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

Starbucks Shuts Down Tuesday for Racial Bias Training. Schools and Teachers Have Been Doing the Same Training for Years — With Mixed Results
They were educators, not baristas, and copies of How Bear Lost His Tail lined the wall rather than promotions for the Ultra Caramel Frappuccino. But on a recent Friday afternoon, the staff of Coney Island Prep Elementary School in Brooklyn engaged in the same activity nearly 175,000 Starbucks employees will participate in today: racial bias training. After students left for the day, nearly three dozen staff gathered in Room 446, sat in tennis-ball-bottomed chairs, and shared how they — just like everyone else — had occasionally and unintentionally offended by making assumptions based on race. Many had been on the receiving end of such offenses. They happen in schools, offices, Starbucks — everywhere, in other words. (The 74)

Can Districts Use the SAT or ACT for School Accountability Without State OK?
This question comes from an anonymous reader who wanted to know: Do districts need state permission to take advantage of new ESSA flexibility to substitute a nationally recognized, college-entrance exam (like the SAT or ACT) instead of the state test for high-school accountability purposes? The short answer: Yup. (Education Week)

Higher temperatures equal lower test scores — study confirms that students learn less in overheated classrooms
A warm classroom is not conducive to learning, as any student trying to pay attention to a teacher’s lecture on a hot day can attest. That’s not lost on teachers. “I really dread school based on the weather, especially in the spring and in the fall,” said one teacher in Baltimore in a school without air conditioning. “If it’s really hot … certainly [student] engagement goes down.” Now, there’s research to back that up. (Chalkbeat)

Can Ms. Hayes go to Washington? A national teacher of the year explains why she’s running for Congress
Jahana Hayes thinks what Washington, D.C. needs is a schoolteacher — one of the nation’s top teachers, in fact. Hayes, the 2016 national teacher of the year, is running for Congress. The history and civics teacher says she hadn’t expected to get into politics. But after more than a year of traveling the country talking to teachers, and continuing to encourage her own students to take on new responsibilities, she said she had an epiphany. (Chalkbeat)

Lawsuit: Delaware schools are leaving children in poverty behind
There is no doubt in Jessica Antwi’s mind that Delaware’s education system is unfair. Her son, 10-year-old Tylan Raburnel, was held back a year and is in fourth grade at Stubbs Elementary School in Wilmington, where 86 percent of students come from low-income families and more than 85 percent are black. Tylan’s backpack comes home empty every night and he doesn’t have the tools to study at home and improve, Antwi said. She feels like he isn’t learning enough during the school day to do well. Unlike some other parents, Antwi can’t afford to hire a tutor. (Delaware Online)

Deficit spending, charter school expansion, teachers’ salaries dominate EBR school board budget debate Thursday
Concerns about deficit spending, charter school expansion and teacher salary schedules dominated discussion Thursday as the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board held the first of three scheduled debates on its spending plans for the fiscal year starting July 1. The $473 million proposed general fund budget anticipates that the school system will raise only $450 million during the 2018-19 fiscal year, a gap of $23 million. Overall revenue for the school system is expected to increase by about 3 percent compared with the current fiscal year, while spending is proposed to increase at a faster pace, by almost 5 percent. (The Advocate)

New Mexico
PED demands APS signature to finalize next steps for failing schools
The dialogue is over. The New Mexico Public Education Department sent a notice to Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Raquel Reedy with the next steps laid out for Los Padillas and Whittier elementaries – schools with a history of failing grades and labeled in need of “more rigorous interventions” – and a place for Reedy to sign in agreement. (Albuquerque Journal)

SRC adopts $3.2B Philly school budget – with question marks
The School Reform Commission on Thursday night adopted a $3.2 billion budget that provides for some new teachers and building repairs — but comes with an asterisk appended. To enact the spending plan, the Philadelphia School District is still banking on what Mayor Kenney proposed in March: $700 million in new money from the city funded in part through a property tax increase. City Council, however, has balked at that sum, saying that taxpayers are already overburdened. (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

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


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