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:
Charter Schools Are Improving, a Study Says

An updated version of a widely cited study that found many students in charter schools were not performing as well as those in neighborhood public schools now shows that in a few states, charter schools are improving in some areas. (New York Times) 

Among Conservatives, Concerns Grow Over New School Standards
“Common Core” is one of the biggest phrases in education today. To many educators and policymakers, it’s a big, exciting idea that will ensure that America’s students have the tools to succeed after graduation. But a growing number of conservatives see things differently. (NPR) 

Schools Test-Drive Common Core
More than a million students across the country have traded their No. 2 pencils, test booklets, and bubble sheets for computing devices to participate in a pilot of math and English/language arts online assessments tied to the Common Core State Standards. (Education Week) 

How best to integrate content and practices in science
Most people agree that a well-rounded science education must provide students with both content knowledge and facility with the practices of scientific inquiry. That is why both facts and skills should be clearly represented in the science standards adopted by states. (Thomas B. Fordham – Gadfly) 

Next Massive Federal Data Drive Could Dig Further Into Discipline
The next federal collection of data about every U.S. school district could probe districts further on how students are disciplined, how many pre-K kids are spanked, and whether bullies harassed classmates because of their religion or because they thought their peer was lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. (Education Week – Rules for Enagagement) 

Pennsylvania Signals Departure From Test Consortia

Those of you who are wonky enough to like keeping super-close track of who’s dating whom in the assessment-consortium world will be interested to know that Pennsylvania has decided to withdraw from both groups. (Education Week – Curriculum Matters)


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