First Bell 3-8-13

A first look at today's most important education news:

Fordham's latest

"Education governance for the twenty-first century," by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Michael J. Petrilli, Education Gadfly Weekly

"Put up or shut up: Will leaders seize the chance to improve accountability?," by Morgan Polikoff, Common Core Watch

The School Reform Commission voted to close around twenty-three underperforming Philadelphia public schools, around 10 percent of the city’s schools; nineteen protestors were arrested just before the decision was issued, including AFT president Randi Weingarten. (New York Times andWashington Post)

New York becomes the first state to drop the GED exam, opting instead to commission McGraw-Hill to create a new and cheaper high school equivalency test. (Wall Street Journal)

In his closing keynote address at the South by Southwest education conference in Austin, Texas, Bill Gates discussed technology in the classroom and quality control. (Digital Hechinger Report and Digital Education)

The National Association of Charter Schools releases twelve essential practices for charter authorizers. (Charters & Choice)

Girl Rising,” a new documentary film released on International Women’s Day, tells the story of nine girls across the globe lifted out of poverty by the power of education. (Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times)

Former Fordham board member Diane Ravitch has founded the Network for Public Education, which opposes “corporate reform.” (New York Times)

Yesterday morning, the Colorado Supreme Court heard arguments in Lobato v. State of Colorado, the state’s biggest school-funding case. (Huffington Post)

Over the last five years, the number of Michigan school districts with budget deficits has steadily increased; just eleven of the forty-nine running a deficit expect to end this year in the black. (Detroit News)

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