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The race for City Hall

Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.

In the News: Duncan lays out second-term agenda

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that he will use his second term to continue to leverage education improvement at the state and local levels, with a new emphasis on principal preparation and evaluation.

And, he made clear that if Congress isn't serious about reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, of which the No Chid Left Behind Act is the current version, then his department won't devote a lot of energy to it. (Education Week)

Chicago Public Schools, Microsoft, United Way and others are joining to offer parents and their children free “digital literacy’’ at Parent Engagement Centers around the city, Mayor Emanuel announced on Monday. The centers are located in mostly South and West Side schools that are part of a Community Schools initiative, United Way officials said. Help will be available before and after school, as well as during summer school and on some Saturdays. Some centers also may offer tutoring while  parents are learning the kind of digital skills that are second-nature to many students.

A contract giving Miami-Dade teachers some $30 million in raises for the 2012-13 school year won their approval late Monday, their union said. (Miami Herald)

Two-thirds of chronically underperforming schools that tapped into a big new infusion of cash under the federal School Improvement Grant program made gains in math or reading, but another third saw student achievement decline in their first academic year, according to an analysis by the U.S. Department of Education. (Education Week)

Three experienced charter-school operators have applied for fast-track approval to run 10 campuses serving thousands of students in the District, D.C. Public Charter School Board officials said Monday.  (The Washington Post)

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