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Reading List: The Pre-Thanksgiving Edition

Happy almost Thanksgiving! While you're thawing out your turkey, or waiting in line at the airport to board your flight, check out these good reads:

•If you haven't already, you really must read Steve Sawchuk's smart cliff-notes take on the U.S. Department of Education's new teacher prep regulations. He manages to make 400 pages of federal guidelines accessible—and even funny. And then check out his much longer story here.

•And while I was on my own pre-Thanksgiving trip last week, Massie Ritsch, the acting secretary for communications and outreach, left the U.S. Department of Education. Jonathan Schorr, now the deputy assistant secretary for communications and outreach and a NewSchools Venture fund and Teach for America alum, will replace him. Politico's Morning Education covered the news here. The Washington Post covered it here, and Alexander Russo of This Week in Education fame offered his own critique of the Post and analysis here. ¬†

•Bellwether Education Partners. a non-profit consulting organization in Washington, seems to be on a mission to hire pretty much every smart person in education policy, making life difficult for edu-policy reporters who can't quote the same organization 14 times in a story. (Even though folks who work side-by-side at Bellwether often have totally different takes on the same issue.). Edu-policy nerds can get a sense of the diversity of thinking over there—and read some really nice wonky writing—on their new blog, called "Ahead of the Heard,"¬†featuring posts by Chad Aldeman, Anne Hyslop, Sara Mead, Andy Smarick, and more.

•Okay, this isn't exactly politics, but it involves one of my favorite-ever computer games: Oregon Trail. Apparently, it has some serious staying power, according to this fun story by the Hechinger Report's Nichole Dobo.¬†

•And finally, you fans/detractors of the Obama administration's No Child Left Behind waivers will appreciate this great Saturday Night Live Sketch looking at the new version of the School House rock classic "I'm Just a Bill"—even though it's about immigration, not education. (And it's already been massively shared, of course.) Hat tip to Fordham's Mike Petrilli and to Edweek's own Mark Walsh for bringing it to my attention.

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