1. For the fifth year in a row, Maryland’s public school system earned the top spot with a B+ in Education Weekly‘s Quality Counts 2013. Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia cam in next with overall grades of B.
  2. Former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s Students First gave 12 states failing grades on public school policies. No state received an A, and only two received a B-.
  3. The Baltimore school system is paying bonuses to teachers and administrators at struggling schools that reduce suspensions, a program that many say compromises school safety. The bonuses, so far, have ranged from $5,000 to $9,000 given to 72 teachers and assistant principals, plus $3,000 each to two principals. The program is funded with Maryland’s $695,000 federal Race to the Top grant winnings.
  4. Researchers have found that girls taught by a female teacher get a learning boost is said teacher has a strong math background but consistently performed more poorly if she did not. Boys were unaffected either way.
  5. Parents at California’s Desert Trails Elementary School used the parent trigger law, successfully turning the school over to a charter school operator in August. The law was inspired by the film, Won’t Back Down.