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:
Obama, Romney Link Strong Foreign Policy, U.S. Schools

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, tangled over class size, teachers, and education funding during their Monday night debate that was supposed to be exclusively centered on foreign policy. Both candidates made it clear that they think a strong foreign policy begins with a strong economy at home, a premise they used to reiterate points they’ve previously made about K-12—and about each other’s positions and records on education. (Education Week) 

Texas Schools Head To Trial Over School Finance, Claim System Is Unconstitutional
Attorneys representing around 600 school districts argued Monday that Texas’ school financing system is so “hopelessly broken” that it violates the state Constitution while keeping students from being prepared for the well-paying jobs of tomorrow. The state countered that, even though the system is flawed, it’s nowhere near a crisis point. (Huffington Post) 

Charter to take over school in parent-trigger case
A high-performing charter school affiliated with the University of La Verne has been selected to take over a struggling Mojave Desert elementary school that has been a test case of the state’s pioneering parent-trigger law. After months of conflict and court battles over the law, Adelanto parents voted last week to select LaVerne Elementary Preparatory Academy to take over their Desert Trails Elementary School in August. The election was the state’s first vote for a charter school under the law, which gave parents the power to petition for such charter conversions, staff overhauls or other sweeping changes at low-performing schools. (Los Angeles Times) 

Md. State Board of Education’s new president has big demands

As a former board member of Maryland’s second-largest public school system and the current president of a community college, Charlene M. Dukes is considered by many education officials to be a natural choice to chair the board that sets policies for all of Maryland’s public schools. (Washington Post) 

New Jersey:
Newark Teachers Union Embraces Performance Pay, Wins Peer Review

At a Thursday press conference, the president of the city teachers union and the superintendent of schools signed a tentative agreement on a path-breaking new contract. Both sides touted the deal’s key compromise: The district will begin to peg teachers’ pay in part to evaluations, but teachers will have a role in evaluating each other. (In These Times) 

View Points:
Thomas Friedman: Obama’s Best-Kept Secrets

ONE thing that has struck me about the debates so far is how little President Obama has conveyed about what I think are his two most innovative domestic programs. While I don’t know how Obamacare will turn out, I’m certain that my two favorite Obama initiatives will be transformative. His Race to the Top program in education has already set off a nationwide wave of school reform, and his Race to the Top in vehicles — raising the mileage standards for American-made car and truck fleets from 27.5 miles per gallon to 54.5 m.p.g. between now and 2025 — is already spurring a wave of innovation in auto materials, engines and software. Obama mentioned both briefly in the last debate, but I want to talk about them more, because I think they are the future of progressive politics in this age of austerity: government using its limited funds and steadily rising performance standards to stimulate states and businesses to innovate better economic, educational and environmental practices. (New York Times)

Wendy Kopp: Why Education Should Be in the Foreign Policy Debate
At tonight’s presidential debate on foreign policy, the candidates are expected to touch on everything from the rise of China to the situation in Libya. But one subject that you probably won’t hear about is education. After all, we’re used to thinking about education as a domestic policy issue. What does it have to do with foreign policy or the priorities of the global community? In a word, everything. (Time) 


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