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EduClips: NYC Finance Watchdog Seeks Answers on ‘Renewal’ Program; LAUSD Interviews Finalists for Schools Chief — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

By Andrew Brownstein | April 18, 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

PRE-K — About one-third of American 4-year-olds were enrolled in state-funded preschool programs in 2017, a sharp increase from the 14 percent enrolled in 2002, though spending on those programs and their quality hasn’t necessarily kept pace, a new report finds.

Enrollment is growing, but not fast enough, and it shouldn’t come at the expense of quality, said Steven Barnett, senior co-director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, which released its annual “State of Preschool” report Wednesday. Eleven states meet fewer than half of the institute’s 10 quality benchmarks, including factors like maximum class sizes and mandatory degrees and professional development for teachers. Those states include Texas, Florida, and California, which enroll some of the largest numbers of preschoolers. (Read at The74Million.org)

National News

TEACHER STRIKE — Possibility of Arizona teacher strike creates some confusion (Read at WRIC)

TEACHERS — Here’s How the Public Views Teachers, Their Salaries, and Their Impact (Read at Politics K-12)

INDIANA ELECTION — K-12 Education Policy Heavyweights Squaring Off in ‘Nasty’ Indiana GOP Senate Primary (Read at The74Million.org)

KENTUCKY — Kentucky education commissioner resigns; advocate for charter schools appointed (Read at the Lexington Herald-Leader)

ESSA — State, Local Officials Tussle Over Who’s in Charge Under ESSA (Read at Education Week)

CHARTERS — Internal memo offers candid postmortem of charter fight in Massachusetts (Read at Chalkbeat)

ESSA — ESSA Innovation: How 2 States and Puerto Rico Aim to Transform the Way They Assess Student Learning (Read at The74Million.org)

District and State News

NEW YORK — New York City’s finance watchdog demands answers on $600 million school turnaround program (Read at Chalkbeat)

CALIFORNIA — L.A. school board meets privately with finalists and debates choice for school district leader (Read at the Los Angeles Times)

ILLINOIS — Supporters rally for gay teacher amid discrimination claim after he told first-graders about same-sex marriage (Read at the Chicago Tribune)

FLORIDA — Florida wants to delay new test-score rules; educators still worry about graduation impact (Read at the Orlando Sentinel)

NEVADA — Teachers protest Clark County district’s decision to fight pay raises (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

CALIFORNIA — African-American students would get extra aid under California’s K-12 funding formula in proposal before Legislature (Read at EdSource)

NEVADA — Letter to School Board alleging discrimination triggers inquiry (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

TEXAS — Andrew White to propose declaring an education emergency (Read at Chron)

NEW YORK — Pols, activists call for City Hall to fund homeless-student aid (Read at the New York Daily News)

ILLINOIS — Opinion: Here’s how area schools are working to hire more teachers of color, and why that matters (Read at the Belleville News-Democrat)

TEXAS — Tensions Escalate During Eaton High School Walkout (Read at NBC DFW)    

Think Pieces

ACHIEVEMENT GAP — Opinion: A Generation of High-Performing, Low-Income Students Is Getting Lost in the Crowd. Some Reasons Why — and What Can Be Done (Read at The74Million.org)

COMMON CORE — Education report card shows Common Core still fails U.S. students (Read at The Hill)

SCHOOL FUNDING – I’m an Oklahoma educator who had become complacent about funding cuts. Our students will be different. (Read at Chalkbeat)

ED TECH — What Principals Really Think About Tech (Read at Education Week)

DUAL-LANGUAGE PROGRAMS – Dual language charter schools attract the longest waiting lists in D.C. (Read at The Washington Post)

Quote of the Day

“The problem with devolution and decentralization is that, by definition, you’re going to get a lot of variation … in terms of effort, political will, and the effectiveness of those efforts.” —Patrick McGuinn, political scientist at Drew University, on changes in federal education policy under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). (Read at Education Week)

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