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:
The Nation Heads Back to School With New Worries About Safety

In Boston, the public schools have asked the police to step up visits to elementary schools throughout the day on Monday. In Denver, psychologists and social workers were prepared to visit students. Schools in New York City were encouraged to review safety measures, which include posting security officers in lobbies and requiring identification from all visitors. (New York Times) 

Schools in Newtown Closed; Elsewhere Security Reviewed, Ramped Up
Schools in Newtown, Conn., will be closed Monday, following Friday’s horrific killings of 20 of the district’s 1st graders and six of its employees at Sandy Hook School.
A neighboring school district, Monroe, has offered an unused campus for when classes resume for surviving Sandy Hook students. The former middle school was closed last year to save money. Meanwhile, schools across Connecticut and the nation are reviewing school security measures and beefing up safety precautions. Earlier Sunday, Connecticut state police Lt. J. Paul Vance said all school safety plans are being re-examined in anticipation of classes resuming across the state Monday. (Education Week – District Dossier)

Parents, Schools Are On Edge
Parents across the country wrestled with fears for their children’s safety as they prepared to return to school this week, while some districts planned to increase security in the aftermath of the massacre in Connecticut. Many families went on a news blackout over the weekend to keep children from learning of Friday’s attack on 20 first-graders and six adults by a gunman who then killed himself. But the prospect of going back to school Monday raised the likelihood that children would begin to learn details about an event that plenty of adults said they still could barely comprehend. (Wall Street Journal) 

Obama promises Newtown, Conn., he’ll do more to protect children
Before a town devastated by a rampage against its children, and a nation wondering how it could happen again, President Obama vowed to use the power of his office to prevent such calamities and fulfill what he called America’s foremost obligation. “Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm?” Obama asked. “I have been reflecting on this in the past few days, and if we are honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We are not doing enough and we will have to change.” (Los Angeles Times)

View Points:
Rick Hess: ED Ranks 18th… on the Wrong Question

Last week, the Partnership for Public Service released its annual Best Places to Work in the federal government rankings. The survey polled nearly 700,000 civil servants in 10 workplace categories including leadership, teamwork, and work/life balance. The U.S. Department of Education ranked 18th out of 22 mid-side agencies. ED fared similarly last year, ranking 29th out of 33 (when it was classified as a “large” agency). (Education Week – Rick Hess Straight Up) 



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