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Saturday Night Live On Sequester; West Virginia Reform Battles: Ed Today

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SNL Takes On Sequester.. On Friday night, President Barack Obama signed an executive order activating the across-the-board spending cuts known as "sequestration" that came as a result of an ongoing political budget standoff. Saturday Night Live explains the sequester, having an Obama impersonator bring up examples of folks affected by these cuts. Start at 1:15 to see a Philadelphia public schools teacher who was supposedly laid off. (Hint: The glee of her reaction to leaving that job is off message for Obama's grim tone. "Good luck reading Beowulf, you monsters," she says.)

Reform War's Next Battle: West Virginia? West Virginia Gov. Ray Tomblin's effort to revamp teacher hiring and firing systems are reminiscent of the education reform fights that have gripped our collective attention in states such as New York and California over the last few years. As the Associated Press reports, Tomblin wants to de-emphasize the importance of seniority in making hiring and firing determinations and transfers.

Seattle Teacher Boycott Check In Remember those Seattle teachers who were boycotting the MAP, a nationally-normed standardized test? Well, Reuters checks in on them to find that they're still at the center of the ongoing national debate about the role about standardized testing in public schools.

L.A. Elections Get The Times Treatment The New York Times weighs in on the expensive and heated Los Angeles school board elections. "The outcome of the political fight for the school board seats will have a profound impact on the direction of the nation's second-largest school district," the Times reports. "But the clash has also become a sort of test case for those who want to overhaul public education, weakening the power of the teachers' union, pushing for more charter schools and changing the way teachers are hired and fired."

**Extra Credit**
"Gifted Class Imbalance"