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Weekend Reads: A look at the education policy passions for and against Arne Duncan

  • Arne Duncan’s quest to push for educational equity through high standards and accountability from the highest branch of government inspires a lot of passion, both in favor of his vision and in opposition to it. Politico
  • The “opportunity gap” doesn’t end at high school. Students from affluent families are more likely to land elite jobs after college than students from working-class homes, partly because of social skills they learned from their parents. The Washington Post
  • What the sound of slamming lockers, or lack thereof, tells us about the other ways a Denver school is trying to improve, including its use of a New York-developed Common Core-aligned curriculum. Chalkbeat
  • Do high schools that train students for technical vocations, not college, represent an abandonment of those students or an investment in their future? One Philadelphia school offers clues. The Atlantic
  • As a charter school chain designed to upend traditional school bureaucracies grows larger and its systems grow more complex, the ways its executive handles logistical snafus reveal a lot about the challenges of running large school systems and what changing those systems could actually take. Chalkbeat
  • An Ohio dad becomes Internet famous for posting on Facebook the donation check he wrote to a school making fun of Common Core… Buzzfeed
  • … And then an Ohio math teacher takes him down for mocking what he didn’t understand. Patheos
  • Here’s a moving essay about the emotional toll it takes on immigrant students when teachers and peers refuse to learn how to properly pronounce their names. The Toast
  • The experience of having one’s name butchered is common for English language learners, and can have subtle but lasting consequences on children’s educations. Chalkbeat
  • NPR’s Terry Gross interviews journalist Dale Russakoff about her book “The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?” describing the five-year experiment to fix schools in Newark, N.J., a city beset by poverty and violence. National Public Radio

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