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 
The White House and U.S. Department of Education announced two initiatives on Friday designed to raise awareness about and combat chronic absenteeism in schools. (Education Week)
When the Kentucky governor, Matt Bevin, suggested last month that students majoring in French literature should not receive state funding for their college education, he joined a growing number of elected officials who want to nudge students away from the humanities and toward more job-friendly subjects like electrical engineering. (The New York Times)
Students from the poorest households are shouldering more of the pain from rising college costs, borrowing at far higher levels as a share of family income than ever. (The Wall Street Journal)
Leon Sykes has eight children at home, works two jobs, and drives for Uber and Lyft on the side. Yet the 34-year-old father has found time to take classes Monday through Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. to earn his high-school credentials at Academy of Hope, an adult public charter school in Washington, D.C. Sykes is about two years into the program. His wife usually picks up their children, ages 5 to 15, from after-school activities, but he still can’t always make it to class. “Some days, you just have to pick and choose,” he says. (The Atlantic)
The vast majority of states have adopted Common Core academic standards, but individual states are still setting different definitions of “proficient” on annual math and reading tests, according to a new study. (The Washington Post)
Tens of thousands of Tennessee students steadied their clammy, test-day hands over a keyboard several days ago. And, for many, nothing happened. It was the state’s first time giving standardized exams on computers, but the rollout couldn’t have gone much worse. In lots of places, the testing platform slowed to a crawl or appeared to shut down entirely. Within hours, Tennessee scrapped online testing for the year. (NPR)
Rhode Island
Rhode Island’s education commissioner has been appointed to a national board overseeing student assessment. Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. announced that Ken Wagner, Rhode Island’s commissioner for elementary and secondary education, had been appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board. (Education Week)


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