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

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

News & analysis

White House says bill would save 400,000 education jobs
The American Jobs Act proposed by president Obama last month would save nearly 400,000 educator jobs if states spent all the money in one year, according to a report released today by the White House. The legislation is part of a nearly $450 billion package that would include $30 billlion to prevent teacher layoffs, and $25 billion for school modernization and repair. (Politics K-12)

Obama to nominate new members for education research advisory board
President Barack Obama announced today that he will nominate a new member and re-enlist an existing member to serve on the National Board for Education Sciences, the advisory group for the U.S. Education Department’s research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences. If confirmed by the Senate—a process that can take months—the nominations would go a little way toward filling the holes in the board, which has been operating without five of its 15 members since last November. (Inside School Research)

Alabama: Fearful Hispanic students skip class
An alarming number of Hispanic students in Alabama failed to show up at school on Monday, following a federal judge’s ruling last week to uphold parts of the toughest immigration law in the country. A whopping 2,285 Hispanic students didn’t attend classes — about double the usual absentee rate, according to the most recent data provided to POLITICO by the Alabama Department of Education. (Politico)

New Jersey: Not running for president, Gov. Christie returns to work
At the top of Christie’s agenda is changing the state’s educational system. Several weeks ago Christie and acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf released a report that called for replacing some standardized tests and replacing others, making it easier for charter schools to open and reducing “bureaucratic red tape.” The two met today after Christie’s news conference to discuss how to move forward. (Star Ledger)

Louisiana: Schools edgy on grades
If the state had issued letter grades for nearly 1,300 public schools last year, nearly half would have gotten a “D” or an “F,” according to the state Department of Education. Whether the picture will be any brighter this year remains unclear on the eve of Louisiana’s first such report card. (The Advocate)

New York: Email proves state education officials knew about about cheating on Regents exam
State Education Department bigs clearly knew for seven years that many teachers routinely boosted their failing students’ Regents scores — yet did nothing to curb the rampant fraud, The Post has learned. (New York Post)

North Carolina: ACT to be given to test high school students’ post-graduation readiness
A new era of public school testing begins in March when high school students will take national exams to determine how well their education is preparing them for life after graduation. The state Board of Education has been talking for more than a year about requiring high school juniors to take a college entrance exam called the ACT, and having younger students take precursor tests. The board has faced a series of questions and hurdles, and as recently as a few months ago did not know whether the state Department of Public Instruction could afford to move ahead with the plan. (News Observer)


Want more parents involved in Buffalo schools? Stop violating the law
I can’t tell you how many times in the past year and a half or so that I’ve been covering the School Board that so many people have shown up to a meeting, they don’t all fit in the boardroom. Great news, right? When you get 200 or so people to miss dinner with their family on a Wednesday night to watch the slow wheels of democracy in action, they must be pretty motivated to get involved in their schools. But here’s how it plays out: the overflow crowd ends up standing in the waiting room, watching the meeting on closed-circuit TV — until they get too frustrated and end up leaving. (School Zone)

New Jersey sets right course on charter schools with high standards, close review
The Christie administration last week rejected 56 of the 60 applications for new charter schools, a welcome sign that its standards are tough despite its ideological support for the choice movement. The best of these schools, like the TEAM Academy in Newark, are miracles in our midst. With the same demographic mix of students as district schools, their kids are doing much better in basic skills. And they are doing it for less money, in a setting that is safe and orderly. Expanding on that success should be a top priority. (Star Ledger)

Diane Ravitch says parent trigger laws undermine public education
There is a move under way to promote something called the “Parent Trigger” as a way to reform schools. It is another one of those deceptive schemes that comes packaged with an alluring name, but whose true purpose is to undermine public education. (Bridging Differences)


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