Today’s news includes a Politico piece about candidates’ positions on college reform, plus a Chris Christie slap at the teachers unions and some coverage of Urban League speeches from Bush and others:

2016 election: College in the crosshairs Politico: Presidential candidates from both parties are tapping into Americans’ growing angst over paying for college, placing an unprecedented bright glare on higher education this election. For Democrats, the solution is making college cheaper, or free. Republicans want more innovation and efficiency.

Gov. Christie: Teachers’ Unions Need a ‘Punch in the Face’ and Are ‘Destructive’ State EdWatch: Seeking an upper hand in a crowded GOP presidential election field, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has called for an upper cut to his old political foe. See also NY Post, RawStory.

Jeb Bush Addresses National Urban League; Touts Black, Hispanic Test Scores PK12: Bush touted the achievement of black and Hispanic students in Florida, noting that the number of such students passing AP exams quadrupled during his time as governor. See also Politico.

Teachers summit draws thousands to sites across California EdSource: About 15,000 California teachers and principals gave up one of their summer vacation days to talk among themselves Friday about a subject that, depending on how the school day is going, can excite, inspire, frustrate or irritate: the Common Core.

Federal report finds scant scientific evidence for effectiveness of Head Start programs Hechinger Report: The July 2015 report from the What Works Clearinghouse describes how it reviewed 90 widely different studies on Head Start.

L.A. Unified begins search for next long-term superintendent LA Times: Nine months after Los Angeles Supt. John Deasy resigned under pressure, the school board directed staff to seek out companies qualified to conduct the search. Selecting a firm to help identify potential candidates could take until mid-September, board President Steve Zimmer said.

The Play’s The Thing — High School Productions Down The Decades NPR: Bob Mondello looks at the most-produced shows at high schools through seven decades and ponders what the choices made by drama teachers tell us.

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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