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 & Analysis:

School Choice Deniers

President Trump has made a cause of public and private school choice, and liberals who oppose evaluating teachers based on student achievement are now hyping a few studies that have found vouchers hurt student performance. A closer look still supports the case for giving parents choice. More than 400,000 students in 30 states and Washington, D.C., participate in private-school choice programs whose designs and funding sources vary. Over the last two decades dozens of studies have sought to measure these programs’ impact on student growth. Those with the most rigorous methodologies have produced positive findings. (The Wall Street Journal)

Every Student Succeeds Act: Six Questions to Ask About State Plans
Break out the balloons and the bubbly drinks, it’s April 3! That’s right, it’s the first official deadline for states to turn in their plans for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act to either the U.S. Department of Education or to their governors for review. (States that go that second route officially get to turn in their plans, to the department on May 3.) Late last year, 17 states and the District of Columbia said they were shooting to turn in their plans on April 3, although a couple, including Ohio, have decided to sit tight and keep working. There is a second deadline, on Sept. 18. (Education Week)

Principals matter — and Tennessee wants to do a better job of equipping them

The job of a principal has changed a lot over the last decade. Instead of just hiring teachers, managing the building, and stepping in for the toughest discipline issues, today’s principals also serve as catalysts for the quality of classroom instruction. They not only hire teachers but they observe, evaluate and coach them. That’s why Tennessee is launching a new initiative to get teachers with untapped leadership potential to the principal’s office, as well as support and develop principals who are already there. (Chalkbeat)

North Carolina
Southeastern NC schools must find 450 teachers under class-size rule

Twelve school districts in Southeastern North Carolina will have to find 450 teachers by August if a state mandate to cut class sizes stays in place.
On Monday, New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Tim Markley joined school leaders from the state’s Education District 2 in Jacksonville, according to a news release. Alongside New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties, District 2 includes school systems in Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico and Wayne counties, plus Clinton City Schools. Brunswick County Schools leaders could not attend due to a prior meeting. (Star News)

Washington D.C.
Nonprofit wants 25 new or revamped D.C. city or charter schools in five years

A local philanthropic group wants to revamp low-performing public schools and open others, 25 in all over the next five years. There are 233 public schools in the District with 90,000 students, counting city and charter schools. But Mieka Wick, chief executive of CityBridge Education, said last week that there are not enough schools with “high-quality” seats where students are meeting or exceeding academic standards. (The Washington Post)


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