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

Fordham's latest

"The emperor is mostly naked: Responding to Common Core critics," by Aaron Churchill, Emmy Partin, Jeff Murray, and Terry Ryan, Ohio Gadfly Daily

A coalition of parents is petitioning New York City for more gifted and talented spots. (Insideschools)

Brown University is set to offer a free online engineering course to high school students. MOOCs in size small, please! (New York Times and Flypaper)

A new survey from ACT finds that while 89 percent of high school teachers believed students who completed their courses were well or very well prepared for college, just 26 percent of college instructors said the same. (Washington Post)

A New York parent (and Economist writer) concerned that his daughter will be tested on topics she has hardly encountered when she takes the new Common Core–aligned assessments.

The Labor Department reports that the share of recent U.S. high school graduates enrolling in college dropped to its lowest level since 2006; the researchers suggest that grads are becoming more confident about job prospects outside of college. (Real Time Economics)

A group of legislators question Arne Duncan on his heavy-handed use of competitive grants. (Politics K-12)

The Hechinger Report profiles Mississippi’s new teacher-evaluation system.

The American Federation of Teachers releases a report listing hedge fund and investment executives who both profit from pension-fund investments and support organizations seeking to end defined-benefit plans. (Wall Street Journal and Money Beat)

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