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

Betsy DeVos: All ESSA Plans Are In, Complete, and Ready for Review
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have now submitted their plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act, and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her team are ready to examine the dozens of plans submitted by the second deadline last month. Thirty-four states and Puerto Rico turned in their ESSA plans in September and October. (The official deadline for submitting plans was September 18, but hurricane-ravaged Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas got extensions). And all of those plans have now been deemed “complete” by the feds. That means the plans aren’t missing key details, at least according to the department’s initial review. (Education Week)

The Wrong Way to Help Principals
On the eve of October’s National Principals Month, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke to members of a national school principals organization, telling them that principals should be able to “spend more time focusing on the people, not on the paperwork.” DeVos is right to point out how increased expectations for what students should leave school able to know and do have made it critical for principals to focus more on supporting students, in large part by supporting improvements in teaching. But despite mounting expectations for principals to train their attention on these new demands, principals’ traditional responsibilities of building management and other administrative tasks have not yielded. (U.S. News & World Report)

Young Children Are Spending Much More Time In Front Of Small Screens
It’s not your imagination: Tiny tots are spending dramatically more time with tiny screens. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, just released new numbers on media use by children 8 and under. The nationally representative parent survey found that 98 percent of homes with children now have a mobile device — such as a tablet or smartphone. That’s a huge leap from 52 percent just six years ago. Mobile devices are now just as common as televisions in family homes. (NPR)

Analysis: Teacher Turnover Is High — Except When You Compare Teaching to Other Professions
They came on in the same old way,” the Duke of Wellington said of the French attacks at Waterloo, “and we saw them off in the same old way.” I was reminded of this line after reading yet another report by the Learning Policy Institute to frighten us into thinking the U.S. has high teacher turnover rates. Its foray into this territory last year was rebuffed by the elementary methods of a) looking at the numbers and b) comparing them with those of all other professions. Lo and behold, public education employees quit their jobs at a lower rate than virtually any other profession in the United States. (The 74)

Teachers union president asks school board to go slow on computer plan
As Harford County Public Schools implement a five-year initiative to provide a tablet-type computer for each student, the Harford teachers union president says that money for that project could be better spent elsewhere. Ryan Burbey, president of the Harford County Education Association, recently told members of the Harford County Board of Education that “the One to One initiative deserves a lot more thinking.” (The Baltimore Sun)

New York
New York policymakers are taking a closer look at how they evaluate charter schools
New York is rethinking how it judges whether charter schools are successful and deserve to remain open — a discussion that comes as some top education policymakers have asked tough questions about the privately managed schools. The state education department currently decides which of the more than 70 charter schools it oversees can stay open based largely on their test scores and graduation rates, though other factors like family involvement and financial management are also reviewed. A set of changes now being considered could add additional performance measures, such as the share of students who are chronically absent and student survey results. (Chalkbeat)

Rhode Island
Judge issues order barring Warwick teachers from sickouts
WARWICK, R.I. — A Superior Court judge on Monday issued a temporary restraining order barring the Warwick teachers union and all of its members from engaging in a sickout, saying it was endangering the safety and welfare of children.“They will be deprived of [their education] if this continues,” Superior Court judge Susan E. McGuirl said, adding that she hoped reasonable minds would prevail during upcoming negotiations. If not, the parties will return to court Oct. 27. Schools Supt. Philip Thornton said he sought court action after having to close five schools in the last two weeks due to high teacher absences. (Providence Journal)

South Carolina
Thousands of students, millions of dollars at stake in brawl over supervising South Carolina charter schools
At least nine schools and 6,000 students are caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between the S.C. Public Charter School District and a brand-new charter school authorizer, the Charter Institute at Erskine. Under state law, every public charter school must be authorized, or “sponsored,” to receive public funding. Most are authorized through local school districts, but some are authorized through the statewide district. In exchange for overseeing a school, an authorizer receives 2 percent of the total state funding for that school. (The Post & Courier)

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


Recent Posts

More posts from Today in Education

See All Posts