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District News Roundup

We escaped today's earthquake unscathed to bring you some of the stories making headlines around the nation.

  • The U.S. Justice Department is working with school districts on a plan to combat youth violence. To be unveiled next spring, some of my former media colleagues in Memphis got a whiff of what was going on before they were kicked out of the meeting. The Obama administration's emphasis on halting youth violence began in October, when Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan flew to Chicago to meet with teachers and students at Fenger High School. Fenger student Derrion Albert was beaten to death just blocks from the school in a case that garnered national attention.
  • Despite volunteers boasting more than 30,000 signatures, the Detroit City Council gave a cool reception this week to requests it pass a resolution that would put mayoral control of schools on the ballot. Michigan's legislature would ultimately have to change the law to return mayoral control to the Motor City, which had a form of it from 1999 to 2005 and was highly unpopular with many Detroiters.
  • In Georgia, some charter schools are being allowed to opt out of the state's teacher retirement system and instead offer 401 (k) plans in a bid to attract both veteran teachers and those switching from business careers. (Hat tip to edReformer's Douglas Crets for flagging this one.)
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