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:
Arne Duncan Unveils High School Grant Program Details

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will offer more details on the administration’s proposed $300 million high school redesign initiative at an event in New York City this morning. The program would dole out competitive grants to school districts in partnership with post-secondary institutions and other organizations, to give high schools a makeover with a career-related and STEM focus. (Education Week – Politics K-12) 

Teachers’ Data Use Becoming PD Emphasis
While schools and districts now have a wealth of student data at their fingertips, due in part to longitudinal data systems that states have put in place to comply with federal and state reporting requirements, teachers are just now at the beginning of learning how to use that information effectively, says a new report. (Education Week – Teaching Now) 

North Carolina Governor concerned public schools have too many tests
Governor Pat McCrory announced yesterday that he is having his educator adviser, Eric Guckian, look at the number and quality of tests taken by students in the state. McCrory stated that in the last year, 30 new standardized tests were given to students in grades 4 to 12 and that the overall total is 194. (Examiner) 

Rhode Island:
Christine Lopes and Alan Hassenfeld: To boost R.I., renew Gist’s contract

This month, Rhode Island will celebrate its 350th Charter Anniversary. The 1663 charter was the first of its kind — anywhere — to establish a government with authority to grant its people true religious freedom. The Ocean State’s example led to religious freedoms for our entire country through the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This special and significant anniversary is the perfect time to celebrate where we’ve been and where we can go next. (Providence Journal) 

Gist to stay at helm
State Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist accepted a two-year contract Thursday night following weeks of heated debate over the efficacy of her policies. After meeting in closed session, the state Board of Education voted 7 to 3 in favor of giving Gist a two-year contract with a salary of $193,800, a 2-percent raise. Those voting against the contract were Larry Purtill, president of the National Education Association, Colleen Callahan, a leader in the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers, and Mathies Santos. (Providence Journal) 


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