Roundup: LA Explores “Charter District” Concept, MA Changes Tests

L.A. Unified explores possibility of becoming an all-charter district LA Times:  On Tuesday, a board committee reviewed a report that outlines the process for becoming an entirely charter school district. Board members said the goal was primarily to identify how the district could benefit from the same flexibility currently provided to charters. See also LA Daily News.

Massachusetts Board Approves Hybrid PARCC, State Test State EdWatch: By an 8-3 vote, the state school board approved creation of a new English and mathematics test to be administered by all of the state’s schools by 2017. See also WNYC, Boston Learning Lab.

Schools postpone D.C. field trips amid increased concerns about terrorism Washington Post: Schools in S.C., Conn., and Md. scrapped field trips to the nation’s capital after online threat of attack.

New York State Accuses Utica School District of Bias Against Refugees NYT: Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a lawsuit that the city diverted immigrants over 16 and unsteady in English into alternative programs in which they could not earn diplomas.

Calls mount to remove metal detectors from NYC schools AP: A student has not been shot in a New York City school in 13 years, a heartening statistic in an era of commonplace school massacres. But there is a growing cry to rid the city's schools of metal detectors, the very tool some observers credit with keeping them safe….

Mark Zuckerberg on Philanthropy: Move Slow and Build Things AP: Last year, Zuckerberg and Chan announced they would give $120 million to public and charter schools closer to home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Instead of attempting to overhaul an entire school district, they are doling the money out to smaller programs that provide teacher training, classroom technology and attempts to develop more personalized instruction for individual students.

St. Paul becomes latest district to study doing away with school buses MinnPost: This year, St. Paul Public Schools launched a pilot program to study how feasible it may be to send their high school students to and from school via city bus. And if the program proves successful, St. Paul may soon be joining Minneapolis in doing away with most yellow buses for their public high schools. The district estimates the cost of providing the passes to be about the same as operating yellow buses.

Will Seattle schools start later? Vote gets national spotlight Seattle Times: Seattle Public Schools could become one of the largest districts in the country to push back start times for teens, thanks to parents, sleep scientists and a school board willing to make it a priority.

Nonprofit is formed to advance charter-school plan in Los Angeles area LA Times:  Great Public Schools Now will be run by two executives from ExED, a local company that specializes in helping charter schools manage their business operations. Eli Broad or a designee, however, is expected to occupy one seat on an 11-member board of trustees.

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.