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:
Obama Finding Teacher Support Secure, If Tepid

Ask Antonio White what he thinks of Race to the Top—President Barack Obama’s signature K-12 initiative—and the Florida teacher will tell you the competitive-grant program is a “difficult pill to swallow.” Merit pay for teachers based partly on student test scores is “a joke,” he says. He’s also not a fan of expanding charter schools, or of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. (Education Week) 

15 NEA State Affiliates Ran Budget Deficits, 25 Saw Decline in Dues Income
An Education Intelligence Agency analysis of Internal Revenue Service filings reveals 15 NEA state affiliates experienced budget deficits in the 2010-11 school year, while the dues revenues for 25 state affiliates dropped off from the previous year. The union as a whole lost 2 percent of its active membership that year, but increases in dues rates were able to limit the revenue losses to 0.3 percent (about $3.7 million). It’s likely that the losses accelerated in 2011-12. (Hotair Green 

Miami-Dade school district wins Broad Prize, top national education award
One of the nation’s top education prizes was won by the Miami-Dade County Public Schools for its dramatic gains in achievements by black and Hispanic students and for raising academic standards across the board. (Miami Herald)

Mitt Romney’s ‘I Love Teachers’ Remark Spurs Fake Valentine From Union
Just how much does Mitt Romney love teachers? “I love teachers,” he said repeatedly during a spirited exchange in Monday night’s foreign policy debate that went off topic, to the annoyance of moderator Bob Schieffer, and delved into teacher hiring policies. But Romney also said he doesn’t think the federal government should pay to hire teachers, even at a time when so many school systems have cut payrolls due to the recession. (Huffington Post) 

New Jersey:
N.J. education advocates to Duncan: State’s waiver plan is a disaster.

The debate over No Child Left Behind (NCLB) continues in New Jersey, this time over whether the state’s new plan to meet federal education standards does enough to help the state’s lowest performing schools. The Garden State has received a waiver from NCLB mandates, and a chance to come up with its own plan. (Newsworks)

Eagle Academy For Young Men Of Newark, New Jersey’s Only All-Boys Public School, Elicits Praise, Criticism
Last month marked the grand opening of the Eagle Academy for Young Men of Newark, the city’s first and only public, single-sex school. The academy is one of Newark’s newest public schools and is part of an effort to transform the district by closing underperforming schools, replacing principals and opening new schools boasting innovative programs. (Huffington Post)


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