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

Don’t Complain About Charter Schools, Compete With Them
Education debates are like urban myths. With every retelling, they gain more traction. Take the debate over charter schools: the battle lines have been the same for twenty years. The charter crowd says they’re the best hope for poor kids. The anti-charter folks call them a plot to privatize public education and accuse them of taking all the top kids and keeping out the most challenging. The benefit of this dynamic is that it’s familiar. It holds just enough truth that it has staying power. It serves an important political purpose for the storytellers. The problem is that can prevent these storytellers from responding to reality—in this case the real impact of charter growth on traditional districts and schools. (EducationNext)

Schools throughout the country are grappling with teacher shortage, data show
Lynn Sorrells started teaching 26 years ago because she loved seeing the light-bulb moment when a kid grasped a new concept. She still does. But as principal of a high school in Dorchester County, Maryland, she is struggling to find an algebra and geometry teacher just weeks before her school year is set to begin. As students head back to school, Sorrells’ district is one of hundreds across the country grappling with a growing teacher shortage — especially in key areas such as math and special ed. (CNN)

New Study: KIPP Pre-K Has Big — and Possibly Lasting — Impact on Early Student Achievement
Earlier is better when it comes to the KIPP charter network, suggests new research released Tuesday. Researchers with Mathematica Policy Research, an independent group, found positive effects both for the combination of KIPP pre-K and KIPP early elementary grades and for KIPP pre-K programs alone. “We believe it’s never too early to begin a KIPP education, and these findings show that starting KIPP at a young age can put our students on the path towards long-term success in college and life,” Susan Schaeffler, executive director of KIPP DC, said via email. Researchers studied KIPP pre-K programs at two elementary schools in Houston and one in Washington, D.C., between 2011 and 2016. (The 74)

DOE And Rejected Vendor Clash Over Maui Bus Driver Shortage
An ongoing shortage of school bus drivers on Maui has turned into a heated exchange of words in recent days between Department of Education officials and the bus vendor that lost some of the island’s bus routes to a competitor last year. Roberts Hawaii, which operates school and tourism buses, took out a half-page ad in The Maui News last Thursday, accusing the DOE of having “refused to take corrective action” and urging parents to contact their elected officials to express frustration with the situation. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

New study suggests STEM education needs a rebrand
A new study conducted by Atlanta-based Randstad US puts a new focus on STEM education and shows that students lose interest in science, technology, engineering and math as they get older. The study hits home for school districts across metro Atlanta, where schools can spend years working to become STEM-certified by the state. The study shows younger students are more interested in STEM studies and have more confidence in STEM skills than older students. (WXIA)

Teachers union, city schools officials head to arbitration over layoffs
The Baltimore Teachers Union and school district lawyers are scheduled to meet next month to discuss grievances filed by union leaders over the district’s handling of layoffs of teachers and classroom aides earlier this summer. An arbitration hearing is scheduled for Sept. 6, one day after the start of the new school year. The union wants the layoffs rescinded and affected employees reinstated with full back pay and benefits until the school district complies with the terms of the teachers’ contract. The union also wants laid off teachers to be placed in vacant positions within the school system. (The Baltimore Sun)

New York
NYC’s, state’s math, reading scores up in 2017
New York City students showed slight gains over the past year in reading and math test scores, according to testing data released Tuesday by the state Education Department. Among the city’s third through eighth graders — 40.6 percent passed the state’s standardized reading exams this year, compared to 38 percent last year. The proportion of city students who passed the state math exams increased to 37.8 percent in 2017, compared with 36.4 percent in 2016. (Newsday)

McQueen directs Hopson to share Memphis student information with charter operator
Tennessee’s education chief has sided with a charter operator in the ongoing tug-of-war between Shelby County Schools and the state’s Achievement School District over student contact information. Commissioner Candice McQueen directed Superintendent Dorsey Hopson on Monday to immediately share the information requested by Green Dot Public Schools. She said the district’s refusal violates a new state law by withholding information that charter operators need to recruit students and market their programs. (Chalkbeat)

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


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