One last thing before you go…

Mark Zuckerberg
Zuckerberg will give away $500 million to Newark schools.
Photo by deneyterrio via photopin cc.

After a massive donation to district schools of Newark, NJ, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is planning to give away $500 million to education and health, with details TBD. I’d love to see Mr. Zuckerberg invest in the urban school system of the future instead of jamming more money into broken urban districts. My intellectual doppelganger, Neerav Kingsland, feels the same way.

The ladies of Politics K-12 always know what to write about. This piece about RTTT-D scoring by Michele McNeil is a great example. It has all of the pertinent information that a casual RTTT-D follower could want and valuable insights for those closer to the competition. It’s a must-read for people interested in federal education policymaking and implementation—and for anyone trying to learn how to blog.

Add Indianapolis to the list of cities doing chartering right: Stanford’s CREDO found that not only are its charters improving student performance at a faster clip, they are serving a similar student demographic. Indy joins the ranks of NYC, New Orleans, and Newark as cities showing how a charter sector can significantly outperform the failed urban district.

The latest Whiteboard Advisors “Education Insider” survey had some fascinating results about the education-advocacy landscape. The venerable Ed Trust was at or near the top across the board. But lesser-known, relative newcomers 50CAN and Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education did remarkably well in the eyes of those in the know. There are lots of players in this field and some degree of confusion over who does what and who does it well. These are meaningful (though obviously limited) findings.

My guess is many of you have pretty much ignored the two big Common Core–aligned testing consortia. You have limited time and mental energy and just figured that creating tests is pretty rote stuff that experts can do in their sleep. Or maybe I’m just describing myself—before I worked for a state department of education and realized how expensive and complicated the assessment world is. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the fate of Common Core is largely a function of PARCC and SB and that these consortia are fragile things. So while everyone is fretting about the fiction-nonfiction kerfuffle, you should keep your eye on stories like this.

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