First Bell 12-17-12

A first look at the most important education news from this weekend and today:

Fordham's latest

"The weak critique of Common Core’s approach to great literature," by Kathleen Porter-Magee, Common Core Watch

"On voucher transparency, Rick Scott is right," by Adam Emerson, Choice Words

President Obama: "I am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts. I can only hope that it helps for you to know, that you're not alone in your grief. That our world, too, has been torn apart. Newtown, you are not alone." (Wall Street Journal)

Parents and school leaders think about safety—and how to discuss safety with their children. (New York Times, NPR, and Answer Sheet)

In the meantime, gun advocates and opponents head in wildly different directions; the Economist draws international comparisons. (Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Economist)

A panel argues that charter schools that have moved into closed D.C. public schools ought to give neighborhood preference, but other charters should not be allowed or compelled to do so. (Washington Post)

The U.S. Department of Education proposes a makeover for the Investing in Innovation program, with a more specific set of focuses. (Politics K-12)

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