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

News and Analysis
DeVos to testify on Trump’s budget, her first time before Congress since rocky confirmation hearing
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is expected to travel to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to testify about the Trump administration’s proposed budget, her first public appearance before Congress since her rocky confirmation hearing in January. (The Washington Post)

Homeschooling Makes Learning Personal For Some Special Education Students
Dorothy, of Spring Hill, Fla., has a 15-year-old son with spina bifida and developmental delays, and her 13-year-old daughter is, she says, “mildly autistic.” Neither was happy at public school.​ ​”My son was in a lockdown classroom with gang members. It was a bad situation. I was afraid he was going to get hurt,” Dorothy says. “My daughter was getting bullied because she spoke out of turn or would get upset easily. Twenty kids in a classroom was a lot for her.”​ (NPR)​

Cultural Activity Matters
Some people have been puzzled as to why I’ve been studying how cultural activities, like visiting an art museum or seeing live theater, affect students. Why don’t I do what almost everyone else in our field does and just study how various interventions affect math and reading test scores?​ ​Well, I’ve been making the argument for a while now that there is remarkably little evidence linking near-term changes in test scores to changes in later life outcomes for students, like graduating high school, enrolling in college, completing college, and earnings. I have yet to see anyone bother to refute my observation of this weak and inconsistent connection between test score changes and life changes. ​(Education Next)​

Betheny Gross — The Key to Effective Personalized Learning: Rigorous Content, Standards, and Experiences
My colleague and I recently visited a middle school science classroom. Students, outfitted with safety glasses, were organized into groups of three to four. The room was lively but not disorderly as each group worked on its own experiment. As we walked the perimeter of the room, we saw many of the hallmarks of a personalized learning classroom: Small groups worked independently; each worked on an activity that they had chosen; the teacher engaged with small groups of students.​ (The 74)​

What Happens When Students Design Their Own Assessments?
With classmates, parents, teachers, and even the Roanoke County schools superintendent standing before him, high school senior Bubba Smith took a deep breath and set the two-story Rube Goldberg machine into motion.​ ​The contraption, which performed a series of complicated actions to lift a banner, was part of Bubba’s fourth-quarter grade for his AP Physics class. Students in physics and the AP Calculus class worked on the machine for nine weeks and then presented it during Hidden Valley High School’s end-of-year exhibition of students’ projects, most of which they designed themselves.​ (Education Week)​

New Mexico
Lawsuit over school spending can continue, judge says
A state district judge in Santa Fe ruled Monday that the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty can continue its lawsuit against the state claiming that funding for public schools is inadequate.​ ​Judge Sarah Singleton’s decision sets the stage for a two-month trial this summer that could forever change the way schools are funded by state government.​ ​But Singleton also said the Center on Law and Poverty must do more than point to abysmal test scores to prove the state is violating the state constitution when it comes to allocating sufficient funding public schools.​ (Santa Fe New Mexican) ​

​New Jersey
Inside the high-pressure world of N.J.’s hardest-to-get-into high schools
Walk into Union County Magnet High School in Scotch Plains and one of the first rooms you see off the lobby is the new “maker space.”​ ​The school gutted its old multi-media room and filled it with 3-D printers, robotics equipment and tens of thousands of dollars in high-tech machinery for its engineering students to play with.​ (​

​New York
Achievement First is betting on a new model to help more of its students graduate college
Charter school operators across the country have been grappling with a vexing problem: graduating large numbers of students who go on to college, yet flounder when they get there and never earn a degree.​ ​It’s an issue Achievement First — a national network that operates 19 schools in Brooklyn — is trying to solve by experimenting with a new model that gives students more control over their own learning. The model, known as “Greenfield” for its open-minded approach, was first piloted in Connecticut. But starting next school year, it will roll out for the first time in New York City at a new Brooklyn middle school.​ (Chalkbeat)​

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


Recent Posts

More posts from Today in Education

See All Posts