Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis
For years now, educators have looked to international tests as a yardstick to measure how well U.S. students are learning 21st-century skills compared to their peers. The answer has been: not so well. The U.S. has been falling further behind other nations and has struggled with a large achievement gap. (Huffington Post)
About two-thirds of district superintendents said they believe the Common Core State Standards will improve the quality of education in their communities, while 22 percent said the standards will have no effect, according to the results from a new poll. (EdWeek)
A new front has opened in the Common Core wars — over testing contracts. The high-stakes battle is undermining one of the Obama administration’s most prized initiatives: its vision, backed by more than $370 million in federal funds, of testing students across the country on a common set of exams in math, reading and writing. (Politico)
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is urging state chiefs to do everything they can to support school counselors and get the most mileage possible out of federal funds to train them. But the Obama administration has continually sought to consolidate the main federal program that finances K-12 counselors, to the chagrin of advocates. (EdWeek)
New York
In his first six months in office, Mayor Bill de Blasio has had a nearly singular focus on providing needy students with expanded education services. But thousands fewer struggling students will be attending summer school this year after city officials changed the way students qualify for the program. (Chalkbeat)


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