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

Trump to visit private school to promote school choice

President Donald Trump will be visiting a private, religious school in Florida on Friday, sending a clear sign that his education agenda will focus on school choice. The president will tour St. Andrews Catholic School in Orlando, Florida, where he is expected to drop in on a couple of classrooms, and meet with parents, teachers and administrators, the White House said. (ABC News)

Betsy DeVos: President Trump delivers on education promises
President Trump’s first address to the joint session of Congress was clear: promises made, promises kept. The president promised to shake up the status quo in Washington, and he has. From keeping Carrier in the United States to nominating the highly qualified Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, our president continues to follow through on his word.He’s also delivering on his promises for education. (USA Today)

How Teacher Training Hinders Special-Needs Students
BLOOMFIELD, N.J.—When Mary Fair became a teacher in 2012, her classes often contained a mix of special-education students and general-education students. Placing children with and without disabilities in the same classroom, instead of segregating them, was a growing national trend, spurred by lawsuits by special-education advocates.​ (The Atlantic)​

The Continued Mis-Education of Black Americans
Monday, Senator Tim Scott—a black Republican senator from South Carolina—spearheaded a meeting between leaders of historically black colleges and congressional Republicans and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to talk about the state of black education. And it’s easy to see why: Last month, Scott said that “education is the closest thing to magic in America.” In a sense, Scott’s statement isn’t wrong. Education has shown us time and time again that it can succeed in breaking old cycles of poverty, chains of discrimination, and limited opportunities for some of society’s most maligned and marginalized groups. But as exciting as this belief in education as a great equalizer is, it’s very often fleeting, just like magic. (New America)

New York
New York City updates guidelines designed to protect transgender students

On the heels of the federal government’s decision to roll back protections for transgender students, education officials are making New York City’s even more explicit. The updated guidelines — which build on a set first released in 2014 — require educators to use pronouns in accordance with a student’s gender identity and generally allow students to participate in school activities (such as intramural sports teams or gym class) on that basis. Still, the new guidance does not take a firm position on participation in “competitive athletic activities” — which is to be resolved on a “case-by-case basis.” (Chalkbeat)


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