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:
With GOP Advocate, Ed. Issues Could Gain Steam in Congress

Education issues—which haven’t gotten a lot of attention from Congress over the past four years—may have picked up an unlikely but powerful advocate: U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor. As the majority leader in the House of Representatives, the Virginia Republican has a major role in setting the agenda for the chamber. (Education Week)

In Indiana, a big win for school choice
The school choice movement — which germinated 50 years ago in free-market economist Milton Friedman’s fertile mind — recently counted its largest victory. The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the state’s school voucher program. Under it, more than half a million low- and middle-income Hoosier students — and about 62 percent of all families — are eligible for state aid to help pay for a private or religious school. (Washington Post) 

What Will New Evaluation Systems Cost?
The cost of new teacher-evaluation systems is likely to vary based on how states and districts choose to establish student-growth measures for all teachers, according to an analysis from a researcher at the Value-Added Research Center, a research evaluation firm and contractor located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research. (Education Week – Teacher Beat) 

U.S. Senate Set to Consider School Safety Bill
School districts would be able to tap into grants to help upgrade their safety infrastructure, under a measure set for consideration in the U.S. Senate. The legislation, which also includes gun control measures, represents Congress’ first big legislative response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December. (Education Week – Politics K-12) 

A Simple Way to Send Poor Kids to Top Colleges
The packages arrived by mail in October of the students’ senior year of high school. They consisted of brightly colored accordion folders containing about 75 sheets of paper. The sheets were filed with information about colleges: their admissions standards, graduation rates and financial aid policies. (New York Times) 


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