Today’s big news is the appointment of a state schools chief that unions and pro-charter reformers think that they can work with:

Former Tampa Schools Boss MaryEllen Elia Named N.Y. K-12 Chief EdWeek: The former superintendent of Florida’s Hillsborough County schools is poised to become New York state’s next K-12 commissioner, according to reports. See also NYT (MaryEllen Elia Named Commissioner), WNYC (Former Florida Chief Named NY Commish), ChalkbeatNY (Elia promises to ‘communicate’ as state ed policy faces new tests).

De Blasio Okays Second Batch of School Experiments WNYC: Dozens more schools will join an initiative by Mayor Bill de Blasio meant to encourage school-based innovations, such as staggering teacher work schedules to lengthen the school day or breaking class size rules to offer larger seminars in some settings and small-group instruction in others. 

In Prince George’s County, No Consensus On Tax Increase For Schools WAMU: Some older, more conservative voters are lining up against the proposal, while younger families, particularly minorities, say the extra money is crucial.

LAUSD board considers better marketing as it tackles declining enrollment KPCC: At the board’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, members recommended a new marketing campaign to attract and keep more students. The effort could include public television segments, neighborhood door-knocking and promotions of magnet schools focusing on science or art and dual-language programs, such as Spanish, Korean and Mandarin. 

New Mexico fights to get out of last place with aggressive policies that some educators worry could harm students Hechinger Report: Despite concerns the technology would trip them up, the students appeared to navigate the computer-based test with ease – marking questions they wanted to come back to later, for example. It was the math that seemed to give them trouble. Their enthusiastic first-year teacher had used the Common Core standards to guide what he’d taught the students all year, but the content of the sample exam, which required dragging and dropping algebraic expressions into boxes and filling in blank boxes with equations, was proving challenging.

Teachers Of All Races Are More Likely To Punish Black Students HuffPost: Not because of overt racism. Rather, harsher discipline might be the result of unconscious partiality to the white student, a phenomenon called “implicit bias” by psychologists. The study also finds that the bias might be just as likely to come from a black teacher as a white one. 

Pre-K Politics Five Thirty Eight: Suburban voters are less likely to support publicly funded pre-K programs. Minority voters, renters and those who are poor or live in a dense urban neighborhood, on the other hand, are likely to support pre-K expansion.

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