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:
International Test Scores Often Misinterpreted To Detriment Of U.S. Students, Argues New EPI Study

Lawmakers should be more careful when using international test scores to drive education policy, argues a pair of researchers in a new paper for the left-leaning think tank Economic Policy Institute — because the results aren’t always what they appear to be. (Huffington Post) 

Some Rural Schools Soon Will Receive Additional Federal Funds
Many rural schools applauded last summer’s one-year reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, and federal officials announced this week the details of the $323 million that will be shared by 41 states. (Education Week – Rural Education) 

Teachers Union Donations: Who Gets NEA Cash?
Mike Antonucci went through the National Education Association’s financial disclosure report so you don’t have to. The NEA is the nation’s largest teachers union. He found that the union spent $15 million on advocacy — $3.8 less than the previous year. (Huffington Post) 

New Jersey:
Superintendent: Reforms could ‘wreak havoc’ on great schools

Here is a letter sent to the New Jersey State Board of Education from Michael A. Rossi Jr., superintendent of Madison Public Schools, about the state’s school reform agenda and problems that officials have created for educators and administrators who are charged with implementing policy. (Washington Post) 

Hard-hit districts push back against charter schools

Western Pennsylvania school districts that are losing students and money to charter schools are fighting back. The Penn Hills school board this week approved spending $3,500 a month for two years of advertising on TV and the Internet. Thirty-second ads will promote the Penn Hills Senior High School that opened last month. (Trib Live) 

Rhode Island:
Chafee seeks lower corporate tax rate, more school funding

Gov. Lincoln Chafee on Wednesday proposed a state budget that doesn’t raise taxes on individuals and would actually lower them for companies, while boosting funding for education and job training, in an apparent sign he’s changed his approach after previous budget battles. ( 

View Point:
Sara Mead: No, Pre-K Isn’t a Waste Just Because Your Mom Can Read

That’s the provocative suggestion of this recent Slate article. Unfortunately, it’s wrong. Deck aside, the article, by Melinda Wenner Moyer, is largely unobjectionable. Its core argument is not actually that preschool is a bad investment, but that affluent parent freak-outs about getting Junior into the “right” preschool (which outlets like the New York Times and Slate so love to cover) are totally pointless. I can get down with that. (Education Week – Sara Mead’s Policy Notebook) 


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