How Common Core quietly won the war Politico: Ask most any third-grader: Just as Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the cheerleader in chief for the Cmmon Core and rigorous standards, prepares to step down, the standards that naysayers love to call “Obamacore” have become the reality on the ground for roughly 40 million students — or about four out of every five public school kids.

What Counts as Proficient on the PARCC Exam? Arkansas Moves Up the Limbo Stick State EdWatch: Arkansas joins Ohio as a state that will report PARCC scores differently than the testing consortium when it comes to student performance. See also Washington Post.

Some teachers hesitant about backing Clinton Detroit Free Press: Nearly 5,000 teachers signed a petition demanding the endorsement be reversed, and members accused their president — Clinton friend, adviser and fund-raiser Randi Weingarten — of cronyism and imperiousness.

Charter School Battle Heats Up in Boston & Elsewhere WSJ: Natasha Brown spent five years trying to get her 14-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son into one of this state’s 80 charter schools. After entering at least 25 lotteries, she secured slots for them this fall. Those tough odds have sparked a dispute in the state. At least 37,000 families are on waiting lists for charter schools statewide, with 13,000 of them seeking spots in Boston alone, according to data reported to the state.

First Democratic Debate: Five Things to Watch on Education PK12: Will anyone talk about K-12 education? Will standardized testing come up? Those and other K-12 questions surround today’s Democratic presidential debate between five candidates.

‘We want more charter schools!’ Backers cite survey showing L.A. public demand NewsLA: The poll of 1,150 Los Angeles voters — commissioned by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and California Charter School Association — found that 74 percent of voters within the Los Angeles Unified School District support the expansion of charter schools in neighborhoods where existing schools are struggling. See also LA Times.

Malala Yousafzai’s Mom Opens Up About Going Back To School HuffPost: Three years after her daughter was shot in the head by the Taliban for daring to promote girls’ education, Malala Yousafzai’s mother has spoken publicly for the first time about her own experience in returning to school.

Publisher apologizes for textbook calling slaves ‘workers’ AP: One of the biggest publishers in the U.S. apologized Monday for calling slaves brought to America "workers" in a geography textbook used widely in Texas, where the wording went unnoticed during the state's combative and politically charged classroom curriculum reviews….

Meet The Mind-Reading Robo Tutor In The Sky NPR: An ed-tech company says its free online platform will revolutionize individualized learning. Skeptics call it digital snake oil.

School A Welcome Escape From Reality For Calif. Area Ravaged By Fire NPR: The Valley Fire leveled hundreds of homes and businesses in the small community of Middletown, Calif. School is helping students and educators alike make it through the recovery process together.

Ex-head of Chicago Public Schools expected to plead guilty A{: The former head of Chicago Public Schools is expected to plead guilty in what prosecutors say was a scheme to steer more than $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks…. See also WBEZ Chicago.

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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