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:
School Shutdowns Trigger Growing Backlash

As school closures are increasingly used as a remedy to budget woes and a solution to failing schools in many cities, debates are intensifying about their effect on student performance and well-being, on district finances, and on communities and the processes districts use to choose which schools will be shuttered. (Education Week) 

Lessons From Los Angeles
In my book, Follow the Money, I compare the top-down approach to education reform in New York City to the slower and more open approach of Los Angeles. Today I will show that Los Angeles–a place that rarely gets highlighted by Boardroom Progressives–has some lessons for would-be-reformers. (Education Week – Rick Hess Straight Up) 

With time running out, teachers push pro-Obama message in swing states Ohio, Florida
In the swing states of Ohio and Florida, it’s crunch time for teachers unions, which in the final days of the campaign are getting out the vote for President Barack Obama in droves – even though they disapprove of some of his policies. (U.S. News) 

In Montgomery’s Board of Education race, 6 vie for 3 spots

As the Montgomery County Council continues to question the school system’s spending decisions, control over the $2 billion annual operating budget remains one of the top issues for the new Board of Education to be seated after the Nov. 6 election. (Washington Post) 

All-day kindergarten back on the ballot in St. Paul

St. Paul is on a quest to improve education by training more resources on the youngest students, and its all-day kindergarten offerings — a crucial part of that effort — could hinge on a school levy up for renewal by voters on Nov. 6. (Star Tribune) 

View Points:
Turning Schools Around – Myth or Reality?

Can we really turn around chronically low-performing schools? I have heard some people say that kids who come from low-income homes simply cannot learn at high levels. Much blame is placed on parents for “sending their kids to school unprepared.” I agree that kids from low-income homes do not come to school with the same experiences as kids from high-income homes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn at high levels. Does it help when there is good parenting taking place at home? Absolutely, it does matter. However, schools must also accept the responsibility for this learning. There are examples all across our country that dispels the myth that poor kids cannot learn at high levels. (Education Week – Public Engagement and Ed Reform) 


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