New York’s Opt Out Movement Revs Back Up WNYC: State education officials… shortened the tests for all grades in both math and English, though only slightly so (some parents say the change is negligible). Students this year will be allowed as much time as they need to finish the tests. And, according to the state education department, teachers have played a more active role in reviewing test questions. But making small revisions and acknowledging flaws did not appease Deutermann and other parents gathered for a rally in Long Beach, Long Island on Sunday. 

GOP Candidates Taking Aim at Common Core Academic Standards AP: Republican presidential candidates are taking aim at the Common Core academic standards, criticizing them as an overreach of the federal government even though they were created by the states.

Spike in weapons seized in schools, pro-charter group reports ChalkbeatNY: The data, which the city did not dispute, shows that the police recovered 1,678 weapons in the 2014-15 school year, an increase of 170 weapons from the previous year. (That included a significant spike in taser and stun gun recoveries.) 

Montclair Still Feels Strife From School Tests Posted Online in ’13 NYT: Documents circulating through a liberal New Jersey township lately are adding new fuel to a fierce, long-running battle over education philosophy in the local schools.

The ‘Broad plan’ for LA schools grows to more than charters only EdSource Today: Whether the shift in approach represents a sincere effort to involve the school district or a strategy to blunt intense criticism from defenders of traditional public education, or maybe both, Castrejón says the group intends to examine district schools that are excelling and replicate their efforts in low-income areas of Los Angeles where academic performance is lagging.

New Parent-Trigger Bills Fail to Gain Traction in States This Year EdWeek: Legislators in four states have introduced parent-trigger bills this year, but none of those proposals have moved forward so far. See also LA Times.

Separate but equal? Wealthy county’s plan would concentrate low-income, Hispanic students Washington Post: A debate in Virginia centers on serving high-need students amid concerns about segregation.

Student suspensions in Calif. charter schools follow familiar, troubling patterns KPCC: The study also found the demographic disparities in suspension rates at charter schools differed little from the rates at non-charter schools, suggesting charter schools have played a significant — but not outsized — role in the creation of a so-called “school-to-prison pipeline.”

Name Games: Donald Trump Isn’t Alone in Exploiting the Word ‘University’ NYT: Students have been taught to trust places called universities, even though few of them actually are.

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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