Roundup: CA Starts 2nd Common Core Testing Season

As students sit down for second year of new exams, pressure is on to perform KPCC LA: When students across the Southland and California sit down to take the Smarter Balanced exams beginning this week, the pressure will be back on to show improvement over last year’s scores. And that pressure is manifesting itself in some of the preparations schools are taking for the tests.

L.A. Unified school board approves another charter against district recommendations LA Times: In a 4-2 vote Tuesday (board President Steve Zimmer abstained), the school board decided to let the group open Wish Academy High School under a three-year charter.

An LAUSD Teacher Is Named National Teacher of the Year Finalist LA Magazine: Jocz is known for his innovative teaching style and creative curriculum. His YouTube channel, Jocz Productions,  boasts nearly 14,000 subscribers and offers a crash course in U.S. history aided by pop culture references to help students remember the material (details about the Social Security Act are set to the catchy tune of Taylor Swift’s “Trouble” and the National Recovery Act is scored by Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind.”)

Removing barriers facing AP test takers SI&A Cabinet Report: State sources will cover the cost of Advanced Placement exams in an effort to boost historically-dismal participation by high school students.

Shadow a Student Challenge helps administrators understand kids EdSource Today: The weeklong challenge was organized to build empathy and spur action and sharing.

What Discipline Looks Like At A Boston School With 325 Suspensions Boston Learning Lab: Teachers walk along with the groups of students. Each teacher clasps a stick striped in rainbow colors, with clothespins bearing the students’ names clipped on from top to bottom. If your clothespin is at the bottom, in the red zone, it means you’ve misbehaved. And everybody knows it.

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.