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:
Stuck in the PARCCing lot

This week, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) released its latest cost estimates, which are coming in significantly higher than the costs of the Smarter Balanced assessments. Almost immediately following the announcement, Georgia dropped out of the federally funded assessment consortium. This after Utah, Alabama, and Oklahoma dropped out of both consortia and after North Dakota switched from PARCC to Smarter Balanced. (The Gadfly – Common Core Watch) 

Sens. Alexander and Paul Head to Tennessee, Team Up on Choice
U.S. Senate Republicans’ top man on education policy—Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn, the ranking Republican on the education committee—has found himself in some hot water lately with tea party Republicans in his home state who would like to mount a primary challenge against him, at least according to this story in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. (For the record, Alexander, who won every county but one in his last primary, has been endorsed by every GOP member of his delegation except for ultra-conservative Rep. Scott DesJarlais. And he’s raised more money for his campaign than all but two other Senate Republicans.) (Education Week – Politics K-12) 

Dropout Indicators Found for 1st Graders
As tracking data on students grow ever more extensive, some Maryland educators are finding that the early-warning signs of a student at risk of dropping out may become visible at the very start of their school careers. (Education Week) 

D.C. summer-school enrollment fails to meet target
The District’s school system failed to fill its summer-school seats for students in kindergarten through eighth grade this year after officials implemented a new invitation-only admissions policy that triggered criticism — and an injection of additional funds — from the D.C. Council. (Washington Post) 

New Jersey:
What Could a U.S. Sen. Cory Booker Mean for K-12 Policy?

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is one of the most prominent national Democrats to embraceprivate school vouchers. He’s teamed up with his chief Garden State political rival, GOP Gov. Chris Christie, to help birth a new Newark teacher contract that includes merit-pay. And for good measure, he persuaded Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook fame, to donate an astonishing $100 million to the long-struggling Newark City Schools. (Education Week – Politics K-12) 


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