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 and Analysis:
Arne Duncan To Stay On As Education Secretary For Obama Second Term, AP Follows Report

A few minutes ago, a wire story was filed quoting an official speaking “on the condition of anonymity because a public announcement has not been made.” The official apparently whispered into the ear of the reporter that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan would be sticking around for President Barack Obama’s second term. Color us puzzled. (Huffington Post) 

Number of Charter Schools Tops 6,000
A new count put out by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools found that there are a record 6,000 charter schools serving 2.3 million students for the 2012-13 school year. Overall, charter schools had a net gain of 381 schools for the 2012-13 school year, adding up to a 7 percent growth in the number of charter schools from last year as well as a 13 percent growth in the charter school enrollment from last year. (Education Week – Charters and Choice) 

Calif. Districts Seeking Waiver From Ed. Dept.
UPDATE: An official in the U.S. Department of Education said that they are exploring the possibility of granting a waiver to a group of eight school districts in California that will soon seek a reprieve from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act after the state’s attempt to do so was denied. (Education Week – District Dossier) 

New York:
Parents Gird for Disruptions as Bus Drivers’ Strike Looms

The last time Sherry Passante had to take all three of her children to their three schools, it ended badly. When she dropped off the younger ones at their schools, Derek, her son who has autism and usually takes a school bus, started biting himself and hitting himself in the head. Then he lunged at her. (New York Times)

View Point:
Jason Richwine and Lindsey Burke: Teacher Bar Exams Would Be a Huge Mistake

Bill the engineer wants to become a teacher. He has 10 years of experience working in the engineering division of Lockheed Martin, and he’d like to share some of his extensive knowledge with high school students in Northern Virginia, where he lives. He’d prefer to take a couple of hours each day to teach a class on physics or calculus, which would enable him to stay in his current job. Bill imagines that this part-time teaching job will give him the opportunity not just to teach, but to mentor local students aspiring to science careers. (The Atlantic) 

Kevin Chavous: Early Childhood Education Is Just the Start
Several years ago I developed a smart start strategy for education reform in which I identify early childhood education as an integral part of any positive education reform efforts. Yes, providing a sound foundation in the early years of life is important, but I’ve come to realize that it can’t stop there. Early childhood education is false hope for those kids who end up in a failing K-8 schools. (Huffington Post) 



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