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

The House has a plan that will expand income equality and education access — the Senate should follow suit
As the Senate’s tax reform plan heads to the floor for a vote, the chamber is presented with an enormous opportunity to expand school choice options for working-class and middle-income families. Including an expansion of Section 529 savings plans for K-12 tuition expenses would help millions of families save tax-free for education. It would be a powerful statement to the very taxpayers who are supposed to benefit the most from the hotly debated reform package. (The Hill)

Is A Solid Curriculum a Constraint on Teacher Creativity?
Not three months after graduating from college, I got a job teaching middle school science at a local parochial school. For my orientation, I was given a tour of my classroom and the keys to a closet that contained my students’ textbooks. Whether I used them was entirely my call. It’s the kind of freedom many teachers could only dream of—and a freedom that is perhaps common in the Catholic school world. (EducationNext)

Confidential plan calls for consolidating Wilmington schools down to two
A confidential draft of a memorandum of understanding between the Christina School District and Gov. John Carney’s office calls for consolidating five Wilmington schools into just two by fall 2018. The schools would be called New Bayard and New Bancroft, and both would serve kindergarten through eighth grade, according to a document obtained by The News Journal and dated Nov. 22. The other three – Pulaski Elementary, Stubbs Elementary and Elbert-Palmer Elementary – would no longer serve as schools but could house resource centers. The document is not final and is subject to change. (Delaware Online)

New Mexico
Report: State education spending still 11.7% below recession levels
New Mexico’s public school funding remains 11.7 percent below education spending levels before the recession hit in 2008, a new national report says, adding that the decline has undercut the state’s ability to reform its education system and improve its economic outlook. Using 2015 data from state budgets and the U.S. Census Bureau, the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says in its report that New Mexico is one of 29 states that are still providing less money for public schools than they did before the recession. New Mexico ranked 15th on the list, just below Wisconsin, whose funding for schools is 10.6 percent lower than in 2008, and above California, which has seen a decrease of 11.8 percent. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

North Carolina
New Study: Quality Pre-K Boosts High School Graduation Rates
A recent analysis of five decades of data shows that high-quality early childhood education has lasting benefits for kids. Yet in North Carolina, less than one out of two young children participates in a qualifying program. The study was published in the journal Educational Researcher. It showed that kids who attended a high-quality preschool program were 11 percent more likely to graduate high school. They were also 8 percent less likely to be held back or placed in special education. (North Carolina Public Radio)

School districts experiment with later start times
PITTSBURGH (AP) – As darkness faded just after 7 a.m. Friday, sleepy high school students across Allegheny and Westmoreland counties stood at bus stops or steered vehicles to school. Others already were inside on the way to breakfast or study halls, while others were beginning their first academic classes of the day. Districts in and around Pittsburgh, including some whose first bell rings at 7 a.m., are evaluating daily schedules as research and day-to-day experience make it increasingly clear that later start times could benefit students’ mental health and academic success. (The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News)

South Carolina
Three years ago, South Carolina’s poorest schools won a landmark ruling. Did it matter?
COLUMBIA — Three years ago, educators in South Carolina’s poor, rural school districts rejoiced in winning a decades-long court battle that found the state fails to provide their students even the bare minimum in education opportunities. They expected the S.C. Supreme Court’s order to force wholesale change. Now South Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders are applauding the same court’s 3-2 decision this month to close the case for good, saying the justices’ decision to end oversight shows they are satisfied with legislators’ efforts. (The Post and Courier)

Washington D.C.
What Really Happened At The School Where ‘Every Senior Got Into College’
Brian Butcher, a history teacher at Ballou High School, sat in the bleachers of the school’s brand-new football field last June watching 164 seniors receive diplomas. It was a clear, warm night and he was surrounded by screaming family and friends snapping photos and cheering. It was a triumphant moment for the students: For the first time, every graduate had applied and been accepted to college. The school is located in one of Washington, D.C.’s poorest neighborhoods and has struggled academically for years with a low graduation rate. For months, the school received national media attention, including from NPR, celebrating the achievement. (NPR)

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