Roundup: Clinton’s Bid For Black Votes, Sanders’ Dubious Free College Plan, Teachers “Walk In”

Hillary Clinton Calls for End to School-to-Prison Pipeline in Bid for Black Votes WSJ: Hillary Clinton, relying heavily on black voters in her battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, vowed Tuesday to address racial disparities in the nation’s economy, criminal-justice system, health and schools.

Bernie Sanders Promises Free College. Will It Work? NPR: Let’s assume that, somehow, it gets done. Would getting rid of tuition at public colleges and universities, by itself, really give the United States “the most educated workforce in the world”? Probably not.

With ‘walk-ins,’ national teachers union spotlights LA charter fight KPCC: Teachers union sympathizers will rally at public school sites in more than two-dozen cities across the nation Wednesday morning — including at more than 170 Los Angeles Unified school sites — as part of a national demonstration of support for traditional public school districts. Among those expected to be in attendance in Los Angeles: the president of the nation’s second-largest teachers union. And that she’s in L.A. specifically is no accident.

ACT v. SAT: New Standards in Illinois WBEZ Chicago: For the past 15 years, high school students in Illinois have taken the ACT, just like many other students in the Midwest. But now, there’s a new college entrance exam in town: The SAT. Chicago Tribune’s Diane Rado explains differences between the two tests and how this move will affect students.

2015 Saw Historic Shift in State Education Leadership, New Report Says State EdWatch: At least 31 states got new education chiefs last year, according to Achieve, and there were 95 new state school board members in 33 states.

Google says it tracks personal student data, but not for advertising Washington Post: In a letter to Sen. Al Franken, Google says it doesn’t target ads to students, but does track some K-12 student data.

D.C. Schools Budget Emphasizes Alternative High Schools and Programs The Washington Post: The D.C. school system is hoping to boost the city’s alternative high schools next year, proposing in its 2017 budget to put an additional $4 million toward programs that help students who are generally lagging far behind in school.

Appointed Boards To Continue At St. Louis And Riverview Gardens School Districts St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The Missouri state school board voted Tuesday to keep St. Louis Public Schools under the leadership of an appointed board for at least three more years. The unanimous vote — which had been expected — means the Special Administrative Board, or SAB, will have controlled St. Louis schools for more than a decade by the time its fourth term expires in June 2019.

For Preservice Teachers, Lessons on Cultural Sensitivity Education Week: The K-12 student population has never been more diverse. The first, and arguably predominant, interaction with public institutions that people of color face is at school. But the teaching force continues to be dominated by white women. And through their interactions with students—whether explicit or subtle, well-meaning or ignorant—teachers can compound the biases that many experience. 

Mass. Education Chief Recommends Adding Charter Seats Boston Learning Lab:  Mitchell Chester, commissioner of elementary and secondary education, announced Tuesday that he will advise the state board of education to approve new charter schools in Springfield and Brockton, plus the expansion of five existing charter schools, including four in Boston.

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.