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Academic redshirt students continue to shine at UW: Eleven of the 30 students in the State Academic Red Shirt (STARS) program at the University of Washington’s College of Engineering made the dean’s list during the winter quarter. Education Lab wrote about STARS, an effort targeted at top students from high-poverty high schools, last fall.

Arizona State offers admissions-free freshman year online (The New York Times): A new program offered by Arizona State University and edX will enable students to complete their first year of coursework online without going through the admissions process. Each credit in the new Global Freshman Academy will cost $200, but students won’t be required to pay until they pass the classes.

Des Moines council member resigns after slap on school bus: Jeanette Burrage, a former state legislator and bus driver for the Highline School District, stepped down from her post on the Des Moines City Council after she was accused of slapping a 6-year-old autistic boy on a school bus.

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