Today’s big education news, rounded up for your convenience:

Board shortens Common Core-aligned tests known as PARCC Washington Post: The Common Core-aligned tests that made their debut in 11 states and the District this spring will be approximately 90 minutes shorter next year, a change that comes after parents, teachers and school administrators expressed frustration with the amount of time devoted to the new exams. See also AP (States move to reduce time spent on Common Core-based exam), EdWeek (PARCC Shortens Its Common-Core Test)

Kids Cheer, Officials Jeer As Computer Glitches Delay Testing In Virginia WAMU: School officials from across Virginia are scrambling to catch up after three days of computer problems that delayed standardized testing. See also Washington Post: Va. testing interrupted three times because of issues with Pearson system.

Republican Focus Group Shows Jeb Bush’s Support for Common Core No Big Deal PK12: The focus group was asked if they thought the common core was important, and if they were bothered by Bush’s position regarding the standards.

Poorest Students Often Miss Out on Gifted Classes Education Week: But with more than half of public school students now coming from low-income families and deepening concentrations of poverty in many communities, standard screening and pullout programs may not be enough to find and support the most vulnerable talented students. In response, more educators and researchers who work with gifted students are calling for another look at who is considered gifted and how schools can locate and support those students. See also HuffPost: African-Americans Who Attended Desegregated Schools Have Better Language Skills Years Later 

Ouch! Hedge funders stung by Obama, Clinton barbs CNBC: The American Federation of Teachers’ president, Randi Weingarten, cited the kindergarten comparison in speeches this month, for example, and a group called the Hedge Clippers have targeted New York-area billionaires like Paul Singer, Bill Ackman and …

Education Gaps Pose Looming Crisis for U.S. Economy National Journal: The fastest-growing segment of the workforce is also the least educated. That’s a problem as employers struggle to fill high-skill jobs.

CPS Confirms Data Breach Impacting 4,000 Students NBC Chicago: The names and personal information of thousands of Chicago Public Schools students was inadvertently provided to five potential vendors earlier this year, district officials confirmed Tuesday.  

Five Non-Waiver States Will Get to Pause School Ratings For a Year PK12: You don’t need a comprehensive No Child Left Behind waiver to get a reprieve from some of the law’s accountability requirements.

Massachusetts House speaker stuck in school during lockdown AP: Police have arrested a 15-year-old boy whose boast of having a gun led to a lockdown at a Massachusetts high school during a visit by Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo and another lawmaker….

‘Border Patrol’ Photo in Florida High School Yearbook Upsets Hispanic Teen AP: The photo, which was printed on page 96 of the $90 Naples High School yearbook in Naples, Florida, pictured six students dressed in ponchos and sombreros and wearing mustaches, and one student in a shirt labeled “border patrol.”

An Irreplaceable Replacement, This Sub Gets The Job Done NPR: Josephine Brewington, from Indiana, is the 2015 Substitute Teacher of the Year.

How Do You Motivate Kids To Stop Skipping School? NPR: A study in an Indian slum tried promising a reward: Improve your attendance, and you’ll get a small treat. But for third-graders, sometimes these incentive schemes can do more harm than good.

Chancellor Tisch Stands By Charter School Rejections WNYC: “The last thing we want to do is open up a charter school that cannot succeed, that we had worries about at the beginning,” she told reporters on Thursday. “We have approved enough continuations of charter schools that are struggling to not worry about this thoughtfully. I want quality charter schools. I want quality charter seats.”

New California teaching credentials decline for 10th successive year EdSource Today: At the same time, the number of teachers given short-term and provisional permits, and so- called “intern” credentials, rose sharply, even though they still comprise a very small proportion of California’s total teaching force. 

The Renaissance of Student Activism Atlantic Education: Harold Levy, a former chancellor of New York City’s public schools who now oversees the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, attributed this resurgence in part to the growing inequality in educational opportunities in the country, which has contributed to great tensions between institutions and the public they’re supposed to serve; even protests that don’t explicitly focus on this cause, he said, are byproducts of this friction.

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Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at