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Friday Reading List: District News Edition

Many of us in edu-land were paying attention to the ever-changing teacher firing controversy in Rhode Island and wondering about which states would become Race to the Top finalists for most of this week. But there's tons of other things that happened or are soon to happen in the nation's school districts this past week.

  • The Lincoln, Neb., school board picked Stephen Joel as its new superintendent, hiring him away from nearby Grand Island, Neb., where Joel has been the superintendent for the past 10 years.
  • The $425,000 pay package of Robert C. Bobb, the emergency financial manager of Detroit's public schools, raised a few eyebrows because private foundations and groups are contributing to his salary. Among them: the Los Angeles-based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. Bobb is a graduate of the Broad Superintendent's Academy.
  • Parents in the Montgomery Co., Md., school district are skeptical that a new bullying policy the school board is expected to approve next week will reduce incidents.
  • Major district changes are on the horizon in two city school districts. The Kansas City, Mo. district is looking at closing more than 20 schools as superintendent John Covington looks to "right-size" a district that has lost thousands of students over the past decade. The board is to vote on the plan this week.
  • Meanwhile, the Cleveland school board is planning to take up a district "transformation" plan that some national figures say has the potential to gain real traction in bringing meaningful reform to the district. A local foundation is giving millions in support of the effort.
  • And in Los Angeles, the mayor is not amused that a Black History Month celebration at a school allegedly encouraged students to celebrate former football star and current inmate O.J. Simpson, drag queen RuPaul and basketball bad boy Dennis Rodman. Three teachers have been suspended in the incident.

Enjoy your weekend! We'll be back in the saddle Monday with more news from around the nation.

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