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:
Merit Pay Law In Michigan Violated By 80 Percent Of State’s Schools, Analysis Finds

An analysis by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a conservative think-tank, has determined that 80 percent of Michigan school districts surveyed are inviolation of the state’s teacher merit-pay law, which went into effect in January 2010 under former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. The state law mandated that public schools “implement and maintain a method of compensation for its teachers and school administrators that includes job performance and job accomplishments as a significant factor in determining compensation and additional compensation.” (Huffington Post) 

Idaho Wins NCLB Waiver
And that makes 35. The list of states that have won approval for a waiver under No Child Left Behind grew by one today with the addition of Idaho. (That list includes the District of Columbia.) This leaves Illinois’ request as the one that’s languished in NCLB waiver purgatory the longest. (I’m not counting Iowa, whose request was basically rejected, or California, which is going the not-likely-to-succeed, do-it-yourself route.) Seven other states applied more recently, and still await word. (Education Week) 

Hawaii Teachers Halt Labor Negotiations, Escalating Conflict
When Nikan Arapoff took his job as a seventh grade history teacher on Maui in 2005, he studied the pay raise schedule and determined that he and his wife would finally be able to afford a modest house on the expensive Hawaiian island. Now they have two young children, his house value has tanked and he’s scrambling to make payments, supplementing his teaching income with odd jobs as a tutor and gardener. (Pew States) 

Wisconsin School Funding Drops In Two-Thirds Of State’s Districts As Part Of Scott Walker Budget
About two-thirds of Wisconsin’s school districts will see a drop in state funding this year, marking the second of a two-year, $834 million education budget reduction plan signed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker last summer. (Huffington Post) 

New Jersey:
Newark teachers strike historic deal including bonuses for top educators

The Newark Teachers Union has reached a historic deal with the state that will make the district the first in New Jersey to offer bonuses based on how teachers perform in the classroom, union officials said today. ( 

View Points:
The Exclusive Eight

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City was distressingly dismissive this month when a coalition of civil rights groups filed a complaint with the United States Department of Education over the admissions policies of the city’s eight “specialized” high schools — prestigious, highly competitive institutions that are among the best high schools in the country. (New York Times) 


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