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

State Testing Standards: How States Stack Up
In the 10 years since the Common Core State Standards were developed, most states have adopted one of three common-core-aligned state tests: ACT Aspire, PARCC, and Smarter Standards. Meanwhile, a handful of states have chosen to partially or completely repeal the standards. So which states have more challenging assessments that reflect higher learning standards, and which have a lower bar when it comes to measuring student performance? A new report compared the benchmarks and cut scores for each state test against a national assessment. (Education Week)

How Virtual Advisers Help Low-Income Students Apply To College
Some high school students think of applying to colleges as a full-time job. There are essays and tests, loads of financial documents to assemble and calculations to make. After all that comes a big decision — one of the biggest of their young lives. For top students who come from low-income families, the challenge is particularly difficult. Research shows that 1 in 4 juggle all of that — the writing, the studying, the researching and applying — completely on their own. One approach to make this whole process easier? Pair students up with someone who can help, a mentor or adviser, virtually. (NPR)

Sussex Tech staff demands board resignations
Citing a lack of accountability, communication and transparency from the Sussex Tech School Board this year, teacher after teacher had one question for incumbent board members at the June 11 board meeting. “Will you voluntarily resign your appointed positions so that Sussex Technical School District can better serve its students, its staff and the county?” Sussex Tech’s school board is not elected by the community; board members are appointed by the governor to seven-year terms. The Delaware General Assembly sets Tech’s annual budget, which is funded by property taxes levied countywide. (Cape Gazette)

New Jersey
This special ed teacher promised to one day donate $1M to her students. She wasn’t kidding
About 10 years ago, Superintendent Emanuele Triggiano remembers laughing when a retired teacher told him that she was going to donate a million dollars. “I thought it was a joke,” Triggiano said. “But then we got the paperwork.” Genevieve Via Cava, a special educator teacher in the Dumont school district, had amassed a small fortune throughout her life. When she died in 2011, she left her savings to help some of the people who meant the most to her: her special education students. (

Washington D.C.
DC’s public schools go from success story to cautionary tale
As recently as a year ago, the public school system in the nation’s capital was being hailed as a shining example of successful urban education reform and a template for districts across the country. Now the situation in the District of Columbia could not be more different. After a series of rapid-fire scandals, including one about rigged graduation rates, Washington’s school system has gone from a point of pride to perhaps the largest public embarrassment of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s tenure. (PBS)

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


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