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:
Segregation Prominent in Schools, Study Finds

The United States is increasingly a multiracial society, with white students accounting for just over half of all students in public schools, down from four-fifths in 1970. Yet whites are still largely concentrated in schools with other whites, leaving the largest minority groups — black and Latino students — isolated in classrooms, according to a new analysis of Department of Education data. (New York Times) 

1 In 7 Young People Are Not Working Or In School: Measure Of America Study
One in seven people between the ages of 16-24 are not in school or working, a new report finds, and it cost taxpayers $93.7 billion in government support and lost tax revenue in 2011 alone. Measure of America, an initiative of the Social Science Research Council, released a report last week titled “One In Seven: Ranking Youth Disconnection in the 25 Largest Metro Areas.” The report found 5.8 million young people fall into this “disconnected youth” category nationwide. The rate is even higher for the black community, where 22.5 percent of young African-Americans are out of school and not working, nearly twice the national average. (Huffington Post) 

The Schoolmaster
On a hot June morning in suburban Delaware, in the chintzy, windowless ballroom of a hotel casino, David Coleman stood at a podium reciting poetry. After reading Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” a classic example of the villanelle form, Coleman wanted to know why green is the only color mentioned in the poem, why Thomas uses the grammatically incorrect go gentle instead of go gently, and how the poet’s expression of grief is different from Elizabeth Bishop’s in her own villanelle, “One Art.” “Kids don’t wonder about these things,” Coleman told his audience, a collection of 300 public-school English teachers and administrators. “It is you as teachers who have this obligation” to ask students “to read like a detective and write like an investigative reporter.” (The Atlantic)

State Chiefs’ Vacancies Crack Window on Policy
Several job openings for state schools chiefs could provide momentum for advocates seeking to push new policies or build on current ones in areas ranging from expanded charter school options to early-literacy requirements. In Florida, Mississippi, Ohio, and Utah, in particular, governors and state education boards will be vetting candidates with an eye toward advancing politically sensitive policy initiatives both underway and on the horizon. (Education Week) 

Advancing to Completion: Increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for African-American students
Some U.S. colleges are making the grade for African-American students. Instead of settling for lower success rates, they are taking responsibility for helping more black students graduate. A new report from The Education Trust, “Advancing to Completion,” shows that colleges and universities across the country are generating positive outcomes for African Americans. The report outlines strategies used by the colleges making great strides in improving their outcomes for African-American students. (Ed Trust) 

Philadelphia Public Schools Promoted Principals From Schools Under Suspicion Of Cheating

In 2009, Strawberry Mansion High School appeared to be something of a miracle. A neighborhood high school in a rough part of North Philadelphia, Mansion saw more than two-thirds of its students score “proficient” or above on that year’s state standardized tests. Today, though, compelling evidence indicates that Mansion’s unusually high test results were driven by adult cheating. (Huffington Post) 

Rhode Island:
R.I. students gain in science NECAP tests, education department says

Rhode Island student proficiency in science has increased at all grade levels, according to results of the 2012 NECAP Science tests, released Thursday by the state Department of Education. All students in grades 4, 8, and 11 took the New England Common Assessment Program assessments in May. “Statewide, the proficiency rate improved this year by 3.1 percentage points, to 34.8 percent proficient, marking the fourth consecutive year of statewide improvement since the beginning of the NECAP Science assessments in 2008,” the education department said in a news release. “Statewide, the proficiency level has improved by 11 percentage points since 2008.” (Providence Journal) 



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