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:
State education chiefs oppose delay in high-stakes test repercussions

A small group of state education officials is pushing back against a call by teachers unions for a moratorium on using standardized tests for evaluating students or teachers until states have completely implemented Common Core standards, a new way of teaching math and reading in grades kindergarten through 12th. (Washington Post) 

Group Launches Effort to Stimulate More Rural N.C. Charter Schools
One North Carolina school choice advocacy group is pushing to create more charter schools in rural counties. Like most states, North Carolina’s charter schools are clustered in urban areas. Eighty-five of the state’s 100 counties are rural, and only 37 of those have charter schools. That means 48 rural North Carolina counties don’t have a public charter option. Nationally, only 16 percent of all charter schools are rural, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. (Education Week – Rural Education) 

Jon Cetel: Don’t lay off by seniority: If we want first-rate schools, we must keep the best teachers

In the fall of 2010, Dominique, known by her students as “Ms. D,” voluntarily transferred to teach in one of Philadelphia’s most challenging high schools. She wasn’t alone. The principal had articulated a vision of building an excellent school by recruiting a dream team of passionate, hard-working teachers. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) 

View Point:
Michael Gerson: GOP fear of Common Core education standards unfounded

Modern conservatism comes in two distinct architectural styles. The first seeks to build from scratch, using accurate ideological levels and plumb lines, so every wall is straight and every corner squared. The goal of politics is to apply abstract principles in their purest form. But there is another type of conservatism, often practiced at the state level, which attempts to build out of flawed, existing materials, resulting in some odd angles and incongruous additions. These conservative reformers assemble unexpected alliances, accept reasonable compromises and welcome incremental progress. (Washington Post) 

Lisa Hansel: The Common Core Needs a Common Curriculum
The Common Core State Standards contain laudable goals for what students ought to be able to do. Attaining those goals, especially in English/language arts and literacy, depends on how schools interpret the standards’ call for a content-rich curriculum: “[W]hile the standards make references to some particular forms of content, … they do not … enumerate all or even most of the content that students should learn. The standards must therefore be complemented by a well-developed, content-rich curriculum.” (Education Week) 

Rick Hess: Superintendent Turnover: Passing the Baton v. Hitting Reset
As I noted on Friday, I spent the latter part of last week out in Clark County, Nevada, talking with local leaders and the local Public Education Foundation. The Clark County School District, which encompasses Las Vegas, is the nation’s fifth-largest school system (serving 310,000 kids). After two years in office, superintendent Dwight Jones unexpectedly stepped down two months ago. Nevada chief Jim Guthrie stepped down a short time later, after only about a year in office. This has all led to considerable, and understandable, consternation. Given the recent spate of superintendent openings in big school systems, e.g. Baltimore, Boston, Indianapolis, and so forth, this is a challenge with which a bunch of communities are wrestling. (Education Week – Rick Hess Straight Up) 



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