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

News and Analysis
How Schools, Parents And Organizations Are Trying To Close The Achievement Gap
According to the latest Pew Research data, college graduation rates are up for Americans in nearly every racial and ethnic group. Last year, former President Barack Obama spoke about how crucial this is for the U.S. economy. “By 2020, two out of three job openings will require some form of higher education,” he said during an event at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. (1A)

3 observations on Trump’s education budget
President Donald Trump’s proposed education budget is an agglomeration of bold and at times contradictory policy positions, some of which have would-be Republican allies shaking their heads. Here, I highlight three salient features of this budget and discuss responses from the left and the right. As many have noted, several of the proposed cuts are unpopular on both sides of the aisle, suggesting that the final budget may deviate substantially from this proposal. (Brookings Institute)

Students perform better at schools offering extra services on campus, study finds
Schools that offer dental care, mental health counseling, food assistance and other services have a significant and measurable positive impact on student achievement, according to research released this week by the Learning Policy Institute and the National Education Policy Center. (EdSource)

New Jersey
Seniors at a N.J. High School Will Take Only College Classes
A charter high school in Camden, N.J., has an unusual plan for the coming school year: All 12th-graders will take only college courses. Officials at LEAP Academy University Charter School say the goal is to position students to finish college in three years and save tuition costs for families. The plan raises questions, however, about potential pitfalls for teenagers who might not be academically ready. (The Wall Street Journal)

New York
Digging into details of mayor’s diversity plan, critics see easy goals and iffy approaches
After waiting for almost a year, integration advocates finally learned what New York City plans to do about its severe school segregation. They were largely unimpressed. “The tone the plan took was, ‘We encourage people to do this from the bottom-up.’ But the time for encouragement is over,” said Shino Tanikawa, a Community Education Council member in District 2 who has worked on school integration issues. “It’s time to start doing this work.” (Chalkbeat)

Court hands Philly teachers’ union a victory in counselor case
Commonwealth Court handed the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers a victory Thursday, ruling that the Philadelphia School District was wrong to rehire school counselors without regard to seniority after a layoff.​ ​Facing an unprecedented financial crisis, the school system gave pink slips to all 283 counselors in 2013. It later recalled some, but did so without regard to years of experience, flouting the union contract.​ (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)​

Rhode Island
Light a Fuse: How one state’s teachers are sparking digital innovation
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Dozens of teachers hovered around a group of students gathered in the center of a beige conference room on a Saturday morning in April. Other teachers sat in rows of chairs, craning their necks to see the action.​ (The Hechinger Report​)

Tennessee’s turnaround district is reaching the end of an era
For five years, the Achievement School District has been the Tennessee Department of Education’s primary vehicle of school turnaround.​ ​But that’s changing, bringing a dramatic era in Tennessee school reform to an end.​ (Chalkbeat)​

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


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