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

Long rated by test scores, schools may soon be judged on student abenteeism too

How should the success or failure of a public school be judged? For the past generation, the federal government’s primary answer has been standardized test scores. But now states have more latitude to decide for themselves, and many are choosing to judge schools in part based on how many kids frequently miss class. (The Washington Post)

Church, state, and school: What might Supreme Court ruling mean for vouchers?
Dig beneath the rubber playground surface at issue in the latest landmark case before the United States Supreme Court and you’ll find a tricky question – a conundrum born out of the gray area between the Constitution’s two key religious protection provisions. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find potentially momentous implications for the nationwide debate over school choice voucher programs. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Braimah: 3 Ways to Think About School Choice Through the Lens of Equity and Diversity
A friend recently asked me for my take, as a charter school operator, on the current administration’s push for school choice. I told her she’s asking the wrong question. The question is not whether choice is a good thing. The question we should all be asking is, under what circumstances is choice a good thing? Simply put, choice is only a good policy when it advances equity. (The 74)

Teachers Launch Campaign Denouncing Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Policies
Teachers and parents plan to take to the streets on May 1 to call for investment in public education and to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.​ ​The nation’s two major teachers unions and a coalition of education groups called the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools are coordinating protests at schools across the U.S. The protests ― the culmination of a weeks-long national campaign called “Build Schools, Not Walls” ― will call on elected officials to invest money in education, rather than in hurtful immigration policies like a wall between the United States and Mexico.​ (The Huffington Post)​

New Mexico
Lawsuit filed over sick leave policy for NM teachers

ALBUQUERQUE — Whether called sick leave or personal leave, the lawsuit claims, it is private property that is created by the provisions of a teacher’s contract and the policies of the respective school board. And under the New Mexico Constitution, “Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation.” That is the crux of a class-action lawsuit filed by Logan Municipal Schools teacher Angela Medrow over the state’s policy of penalizing teachers in their evaluations if they take more than six days of sick time over the course of the school year — even if their contracts allow for more. (Lac Cruces Sun-News)

New York
With New York City expected to unveil school diversity plan soon, advocates want the public to have a say

Eight months ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio visited one of New York City’s most segregated school districts and promised a plan was in the works to address the striking lack of diversity in the city’s classrooms. That “bigger vision,” as de Blasio called it, is expected to be unveiled by June. But many who have been lobbying to desegregate schools say the process of crafting that vision has been far too private — and that could hurt the Department of Education’s chances for success. (Chalkbeat)

Charter school reform in Pa. is back on the table for consideration

Once again, state lawmakers are trying to tackle reforms to the 20-year-old charter school law that opened the door to public school choice in Pennsylvania.​ ​This law, which led to the creation of 162 brick and mortar charter schools and 14 cyber charter schools, has proven to be controversial from the outset. Time has not changed that, which is why legislative sessions come and go and reforms to this embattled law never reach the governor’s desk.​ (Penn Live)​


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