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

Educators Warn of ‘Devastating’ Consequences for Charter Schools in New GOP Tax Bill
When KIPP Academy of Opportunity in Los Angeles opened its doors at the start of this school year, its 400 students were, for the first time in several years, all under one roof. The school opened in 2003, but Los Angeles’s tight real estate market forced the network to split the students, fifth- through eighth-graders, between two campuses, three miles apart, for the past six or seven years. That meant higher costs to operate two buildings, stress on kids who had to change buildings frequently, and logistical woes for administrators stretched between two campuses, Marcia Aaron, CEO of KIPP LA, told The 74. (The 74)

‘Precious Little Evidence’ That Vouchers Improve Achievement, Recent Research Finds
There’s been surging national interest in private-school-voucher programs with the Trump administration’s embrace of the idea. But newer research on large-scale voucher programs has complicated the debate over private-school choice—policies which allow families to use public money or aid to attend private schools, including religious ones. What does the research say? In a nutshell: The most recent findings are mixed, but they lean more toward negative. (Education Week)

Principals At Bethune, Baby Ben Push To Charter Last District-Run Elementary Schools
It’s the general understanding that Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary and Benjamin Franklin Elementary and Middle will become charter schools. The only question is when that will happen, and who will run them. The schools’ current principals think it should be them, so they applied to the Orleans Parish School Board to convert them into charters beginning next year. But an independent report recommended the board deny their applications. (New Orleans Public Radio)

In historic vote, a divided SRC moves to abolish itself
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission is on its way to extinction. The state-devised panel, the ruler of the School District for 16 years, voted to dissolve itself Thursday night, declaring that the era of distress for the city’s schools was over. Immediately after the 3-1 vote, shouts, cheers, and chants of “the people united will never be defeated” arose from a raucous crowd that had gathered to witness the moment. (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

South Carolina’
Department of Education releases 2017 report cards for SC schools
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -The South Carolina Department of Education has released it’s 2017 Report Cards state report cards for South Carolina schools and districts. This year’s report card shows the state’s four-year graduation rate has increased to 84.6 percent, a two percent increase over the previous year and an all-time high. State Superintendent Molly Spearman said these reports provide transparency and accountability to parents and the public. “I encourage the public to pay close attention to the important information contained in the report cards so that we can make informed decisions together in the best interest of our students,” Spearman said.  (WISTV)

Washington D.C.
Charter schools deserve equal funding
If you visit a D.C. public park on any given weekend, you will see children of all ages. The younger ones might be on the slides or the swings. You’ll find the older ones riding bikes or playing basketball. Taking in the scene, you would have a hard time guessing where each child goes to school because in the park, they’re all D.C. kids. When Monday comes, however, the city stops treating its children — and the public schools they attend — equally. The government provides far more financial support to its traditional public schools than to the public charter schools that serve nearly half of D.C. public school students. (The Washington Post)

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


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