First Bell: August 28, 2014

STRETCHING COGNITIVE LIMITS ON ACHIEVEMENT
Each year of attendance at an oversubscribed charter school increased the math test scores of students in the sample by roughly 50 percent over the typical students, EducationNext reports, but had no impact on their fluid cognitive skills.

TICK, TICK, TICK…..
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has received only 141 out of more than 500 contracts required for review to launch Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious universal preschool program. School starts September 4. That’s September 4, 2014.  

ICYMI: JINDAL SUES
And the story is getting some coverage: Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal, Politico, and more. Petrilli’s take: “"Bobby Jindal is not going to win these lawsuits, but he is going to win politically just by staging the fight.”

HOW DO YOU GET TO CARNEGIE HALL?  TAXICAB, MAYBE...
Sorry, Malcolm Gladwell. It turns out that 10,000 hours of practice will not make you an expert. A new meta-analysis finds practice explains just 12 percent of skill mastery and subsequent success, Smithsonian reports.

STRETCH THAT SCHOOL DOLLAR
The Daily Beast highlights twenty-five schools that are “doing the most with the least;” and note the charter and magnet school theme.

HISTORY BUFFS OR TEST PUFF?
One hundred percent of students in Tennessee passed the statewide history and social-studies assessments, according to Chalkbeat Tennessee. A case of great teaching, high standards, and well-aligned curriculum? Or low standards, drill-and-kill tests, and low cut scores? You decide.

I HAVE A DREAM
Today back in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his most famous speech. But, according to a recent Fordham study, not even 40 percent of high school English teachers covered I Have a Dream in grades nine and ten.

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