” bias when presented with a single claim of discrimination. Instead, the agency’s goal was to swiftly rule on individual complaints.

On its own, it was a small move. But a year and a half later, it is clear that the 2017 memo marked the start of a steady march toward narrowing the agency’s approach to racial discrimination and civil rights enforcement.

The new approach stems from a view that President Barack Obama’s administration stretched beyond the law in setting rules and guidelines for schools and opened so many discrimination investigations that the system became clogged with cases.

Under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the agency is also moving away from the sweeping notion, embraced during the Obama years, that discrimination often occurs even if the people involved have no ill intent and that schools should be held accountable when outcomes differ by race. (Read at The Washington Post)

National News

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY — New Hi-Tech Certification Program From International Technology Group Puts the Emphasis on Teachers and Collaboration, Rather Than Devices or Software (Read at The74Million.org)

CIVIL RIGHTS — Rep. Maxine Waters Rebukes Betsy DeVos in New Bill on Civil Rights Probes (Read at Politics K-12)

District and State News

NEW YORK — Lawmakers stage fresh push against Mayor de Blasio’s school desegregation plan (Read at the New York Daily News)

ILLINOIS — New Illinois law requires schools to have policy accommodating academically gifted students (Read at the Chicago Tribune)

CALIFORNIA — California won’t judge schools on whether student test scores improve over time — not yet, anyway (Read at the Santa Cruz Sentinel)

TEXAS — Texas’s new school accountability system could reverse falling student achievement (Read at Dallas News)

NEW YORK — Read Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz’s letter to parents after dramatic staff turnover (Read at Chalkbeat)

CALIFORNIA — Two more unions settle with LA Unified, which remains in standoff with teachers (Read at the Los Angeles Times)

FLORIDA — Watch these guardians train to protect Broward elementary schools from shooters (Read at the Miami Herald)

Think Pieces

CHICAGO — As Chicago Prepares to Close Additional Schools, New Report Shows the Shuttering of 49 Campuses in 2013 Led to Lower Test Scores (Read at The74Million.org)

ENGLISH LEARNERS — OPINION: Six questions teachers must ask to help English language learners succeed (Read at The Hechinger Report)

CHARTERS — Brown: When It Comes to Charter Schools, You Can’t Legislate Excellence. Education Leaders Must Look Beyond the Law (Read at The74Million.org)

GRADES — What’s school without grade levels? (Read at The Hechinger Report)

Quote of the Day

“We enforce the laws that Congress passes as written and in full — no less and no more. We are law enforcement officials, not advocates or social justice people.” —Kenneth Marcus, who was recently confirmed as assistant secretary of education for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education. (Read at The Washington Post)

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