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

Democrats’ Recent Election Gains: The K-12 Repercussions
The Democratic gains in this week’s New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington elections will have repercussions in all three states in their long-simmering debates over the expansion of charter schools, school funding, testing, and other K-12 issues. And the political maneuvers used by education policy advocates to animate moderate voters over those issues could provide a script for other states next year when 38 governorships and four-fifths of state legislative seats are up for election. (Education Week)

Drucker: Finding Hope in Fellow Millennials and Their Willingness to Reimagine Education
Last year, the nation’s 75 million millennials — born, roughly, in the 1980s and 1990s — emerged from the shadow of the baby boomers as our country’s largest and most influential age demographic. People say we are self-aggrandizing. Congratulations to us on cultural domination. While marketers have sized us up on a Rubik’s Cube of preferences, we are only starting to learn more about millennials’ views on topics that really matter, like education. Our ideas, and the priority we give to educational equity, will shape American schools for decades. This matters not only because we have an opportunity to influence the system before we have children in it, but also because education is an ideal gateway issue for millennials to participate in American democracy, through local politics like school board elections, rezoning, and ballot questions. What we do with our political power in terms of education is a topic that deserves serious ink. (The 74)

Our military kids need an education system as flexible as they are
Our first thought on Veterans Day, as we honor the sacrifices made by those who serve our country in uniform, is their willingness to put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf. The deaths of four American soldiers in Niger, including three Green Berets, last month are only the most recent reminder that it can also demand the ultimate sacrifice. Death in combat is the most extreme sacrifice they face, but it is far from the only one. (The Hill)

Why Are Parents Afraid of Later School Start Times?
All of my high-school memories, even the best ones, are tinged with exhaustion: the full-body ache of dragging myself into bed at midnight at the end of a long day of school and homework, the terror of staring down traffic lights in the hope they’d change as I raced to arrive by our 7:10 AM start time. My friends and I talked incessantly about how tired we were, and our parents talked about it, too, but no one ever seemed to float the idea that we should be making a change. It was just the way things were. (The Atlantic)

On the heels of a national case study that positions Delaware as a national leader in preparing young people for life after high school—the Delaware Pathways continues to expand to provide opportunities for students. Earlier this week, Secretary of Education Susan Bunting announced $400,000 in grant funding to support new high school pathway programs. The new programs will provide high schoolers with opportunities to gain employment skills that give them early college credits and work-based learning experiences. (Rodel Foundation of Delaware)

New Jersey
Gov.-elect Murphy promises teachers a kinder relationship
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – Members of New Jersey’s largest teachers’ union cheered Gov.-elect Phil Murphy on Friday as the Democrat promised a kinder relationship than the union had with Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Murphy spoke at the annual New Jersey Education Association convention in Atlantic City, and said voters have demanded a different direction.”They want an end to the name-calling and the disrespect,” he said. “As a state and nation, we are better than this.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

New York
Resorts World Casino pumps $2B in revenue for New York City schools
The city’s gamble on casinos is paying off. Resorts World Casino in Queens has crossed the $2 billion mark in revenue generated for New York’s lottery education fund. Since opening its doors near the Aqueduct Raceway in 2011, the casino has contributed $2,079,037,190 to New York public schools. Officials said the money is enough to hire 37,000 new teachers in New York City, supply students across the state with more than 27 million textbooks or buy 142 million “total experience” tickets for Bronx Zoo school field trips. (NY Daily News)

North Carolina
This struggling charter school saw big gains on test scores. Here’s how.
RALEIGH–High-stakes standardized tests used to be a source of dread at Hope Charter Leadership Academy, but the high-poverty charter school near downtown Raleigh decided to take a different approach: Embrace the exams. Mock tests, after-school tutorials, school competitions, parties, motivational videos and data-tracking to gauge performance has become the norm for Hope, which draws most of its 122 elementary school students from Southeast Raleigh. (The News & Observer)

Philly school graduation rates up; mayor promises more progress
The audience was fired up, and so was Mayor Kenney: For three straight years, the Philadelphia School District’s graduation rate has risen.  For the class of 2017, 67 percent of all students earned diplomas in four years. That’s up 1 percentage point over last year, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. on Thursday told the audience at Lincoln High School, which saw a 12-point increase in its graduation rate. (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

Tennessee awards 10 Nashville charter schools facility funds
Ten Nashville charter schools will receive funds from the state to help improve or develop their school facilities. The $3.3 million in awards to 27 charter schools throughout the state were announced Wednesday by Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen. The money is part of the Tennessee Department of Education’s Charter School Facilities Program, which was designed to provide capital funds for charter schools. (The Tennessean)

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


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