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:
Arne Duncan to California: We Can’t Approve Your Testing Plan in ‘Good Conscience’

California’s plan to dump most of its state testing program as it muddles through the tricky transition to new tests aligned to the common-core standards got a major rejection letter from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today. (Education Week – Politics K-12)

Feds deny Texas request for waiver on No Child Left Behind requirements
The federal government has denied the state’s request to waive No Child Left Behind testing requirements for students in elementary and middle school, the Texas Education Agency announced Monday. (Star Telegram) 

New Jersey:
Putting High School Diplomas to the Test

More than 200,000 freshmen and sophomores will enter New Jersey’s public high schools this fall, and they all have one thing in common: none of them knows what they have to do to graduate. While the state’s new teacher evaluation system is grabbing most of the attention, coming changes in state testing policies may have an even more dramatic impact. New and harder tests are on the way, and the bar for a high school diploma is about to become a moving target. (Education Law Center) 

New York:
Bloomberg Heads Back to School, for Final Time

It was Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s last first day of school. Monday was the start of school for most of New York City’s more than 1 million schoolchildren, the last in the waning days of the three-term Bloomberg administration. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott made his traditional five-borough tour, where he stopped at one school per borough. (Wall Street Journal Metropolis Blog) 

Long, Stormy Mayoral Primary Hurtles to Finish
There were arguments over dogs and kittens, a minor contretemps about circumcision and a weightier one over antiterrorism efforts, and first-day-of-school promises to improve public education, as New York City’s long and tumultuous mayoral primary campaign raced to an end on Monday. (New York Times) 

View Point:
How Can We Improve Teacher Professional Development? A Teacher Tells Us How

To paraphrase an old Chinese proverb: Tell professional educators how to teach, they teach for a day; show them how to teach, they teach for a lifetime. For decades, education professionals have endured far too many sessions of drive-by, one-size-fits-all, undifferentiated, top-down professional development that are more stifling than instructive. Precious little time is allocated, however, to job-imbedded professional development like true collaborative planning and collegial observations. (Gates Foundation) 


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