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

‘There Is No More Important Job’: Trump Meets With Nation’s Top Teachers
President Donald Trump thanked teachers for their dedication in a short speech in the historic East Room of the White House on Wednesday. He was speaking to a crowd of renowned teachers and their family members. The teachers had all received their state’s highest honor in 2018. The National Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning, stood behind Trump as he delivered his remarks. “Each of you has dedicated your lives to our nation’s single most important resource, our children,” Trump said. (Education Week)

100 percent of MOT Charter School’s first graduating class accepted to college
The excitement was palpable at MOT Charter High School in Middletown Thursday, as students and staff celebrated the fact that every single one of the school’s 111 seniors has been accepted into college. At a schoolwide assembly, the soon-to-be graduates took pictures with the school’s mascot, the Mustang, and danced with joy across the gym floor. The class of 2018 is also the very first graduating class for MOT, which expanded in 2014 and began a high school to complement its K-8 program. That first year, students attended classes in modular classrooms. The high school itself was still being built, 17-year-old Taslyn Ware said. (Delaware Online)

New Jersey
The state’s largest teachers union will examine its own members’ conduct after undercover videos published by a conservative group showed union officials in two districts discussing how they use questionable means to defend teachers accused of wrongdoing. “The purpose of that review is to ensure that every staff member and local affiliate leader understands and clearly communicates the responsibility of all school employees to report any suspected abuse of children,” the New Jersey Education Association said in a statement. (New Jersey 101.5)

North Carolina
Four new Charlotte-area charter schools mean fierce competition for students in 2019
For up to 1,800 kids in the Charlotte region, Thursday’s vote to approve new charter schools could mean new educational opportunities in 2019. For Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Gaston County schools, the green light for more independent public schools will mean fiercer competition for what could be a smaller pool of students. The North Carolina Board of Education’s vote to OK eight new charter schools for 2019-20, with four of them located near Charlotte, continues a trend: As the nation faces a possible “baby bust,” North Carolina’s booming charter school movement is claiming a bigger slice of the students in the Charlotte region. (The Charlotte Observer)

Day after day last September, toxic lead paint chips fluttered from the ceiling of a first-grade classroom and landed on the desk of 6-year-old Dean Pagan. Dean didn’t want his desk to look messy. But he feared that if he got up to toss the paint slivers in the trash, he’d get in trouble. So he put them in his mouth. And swallowed them. (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

Rhode Island
Sketchbooks. Makerspaces. Student Startups. Inside America’s Largest Personalized Learning Experiment, How One Rhode Island ‘Lighthouse Laboratory’ Is Reimagining School
It was the silence that made technology teacher Rebecca Henderson look up. Moments before, her sixth-graders had been giggling over two robots, which they’d nicknamed WALL-E and Eve, from the popular Pixar movie. But now, they were huddled in a circle, whispering. Finally, a few broke the silence and walked over to their teacher with an important question: Could they have a robot wedding? (The 74)

Washington D.C.
Mayor awards $4,000 to black high school students who faced online racist backlash in NASA competition
Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s administration announced Thursday that it would award $4,000 to help three D.C. high school students who faced a torrent of racist comments when they used social media to encourage people to vote for them in a NASA competition. The three black Banneker High students — whose method to purify lead-contaminated water in school drinking fountains landed them in the final round of the science competition — were featured in a Washington Post article this week. (The Washington Post)

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


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