News at a glance

22nd November 2013 at 00:00

Common Core furore blamed on `clumsy phrasing'

The US education secretary is attempting to quell the outrage he provoked by claiming that opposition to the new Common Core State Standards came from "white suburban moms" who were afraid that their child was not as "brilliant" as they thought. Arne Duncan sparked a firestorm of criticism last week with his comments about the new US national curriculum. Opponents claimed that he had brought race and class into the debate and labelled him a "bigot". Mr Duncan admitted on his official blog on Monday that he had been guilty of using "clumsy phrasing".

`God of cricket' goes from Test matches to textbooks

Officials in the Indian state of Maharashtra are set to introduce lessons about a star cricketer to the curriculum. The state government is considering adding recently retired batsman Sachin Tendulkar to the syllabus so that children can "be inspired by his life and achievements", school education minister Rajendra Darda said. The cricketer - nicknamed the "god of cricket" - hails from Mumbai, the state capital. Maharashtra has a history of teaching students about cricketers, having previously covered Chandu Borde and Sunil Gavaskar in textbooks.

Biggest Muslim faith school in Australia may close

Australia's largest Muslim faith school is facing closure after the New South Wales education minister, Adrian Piccoli, wrote to the governing body stating that he was "gravely concerned". The Malek Fahd Islamic School may not have its registration renewed after recommendations from inspectors who highlighted fears over educational quality and health and safety. Mr Piccoli is now considering the school's future.

Putin accused of rewriting Russian history

Russian president Vladimir Putin's attempt to create a new history textbook that would reconcile different views of the country's past have led to accusations that he is following in the footsteps of Soviet leaders by rewriting history. The former KGB agent asked historians to draw up guidelines for the textbook in February. They stipulate that it will not mention criticism of Mr Putin or document mass protests against his presidency in 2011 and 2012. Critics have claimed that this move is similar to the tactics of former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who airbrushed enemies out of photographs and viewed history as a political weapon. "(Mr) Putin's blessing of any national high school project will mark a new version of old Soviet imperial practice," Mark Von Hagen, a historian and expert on Russia at Arizona State University in the US, told news agency Reuters.

Disabled UK students compete in Sao Paulo games

A team of disabled student athletes representing Great Britain are heading to Brazil to pit themselves against competitors from across the South American country. The 25 elite sportsmen and women from UK schools have been invited to take part in the Paralimpiadas Escolares 2013 in Sao Paulo, where they will compete in events such as goalball, swimming and boccia, which is similar to boules. Many of the students making the trip will hope to be part of Team GB at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games in 2016.

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