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:
School Shutdowns Trigger Growing Backlash

As school closures are increasingly used as a remedy to budget woes and a solution to failing schools in many cities, debates are intensifying about their effect on student performance and well-being, on district finances, and on communities and the processes districts use to choose which schools will be shuttered. (Education Week)

Anxiety High Over Charters, K-12 Aid in Wash. State
A tight race for governor, the heavy burden of rebuilding a school funding system recently declared unconstitutional, and a fourth ballot measure in two decades on charter schools has placed Washington state on an intense—and unpredictable—road for education this year. (Education Week) 

1.45M Education Blogs Pulled Offline After DMCA Takedown Notice
A DMCA takedown noticed issued by publishing house Pearson resulted in approximately 1.45 million education blogs being taken offline without notice, according to the service that runs them. James Farmer, founder and CEO of Edublogs, penned a blog post last week that said its hosting company, ServerBeach, “turned off our webservers, without notice, less than 12 hours after issuing us with a DMCA email.” (PC Mag) 

2 Notable Orgs. Give Grant to MN Entrepreneurship School

Thanks in part to two prominent foundations, a new kind of school is set to open in Minneapolis.Venture Academy, which claims it will be Minnesota’s first school for sixth- to 12th-grade students that’s designed to breed entrepreneurs and innovators, recently announced that it is a winner of the national Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) grant competition. The grants are funded by the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which is based in Menlo Park, California and was set up by Hewlett-Packard cofounder William Hewlett and his wife, Flora. (Twin Cities Business) 

Senate approves charter school reform bill after cutting key component

The state Senate approved a number of educational and financial accountability reforms for Pennsylvania’s charter schools, but it did so after removing a key component that charter school advocates said was essential to expanding educational choice in the state. The final vote was 33-16, which sends SB 1115 to the state House for a final vote, which could come Wednesday. (PA Independent) 

View Points:
School Reform, But From Whose Perspective?

Public K-12 schooling is a popular subject in all forms of media these days, with the majority of coverage highly critical of both the professionals who work within the system and the performance of the students with whom they work. Prominent national leaders from government, corporations, and philanthropic organizations, having positioned themselves as “reformers,” hold the bully pulpit in not only proclaiming education professionals as inadequate in ability and practice, but also in controlling access to significant resources to define and support reform efforts. (Education Week) 



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