First Bell 1-2-13

A first look at the most important education news from today and over the winter holidays:

Fordham's latest

"Karen Lewis: The 2012 Education Person of the Year," by Michael J. Petrilli, Flypaper

"Real lessons from Finland: Hard choices, rigorously implemented," by Kathleen Porter-Magee, Common Core Watch

"How good charter school outcomes in Indiana could have been better," by Adam Emerson, Choice Words

The so-called “fiscal cliff” has been averted; education funding is off the chopping block—for now. (New York Times and Politics K-12)

In the aftermath of the Newtown shootings, the National Rifle Association entered the public forum on gun laws with a proposal to place armed security guards at every school; while some warmed to the idea, many responded unenthusiastically. (Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and New York Times)

The Wall Street Journal looks at at the various business models that MOOC providers are testing out and features an opinion on the ideological implications of these programs.

With the country’s best wishes, Sandy Hook Elementary School children are back in class today. (New York Post)

After decades of equal-opportunity efforts in K–12 education, the academic-achievement gap between low- and high-income children is still widening. (New York Times)

Chicago’s teacher unions are suing the Chicago Public Schools for racial discrimination in the most recent round of teacher layoffs. (Teacher Beat and Chicago Tribune)

Your daily dose of “sad but true”: Politics K-12 releases the top thirteen headlines you probably will not see in 2013.

Advocates of the Common Core strike back against accusations that the English/language arts standards will lessen the amount of literature taught. (Curriculum Matters)

California’s request for an ESEA waiver was denied, making it just the second state with this dubious honor. (NBC News)

In Italy, where teaching vacancies have been filled with temporary hires for years (and where the economy has young people desperate for work), the opening of a small number of permanent teaching positions has sparked a frenzied rush of applicants. (New York Times)

Texas’s school-finance system, which has already been challenged six times, will be seeing the inside of the Texas Supreme Court yet again this month. (Stateline)

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