Lisa Gibes is 50CAN’s vice president of strategy and external relations. She lives in San Francisco, CA.

Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

News and Analysis:
Overhaul of Teacher-Prep Standards Targets Recruitment, Performance

A set of proposed standards for teacher-preparation programs unveiled today by the Washington-based Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation are leaner, more specific, and more outcomes-focused than any prior set in the 60-year history of national teacher-college accreditation. (Education Week – Teacher Beat) 

American Federation Of Teachers Brings Nurses’ Union Onboard
One of the largest labor unions in the U.S. will get a bit larger on Thursday, when the 1.5-million strong American Federation of Teachers enters into a new affiliation with the National Federation of Nurses union. (Huffington Post) 

MinnCAN releases a comprehensive education reform policy agenda

MinnCAN: The Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now today released its 2013 policy platform to address Minnesota’s achievement gaps and high school graduation rates that trail the nation. (MinnCAN) 

Do early childhood programs for poor kids work?
Lately, we’re hearing a lot about the benefits of early childhood education — especially for poor kids. In his state of the union speech Tuesday President Obama spotlighted the benefits of money spent on quality early childhood education: “…the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road…” and proposed working with states to make “high-quality preschool available to every child in America.” He is expected visit a pre-kindergarten class in Georgia today to promote the White House plan, which includes public preschool funding for any 4-year-old whose family income is 200 percent or less of the federal poverty plan.  In Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed spending $44 million for early-learning scholarships for poor kids. (Minnesota Post) 

New Jersey:
For NJ Early Education Advocates, State of the Union Carries Hopeful Message

When President Obama in his State of the Union address called for universal quality preschool for children of need, his proposal wasn’t too far from what New Jersey has been trying for a decade. (NJ Spotlight) 

View Point:
School Turnarounds Are Predictably Rare

Reports about how schools that were once execrable have been transformed always make headlines. They provide hope at a time when despair prevails about the future of public education in this country. The latest example is an op-ed that details the metamorphosis of schools in Union City, N.J. (“The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools,” The New York Times, Feb. 10). (Education Week – Walt Gardner’s Reality Check) 


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