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

Why Schools Fail To Teach Slavery’s ‘Hard History’
“In the ways that we teach and learn about the history of American slavery,” write the authors of a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), “the nation needs an intervention.” This new report, titled Teaching Hard History: American Slavery, is meant to be that intervention: a resource for teachers who are eager to help their students better understand slavery — not as some “peculiar institution” but as the blood-soaked bedrock on which the United States was built. (WNYC)

With DACA in Limbo, Teachers Protected by the Program Gird for the Worst
Karen Reyes spends her days teaching a group of deaf toddlers at Lucy Read Pre-Kindergarten School in Austin, Tex., how to understand a world they cannot hear. For the first time in her four-year teaching career, Ms. Reyes, 29, is at a loss. One of nearly 9,000 educators protected under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, Ms. Reyes has struggled to explain to her students, through sign language and pictures, the uncertainty of her future. (The New York Times)

Performance pay can bring stronger teachers into the classroom
Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan once remarked: “Money is never the reason why people enter teaching, but it is the reason why some people do not enter teaching.” Education reformers should begin to address Duncan’s point by investigating whether some folks who currently avoid careers in public education do so, in part, because they do not want to be paid solely based on their career longevity and degree credentials. Specifically, policymakers should ask whether many of the prospective employees that public education covets most (i.e., academically accomplished, higher aptitude) currently “vote with their feet” by choosing occupations and organizations that link pay to performance. (Brookings)

What The Screen Time Experts Do With Their Own Kids
Parents today struggle to set screen time guidelines. One big reason is a lack of role models. Grandma doesn’t have any tried-and-true sayings about iPad time. This stuff is just too new. But, many experts on kids and media are also parents themselves. So when I was interviewing dozens of them for my book The Art of Screen Time, I asked them how they made screen time rules at home. None of them held themselves up as paragons, but it was interesting to see how the priorities they focused on in their own research corresponded with the priorities they set at home. (NPR)

Georgia lawmakers seek to change who controls career, technical and agricultural education
Ranking members of the Georgia House of Representatives want to shift control over career-oriented education from the state agency for public schools to the agency that oversees technical colleges. House Bill 778 introduced this week by the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Terry England, R-Auburn, seeks to change who controls content standards, testing, administration and money for career, technical and agricultural education. Co-sponsors include chairmen of other committees. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

New Jersey
In N.J., new administration giving ‘pause’ to charter schools
Kindergartners spun around in hula hoops and chased each other across a gym floor at Camden’s Pride Charter School this week, a joyful explosion of energy as recess began. Most of them likely will stay with the charter network until they graduate from high school, predicts Superintendent Joe Conway. Demand has grown at his Camden’s Promise network, which enrolls 2,000 students, up from 100 sixth graders in 1998. But Conway and other charter operators are concerned about what their future holds under the Gov. Murphy administration. (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

New Mexico
New Mexico bill would force high school students to apply to college
New Mexico’s high school juniors would be required to apply to at least one college or show they have committed to other post-high school plans as part of a new high school graduation requirement being pushed by two state lawmakers. The proposal is scheduled for its first legislative hearing on Thursday. If it eventually becomes law, New Mexico would be the first state to require post-high school plans of students, said Jennifer Zinth, who is the director of high school and STEM research at the Education Commission of the States, a Denver-based group that tracks education policy. (USA Today)

Rhode Island
Bill would require R.I. schools to find alternatives to out-of-school suspensions
Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell has proposed legislation that would require schools to provide alternatives to out-of-school suspensions. The bill asks schools to offer prevention, intervention, peer mediation and other approaches to address misconduct. The measure is designed to reduce a student’s exposure to the courts and criminal justice system, as well as ensure that a student’s education isn’t interrupted. Ranglin-Vassell, D-Providence, said schools would have to find “an alternative educational setting” within the building run by a certified teacher. Students who pose a physical threat to themselves or others would be excluded from the provisions of this bill. (Providence Journal)

South Carolina
New state tests are nothing to fear — unless you run a failing school district
We all know the saying about the fox guarding the hen house, right? Well, in his column on the Education Oversight Committee and school accountability, Kershaw County Superintendent Frank Morgan sounds a lot like a fox asking for guard duty (“Why is this state agency pushing students into bubble-tests they can’t pass?”). In 2015, a federal waiver allowed South Carolina to stop issuing comprehensive report cards for schools and districts. Last year, U.S. News & World Report ranked our state dead last in the United States when it comes to the quality of public education. With that lack of accountability and transparency, it’s not difficult to understand why. (The State)

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


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