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Stories we've republished from Education Week.

Accountability and the ESEA reauthorization deal: Your cheat sheet

By Alyson Klein for Education Week on Nov 24, 2015 01:53 PM

The newest proposed version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—dubbed the Every Student Succeeds Act—is almost over the congressional finish line, with votes in both chambers of Congress imminent.

So how would accountability work under the ESSA, if approved? And how does it compare to the No Child Left Behind Act, Classic Edition, and the Obama administration's waivers?

Your cheat sheet here. Top-line stuff on accountability first, then some early reaction. Scroll down further if you want the nitty-gritty details on accountability.

Cyber charters have 'overwhelming negative impact,' CREDO study finds

By Benjamin Herold for Education Week on Oct 28, 2015 09:40 AM

Students who take classes over the Internet through online charter schools make dramatically less academic progress than their counterparts in traditional schools, according to a sweeping new series of reports released today.

How stark are the findings?

Too much testing? Ed. Dept. outlines steps to help states, districts cut back

By Alyson Klein for Education Week on Oct 26, 2015 10:18 AM

The Obama administration, which spent its first six years in office arguably upping the ante on standardized tests by calling for them to be a part of teacher evaluations, has instead spent the last year encouraging states and districts to make sure that assessments are of high quality and don't take up too much instructional time.

The shift has come as many parents have decided to opt their children out of standardized assessments, states have sought to rein in testing time, and the Common Core State Standards have faced serious political pushback, in part because of concern about the tests that go along with them. (More on changes to the administration's testing rhetoric here.)

Arne Duncan to step down as ed. sec., John King to head up department

By Alyson Klein for Education Week on Oct 2, 2015 12:23 PM

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who pushed through an unprecedented level of change in K-12 education in his nearly seven years in office, has announced that he's stepping down in December.

John King, who is currently filling the duties of the deputy secretary of education, will head up the department as acting secretary until the end of the Obama administration.

Obama makes applying for federal financial aid easier

By Alyson Klein for Education Week on Sep 16, 2015 11:11 AM

This article, first published on Sept. 13, has been updated to reflect recent developments.

President Obama is announcing some changes to the notoriously difficult process that students and families must go through in applying for federal financial aid, using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Changes forecast for federal college-aid form

By Caralee J. Adams for Education Week on Sep 15, 2015 02:03 PM

As calls to simplify the student financial aid process intensify and gain bipartisan support, advocates are hopeful that changes are coming to help more qualified students get through college who couldn’t otherwise afford it.

In the meantime, high schools, community organizations, and the federal government are ramping up efforts to help students fill out the current Free Application for Federal Student Aid — or FAFSA — by using data, working together, and getting creative with outreach events. The extra efforts are needed: Analysts estimate that each year millions of students who might qualify for aid never file the required FAFSA form.

ISTE 2015: Ed-tech leadership, maker education, and professional learning

By Benjamin Herold for Education Week on Jun 26, 2015 04:29 PM

The country's largest educational technology conference kicks off this weekend, with roughly 18,000 educators, vendors, and advocates set to convene here for four-plus days of swapping classroom strategies, playing with gadgets, and diving into the sweeping policy changes that are reshaping digital learning in K-12 schools.

Among the big themes: the importance of shared responsibility when it comes to effectively integrating technology into the classroom.

Former Atlanta educators sentenced to prison for roles in test-cheating case

By Corey Mitchell for Education Week on Apr 16, 2015 11:38 AM

A Fulton County, Ga., judge sentenced eight of the 11 former Atlanta schools employees convicted in a test-cheating scandal to prison Tuesday, reserving the harshest penalties for those who refused to reach sentencing agreements with the district attorney.

Almost all the defendants will spend time behind bars, a reality that hit home hard for some in the courtroom. Crying and sobbing could be heard as Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter handed down the first of the sentences.

Jury finds 11 Atlanta educators guilty in cheating trial

By Corey Mitchell and Denisa Superville for Education Week on Apr 1, 2015 06:01 PM

Eleven former Atlanta public school teachers and administrators were convicted of racketeering Wednesday for their roles in a widespread cheating scandal and face up to 20 years in prison, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Is 'grit' racist?

By Benjamin Herold for Education Week on Jan 26, 2015 01:25 PM

"Grit" has in recent years captivated the imagination of educators and policymakers, leading many to embrace the idea that schools should seek to cultivate in their students a set of personality traits demonstrated by researchers to be closely tied to academic and personal success.

Increasingly, though, critics are offering a different take, arguing that grit is a racist construct and has harmed low-income students by crowding out a focus on providing children with the supports they deserve and the more-flexible educational approach enjoyed by many of their more affluent counterparts.

That view was on full display Saturday at EduCon 2.7, a progressive education-technology conference being held in Philadelphia.

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