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

The ‘Miraculous’ Rise and Ugly Fall of ESSA: Is Congress’s Education Coalition Too Broken to Tackle Higher Ed?

The move by House and Senate Republicans to use the blunt-force Congressional Review Act to obliterate the Obama-era K-12 accountability rules shows just how badly the education consensus has cracked on Capitol Hill. Sen. Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, lamented that they were vaporizing the regulations even though lawmakers agreed on 80 percent of them. Sen. James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, said the finality of getting Washington, D.C., out of judging teacher effectiveness, student achievement, or school success suited him just fine. (The 74)

The Great School Turnaround
Like many of his predecessors, former President Barack Obama campaigned in part on turning around the country’s chronically failing schools. The majority of those schools were concentrated in racially and economically segregated neighborhoods of cities like his hometown of Chicago, where communities face a host of compounding problems, including high rates of unemployment, incarceration, homicide, drug use and gang violence. (U.S. News and World Report)

Betsy DeVos and Boys of Color on Agenda at Urban School Leaders’ Conference
The Council of the Great City Schools kicked off its annual legislative and policy conference this weekend with uncertainty over how education priorities under the nascent Trump administration will affect its districts, but also with a commitment from members to continue long-standing initiatives, including improving district governance, curriculum, and supporting African-American, Latino, and Native-American boys.​ (Education Week)​

Democrats Demand That DeVos Explain How She Is Going To Protect Trans Students
Weeks after President Donald Trump’s administration rescinded an Obama administration guidance protecting transgender students, a group of Democratic senators are demanding that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos explain how she plans to defend the rights of these children.​ (The Huffington Post)​

Rift opens between governor, superintendent over Georgia schools plan

A testy exchange between Gov. Nathan Deal and state Superintendent Richard Woods reveals a rift between them in Georgia’s debate about failing schools.The dispute between the two Republicans is about who should command a school turnaround initiative working its way through the General Assembly. Woods’ duty as an elected official is to oversee the Department of Education and its K-12 mission, and he argues he and his staff of career educators should be in charge. But Deal has made fixing low-performing schools a top priority. Governors are often judged by the success of public schools, so control over education is important to him. (AJC)

New York
Number of New York City students successfully appealing Regents exam scores in order to graduate triples

Hundreds of New York City students took advantage of new, state-created graduation options — including an easier appeals process — according to data from the city’s education department, likely contributing to a boost in the city’s overall graduation rates. (Chalkbeat)


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