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

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

News and Analysis

9th Circuit, Citing Education and Other Factors, Refuses to Reinstate Travel Ban

A federal appeals court panel on Thursday declined the Trump administration’s request to reinstate its executive order temporarily barring U.S. entry for individuals from seven countries, citing disruption in higher education among other factors. “Although courts owe considerable deference to the president’s policy determinations with respect to immigration and national security, it is beyond question that the federal judiciary retains the authority to adjudicate constitutional challenges to executive action,” said the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco. (Education Week​)​

Bipartisan Education Politics a Thing of the Past
When Congress passed a sprawling rewrite of the federal education law at the tail-end of 2015, it was hailed as a “Christmas miracle.”​ ​Drafted, negotiated and passed by members on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which overhauled the widely reviled No Child Left Behind by returning much of the authority over education to states, stood out as a shining example of bipartisanship in an ever-partisan, log jammed political system.​ (US News)​

Does Religion Have a Place in Public Schools?
From the standpoint of democratic theory, the basic problem with school choice is this: Religious belief and affiliation can be vital sites of civic learning for many Americans. In their temples, mosques, and megachurches, Americans learn to cooperate, organize, identify, and engage with social problems. These skills help them develop the kind of bonding capital that forms the basis of a democracy; from that platform, citizens can develop the bridging capital that allows them to identify with and engage civil society as a whole.​ (The Atlantic)​

​Pennsylvania ​
SRC approves new KIPP charter school — in 2019

Amid  parents’ calls for new charter schools to meet the demand of Philadelphia families, and complaints that the School District can’t afford any more, the School Reform Commission on Wednesday approved one of three applicants.​ ​During a  special meeting on charters, the commission voted, 4-0, to approve KIPP Parkside school in West Philadelphia, with conditions. The opening of the K-4 school was delayed until 2019-20, and the school is required to demonstrate two years of strong academic performance before it can add grades five through eight.​ (Philly.com)​

​North Carolina​
Why lots of schools in Charlotte want your kids – and how you can navigate the maze

If you’ve got school-age children – or 3- and 4-year-olds about to start – you’re a hot commodity in the Charlotte region right now.​ ​Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is pushing choice like never before, rolling out new magnets and marketing itself in new ways. Charter schools are expanding. And if you want to switch to a private school, North Carolina has a growing scholarship fund that might help with tuition.​ ​All children are guaranteed a place at a school in their district, but for families who want to consider options now is the time to make decisions for 2017-18. Here’s a guide to sorting it out.​ (Charlotte Observer)​

New York
A Bronx school with a high suspension rate is trying restorative justice. It isn’t going as planned.

When Mayor Bill de Blasio began pushing schools to dramatically reduce suspensions in favor of more “restorative” approaches to student discipline, it was a policy designed to target schools like East Bronx Academy for the Future.​ ​The grades 6-12 school, which is 98 percent black or Hispanic and situated in one of the poorest congressional districts in the country, has been responsible for an outsized share of the city’s suspensions, sometimes issuing more than 200 per year (the school serves about 660 students).​​ (Chalkbeat)​


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