First Bell 2-1-13

A first look at today's most important education news:

Fordham's latest

"Fordham’s Initial Comments on Governor Kasich’s Proposed School Reforms," by Terry Ryan, Ohio Gadfly Daily

"On closing schools," by Chester E. Finn, Jr., Flypaper

"Smart ideas for school choice," by Adam Emerson, Choice Words

Late last week, Alabama withdrew from both Common Core testing consortia. (Curriculum Matters)

In an interview with Bloomberg Radio, Education Secretary Arne Duncan made clear his second-term focus on school safety and early childhood education. (Answer Sheet)

Michelle Rhee discusses her new book, growing up Korean, and standardized-test cheating with the New York Times.

Civil-rights groups claim that school turnarounds cause disproportionate upheaval at schools with high minority populations. (Associated Press)

Members of a smaller school-bus union in NYC, one that is not striking, most cross an angry picket line every morning. In the meantime, parents struggle to transport their children to school. (Wall Street Journal and GothamSchools)

Raise D.C., a new group that will aim to improve the lives of young people in the District, has released a grim set of baseline statistics upon which it will measure its effect in future years. (Washington Post)

GOP leaders are concerned that the Obama administration may be hindering families seeking to participate in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, a lightning-rod voucher program. (Politics K–12)

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