Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

Bradford, Fuller & Stewart: Liberating Black Kids From Broken Schools — By Any Means Necessary
Education reform is at a crossroads in this country. And it seems the issue of parent choice — who should have it, how much of it there should be, and for what schools — will determine the direction many reformers will take.​ ​While some may have difficulty defining where they stand on “choice,” others of us — who have spent years, decades, and lifetimes advocating for the liberation of Black children from schools that have not worked for them — do not suffer this crisis of clarity.​ (The 74)​

School Vouchers Get 2 New Report Cards
It is the education debate of the Trump era. With the president and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos using policy and the bully pulpit to champion private school vouchers, supporters and critics have tangled over the question:​ ​Do low-income, public school students perform better when they’re given a voucher to attend a private school?​ (NPR)​

Here’s Why You Can’t Understand Your State’s New Plan for Education
You know it when you see it.That’s right: We’re talking about education jargon, those terms that might signify something very important, but are often utterly mysterious to people who don’t spend their days wading through school policy. And there’s definitely quite a bit of jargon in the plans submitted by 17 states so far for the Every Student Succeeds Act.​ (Education Week)​

Education Plans Lack Clarity on Disadvantaged Students, Worst Schools
States have more work to do when it comes to designing accountability plans that ensure historically disadvantaged students are learning and that their poorest-performing schools can improve, according to a review of more than a dozen state education proposals by a group of education policy experts.​ ​The new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, gives states new flexibility to create accountability systems that suit their unique needs. Those plans must be vetted and cleared by the Department of Education before they begin implementing them in the near future.​ (U.S. News & World Report)​

How important will education policy be in Florida’s 2018 election cycle?
The recent fight over Florida’s education budget and conforming bill (HB 7069) looks likely to carry over into the 2018 election campaign, with some of the state’s most high-profilie politicians already fashioning pointed messages on the issue. House Speaker Richard Corcoran, the driving force behind HB 7069, suggested on Twitter that the measure will loom large over the elections. (Tampa Bay Times)

Georgia Supreme Court rules for tax credit scholarships
Georgia’s highest court has determined that a state law allowing taxpayers to steer some of what they owe the state to private schools instead does not violate the state constitution.​ ​The unanimous ruling Monday by the Georgia Supreme Court strikes a blow against the claim by Raymond Gaddy and other taxpayers that the state law establishing tax credit student scholarships is unconstitutional.​ (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Gov. Hogan Seeks Probe Into Allegations of Altered Grades at Prince George’s County Schools
Gov. Larry Hogan is asking the state school board to investigate allegations of fraud in one of Maryland’s biggest school systems.​ ​Hogan sent a letter Sunday to Maryland State Board of Education President Andrew Smarick requesting the board begin looking at possible wrongdoing at Prince George’s County schools.​ ​The governor said there have been specific allegations about students’ grades being altered in order to boost high school graduation rates. His letter comes after some county school board members and state lawmakers have also called for an investigation.​ (NBC)​

New York
Cuomo to call Legislature back to Albany in special session to decide control of NYC schools
ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo plans to call the Legislature back to the Capitol as early as Wednesday to consider a one-year extension of the law giving Mayor de Blasio control of New York City schools, a source said Monday night.​ ​The governor will call the Legislature back into special session, a move that allows him to control the agenda. The Senate and Assembly have to return — but not necessarily take up the legislation he wants them to pass.​ (NY Daily News)​

​North Carolina ​
North Carolina General Assembly Expands Educational Opportunities
Today, the North Carolina General Assembly approved their general appropriations bill that would expand educational opportunities to more North Carolina families, including funding for the creation of a new Education Savings Account Program – the sixth program of its kind in the nation.​ ​The budget created an Education Savings Account Program targeted to families with children who have exceptional needs. The new $3 million program would take effect in the 2018-2019 school year and would provide up to $9,000 a year to offset the cost of educational expenses.​ (AFC)​

Washington D.C.
Why Some Of D.C.’s Leading Men Of Color Are Heading Back To Preschool
At Turner Elementary School in Southeast D.C., Torren Cooper is the only male of color who works directly in the classroom, even though the student body is 98 percent African American. Cooper is a literacy coach helping some of Turner’s youngest pupils with their reading and writing skills, including rhyming, alliteration, letter sounds and writing their names. (WAMU)

Mimi Woldeyohannes is the Executive Assistant to the CEO at 50CAN. She lives in Maryland.


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