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:
Marc Porter Magee: The Promise and Peril of Cage Busting

There are two kinds of people in the education reform world: those who believe the best way to improve schools is through systematic policy making aimed at changing the structure of public education itself, and those who believe that we need strong, visionary and sometimes rule-bending–or “cage-busting”– leaders to secure breakthrough results. These cage-busters are the subject of Rick’s latest book. (Education Week – Rick Hess Straight Up) 

Competency-Based Learning: A Big Deal, But Not Because of the Feds
The recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Education regarding Title IV financial aid and competency-based learning is the latest evidence that competency-based approaches to postsecondary degree or other credentialing are gaining in popularity. (Huffington Post) 

House Second-in-Command: Federal Education Aid Should Follow Children
Inside-the-Beltway education nerds may have notice a new(ish) voice addressing K-12 issues: U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Republican Majority Leader. For the past several years, Cantor has been associated largely with the conservative wing of his party, and his opposition to President Barack Obama’s agenda. But over the past couple of months, he’s worked to bolster his credentails on education, visiting schools in three different cities: Washington, D.C., New Orleans, and Denver. (Education Week – Politics K-12) 

Divisions Form in Atlanta as Bail Is Set in Cheating Case
Confusion, anger and charges of racism played out at the Fulton County Jail here on Tuesday as the process of booking 35 educators in the nation’s largest school-cheating scandal began. (New York Times) 

Scandal in Atlanta Reignites Debate Over Tests’ Role
There are few more contentious issues in public education than the increased reliance on standardized testing. (New York Times)

Texas Trying to Scale Back Graduation Mandates
Leading Texas lawmakers are working to rewrite the state’s high school graduation requirements with plans to change the default course of study and lower from 15 to five the number of end-of-course exams most students must pass to earn a diploma. (Education Week) 


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