First Bell 7-25-13

A first look at the most important education news from this weekend and today:

Fordham's latest

"By the Company It Keeps: Derrell Bradford," by Andy Smarick, Flypaper

"On Tony Bennett’s “grading-gate,” avoid the rush to judgment," by Michael J. Petrilli, Flypaper

Tony Bennett, formerly state superintendent of Indiana and currently of Florida, was accused of inflating the grade of a charter school run by a prominent GOP donor from a C to an A; today, it was announced that he would resign his post in Florida. (Rick Hess Straight Up, Education Week, Politics K–12, and Associated Press)

On Wednesday, a student-loan bill rescinding the doubling of interest rates and pegging interest rates to a government borrowing rate passed easily in Congress. (New York Times and Associated Press)

Although the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that students in failing school districts ought to be allowed to transfer to better ones, racial and socioeconomic differences threaten to stymie implementation. (New York Times)

The Walton Foundation has committed another $20 million to Teach for America, bringing their total contributions to the organization to around $95 million. (Washington Post and Teacher Beat)

After receiving grants from Next Generation Learning Challenges, two major virtual-education providers—the state-run Florida Virtual School and the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School in New Hampshire—plan to add a blended-learning element to their instruction. (Digital Education)

According to a new report, a quarter of college students live off-campus—and half of those live below the federal poverty level, skewing the poverty statistics in otherwise affluent college towns and adding fuel to the debate readying high schoolers for financial self-sufficiency. (Inside School Research)

The Hechinger Report profiles the policy of lengthening the school day or year to improve student learning.

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