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 and Analysis:
Tony Bennett selected as new Florida education commissioner

Tony Bennett, who lost his job running Indiana schools in an election last month, will become Florida’s new education commissioner. The State Board of Education unanimously voted today to hire Bennett to oversee Florida’s public schools and colleges. (Orlando Sentinel) 

Fiscal Cliff Would Hurt Young Children, Advocates Warn
As headlines warn of a looming fiscal cliff that could result in massive cuts to government programs, advocates are worrying about the fates of people who can’t yet read them. “You hear a lot of people who want to protect defense or different tax cuts,” said Patricia Cole, the policy director for Zero to Three, a Washington-based organization that advocates for young children. “But there’s not a real champion out there saying, ‘You know, we really need to take children off the table, especially young children’.” (Huffington Post) 

K-12 Education May Not Benefit From Brighter Fiscal Outlook
Despite some positive signs that could help school budgets, states are still facing a shaky financial environment as they head into the new year–a circumstance that could disappoint advocates hoping that even sluggish economic progress could give K-12 funding a boost. (Huffington Post) 

School Absences Translate to Lower Test Scores, Study Says
Missing even a few days of school seems to make a difference in whether 8th graders perform at the top of their game, according to a new analysis of results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. (Education Week) 

Common-Core Implementation Lags in California, Report Argues
Implementation of the Common Core State Standards in California is falling behind in contrast to other states, and policymakers must be more aggressive than they have been since the state adopted the standards in English/language arts and math more than two years ago, a new report from a California education policy group argues. (Education Week – State Ed Watch) 


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