Beth Milne is a past member of the 50CAN team. 

Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis 
Nearly all of Detroit’s public schools will be closed Wednesday in the latest, largest instance of staff calling in sick, en masse, to call attention to what they see as inadequate funding and deplorable conditions. (CNN)
It’s been a rough 2016 for the business world. Over the past three weeks, crude oil prices have collapsed to a 12-year low, the Chinese markets have found themselves in free fall, and now American consumer spending has seemingly stalled, leading behemoths like Macy’s and Wal-Mart to shutter hundreds of stores. Last Friday alone, the Dow lost nearly 400 points. (The Seventy Four)
When a student is identified as “gifted,” the label is a vote of confidence — as in the indelible Nina Simone song. It also comes with a prize package: extra services, accelerated classes, individualized learning plans. The availability of these services varies widely from district to district. The chances of being identified as gifted also varies — notably, by race. (NPR)
The Obama administration wants to expand the federal Pell grant program to help more students graduate from college – by providing them with money to attend classes year-round and reward them for taking more credits. (Associated Press)
Zhao Yang, 18, a high school student in Beijing, looked upset as she emerged from a room equipped with a video camera. “I was too nervous, so I spoke too fast,” she told her parents. “The questions were too weird. I wasn’t prepared for most of them.” Ms. Zhao is a top student with ambitions to go to a top American university. She has been preparing for years, working with a private admissions agent and taking the SAT and the Test of English as a Foreign Language several times. Her parents have invested more than $30,000 in the project, hoping to give their only child a boost. (The New York Times)


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