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Big Stories Of The Day (Tuesday May 29)

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The student loan rip-off Salon
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings sounded like a reformer when she testified on Capitol Hill earlier this month over recent revelations of waste, fraud and bribery in the $85 billion-a-year student loan industry.But education experts weren't buying it -- and neither were Democrats.

Report Card: No Child Left Behind Good Morning America
So on its report card, ABC News gave No Child Left Behind's central element — testing students to meet standards — an A-. The standards themselves got a C. Equal money to schools got a D. Improving teacher quality earned a C. The handling of special needs and non-English speaking students got a C. Rescue plans for failing schools got a D.
Standardizing the Standards NYT
Testing has never been more important; inadequate annual progress toward “proficiency” triggers sanctions on schools. Yet testing has never been more suspect, either.

Charter Schools Look to Address Educational Woes NPR
Charter schools are an increasingly popular alternative to traditional public schools. Ted Hamory, co-founder of New City Public Schools, and Jennifer Stern, a partner in the Charter School Growth Fund, talk to Farai Chideya about whether these schools are living up to their hype.

Assessment Industry Faces a Test of Its Own Washington Post
One in an occasional series on the culture of testing.

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I have never heard a puffier, more soft-ball interview than this NPR piece on charter schools. It sounded like a paid advertisement for a one-school operator in L.A. and their Walton funding conduit. If you want to look at the underbelly of managed charters, read about the cover-up of Philly's Edison schools in the May 20th Inquirer and in Philadelphia Public Schools Notebook. Secret report showed EMO schools were a flop and that their contract permitted discrimination against ELL and disabled kids. Of course, not a mention of all that in the NPR story.

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