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:
NCLB Waiver for CORE Districts Is Bad Policy, ‘Insiders’ Say

Three-quarters of Washington “insiders” say U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s decision to grant a special waiver to eight California districts is bad policy. That’s according to the latest Whiteboard Advisers’s survey of mostly inside-the-Beltway folks, who have some harsh things to say about the No Child Left Behind Act waiver granted by the Education Department on Aug. 6. (Education Week – Politics K-12) 

School Choice Program in Alabama Challenged in Federal Lawsuit
Alabama generated major headlines in the education policy community by passing, in rapid and controversial fashion, a new tax-credit scholarship program earlier this year that targets students at low-performing schools. But the Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a federal legal challenge to the Alabama Accountability Act, claiming that the school choice program “discriminates against poor children” and that, in fact, students from low-income backgrounds who are ostensibly supposed to be helped by the law can’t actually take advantage of it. (Education Week – State Ed Watch) 

D.C. traditional public school teacher pay is higher than charters
Teachers in the District’s traditional public schools earn more than their counterparts at nearly every D.C. charter school, according to a Washington Post review of teacher salaries across the city, with many city teachers earning salaries that are thousands of dollars higher. (Washington Post) 

New York:
57,000 fewer children will be in the Head Start program because of spending cuts, the White House says

Automatic federal spending cuts will reduce the number of children in the Head Start preschool program by more than 57,000 during the next school year, the White House said Monday. (New York Daily News) 

School Reform in Philadelphia: A Study in Agony

David Oh walked into my office yesterday.  Oh is a city councilman from Philadelphia.  I listened, fascinated and horrified, as he told a gripping story of his city.  Nothing in his story should have surprised me, but this remarkable man has an unusual capacity to see beyond the façade of the daily battles to the larger structural challenges underneath.  He looks at Philadelphia through the prism of the changes taking place in the global economy, and he has an unusually sophisticated view of those challenges. (Education Week – Top Performers) 

Rhode Island:
R.I. spends $44 million of federal grant

Three years ago, amid great fanfare, Rhode Island announced that it was one of 12 states to win a $75-million federal education grant called Race to the Top. At the Rhode Island Foundation Monday night, state Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist updated members of the Race to the Top steering committee on the progress of the grant. (Providence Journal) 


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