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 & analysis:
Microsoft donates $1 million to help expand ‘blended learning’ in D.C. schools

Microsoft has donated $1 million to help D.C. teachers redesign their classrooms using a “blended learning” approach that combines online learning with face-to-face instruction. (Washington Post) 

Institute: Federal Policy Based on Competition Misses ‘Authentic Community Engagement’
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform, at Brown University, on Wednesday released a commentary on urban education critiquing the “top down” federal policy that forces schools and school districts to compete against one another, rather than finding collaborative solutions from a “bottom up” approach. (Education Week – K-12 Parents and the Public) 

Lousiana Bills Would Stamp Preschool Programs with Letter Grades
Louisiana lawmakers would link public funding for preschools to student performance and stamp public and private early-childhood programs with letter grades under two different proposals now under consideration in the legislature. (Education Week – Early Years) 

Superintendent tapped as Pennsylvania education chief

The superintendent of a large suburban Harrisburg school district will be Gov. Tom Corbett’s nominee for education secretary and replace Ron Tomalis, who after a busy and rocky two-year tenure will move into an advisory role in the administration, Corbett said Wednesday. (Times Herald) 

Rhode Island:
Adoption of New Science Standards May Start With Rhode Island

Rhode Island may prove to be the first state to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards issued in final form last month. The state board of education is expected to vote on the standards at its next meeting, on May 23. (Education Week – Curriculum Matters) 


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