A Year Later: The School System That Welcomed Unaccompanied Minors NPR: It’s been a year since thousands of unaccompanied minors surged into the U.S. In the schools of Oakland, Calif., such children were seen not as a burden but as a challenge. See also Marketplace, US News.

Family of Ahmed Mohamed, Student Clockmaker, to Move to Qatar NYT: Ahmed, 14, who was detained after he took to his school a clock, which a teacher feared was a bomb, has won a full scholarship to a science program in Doha. See also HuffPost. See also Washington Post: Before Ahmed and his clock, there was Kiera and her science project.

Arne Duncan to Launch Crackdown on College Accrediting Wall Street Journal: Education Secretary Arne Duncan is preparing to unveil a package of proposals aimed at forcing colleges that receive federal money to improve graduation rates and to provide students with job skills.

Baraka blasts critics for ‘using our children’ in charter school fight NJ.com: On Tuesday, one day after calling the expansion “irresponsible” and potentially harmful to Newark children outside of KIPP schools, Baraka clarified that the picture had no bearing on his stance.

Michelle Obama Wants More Students to Continue Their Education Beyond High School Newsweek: As part of the campaign, BetterMakeRoom.org has been launched. It is a platform for students ages 14 to 19 to find information about applying to college, filling out federal financial aid forms and signing up for the SAT and ACT exams, according to the White House 

At a school with a history of social protest, this teacher is leading an opposition to ‘excessive testing’ PBS NewsHour: Jesse Hagopian is a teacher on a mission. He wants his Garfield High School students to know their history, that Jimi Hendrix and Quincy Jones ones walked these halls before the students were even born. And he wants them to know their choices, among them, the right to opt out of the standardized tests Washington State schools use to gauge student performance.

Test Scores Decline as New Jersey Aligns Exams With Common Core NYT: The results from the 2014-2015 school year show that there is “still much work to be done,” the state education commissioner said. See also WSJ.

The Strange Case of Anna Stubblefield NYT: She told the family of a severely disabled man that she could help him to communicate with the outside world. The relationship that followed would lead to a criminal trial.

Can Newark’s New(ish) Schools Chief Chris Cerf Bring Political Peace and Lasting Change? The Seventy Four: While the visit is one of dozens Cerf made to schools during his first weeks as Newark’s new superintendent, he and Baraka have represented two warring factions who have fought bitterly over the direction of the school system and who will get to guide it.

Enrollment Up in D.C. Public Schools For Seventh Consecutive Year Washington Post: Enrollment reached 87,749 this school year, up 2 percent from the previous year, based on an annual enrollment audit each fall. The uptick represents the seventh consecutive year of growth in the public schools after decades of declines. The school system enrolled 48,653 students this fall, while public charter schools enrolled 39,096, both growing by about 2 percent. Charter schools continue to serve about 44 percent of the city’s public schools.

San Francisco school election delay sparks criticism AP: A student election at a mostly Hispanic San Francisco middle school turned into a debate about the democratic process when the principal delayed the results because the winners did not reflect the school's diverse student body….

Union Notches a Victory in Unionization Drive at Calif. Charter Chain Teacher Beat: The Public Employee Relations Board granted a teachers’ union request for injunctive relief against a charter chain that has opposed its unionization bid.

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 alexanderrusso@gmail.com.