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:
School improvement grants produce mixed results

A federal program that pumped a record $3 billion into failing schools has shown mixed early results, with more than one-third of the targeted schools doing worse after receiving funding, according to initial government results released Monday. (Washington Post) 

Obama Education Agenda In 2nd Term Driven By Loose Ends
President Barack Obama’s education agenda for next four years may look less like real reform and more like tying up loose ends, experts say, with practical budget issues and an age-old power struggle between Congress and the administration getting in the way. (Huffington Post) 

Gov. Snyder Seeks Michigan Education Overhaul Through School Choice
A sweeping education overhaul bill that has been presented in draft form by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, would seek “removal of a district ‘ownership’ of a student,” performance-based funding for all courses, and a scholarship program for those students who graduate high school early, among other things. (Education Week – State Ed Watch)

New York:
$300 Million at Stake for NYC Students

If the NYC Department of Education (DOE) and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) do not come to a consensus over a new teacher evaluation system by January 17, Governor Cuomo will withhold a scheduled 4% increase in funding to the City’s schools. This means that, across the City, principals will be forced to make tough choices in the face of shrinking budgets. (Columbia Political Review) 

The first mayoral debate on education
This afternoon, the first debate on education among the mayoral candidates took place, hosted by Manhattan Media.  The candidates included two Bills, one Tom, one John and one Christine, absent Scott Stringer, given his announcement today that he will run for City Comptroller instead. (New York Public School Parents Blog) 

View Point:
Andy Smarick: The disappointing but completely predictable results from SIG

When I get a call from a reporter on a Friday, it typically means that a government agency is trying to dump bad news.  When I get a call from a reporter on the Friday before Thanksgiving week, I know that a government agency is trying to dump really bad news. And so it is with the U.S. Department of Education’s quiet release of results from the first year of the massive School Improvement Grant (SIG) program. (See Alyson Klein’s Ed Week coverage.) (Fordham Institute Flypaper) 


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