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Friday Reading Roundup

Recent travels (soon to come to you in the form of a story) have taken me away from this space a lot lately. So I wanted to highlight a few curriculum-related things worth a look:

• Most states' history/social studies standards are pretty bad, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation tells us in a report released just in time for Presidents Day. (pop quiz: which presidents' birthdays, my children, does this holiday commemorate? Please don't make me cringe by getting this wrong.)

• Surprise, surprise: Students who aren't doing well in math might actually be struggling with reading, and could be helped by literacy interventions, researchers tell us.

• Students who systematically learn social skills do better academically, another set of researchers finds.

• Tons of people were interested in a recent Harvard report arguing that a robust set of offerings in career and technical education should temper K-12's strong "college for all" bent. (See our story here.) Those of you interested in this topic will want to take a look at this commentary by Gary Hoachlander, who oversees a California network of schools that are redefining CTE.

• One of our opinion bloggers, American Enterprise Institute wonk Rick Hess, offers up a couple of provocative entries on the implications of the assessments being designed for the common standards. He's pretty cranky about what he sees as a lack of attention to the new tests' practical implications, and he's bugged by what the tests could mean for charter schools.

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