Today’s big news includes Hillary Clinton’s appearance at the NEA (she met with the AFT last week), plus studies showing learning effects from Sesame Street, plus an amazing look at the school life of a transgendered student at a progressive NYC school:

Hillary Clinton Meets With NEA, Talks Testing, Accountability
 PK12: With the AFT, she talked about the importance of teachers, and made it clear that they shouldn’t be “scapegoats” for broader problems in K-12.  And in speaking to the NEA, Monday Clinton sounded, perhaps, a shade or two more skeptical of standardized testing than she has in the past. And she hit on another issue that many parents and educators (and their unions) consider critical: the need to invest in arts, music, and other enrichment classes, alongside academics.

Hillary Clinton makes a promise to union leaders: I’ll listen to teachers Washington Post: The NEA will make its candidate videos and questionnaires available to its members, according to Carrie Pugh, the union’s political director. NEA leaders have not decided if the union will make an endorsement before the primaries, Garcia said.

MI bill reduces impact of test scores on teacher evals  SI&A Cabinet Report: Although many support the move toward allowing for more local control, others are concerned that the bill could stall progress districts have already begun to make in upgrading their evaluation systems.

HISD may revise, but not end, teacher bonus system Houston Chronicle: Grier told the school board in late May that he was proposing to end the bonus system, one of the largest in the nation, unless the state increased funding for public schools. With the legislative session now over, Grier said he is pleased to be able to afford a bonus program.

Teachers union continues to push for class-size funding Seattle Times: Even as lawmakers are on track to limit the school class-size reduction measure that voters approved last November, the state’s largest teacher union continues to push for full funding of Initiative 1351. I-1351 requires the state to reduce K-12 class sizes and would cost billions of dollars, though it didn’t come with a way to […]

Arkansas Poised to Drop PARCC’s Common-Core Test in Favor of ACT State EdWatch: Arkansas was one of 10 states, along with the District of Columbia, to use the PARCC test in the 2014-15 school year.

Public versus private schools: Who goes where, by state Washington Post:  The proportion of children who attend public school ranges widely from state to state, from a low of 79 percent in the District of Columbia and Hawaii to 93 percent in Wyoming and Utah, according to the Education Law Center’s annual school funding report, released Monday.

This Summer, The Cafeteria Comes To The Kids NPR: Twenty-one million kids eat free and reduced-price meals throughout the school year, but getting them fed during the summer is a challenge. So some school districts are getting creative in the way they’re using USDA funds: Murfreesboro City Schools is taking the cafeteria to the kids. The district calls it the Combating Hunger on Wheels Bus — or the CHOW bus.

Where Does a Transgender Child Fit In at School? WNYC: Confident and social, Q said he feels at ease in his classroom. And his peers have helped him move comfortably from identifying as a girl to a boy. He transitioned over the course of second grade. That’s when he started to more regularly dress in boy clothes and dropped his given name in order to go only by his first initial.

Funding for High-Poverty Districts Falls Shorts, New Reports Contend District Dossier: Studies released by the Education Law Center and the Leadership Conference Education Fund argue that deficits in school funding and resources have shortchanged students in many of the nation’s urban and rural districts.

In Chicago, at-risk students are being misclassified WBEZ: Historically, alternative school graduates were considered dropouts and not included in the district’s graduation rate. But, since 2007, Chicago has counted them as regular graduates. And, according to documents provided to WBEZ and Catalyst Chicago as part of a FOIA request, the district is misclassifying hundreds of students who enroll in its alternative schools. Although they attend Chicago public schools, these at-risk students are labeled “out of district transfers.”

Teachers, Parents Seek Principal’s Removal at Los Angeles-Area School LA Week: Teachers are usually reluctant to support parent-trigger campaigns. But almost 40 members of Fishburn’s teaching staff signed a letter indicating that they want the principal removed. In the letter, the teachers claim that Bogan is “vindictive” and “hostile.” 

Study: Kids can learn as much from ‘Sesame Street’ as from preschool Washington Post: The most authoritative study ever done on the impact of “Sesame Street,” to be released Monday, finds that the famous show on public TV has delivered lasting educational benefits to millions of American children — benefits as powerful as the ones children get from going to preschool. 

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