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:
Obama’s Education Approval Stats

All week long, you’ve heard about how states are doing on education. Now it’s the president’s turn to be graded. HuffPost/YouGov asked the American public what they thought about Obama’s performance in the education arena. And they think he’s doing fine. (Huffington Post) 

Nevada Gov. Seeks Merit Pay, Wyoming Drama: Ed Today
Ed Reform In Nevada? Gov. Brian Sandoval is putting the final touches on his Wednesday State of the State speech, and according to the Las Vegas Review Journal,education will factor high. Merit pay — a plan in which teachers are paid partially in accordance with their students’ test scores — is looking good to him. “There is money in the budget to ensure we have a fair system by which we’re going to measure the performance of teachers,” Sandoval said. “Education will be a big priority for me, and you’re going to hear a lot about it in the State of the State. K-12 as well as higher ed.” (It should be noted that merit pay hasn’t been found to work most anywhere — except in special cases). (Huffington Post) 

Gallup: Student Engagement Drops With Each Grade
With every year that passes between 5th and 12th grade, the number of students who are engaged in school declines steadily, according to the Gallup St udent Poll, released last month. A majority of elementary school students—almost eight in 10—qualify as engaged, the poll found. By middle school, however, that number drops to six in 10 students. And when students enter high school, it drops to four in 10. (Education Week) 

Union seeks to make all Md. teachers pay union fees

Maryland teachers statewide could be required to pay union fees even if they are not members, according to legislation expected to be introduced this session in Annapolis on behalf of Maryland State Education Association (MSEA). (Maryland Reporter)

View Point:
Andy Smarick: The MET study: implications, winners, and losers

The final report from the Gates-funded “Measures of Effective Teaching” project may prove to be the most important K–12 research study of this generation. Many others have summarized its findings and opined on its various features, so I’ll only do that lightly here, spending more time on its implications. (Fordham Institute Flypaper) 

Chad Alderman: A Comprehensive Review of the MET Project
On Tuesday the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project released its third and final series of reports. The media has reported the main findings: that we can measure and predict effective teaching. And, because the MET Project randomly assigned students to teachers, we can say that there is causality in this relationship, that teachers with high value-added scores in one year caused student achievement to rise in the following year. (The Quick and The Ed) 


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