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

Effort to Overturn New York’s Teacher Tenure Laws Wins Unanimous Appeals Court Victory
A New York appellate court ruled unanimously Wednesday that a case brought by a group of parents arguing that teacher tenure laws and seniority-based job protections harm their children’s education should go forward. The decision dealt the state Education Department, New York City, and New York teachers unions a third defeat in their years-long attempt to have the high-profile lawsuit dismissed. (The 74)

Schools Struggle to Use Data to Spark Improvement
Can educational data be used to actually help schools get better? That’s the hope behind a push to bring to K-12 schools a management philosophy known as “continuous improvement” that has flourished in fields such as health care, manufacturing, and social services. But experts contend that the K-12 education system’s current data infrastructure, built in response to the federal No Child Left Behind Law and focused primarily on holding schools accountable, looms as a significant barrier. (Education Week)

How Much Had Schools Really Been Desegregated by 1964?
Any assessment of the extent of progress made in the last 10 years since the Supreme Court’s decision of May 17, 1954, must be done under careful analysis of the real and the imagined. The naive might believe that great strides have been made in school desegregation over the past decade, but this is not at all true. Today, the tragically real picture of school desegregation, particularly in the South, is still one of stark tokenism or no desegregation at all. In my own hometown of Atlanta, for example, the awful truth is that of 14,159 Negroes enrolled in high schools, only 153 are presently attending classes with whites, and, worse, not a single Negro child attends a desegregated elementary school. (The Atlantic)

ESUMS junior 1 of 3 in world with perfect score on AP chemistry exam
Prastik Mohanraj, 16, knew he had done well on the advanced placement chemistry exam as a sophomore, but something wasn’t sitting right with him as his time drew to a close. “I thought I made an error, so I raced back to fix it,” he said. As the test was ending, he said he found a miscalculation on a question about acids and bases and fixed it. It wasn’t until this February, nearly a year later, that the Engineering and Science University Magnet School student was surprised by a different type of calculation: he was one of three students in the world to get a perfect score on the exam, only 0.002 percent of all test takers. (New Haven Register)

One-on-one private school opens near Dadeland for students in grades 6 to 12
An unusual one-on-one classroom method has opened near Dadeland Mall: one teacher, one student. Fusion Academy on Feb. 5 opened its first Miami-area school — its 43rd in the United States, including Boca Raton — catering to students from 6th to 12th grades. “In South Florida, we know it is crucial to invest in innovative teaching methods to help us measure how each student can better excel in their academic lives,” Head of School Maria Cardenas said in a news release. “Fusion Academy allows students the unique opportunity to excel at their own pace and receive the personalized attention that fosters academic success.” (Miami Herald)

Erie School District takes aim at discipline gap
Through the development of its strategic plan, the Erie School District is trying to address an achievement gap, in which black students typically are less proficient in math and language arts than their white counterparts. The district is also trying to address its discipline gap. In 2016-17, black students in the Erie School District were disciplined about 2.3 times more often than their white counterparts — 889 black students compared with 394 white students. (

Nashville schools to scale back popular free lunch program for students
Nashville schools is set to scale back a popular program that provides free lunch to all of its students. The district currently provides free lunch to all students, regardless of income, but now plans to limit the program to 74 schools next year, while families at other schools must file paperwork to receive free-or-reduced lunch rates. The proposed move to scale back the program stems from a lower-than-expected number of students qualifying for federal assistance programs, said Ken Stark, the district’s operations officer. (Tennessean)

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


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