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

Bradford: Could the Supreme Court’s New Union Dues Case Liberate Reform-Minded Democrats to Do What’s Right for Kids?
Janus, the two-faced Roman god from which the month of January draws its name, is associated with gates, transitions, and duality. Janus is best known, however, as the god of beginnings and endings (hence his placement at the start of the Roman calendar). So it’s hard not to see the irony of Janus v. AFSCME, a case on the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket whose resolution could signal the end of public-sector unions as we currently know them. (The 74)

DeVos rescinds 72 guidance documents outlining rights for students with disabilities
The Education Department has rescinded 72 policy documents that outline the rights of students with disabilities as part of the Trump administration’s effort to eliminate regulations it deems superfluous. The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services wrote in a newsletter Friday that it had “a total of 72 guidance documents that have been rescinded due to being outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective – 63 from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and 9 from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).” The documents, which fleshed out students’ rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act, were rescinded Oct. 2. (Chicago Tribune)

ESSA Brings User-Friendly Makeover of State Report Cards
Consumers have long slapped state-issued school report cards with a failing grade. Parents and statisticians alike have lodged complaints about their dizzying, colorless rows of data punctuated with jargon, clauses, and meaningless explainers. Now, those much agonized-over and politically fraught web portals for conveying how schools stack up are set for a head-to-toe makeover, both in how they look and the information they provide. (Education Week)

California Wildfires Have Disrupted School For A Quarter Of A Million Students
The wildfires in Northern California cut across a wide swath of the state — including dozens of school districts, hundreds of schools and hundreds of thousands of students. At one point, classes were canceled for 260,000 students in 600 schools. And while schools are slowly coming back on line, there remain many that may not resume classes for days or even weeks. (NPR)

New Mexico
New Mexico PED to drop some edits to science standards; opponents still question changes
SANTA FE – The state Public Education Department has agreed to eliminate the most controversial edits it made to the Next Generation Science Standards, but many opponents say those changes don’t go far enough. Education Secretary-designate Christopher Ruszkowski said his department will restore a reference to the age of Earth and add the word “evolution” back into another section as a response to criticism raised by hundreds of scientists, teachers and others. The revisions, however, appear to leave in place most of the state’s proposed edits to the NGSS that the Public Education Department announced last month. (Las Cruces Sun-News)

New York
De Blasio can’t seem to fire bad teachers, data shows
Mayor de Blasio has done progressively worse than his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, in firing tenured teachers the city deems incompetent or dangerous, The Post has learned. Last school year, de Blasio’s Department of Education convinced hearing officers to terminate just 34 of 127 educators brought to administrative trials, or 27 percent, according to state data. (NY Post)

Philly’s SRC could call dissolution vote by year’s end
The School Reform Commission could vote to disband itself by year’s end, the panel’s chairwoman said Thursday night. After another SRC meeting where dozens of members of the public angrily called for an end to the body, Chairwoman Joyce Wilkerson said the five members were keenly aware of the timeline in front of them: To kill the SRC and shift to local control by the 2018-19 school year, they would need to vote themselves out of existence by the end of December. (The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News)

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


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