Roundup: ESSA Hearing, LAUSD Grad Rate Spike, NY Opt-Out Penalties

Accountability Grabs the Spotlight at Senate ESSA Oversight Hearing PK12: Tuesday’s congressional hearing was second so far on oversight of the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Why LAUSD’s projected graduation rate shot up nine points in one month KPCC: What looked like a sudden shift in the numbers is the result of what district officials described Tuesday as part of a year-long, district-wide effort to ensure off-track high school seniors earn the credits they need to get their diplomas. See also LA Times.

Landmark teacher tenure fight resumes in California court LA Times: One of the highest-stakes battles in education is about to resume Thursday in a Los Angeles courtroom as teacher unions and their allies try to win back job protections that were tossed out in a landmark 2014 ruling. 

Opt-out movement unlikely to provoke sanctions from state, this time around ChalkbeatNY: Though a federal mandate that 95 percent of students take state assessments still applies to New York, members of the Board of Regents indicated this week they are not inclined to impose sanctions on schools or districts with a low participation rates. They are, however, looking to craft a long-term plan.

Far higher share of students are passing at least one AP test during high school Washington Post:  Maryland leads the nation in the portion of its graduates from the Class of 2015 who earned a 3 or better on at least one Advanced Placement exam. Virginia was 6th in the country.

De Blasio’s First School Closures Up for a Vote WNYC: As a matter of policy, de Blasio has shied away from closing schools in favor of giving troubled schools extra resources through school “Renewal” or community schools programs. Two of the schools up for closure, Peace Academy and Foundations, were part of the Renewal program.

State teachers union exec can’t oversee local school budget, judge rules NJ.com: Judge Thomas Moore agreed with Montclair Kids First, a coalition of local parents, that Sean Spiller’s seat on the Board of School Estimate represented a conflict of interest with his job as the New Jersey Education Association’s secretary-treasurer.

The Latest: Md. school aide faces child-pornography charges AP: The latest on a child pornography scandal at a Maryland elementary school (all times local):…

Amazon’s Kindle to sponsor national spelling bee Seattle Times: The move should give Amazon’s line of e-readers a lot of visibility: more than 11 million students participate in the spelling contest every year.

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.