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

U.S. News Releases 2018 Best High Schools Rankings
Charter schools in Arizona topped the national rankings for the second year in a row. The right high school can make all the difference for students planning to attend college. Students with college aspirations may be well-served by attending a high school that offers Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses. In 2016-2017, a total of 15,091 public high schools in the U.S. offered AP classes, according to the College Board. During that same period, around 800 public U.S. high schools offered IB courses, according to the International Baccalaureate. The 2018 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings, released today, can help parents identify top-notch schools in their area and see how these schools stack up nationally. (U.S. News & World Report)

What ails education? ‘An absence of vision, a failure of will and politics’
We have long benefited from a broad coalition that has advanced bold action to improve America’s education system. That coalition has waned. It’s time to rebuild it. Today, education is blessed with bipartisan agreement on what works, and cursed with bipartisan complacency at every level on taking action. Both sides recognize the need to balance strong federal accountability with local innovation; to support high standards for teachers, and to encourage choice and diversity while keeping public schools as the core focus of national policy. (The Washington Post)

Report: Retaining High Performers: Insights from DC Public Schools’ Teacher Exit Survey
As school districts across the country report various kinds of teacher shortages, how to retain teachers has emerged as a key area of interest for district leaders and policymakers. There are a variety of incentives and strategies to keep teachers in the profession, but which ones are most effective? Asking teachers themselves yields answers, some of which cut against the grain of conventional wisdom in the education community. (Bellwether Education Partners)

General Assembly directs state Ed Department to recruit minority teachers
Growing up in Stamford, state Rep. Patricia Billie Miller didn’t have a black teacher until the eighth grade. That teacher helped Miller, as a young African American girl, become a successful student, she said. So years later, Miller was dismayed when her daughter, now 28, only had one black teacher in Stamford schools. “It helps when you have someone in front of you that looks like you,” the Democrat said Monday. Although non-white students are about a third of Connecticut’s school population, teachers of color are today only 7 percent of the state’s public school faculty, according to the state Commission on Equity and Opportunity. (CT Post)

First State school board races marked by low turnout again
Polls were open in school districts across the state Tuesday for school board elections, but not many showed up. Turnout was low again. 12 contested races up and down the state only managed to draw a total of 8,644 voters and no race statewide reached 1,800 votes. The highest turnout came in the Red Clay School District where 1,724 people voted as Jose Matthews defeated Joseph DeMichele for the only contested seat there. That was one of 6 New Castle County races in four districts. (Delaware Public Media)

North Carolina
Teachers air grievances, call demonstration an ‘uprising’
More than 10,000 people are expected to show up to the General Assembly May 16 and fight for more funding. “They are starving our school districts,” said North Carolina Association of Educators President Mark Jewell. “Public education is the economy. It’s for everyone. It’s the one thing that in society every facet benefits from, and we’re not doing a very good job of it.” NCAE has called the May 16 demonstration “an uprising” after so much has been stripped away from education during the years. (ABC)

Schools will be spared cuts as MNPS leaders address $17M budget hole
Nashville schools principals won’t have to rework their budgets as the district looks to address a $17 million operations hole next year, according to the city’s superintendent. Instead, Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Shawn Joseph said cuts will be focused at the administrative office level. “We need to lock them (school budgets) in so teachers and principals know that the budgets they have are the budgets they will keep,” Joseph said. (Tennessean)

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


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