Only A Quarter Of D.C. Students Ready For College And Career, Per New Test WAMU: A quarter of all third- to eighth-graders in D.C. public and charter schools are considered “on track” for college or a career, according to the results of new, more rigorous tests in English and math. See also Washington Post, Washington Post.

Paying To Cut Seattle Class Sizes Doesn’t Necessarily Make Them Smaller Seattle Public Radio: The Washington state Legislature has directed funding to reduce class sizes in elementary schools. But as KUOW’s Ann Dornfeld reports, that doesn’t mean classes are getting much smaller.

In Denver, Charters and District Team Up on Special EducationEdWeek: Over the last five years, Denver district officials have been opening special centers for students with significant disabilities inside high-performing charters across the city.

California leads drive to reverse focus on standardized tests EdSource Today: The only standardized tests left are the Smarter Balanced tests in math and English language arts, which all students in 3rd through 8th grade and 11th grade are expected to take. Students still take a science test in 5th, 8th and 10th grade because they are required to do so under the No Child Left Behind law. (Students with special needs take a variety of tests designed to accommodate their specific disabilities.)

The Outgoing Education Secretary Reunites With A Former Student NPR: Arne Duncan catches up with one of the young students he mentored more than 25 years ago — a young woman who, he says, “inspires him.”

Praise From Governors, State Chiefs Highlight Reactions to ESEA Bill PK12: The National Governors Association gave the legislation its “full endorsement,” the first time the group has given a federal bill that kind of backing since 1996.

‘Star Wars’ mania becomes a force in schools and classrooms KPCC: “Star Wars” mania is in full force just weeks before the seventh film hits theaters. Riding that wave, some Los Angeles Unified schools will host “Star Wars”-themed, anti-bullying assemblies next year.

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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