With White House rethinking tests, Washington wants its ‘No Child Left Behind’ waiver back Seattle Times: With federal waivers — which Washington had for awhile — school districts didn’t have to set aside some of their federal funds to pay for private tutoring for students attending schools where test scores fell under certain levels.  

PARCC Exam Results for NJ Magnify Achievement Gaps Linked to Income, Race NJ Spotlight: While New Jersey’s so-called “achievement gap” between rich and poor and white and minorities has always been wide, the chasm appears even wider based on the first year of the new PARCC testing.

English learners struggling at NYC schools NY Daily News: Nearly half of roughly 95,000 students who speak foreign languages failed to meet city benchmarks for learning the language in 2014, according to the group’s analysis of Education Department data.

Less than half of Montgomery students are college-ready, new tests show Washington Post: In Prince George’s County, less than a third of public school students met that same benchmark on tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

Algebra pass rates fall amid Common Core shift, leaving at-risk students furthest behind ChalkbeatNY: Sixty-three percent of all test-takers passed the Common Core-aligned Algebra I Regents examination last school year, compared to 72 percent who passed an easier exam that students took the previous year, according to the data. The drops are even steeper for black and Hispanic students, as well as high-need students.

Report: CA 1 of 5 states without linking teacher reviews to learning LA School Report: “Student outcomes should be determined in a far more robust way than mainly using test scores, such as through student grades, projects, other student work and regular observations,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. 

Two Chicago public schools inch closer to integration after divided voteWBEZ: The local school council (LSC) at Ogden International School voted seven to six in favor of a possible merger with nearby Jenner Academy of the Arts. The meeting lasted four hours and included seven presentations from parents both for and against a merger.  

Connecticut School Seeks to Expel 2 Accused of Wearing Columbine Costumes NYT: Some residents in Litchfield said the threats played on widespread fears in a town that is less than an hour from Newtown, where a school massacre took place three years ago.

Berkeley High students walk out in protest of apparent lynching threat Washington Post: A majority of Berkeley High School’s 3,000 students walked out of class for part of Thursday to protest a racist message discovered on a school computer a day earlier, school officials 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.