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:
Second Lawsuit Targets Alabama School Choice Law

The Alabama Accountability Act, a law passed this year that provides tax-credit scholarships for students at struggling schools to attend private or better-performing schools, is facing its second legal challenge, with a state senator, school superintendent, and teacher claiming the law was approved in an improper way, and that it will illegally divert public funds to private religious schools. (Education Week – State Ed Watch) 

Chicago School Opening Tests New ‘Safe Passage’ Routes
To ease the disruption from the largest set of school closings in the nation’s history, parents, police, volunteers, and district employees in Chicago’s public schools all showed up for the start of school this week to make sure students got to class safely. (Education Week) 

Florida Virtual School Faces Hard Times
The Florida Virtual School—the largest state-sponsored online K-12 school in the country—is facing troubled times, a sign of major policy shifts now reshaping the world of online education. (Education Week) 

View Points:
Wendy Kopp: Common Core’s welcome wakeup call

This week, the plummeting test scores New York announced earlier in the month became real for thousands of families — including mine — when we received our children’s individual results online. In April, New York became the second state to test students according to the new, more rigorous Common Core standards that have been adopted by 45 states. (NY Daily News) 

Michael Petrilli: All or nothing on teacher accountability
Someday, when they write the history of the education-reform movement, future scholars will tug their chins in puzzlement as they ponder today’s obsession with high-stakes teacher evaluations. But not for all the usual reasons that people raise concerns: the worry about whether we’ve got good measures of teacher performance, especially for instructors in subjects other than reading and math; the likelihood that tying achievement to evaluations will spur teaching to the test in ways that warp instruction and curriculum; the futility of trying to “principal-proof” our schools by forcing formulaic, one-size-fits-all evaluation models upon all K–12 campuses; the terrible timing of introducing new evaluation systems at the same time that educators are working to implement the Common Core. (Flypaper) 


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