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:
Education Ballot Initiative Results Show Mixed Returns On School Reform

While national attention remained fixed on President Barack Obama’s election victory Wednesday morning, education ballot initiatives yielded different results across the country, showing that public opinion has yet to settle either way on the movement known as education reform. (Huffington Post) 

Obama’s Reelection Is Opportunity For 4 More Years of Building On Education Policy
President Barack Obama’s victory on Tuesday gives him a chance to build on the education policies he has pushed since 2009 and ensures that the federal government’s role in education will not diminish over the next four years. In his victory speech, he promised to expand “access to the best schools and best teachers” and spoke broadly about hope for America’s future, particularly for children, but did not offer specific policy ideas. (The Hechinger Report) 

In California, a Tight Battle Over a Tax Initiative to Help Schools
California voters weighed in on a ballot measure Tuesday that would raise taxes by $6 billion annually over seven years, bringing an end to an acrimonious, $123 million battle between Gov. Jerry Brown, who said the money was necessary to save the state’s public schools, and conservative opponents in and outside the state. (New York Times) 

Glenda Ritz Wins Superintendent Job In Indiana, Upsetting Republican Incumbent Tony Bennett
When Indiana won the “Education Reform Idol” competition organized by the right-wing think tank Thomas B. Fordham Institute, it was policy love at first sight for Michael Petrilli, the organization’s executive vice president. Under the leadership of Superintendent for Public Instruction Tony Bennett, a former basketball coach, the state created the nation’s largest school voucher program; found consultants to run failing schools in Indianapolis and Gary; revamped teacher evaluations; and created A-through-F grades for schools. (Huffington Post) 

New York:
More Students Return to Classroom, at Strange Schools in Strange Places
It had only been a week and a half, but for students and teachers in New York City’s most devastated areas, it might as well have been a whole summer. On Wednesday, two days after most of the city’s schools reopened, students from several dozen schools too damaged to reopen finally resumed classes, but they were shoehorned into other school buildings, in unfamiliar classrooms after unfamiliar commutes. They arrived, ate lunch and left according to new schedules and among new faces. (New York Times) 

New York Delays Release Of Teacher Ratings Over Privacy Concerns
The state’s chief education executive said Monday he would have to postpone the promised release of figures showing how teachers in every school district rate on a scale of “highly effective” to “ineffective,” due to technical difficulties in ensuring teachers’ privacy. (Huffington Post) 

View Points:
Richard D. Kahlenberg: Obama’s Act II: The issue he can’t ignore

Barack Obama’s re-election—made possible by a strong African American, Latino, and female vote—liberates the president to return to the central questions of equal opportunity that first motivated him to seek public office.  According to David Maraniss’s biography of Obama, the future president was inspired to apply to Harvard Law School and enter public life after he heard a presentation by William Julius Wilson on the effects of de-industrialization and isolation on low-income urban blacks. As Wilson (a longtime Century Foundation trustee) observed in “The Truly Disadvantaged” a quarter-century ago, the Civil Rights Act freed middle-class black Americans to move out of racially segregated ghettos, an enormous advance in human dignity, but this development also left poor blacks in concentrated poverty that was worse than ever before. (Washington Post) 



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