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

Fordham's latest

"Why don’t schools embrace good ideas?," by Michael J. Petrilli, Flypaper

A Pew survey finds that American teens aren’t doing as badly on international science tests as the public believes. (Associated Press)

Under new legislation signed by Florida Governor Rick Scott yesterday, Algebra 2 will become an optional course for the state’s high schoolers. (Curriculum Matters)

Pearson, the educational publishing colossus, has been buying ed-tech startups and concepts; yesterday, they acquired Learning Catalytics. (Tech Crunch)

Jeff Charbonneau, a high school science teacher recently named the 2013 National Teacher of the Year, opposes linking teacher evaluation to standardized test scores. (Answer Sheet)

A new study finds that the type of school students attend may influence whether or not they befriend kids of their same race. (Huffington Post)

In an odd twist, Alaska—which eschewed the Common Core standards—has joined the Smarter Balanced assessment consortium. (Education Week)

A teachers’ strike in Strongsville, Ohio, is in its eighth week. (Teacher Beat)

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