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

Fordham's latest

"Reforms that cross the Atlantic—and don’t," by Chester E. Finn, Jr., Education Gadfly Weekly

"The enduring saga of SIG shenanigans," by Andy Smarick, Flypaper

"The Nation’s Report Card: Trends in Academic Progress 2012," by Daniela Fairchild, Education Gadfly Weekly

Just days away from July 1, when student loans are scheduled to jump to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent, the Senate majority leader spurned a bipartisan proposal—and lawmakers seem to back to square one. (Washington Post, New York Times, and Huffington Post)

On Thursday, the Agriculture Department effectively banned candy, cookies, and sugary drinks from schools; some Montgomery parents think the law doesn’t go far enough. (New York Times and Washington Post)

Studies and experts are questioning the quality of France’s baccalauréat exam, French students’ singular hurdle to achieving a high school diploma. (New York Times)

LearnZillion—a D.C.-based, ed-tech startup—has won this year’s ISTE “pitchfest” by involving teahcers and convincing a panel of judges of their deep understanding of Common Core. (Digital Education)

On Wednesday, New Hampshire was granted the fortieth NCLB waiver—leaving Illinois, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming in “waiver purgatory.” (Politics K–12)

Jenny Sedlis, who helped Eva Moskowitz build Success Academy Charter Schools, will start as StudentsFirstNY’s new executive director in September. (Wall Street Journal)

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