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:
Report: School Districts Lack Critical Data on Early Education

School districts and communities across the nation are doing a poor job of keeping track of how many kids attend publicly-funded preschool and kindergarten programs, leading to an inability to analyze those programs to make sure they are meeting students’ needs, according to a new report released this week. (Education Week) 

What Do Teachers Deserve? In Idaho, Referendum May Offer Answer
In the struggle to fix the nation’s public schools, the old red-state, blue-state idea is looking as dated as Dick and Jane. You can hear the change in the voice of Gov. C. L. Otter, a Republican here in one of the most deeply conservative corners of the country, when he expresses a brotherhood bond with Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic mayor of Chicago and former Obama administration chief of staff. (New York Times) 

Public Television Takes Role in Curbing Dropout Rates
More than 100 public television stations reaching two-thirds of the nation’s viewers turned over their air on Saturday to an unusual seven-hour telethon broadcast live from WNET-TV’s Lincoln Center studio in New York. A parade of media stars, including NBC’s Brian Williams, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, CBS’s Rebecca Jarvis and public media’s Maria Hinojosa and Ray Suarez, exhorted viewers to “call the number on your screen,” but they were not seeking membership pledges. Instead, they asked viewers to sign up to be “American Graduate Day Champions,” and connect with community organizations working on the nation’s high school dropout crisis. (New York Times)

Why Kids Should Grade Teachers
Nubia Baptiste had spent some 665 days at her Washington, D.C., public school by the time she walked into second period on March 27, 2012. She was an authority on McKinley Technology High School. She knew which security guards to befriend and where to hide out to skip class (try the bleachers). She knew which teachers stayed late to write college recommendation letters for students; she knew which ones patrolled the halls like guards in a prison yard, barking at kids to disperse. If someone had asked, she could have revealed things about her school that no adult could have known. Once Nubia got talking, she had plenty to say. But until that morning of her senior spring, no one had ever asked. (The Atlantic) 

View Points:
By Karen Lewis and Randi Weingarten: A Gold Star for the Chicago Teachers Strike

After more than a decade of top-down dictates, disruptive school closures, disregard of teachers’ and parents’ input, testing that squeezes out teaching, and cuts to the arts, physical education and libraries, educators in Chicago said “enough is enough.” With strong support from parents and many in the community, teachers challenged a flawed vision of education reform that has not helped schoolchildren in Chicago or around the country. It took a seven-day strike—something no one does without cause—but with it educators in Chicago have changed the conversation about education reform. (Wall Street Journal) 


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