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

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

News and Analysis

Trump’s Pick for Education Could Face Unusually Stiff Resistance

Nominees for secretary of education have typically breezed through confirmation by the Senate with bipartisan approval. But Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for the post, is no typical nominee. She is a billionaire with a complex web of financial investments, including in companies that stand to win or lose from the department she would oversee. She has been an aggressive force in politics for years, as a prominent Republican donor and as a supporter of steering public dollars to private schools. (The New York Times)

Obama’s Impact On America’s Schools
When President Obama took office in January 2009, the country was on edge, the economy in free-fall. The federal education law, known as No Child Left Behind, was also in need of an update after earning the ire of teachers, parents and politicians alike. In short, there was much to do.​ ​In time, that update would come, but President Obama’s education legacy begins, oddly enough, with his plan to bolster the faltering economy. (NPR)

New York
NYC Parents, Advocates Rally to Demand That City Address Its ‘Middle School Deserts’

American middle schools were once described by the education policymaker Cheri Yecke as “where academic achievement goes to die.”​ ​In New York City on Thursday, a group of about 100 residents and advocates who appeared to agree with Yecke’s assessment rallied at City Hall, demanding that Mayor Bill de Blasio make middle school improvement a priority, specifically in eight low-performing districts they dubbed “middle school deserts.”​ (The 74)​

Five takeaways from the NAACP’s charter school hearing in Memphis

Declaring their desire to understand the nuances of charter schools in cities like Memphis, members of a national NAACP task force dug in this week to the nitty-gritty of the education reform tool and how it’s impacting everything from funding to equity.​ ​(Chalkbeat)

​North Carolina
Berger to NC teacher group: Merit bonuses are the opposite of assembly line treatment

State Senate leader Phil Berger this week defended the $14 million in merit bonuses going to North Carolina teachers this month, saying it improves on an “archaic system” by rewarding top performers.​ ​(The Charlotte Observer)


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