This week Louis Freedberg and John Fensterwald talk about a new push in California to offer students the chance to take the SAT or ACT instead of the Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced assessments in high school. (read story)

They also cover how the Every Student Succeeds Act may require California to offer support to 3,003 schools where student sub-groups are lagging behind their peers. That represents just under half of all the schools in the state that receive Title 1 federal funds for low-income students. (read story)

And, for the first time in years, the number of charter schools that closed in the San Francisco Bay Area exceeded the number that opened last year, according to a new report by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. In an interview, Trey Cobb, one of the co-authors of the report,  says competition over scare facilities to house new schools seems to be a key reason for the slowdown in charter school growth, along with political resistance.

Produced by Sarah Tan