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 
When Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act last year, lawmakers did not change federal requirements governing how local spending between high- and low-poverty schools must be comparable. But those requirements—specifically, how they relate to teacher salaries—have been on the minds of K-12 advocacy groups during negotiated rulemaking for ESSA, which started last week, even though it’s not on the table as a topic subject to negotiations. (Education Week)
More than half of public school students are members of minority groups, but 83 percent of their teachers are white. Half of students are boys, while three-quarters of teachers are women. Students can benefit in many ways from having teachers who look like them, but in many schools around the country the math doesn’t add up. (NPR)
Salman Khan is not afraid to make mistakes in his popular teaching videos. In fact, he considers them a feature. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Tracking, the practice of putting a small group of higher achieving students into separate advanced or honors classes, isn’t popular with progressive educators. Previous research has pointed out that it exacerbates inequality in our schools because higher income and white or Asian kids are more likely to get tracked into the elite classrooms. Students who aren’t chosen can become demoralized, or the curriculum in the average class can get too watered down. Great teachers and extra resources get steered to these honors programs, leaving the kids who need the most help with less. Researchers have sometimes found that lower-achieving kids are worse off in schools that track. (The Atlantic)
One school has a planetarium, indoor tennis courts and a parking garage. At the other, hallways were missing ceiling tiles for the first few months of school. One offers an SAT course over the summer, and the average student’s score is 1217 out of 1600. At the other, classes share copies of SAT prep books. The average score there is 825. (The Texas Tribune)
The Supreme Court washed its hands of the year’s biggest labor case Tuesday with an inconclusive a 4-4 decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. That leaves standing the lower court’s affirmation that states may continue to require non-union public employees covered by union contracts to pay agency fees. “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court,” the decision said in its entirety. (Politico)
The number of newly awarded bachelor’s degrees in education has dropped by more than one-fourth in Ohio since the 2003-04 school year, challenging the state’s reputation as a fount of new teachers. (The Columbus Dispatch)
Rhode Island 
Rhode Island Education Commissioner Ken Wagner has unveiled a plan to give teachers and principals more authority in running their schools. (Turn to 10)


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