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A fifth-grade schoolteacher from Bahama, North Carolina named Julianna Mendelsohn wanted to do something to help school kids in Ferguson, and came up with the idea of raising money for the local food banks to donate meals to kids and their families.

The New York Times reports:

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana said Wednesday that he would seek to end his state’s enactment of the Common Core educational guidelines and plans to administer a test tied to them, but other officials immediately said that the governor had overstepped his authority and vowed to resist his moves.

The action by Mr. Jindal, a Republican who might mount a 2016 presidential bid, represented a high-profile victory for conservative critics of the math and reading guidelines, which dozens of states are planning to use. It followed months of debate in Louisiana about the standards, which were developed at the request of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Yes, why would Republican politicians in Louisiana want kids there to be as well educated as kids in other states? Imagine that.

The Washington Post reports:

The creation of the country’s first all-charter school system has improved education for many children in New Orleans, but it also has severed ties to a community institution, the neighborhood school, and amplified concerns about racial equality and loss of parental control.

An all-charter district signals the dismantling of the central school bureaucracy and a shift of power to dozens of independent school operators, who will assume all the corresponding functions: the authority to hire and fire teachers and administrators, maintain buildings, run buses and provide services to special-needs students.

The Washington Post reports: “There’s a particularly acute gulf visible in different regions. As the Census Bureau’s announcement noted, the nine Northeast states were among the 15 states spending the most per pupil; 18 states in the South and West were among the 20 states spending the least per pupil.”

This post includes a good map.

The Washington Post reports:

Whether you support the Common Core State Standards or don’t, it’s important to recognize when critics are going off the rails in their dissent.

Here’s a newly publicized example: A Republican Florida state legislator, Charles Van Zant, told an audience at a conference in Orlando that the organization that has won a $220 million contract from Florida to design standardized tests aligned to Florida’s new standards are trying to get young people to become gay. Specifically, he said, Think Progress reported:

"These people, that will now receive $220 million from the state of Florida unless this is stopped, will promote double-mindedness in state education and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can. I’m sorry to report that to you."

It would be easy to think this is just some crank on the outside of the main Common Core debate, but as a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center says, anti-Core rhetoric by right-wing extremists based on conspiracy theories and misinformation are entering the mainstream debate. The report notes that the extremist anti-Core campaign is really “a proxy for a broader assault on public education itself.”

Jen Hayden writes:

"But seriously, South Carolina. Please keep this man as far from elected office as possible."

Following a petition drive that garnered more than 160,000 signatures, a Florida school district will rename a high school whose current name commemorates a Confederate general and the first “grand wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan.

Nathan B. Forrest High School in Jacksonville will soon be known as something else after the community made clear to the Duval County Public School Board that they wanted the school changed. The board voted unanimously Monday night to remove the Forrest name.

Jacksonville and Duval County finally and at long last appear to be doing the right thing.

The decision by a suburban Birmingham school district to eliminate its busing program has erupted into a controversy over race and class. Officials in the Hoover school district say they were forced to drop the buses because of a severe budget shortfall. Many community members believe the decision was designed to force out the growing numbers of minority and low-income students who are lowering average test scores in Hoover schools.

Jay Bookman writes:

Sometimes, when they say it’s about the money, it’s not about the money.

Georgia’s decision to drop multi-state testing based on the Common Core educational standards is not about the money. It’s about politics, pure and simple. It is an effort to try to appease that portion of the state’s Republican base that sees Common Core as some sort of Obama-led conspiracy to undermine American freedom. That same portion of the base threatens to unseat any Republican that dares to challenge their paranioa.

For that reason, this week’s announcement constitutes an important step backward, both symbolically and practically.