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:
Crucible of Change in Memphis as State Takes On Failing Schools

Not far off a scruffy boulevard lined with dollar stores and payday loan shops in a neighborhood of run-down brick bungalows, Corning Achievement Elementary School here is a pristine refuge, with gleaming tile floors and signs in classrooms proclaiming “Whatever it takes.” (New York Times) 

Report: State Kindergarten Policies Show Inequities
In 11 states and the District of Columbia, full-day kindergarten is a requirement, but in five states, the decision to offer kindergarten is left up to individual districts. A “full day” of kindergarten ranges from four to seven hours, depending on where a child lives. And in 35 states, kindergarten attendance is not mandated even if kindergarten is available. (Education Week – Early Years) 

Mississippi passes landmark pre-k bill, moves forward with charters
Mississippi is one step closer to passing sweeping education reforms that could, for the first time, bring state-funded pre-k to the state. On Wednesday, the House and Senate passed legislation that would provide $3 million to partially fund voluntary preschool programs for 4-year-olds beginning in the 2014-15 school year. (Hechinger Ed) 

Proposal for parent-trigger overhaul at L.A. school well-received
Rather than do battle over a controversial parent-empowerment law, Los Angeles school officials earlier this year opted for collaboration. This week, that move started to pay dividends. (Los Angeles) 

View Points:
Bill Gates: A fairer way to evaluate teachers

Tom Brady may be the best quarterback in football, but he is also infamously, hilariously slow. YouTube videos of his 40-yard dash have gotten many thousands of hits from sports fans looking for a good laugh. (Washington Post) 

Atlanta test scores: Cheating is cheating
If a student cheats on an important test, such as a midterm, he is punished, and rightly so. His teacher doesn’t merely brush aside the offense and blame it on all the stressful and unnecessary high-stakes tests that today’s unfortunate students are required to take. (Los Angeles Times) 


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