San Bernardino shooter inspected school cafeterias before massacre KPCC: San Bernardino school officials tell KPCC that Syed Rizwan Farook visited eleven school sites to inspect cafeterias through his job as a San Bernardino County health inspector. Officials found out less than a day after the shootings that Farook had been at a high school campus two months before the shootings that left 14 people dead and 21 wounded.

Senate Republicans celebrate ahead of vote to replace No Child Left Behind Washington Post: A new Republican video refers to legislation that was a forerunner of the bill that is teed up for a vote on Tuesday.

With Federal Budget Deal Expiring in Four Days, Where Does K-12 Spending Stand? PK12: With Congress poised to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, eyes are now turning to how congressional budget negotiations will impact K-12 aid.

Google Hit With A Student Privacy Complaint NPR: 50 million students and teachers use free Google Apps. A civil liberties organization says their data is being misused.

NYC Council OKs funds for guards at some private schools AP: New York City officials have given the go-ahead to spend nearly $20 million on security guards at private and religious schools…. See also The Answer Sheet.

The Teachers Who Educate Our Youngest Kids Are Struggling To Make Ends Meet HuffPost: A new report out from the National Association for the Education of Young Children shows that a majority of voters think early childhood educators deserve more pay. This makes sense given that a survey of preschool teachers also featured in the report reveals that some are struggling to get by. Early childhood educators earn notoriously little money.

One Way to Boost Achievement Among Poor Kids? Make Sure They Have Classmates Who Aren’t Poor. Washington Post: In a small number of school districts, officials are trying a different approach, assigning children to school based in part on their family’s income. And when poor kids mix with richer kids in class, they tend to do better academically, especially in math, according to a new study of large North Carolina school districts that was published in the journal Urban Education.

Backlash over Common Core extends to US Catholic schools AP: The backlash against standardized testing is rippling through some Roman Catholic schools as they balance the college-driven Common Core learning standards with spiritual goals.

New York Education Dept. Clarifies Goals for Poor-Performing Schools NYT: The School Renewal Program is Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attempt to improve troubled schools instead of shutting them down, but how they were supposed to improve has been difficult to discern. See also ChalkbeatNY.

New group names 28 L.A. schools–more of them charters–as models LA Times: Those schools, which include charters, magnets and traditional public campuses, are viewed as stellar examples of how to educate students in the L.A. Unified School District. They are being touted by those who, at least initially, had proposed enrolling half of L.A. students in charter schools over the next eight years.

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