Curtis Whatley is a past member of the 50CAN team. 

Here’s what educators, advocates, wonks and policymakers are talking about today:

News & analysis

No Child Left Behind option meets praise and caution
President Obama is offering to free public schools from many of the requirements of a controversial federal education law. But as states consider whether to take him up on it, they’re realizing the offer comes with some costs. (USA Today)

In public school reform, what can money buy?
City Limits asked foundations and groups they fund: Do private dollars make a difference in public education? The answer: Mixed. (City Limits)

Courthouses rife with education battles
State-level battles over changes in education policy have shifted in many places from legislative chambers to courthouses, as unions and other critics of new laws challenge them on the grounds that they violate state constitutions and worker contracts. (EdWeek)

Ed. Dept. gives more time for stimulus reporting
States will get even more time, if they ask for it, to implement three particularly challenging data elements: creating a longitudinal data system that satisfies the 12 components of the America COMPETES Act, reporting the number of high school graduates who enroll in college, and reporting the number who earn a year’s worth of college credit within two years. (Politics K-12)

When the best is mediocre
Even the most elite suburban school districts often produce results that are mediocre when compared with those of our international peers. Our best school districts may look excellent alongside large urban districts, the comparison state accountability systems encourage, but that measure provides false comfort. (EdNext)

Lectures are homework in schools following the Khan Academy’s lead
Advocates of the approach say it allows students to work through meat-and-potatoes background on their own, giving teachers more time to go in depth through discussions, projects and other activities in class. Critics, though, argue the model is too reliant on online materials and will prove difficult to use in schools without major technology infrastructure. (EdWeek)

Rhode Island: Board of Governors unanimously approves in-state tuition for undocumented students
Following hours of testimony on both sides of the issue, the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education Monday voted unanimously to offer undocumented students in-state tuition at the state’s public university and colleges. (GoLocalProv)

Minnesota: Voters to decide referendum to pay for new high school
Voters in Alexandria will decide Tuesday whether to approve a tax raise to pay for a new, $65 million high school. If the referendum is approved, owners of a $175,000 house could expect to see their property taxes go up by about $126 a year. (MPR)

New York: Bloomberg strikes pragmatic tone in address about schools
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pledged his support to the Obama administration’s plan to give states relief from the most onerous provision of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, which would require all students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014. (School Book)

Connecticut: In-state tuition law has a big impact for small number
Lucas Codognolla’s story is the classic immigrant saga: He’s working two jobs to put himself through the University of Connecticut’s Stamford branch, where he’s determined to be the first in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree. But there’s a twist: He’s one of a handful of students taking advantage of a new law granting in-state tuition to undocumented residents. (CT Mirror)


Diane Ravitch on why publicly releasing teachers names alongside student data is wrong
What’s wrong with “naming names”? Even researchers who support the use of value-added assessment for teacher evaluation have warned that it is wrong to name names. William Sanders, one of the pioneers of value-added assessment, told an interviewer that the method could identify those at the extremes—the best and the worst—but “can you distinguish within the middle? No, you can’t, not even with the most distinguished, value-added process that you can bring to the problem.” (Bridging Differences)

A better way to fix No Child Left Behind
We agree that all states should aim to make their graduates capable of entering higher education or the workforce. But we also believe there are many ways to get there, and states should have the flexibility to find the ones that works best for them. (Senator Lamar Alexander)


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