L.A. school board votes to fire teacher Rafe Esquith, accused of misconduct LA Times: The Los Angeles Board of Education voted this week to fire nationally recognized teacher Rafe Esquith, following a misconduct investigation that included allegations he made an improper joke to students and inappropriately touched minors, according to sources with knowledge of the decision.

NYC shows gains in SAT and AP scores Chalkbeat: Nationally, SAT scores dropped by eight points last year. In New York State, average test scores fell in math and writing, while staying the same in critical reading.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett co-defendants plead not guilty in kickback scheme Tribune: An education consultant with long ties to the Emanuel administration pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he promised Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes for steering lucrative no-bid contracts to his firm.

Bill Gates: Too Many Schools Use Teacher Evaluation For Personnel Decisions, Not As Tool For Improvement iSchool: “Many systems today are about hiring and firing, not a tool for learning,” Gates said.

D.C. bill aims to increase fiscal oversight of charter schools Washington Post: Public hearing raises broader questions about how much the public knows about D.C. charter schools.

Sex Ed Lesson: ‘Yes Means Yes,’ but It’s Tricky NYT: California requires high schools to teach affirmative consent, defining when and how people agree to have sex, but critics say the lessons sow confusion.

Bear wanders into Montana high school AP: Students got a first-hand lesson in wildlife biology at a Bozeman, Montana, high school when a black bear wandered through the hallway before the start of classes….

Parent protests won’t stop teacher transfers in Seattle Seattle Times: The process of transferring about two dozen teachers to other buildings or positions will continue and be finalized by Oct. 26, Seattle Public Schools said.

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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 alexanderrusso@gmail.com.