Top Stories From Around The Country

US approves California’s new K-12 testing plan
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal education officials on Friday approved California’s plan to roll out new computer-based standardized tests this spring, ending a months-long dispute that put the state at risk of sacrificing $1.5 billion in federal school funding. The U.S. Department of Education said the state’s plan for an experimental trial run of the new Smarter Balanced language and math tests makes sense because they more accurately mirror the lessons teachers have been giving this year. The Smarter Balanced tests will replace the Standardized Testing and Reporting tests, or STAR tests, that the state’s public school students have taken.

Pre-K plan in jeopardy, de Blasio pushes forward
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for universal prekindergarten appears to be on life support. It is blocked by state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who oppose such a tax in an election year. That hasn’t stopped de Blasio from doggedly forging ahead anyway. Some observers say de Blasio has boxed himself into a corner and would have trouble claiming a political victory if pre-K is funded by any other means. But others think his push appeals to his liberal base.

Rural schools ask Wis. lawmakers for more cash
CUBA CITY, Wis. (AP) — If one employee leaves Cuba City High School for a higher-paying position elsewhere in Wisconsin, it can leave the school short of instructors in two or more subjects. When rural districts need to stretch dollars, staffers often do more than one job. In Cuba City, the math and computer teacher are the same person. In Mineral Point, the superintendent also serves as business manager and director of technology.

Bill could give home-schooled kids sports options
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Some parents of home-schooled children are supporting proposed legislation that would allow their kids to play competitive sports with public school students.

College Board Enlists Khan Academy for SAT Prep
Austin, Texas – It’s not just the SAT itself that’s changing. Soon, students will be able to prepare for the high-stakes college-entrance exam by going on an online “SAT quest,” complete with custom practice problems, instructional videos, and tailored feedback offered by the popular nonprofit learning website Khan Academy. Officials from both Khan Academy and the College Board, which administers the SAT, billed the new partnership as an opportunity to level the highly competitive—and often expensive—playing field of SAT test-preparation.

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